Food, Travel

Eating Well on the Road

I rarely buy souvenirs when I travel. I eat out instead. This fall, I visited three cities — Ann Arbor, Asheville and Boston — where there are plenty of opportunities to try restaurants for the first and, in some cases, probably the only time.

Two things. I have high standards for the quality of ingredients and preparation so fast food is out. Also, breakfast is usually coffee and something else. But that means I still have two meals a day to explore what a city’s restaurants have to offer.
Zingerman’s Delicatessan bakery


Here are my favorites.
Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor: A great selection of foods in the deli section, including good-looking bread. But we were here for lunch.
The place has had good press. Chef Mario Batali is quoted as saying” Ahhh Zingerman’s …. my temple of deliciousness.” Alton Brown from Food Network says the macaroni and cheese at Zingerman’s is “America’s Best Comfort Food.”
Lots of options at Zingerman’s

The menu on the boards was filled with lots of sandwich possibilities. But this is a deli so a bagel it was, specifically Maine smoked salmon, Zingerman’s creamery cream cheese, tomato and red onion on a toasted sesame bagel. It came with fat dill pickles.

White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, N.C., is another great place for lunch.  I live in Taos, where we are particular about regional foods like tacos. But White Duck Taco Shop offers a lot more than the usual. 
Among the taco fillings are: Banh mi tofu, Korean beef bulgogi, lamb gyro, and duck with mole. My two choices? Bangkok Shrimp and Lump Crab.

Pondering the selection at White Duck Tacos

Diners can eat inside or outside. Saving seats is not allowed outside, but the line at the door and the diners move pretty fast so it’s not a problem.

Our last day in Boston warranted a field trip to Woodman’s in Essex. No one should come only half-

Chowder at Woodman’s

hungry to Woodman’s, which has been a landmark business for almost 100 years. Deep-fried seafood are served huge portions.

I chose the clam chowder. The broth was the way I like it, not too thick or thin. (I don’t like chowder that holds a spoon upright.) It had lots of clams, as if the server scooped them from the bottom of the pan.
Best dinner? That’s an easy one: Cúrate, a tapas restaurant, in Asheville. Our friends Janet and Howard made reservations before we arrived.

The restaurant is long and narrow so we had a easy view of the open, bustling kitchen from our table.

Our friends have eaten here before so we let them choose. They did well on the seven dishes we shared.
 My favorites? Ensalada de Verano (watermelon salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, la Serena sheep milk cheese, corn nuts and a honey sherry vinaigrette) and Gambas Ai Ajillo (sautéed shrimp and sliced garlic with bread on the side to soak up the broth). Cúrate says it’s the restaurant’s number one dish. It was mine too.

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