Archives for category: California

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Aside from a brief work trip to Chicago and a wedding in Omaha (in February!), I haven’t spent much time in the Midwest. I’ve spent even less time thinking about what the food scene looks like. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a strong personal connection to the region or because I haven’t heard much about it in my usual reading lineup and podcast rotation. Whatever the case, when Explore St. Louis invited me on a press trip focused specifically on the city’s edible treasures, I was surprised. Then I was confused, and then intrigued.

What I found, ultimately, is a city on the verge. The takeaway: St. Louis has good food. St. Louis is typically known for barbecue, frozen custard, and their wafer-thin crust and processed cheese combo they dub St. Louis-style pizza, though St. Louisans want us to know they’re much more than that. And after sampling an array of James Beard Award-nominated eats, Bosnian street food, modern spins on Brazilian comfort food to name a few, I believe them.

Exciting things are afoot in St. Louis, and I wrote a snapshot at what that looks like (and where it’s headed) for Mic. READ IT HERE.

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San Diego food radar

Barrio Dogg, Barrio Logan

While reporting in the Barrio Logan neighborhood (also known as Logan Heights, before I-5 was erected) one of my local interview sources insisted I speak with the proprietor of what I thought was a hot dog cart.

Turns out, Barrio Dogg moved into a brick and mortar on Logan Ave. earlier this year and are slinging some satisfying bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Also known as a TJ dog, the all-beef franks are tucked into house-made, brioche-like buns (“to stand up to the condiments,” the owner said) that you can top with an array of salsas and cremas with names like Crazy Rabbit – a carrot and habanero mix – and Purple Rain, made with beets and – if my hastily scribbled notes are accurate – cactus fruit.

One dog is enough to feed two people (or one particularly ravenous friend, I guess), especially if you order a few sides. I got to try them all. My favorites: the peppery Mama’s Macaroni – a nod to the owner’s youth – and Elotitos, corn from the cob dressed in whipped lime crema. Tangy and comforting.

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Upcoming Travels

This weekend, I’m headed to Wellspring in Palm Springs* to learn about the exploding business of wellness, and maybe pop into a sound healing and CBD oil massage in between.

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Then it’s off to Brussels next month and I am wholly unprepared for weather that dips below 70 degrees, but here goes nothing!

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive compensation should you make a purchase from my outbound link. As always, however, opinions are my own.

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San Diego may be the eighth largest city in the country, but walkable pockets like Little Italy make it feel cozy and manageable. My mood guides my appetite, and most times I’m in the mood for strong coffee and sweet and savory foods prepared with no-fuss and quality ingredients. I’m also into the sort of places where you can linger as long as you like, and Little Italy is bursting with these establishments.

In the years that I’ve either worked and/or played Downtown, here’s my most-frequented eat and drink list in Little Italy:

Read the rest of this entry »

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The advantage of living in southern California is that a weekend escape feels like somewhere completely different. From San Diego, I could be in the mountains to the East, in Mexico’s buzzy Valle de Guadalupe sipping on wine, or eating my way through Los Angeles to the North in a few hours more or less.

At Joshua Tree National Park, two hours from Los Angeles or San Diego by car, desert vibes are in reach too.

To get there, head East on I-8 toward Palm Springs and take CA-62 toward the high desert.

There are several entrances to the park, which requires an entrance pass for purchase at any of the visitor centers.

Accommodations vary, from your standard Holiday Inn, to camping in the park and a spectrum of basic to desert chic Airbnbs. We stayed two nights in a charming red casita (an Airbnb – rent it here) near one of the park’s three entrances, meaning we were conveniently located less than 20 minutes from the park.

We traveled to Joshua Tree in June, or the beginning of the area’s off-season. Though, with an estimated 3 million visitors predicted for the area this year, Joshua Tree is on track to becoming a year-round destination–despite the heat that hammers down on you by 9am.

Due to rising summer temps, the park ranger at the visitor center counseled against the four-mile hike I bookmarked. Instead, he recommended a number of shorter nature walks to complete before the afternoon became too brutal. Had we visited in the fall or winter, I’d be inclined to book at least three nights in Joshua Tree to complete longer hikes, or to even camp one night (max, because I’m high maintenance like that) in the park.

Below are some photos from the weekend:

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(Cholla Cactus Garden, late afternoon)

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(Part of our Airbnb in Joshua Tree)

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(Sunrise breakfast at our Airbnb in Joshua Tree)

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(Corned beef and hash brunch at Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree)

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