Firstly apologies for truly dragging out my holiday recap posts. I still have another one to come focusing on the running and fitness side of the holiday – and my US parkrun recap!)
But OK let’s be real here, this is the good post, right? Holiday recaps are all well and good but I know for me personally I want to see what people ate. A huge part of the holiday is to enjoy the food, try new things and just eat stuff you wouldn’t eat at home normally. (To catch up, HERE’s my Orlando recap and HERE’s my Dallas recap). Apologies this is a long post!
If I’m honest, breakfast didn’t rock my world. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then firstly thank you!, and secondly you’ll know I eat porridge for breakfast every single day and have done for the past 10 years. I still love it!
Also breakfast in America typically is a long way away from what I’d consider ‘normal’. Pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes…they’re all pudding in my eyes. Sweet things so early don’t float my boat so I tend to stick with eggs.
In Orlando I ate a lot of omelettes, turkey bacon, English muffins and fruit. I’m a huge fan of turkey bacon – which in my eyes was far superior to the thin crispy regular bacon.
Breakfast in Dallas was similar but I also went back to porridge (oatmeal).
Don’t get me wrong though, sometimes we’d get a plate of pancakes for Ben and me to share so I could have a bit rather than a whole portion. Of special mention, the Corner Bakery Cafe in Dallas had gorgeous apple pancakes (left picture) and Yolk (middle picture) had a superb ‘ironman’ omelette full of veggie goodness which I added turkey bacon to.
For Ben, however, breakfast was his favourite meal. He was ALL over the sweet stuff, crepes being his favourite. The Original Pancake House in Dallas were amazing. They contacted me via Twitter and tempted us in with a free Dutch oven pancake (bottom right picture). Easily won over! It was MASSIVE and very very sweet (Ben loved it).
Lunch is always a tricky one on holiday. Especially when you’re hopping from rollercoaster to rollercoaster. In Orlando it was usually something snacky, like an INCREDIBLE bacon pretzel from Busch Gardens.
Though one day I obviously had to visit the Whole Food’s salad bar because it is EPIC.
In Dallas again it was a light lunch (apart from the day we had cupcakes for lunch).
We tried out the Which Wich sandwich/salad shop which was really good. You took a paper bag and it had a long list of possible sandwich or salad ingredients and you just ticked which you wanted, gave it to the cashier, paid and then got your sandwich (or salad) back in the bag (or in a container for the salad).
Dinner was by far my favourite meal. Jamie did great research because dinner was always amazing and never the same. We had Mexican, Greek, BBQ, Japanese, Italian and seafood. I mean seriously good meals.
For the Italian, we went to a very small restaurant called Giovanni’s which was about 20 minutes out from the International Drive area of Orlando. Not being a huge pizza or pasta fan I had a gyro meat and feta salad with pitta bread (this was me taking one for the team).
It was very tasty. However the piece de resistance were Ben’s garlic knots.
At first I was like “nope, not my thing at all”. But then I tried one. Honest to god, they were out of this world, party in your mouth, life-changingly good. I’m looking at the photo now and my mouth is watering. They literally oozed with garlicky goodness. I know that sounds gross and I am not a grease fan at all but they literally melted. Kate even said that this would be her last meal on death row (hypothetically speaking). For $4 that is pretty damn good.
One of the best restaurants we went to was a Japanese restaurant called Benihana. You sat around a large grill (hot plate?) and the chef cooked your meal in front of you. It was almost like a show. The chef chopped veg so quickly, he danced eggs on his knife, threw stuff into his chef’s hat…it was brilliant.
*Next meals vegans/veggies probably won’t enjoy – scroll down to the other red text*
A meal that required a very light lunch was a trip to Texas de Brazil – an all-you-can-eat Brazil/Texas restaurant. It is heavily meat-based as the waiters bring round skewers of different meats and carve it onto your plate…this happens non-stop.
At first I piled my plate high with different bits and bobs from the salad bar (of which was HUGE) and then I started trying the meat and realised I needed to save my stomach for the that and not the vegetables. Filet mignon (and wrapped in bacon version), ribs, lamb chops, parmesan-crusted pork loin, pretty much every cut of steak, chicken, sausages…just amazing. I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E (but fairly expensive – totally worth it though).
Obviously there was Pig Fest as well which literally rocked my world.
And of course I had my usual turkey leg (this time from Universal not Disney) and it was amazing. All that Nando’s time has been good training.
It was a lot less greasy than Disney’s and it was more smoked, which was just so good.
***OK for vegans/veggies to return!***
Other great meals were a delicious Greek feta salad, crab, a Mexican tortilla bowl salad, an incredibly HUGE salad from CowFish (great restaurant giving options of both sushi and burgers, yes I know I had a salad but I walked past a lady having one and it was massive and I was sold there and then – I couldn’t even finish it!).
Well, I can’t deny I am a salad muncher and love American salads as they’re always huge with lots of toppings. But it wasn’t always healthy food…
Froyo became an almost daily thing. Kate and Jamie fully got involved as well, originally not knowing much about it.
We developed ways to get the best from those self-services – chosen sauce at the bottom, few sprinkles of ‘toppings’, then layer of froyo, then more sauce and more toppings, final layer of froyo and then more sauce and toppings. We nailed it.
We also went to Cold Stone Creamery a few times (introduced to us by Kate and Jamie), which was just incredible. Weirdly I had the best apple of my life there…
Ben had some seriously good ice cream as well (they literally roll out the ice cream on a cold stone and mix in incredible things like an entire piece of brownie and stupid amounts of sauce and toppings). But I saw the rows of candy apples and I was sold. My apple was dipped in toffee, then icing and then rolled over a crushed Heath bar. ROCKED my world in a big way. They even sliced it for me. I had no problems finishing it.
Other tasty treats included a WEDGE of red velvet cake and churros at the cinema (Ben and me shared both these things and promptly fell into a sugar coma), frozen custard, a huge slice of cheesecake Ben and I shared one evening and the best ice cream of my life (top line).
The ice cream was from a parlour called Sh-Booms & The Oldies. I had caramel pecan and peanut butter bomb. Just enough PB for me but it truly was the best thing ever. Better than Ben and Jerry’s! The place was very small but very cool (it looked like it was in the 1950s with the decor) and the manager was the nicest man in the world – really jokey and chatty and let us try so many flavours.
And finally, in Dallas one day we decided to have some cupcakes for lunch from a place called Trailer Cakes and they were FABULOUS.
We definitely pigged out ate a lot more in Orlando than Dallas and this was mainly because we were with friends and these things happen. At the end of our time in Orlando we both felt bloated and a bit sick and tired of food so Dallas was a bit lighter on the big meals. I probably overdid the ribs in Orlando (having had them three times) so didn’t quite feel the urge to have them again 😉
Apologies for such a long post!
What’s your favourite meal on holiday?
What are your favourite holiday treats?
Are you a meat lover or a carb lover on holiday? For me it’s all about meat as I find things like brisket, ribs and pulled pork a nightmare to cook.