I am hangry. I am not sure I have been this hungry since I did a 24-hour fast for charity. And why? Well, I got so used to living at home – with the grown-ups, where the cupboards are full of food – that I forgot that I would actually need to buy some food in order to make meals and, you know, FUEL MY BODY.
I was out on Friday and Saturday night for dinner, and on Sunday I had pasta in the early afternoon as a sort of lunch/dinner. Yesterday, I did the same. I am currently waiting on an Asda delivery with my stomach rumbling.
Anyway, I was going to write a blog post and all this thinking about food means I am going to do quick reviews of some of the new fast food places I went to in the States earlier this year. These were often places we ended up when we were all a bit crabbit from long drives and were looking for something quick to eat.
The Grove and Farmer’s Market, LA. This is one of my favourite places in the world. The Grove has lots of shops, as well as places to eat like The Cheesecake Factory and the restaurant owned by Slater from Saved By The Bell. The Farmer’s Market has a crazy amount of choice of food from all over the world, and lots for those of us with a sweet tooth. There were tiny little macarons with Beverly Hills on them, and lots of lovely little cakes. I had my first cronut, which was as amazing as you would expect of a food stuff that combines croissants and doughnuts, and the best smoothie in the world, which I think was called a Pacific Passion.
In-N-Out Burger. Our guide informed us that this is a California institution. What’s interesting about this place is that employees are paid more than minimum wage (almost unbelievable for a fast food place in the States), there are Bible references on food packaging, and they have a ‘secret menu’ you can order from if you know about it. I just got an ordinary burger, although they all have a sort of Thousand Island sauce on them and I really prefer mine plain, so I didn’t appreciate it as much as some might!
Wendy’s. If I can get chips and chicken nuggets somewhere, I’m happy.
Subway. I had had one Subway in my life years ago, when I thought it was better to play it safe with cheese on plain bread. No, no, no, I didn’t understand! What would be one of the best sandwiches I had ever tasted would be cheese, bacon and chicken on Italian Herbs and Cheese bread.
Cracker Barrel, Virginia. Man, did we love this place. It was like home cooking as far as we were concerned! I got my favourite meal: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, veg and gravy, and – even if the gravy wasn’t Bisto! – after all the burgers this was very welcome. However, we did get distracted by the peg game that Gin, our leader, brought over, and someone had to buy one because we were getting so frustrated with trying to solve it. I finally managed it on next day’s drive.
Pat’s and Geno’s, Philadelphia. These are right across the road from each other, and produce rival Philly cheese steaks. People are Pat or Geno’s people, apparently. And according to Gin, the right answer is Pat’s. We got a few from each place to share, so we could try both. I didn’t see that much of a difference, but they were good!
Going through my photos, I realised there are so many meals I could talk about that will be better in the context of specific locations, so more to follow about Navajo tacos and fried alligator!
Bonus picture of a waffle I made at a hotel breakfast one morning:
P.S. Dear Asda, please bring me my food!