While most of my food was cooked over a fire or on my little camp stove, and PB & J provided almost daily sustenance, I would occasionally splurge on local items, or grab a bite with my hosts. Those explorations resulted in this list of edible and potable stand-outs that are every bit as memorable as the scenery I encountered along the way. While it didn’t make this list, though, I would like to give an honorable mention to Lipton Noodles and Sauce, the prolific varieties of which provided many a satisfying camp meal – everything tastes better outdoors!
Top 5 Food and Drink – Roadtrip 2010
5. Morel and cream pasta
This was the best of my own creations on the road. I rehydrated the last of the morel mushrooms that I had harvested and dried in the spring, sautéed them in butter with salt and pepper, added some heavy cream that had probably spent a couple days too many without refrigeration, and stirred the resulting sauce into cooked bow-tie pasta. Voila! A delicious dinner to keep me warm as the night temperatures neared freezing.
4. Colombo Pizza
I went to Colombo’s Pizza and Pasta because I had to… but I was sure glad I did! Fresh vegetables were piled high on the pizza with home-made sauce and crust and just the right amount of cheese. The place was bustling with college students, families, and young adults alike, and the service was friendly and efficient. You may not think of pizza when planning a trip to the Rockies, but after a long day of skiing, hiking, or paddling the area wilderness, you won’t be disappointed.
3. Stephanie’s cooking
Anyone who has met Stephanie has probably tasted something she’s cooked… and not been disappointed. Not only did I get to taste just about every variety of soy food produced by Ota Tofu, but I got the gourmet preparation to boot! Fresh salmon, delicious cheeses, and crisp veggies rounded out our meals, and her mom even introduced me to Puerh teas, which I have since made a part of my regular diet. I don’t even remember everything we ate in the few days I visited, but I sure wish I had Stephanie here to make my dinner tonight! Mmmmmm…
2. Texas Tacos
I’ve never seen quite the variety of tacos that I got in Austin, TX, and all of them were wonderful. Fish tacos, fusion tacos, veggie tacos, traditional tacos… the list could go on and on, and I certainly didn’t get anywhere near sampling everything available. Your next trip to Texas should probably include a “taco tour”!
1. Fresh-hop beer
If you’ve been reading this long, or talked to me in the last year and a half, this ranking won’t come as a surprise to you! The awesome variety of high-quality beer amazed me – and that’s coming from a girl used to Wisconsin’s motley brews. However, the fresh-hop beer was more than just tasty… it revolutionized my way of thinking. See, I never liked IPA’s, or APA’s, or any PA’s for that matter, because they were just too bitter. The beers brewed with fresh hops (only a few hours off the vine), Pale Ales or not, were light, crisp, and fragrant without the bite! Once I learned how delicious hops could be, I was able to find the flavor underneath the surface acridity in the ales I’d encountered before. Now I’m at least as likely, if not more likely, to pick up a Hopalicious, Hopdinger, or Hop Hearty than anything else. Thanks to Oregon’s healthy, hearty, and delicious beer industry!
Do you have any good food experiences on the road? Know the best thing Stephanie has ever cooked? Have an IPA recommendation? I can’t wait to hear about it!