Thursday, November 19, 2009

Foodie Break #2 or How to Travel Without Really Traveling

I've got the travel bug again and that shouldn't be new to anyone who knows me. I seem to get the itch a few months after my last big trip has ended.

But, if you're anything like me, you're not rich and leaving your job to travel for a few weeks isn't always possible so what options do we really have? We could do some nice, little, extended weekend trips in or around where we live (like I did a couple of weeks ago) or we could find some kind of substitute for the actual travel. This blog sort of helps me to do that.

The other thing we can do is eat!

Yes, you heard me, we can EAT! If you can find an authentic, ethnic restaurant in your city that reminds you of that little trattoria down the street from your B&B in Italy, or maybe a pub around the corner from your job that kind of looks like the place you ate at while you were in London, go there and EAT!

Enjoy the food, pretend you're in London or Italy. If you're lucky, the owners might actually be from there and if you're extra lucky, maybe they'll be serving some of the original recipes from their country. Don't go to Olive Garden and pretend it's Italy because they don't even come close! Don't head to Long John Silver's and put vinegar on your fries and pretend it's the same as the fish and chips you bought in London because malt vinegar does not make it British fish and chips! Go as authentic as you can and immerse yourself in the cuisine, the ambiance, and the food. Don't just plow through it all. Examine the decor, sniff the air, and talk to waitstaff or the owner. Find out what prompted them to open this restaurant. Take your time and eat like an Italian or Spaniard or whatever culture you're enjoying. Eat several courses and enjoy each one with some wine. You don't do this all the time so indulge yourself a little!

I have the good fortune of living in a city with some nice alternatives for food, restaurants, and eating.We're also fortunate enough to have several cooking schools as well. We have The Culinary Institute of America-San Antonio which hosts a regular cooking school as well as classes for the cooking enthusiast and we have Central Market Cooking School which brings in some great chefs from all over the world for demonstrations and tastings. We also have smaller, private schools that teach private lessons for all age ranges.

I mention the cooking schools, Central Market in particular, because In my next post, I'm going to write a bit about how I was able to leave San Antonio and visit Tuscany for a few hours and show you how to get away, even if it's just for an evening, and either recapture a recent trip or whet your appetite for the one to come.

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