Eating Everything – The Tastiest Things from 2023

I always find myself eating tasty things. Sometimes I am eating recipes I created at home, other times I am eating fantastic dishes from amazing culinary professionals and chefs. Once again, however, I had a year of NOT eating dangerously. I don’t know if it is a leftover from COVID isolation, but I have found myself gravitating toward the comfortable and familiar. There were, however, a few standout dishes that I will share with you. Of course, if you follow me on Instagram, you may have already seen these. Enjoy them for the first, second, or third time!

We had spectacular Indian and Bangladeshi food in London. Fabulous French Bistro fare in Paris and there was a LOT of local eating as well. Because the Hubs and I each marked a major city off our Bucket Lists, many of these bites are from our travels. When you travel you will be able to enjoy them. And when you decide to travel, I do hope you will get in touch with me to let me help you plan a memorable trip.*

In no particular order, here you go.

I will never know the special voodoo magic that Chef Brian Howard (2024 James Beard Nominee for Best Chef Southwest) and his team get up to in the kitchen. What I do know is that while eating this, there was no talking, just yummy sounds. It’s everything you want a great bite to be. It’s sweet and salty; it’s soft and crunchy, and made even more decadent with the duck confit in the center. And it is just gorgeous to look at.

Because the menu changes there seasonally, I suggest getting your happy ass in there and eating this while you can. May I suggest making a reservation? They are packed all the time!

This past spring, I finally realized a lifelong goal of seeing the Eiffel Tower and visiting Paris. I can say without hesitation, it is my most favorite of all the cities I have visited so far. Forget everything you have ever heard about the French being rude and hating outsiders. We did not experience that AT ALL.

I am not a Michelin Star hunter like some other people I know. In fact, before I went to Paris in April 2023, I had only been in one Michelin starred restaurant. In Paris, I found myself eating in two Michelin starred restaurants and several Michelin recommended restaurants. Before our trip to Paris, I chatted with James Trees (Esther’s Kitchen, Al Solito Posto, Ada’s Wine Bar) who had just returned from a research trip to France. I thank him for the recommendation to Racine’s. This meal was a true highlight of the trip. While I found myself eating croissants nearly every damn day…like you do…THIS meal was exceptional. Veal Tonnato is one of my “all time fave” dishes and this one was out of sight! The sauce was so velvety and smooth, I could have used it as lotion.  

The place is small and packed every day, so if you have the good fortune to go to Paris, be sure to make a reservation. The menu is seasonal, and ever changing, so be prepared for surprises. We were lucky enough to sit upstairs in the small communal dining room and watch the pastry chef work. She even invited me to work with her for a spell. A meal I won’t soon forget!

While every hotel/casino in Vegas is creating a “Food Hall”, the Burough Market is one of the originals. On a 7-day trip to London, we were there twice and completely overwhelmed both times. The market is a hive of activity and our fantastic tour guide, Pieter, told us for the best sausage roll, a London staple and must have item, go to the Ginger Pig. We couldn’t get anywhere near the place on day one, so we went back early another day and hit them up as they opened.

I am so glad that we did! While this is an indelicate picture of me eating said sausage roll, believe me when I say, my eyes rolled back in my head with joy! The pastry was flaky and perfectly salted, the sausage had the most excellent sage level and I was a happy camper. For a great version, if you live in Vegas, go to Featherblade Butcher. They have them frozen to go and sometimes hot in the “grab & go” case.

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Hudson, New York, and trust me when I say, it was NOT the darling of the food media that it is today. I do not miss Hudson. In fact, I hated growing up there, but I do miss seeing the leaves change, and I do miss some of the people. That being said, this past fall, we ventured to see the leaves for the first time in 30 years. We kept the entire trip on the DL, telling only the friends we stayed with we were coming. We checked out the changes in my hometown, eating in new restaurants and drinking in new breweries.

Café Mutton is tiny and served only breakfast and lunch while we were in town. They earned a James Beard Award and now I know why! This dish was crazy good. They braise a pig’s head, then shred the meat off, using the collagen rich broth to cook steel cut oats. The oats go into a bowl topped with the succulent shredded meat and the whole thing gets the poached egg treatment with an unexpected (and initially unwanted by me) dollop of house made orange marmalade. Trust me when I say eating this was a major highlight of the trip to Hudson.

When I was growing up, it was normal to have tomato plants in pots or flower beds if you were in the city, and commonplace to have more than that if you lived, like we did, in a more rural setting. There is something special about eating food you have grown.

If you have been following along, you know we moved during the pandemic, leaving behind an established, landscaped garden with perennial herbs and fruit trees. Last spring, we planted our “orchard” and during the summer we were rewarded with a few pieces of fantastic fruit, like this perfect freestone peach. This year the yield will be higher, and I can’t wait! Eating a peach while the juice drips off my chin always makes me feel like a kid.

*This blog doesn’t pay the bills. I am a travel agent by day. Email me at to get your best vacay started!

10 Years of Sharing This Blog

Moment of Truth – I started writing this blog on the actual anniversary (6 June) and I am just now getting around to publishing it…yeah, it’s like that.

About a dozen years ago I met author Vicki Pettersson completely by chance at Borders bookstore. I was buying her newly released first book and she was at the checkout as well. She shared with me that I was the first reader she ever saw buy her book. Kind of like a musician hearing their song on the radio for the first time. I am not sure who was giddier, me or her. As luck would have it, I learned that she came into my life at just the right time. After several meetings I mentioned that I was thinking of starting a blog, but I was worried that I didn’t have anything of value to say or share. She looked me square in the face and said, “Does that stop anyone else? You have a voice. Use it!” So, 10 years ago last month, this blog was born. Thank you, Vicki, for the kick in the pants.

I Over-Shared…a lot

In 10 years’ time I have shared a lot. I’ve shared recipes (that link will take you to the recipe archive on the site with ALL the recipes). My travels to Europe, Egypt, and many other places have been shared in words and photos, and sometimes a video or two. Sometimes when I share that kind of stuff, I feel I am bragging. Like, “Hey! Look what I am doing/eating/experiencing that you aren’t.” And then someone will thank me for sharing and I feel validated and less like a douchey braggart. Upon the death of Anthony Bourdain, I shared my own personal struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. In 10 years, I may have over shared. I started out just talking about food, and inadvertently ended up sharing parts of my life, and heart, and soul with all of you, because my life revolves around food. The making of it, the eating of it, the sharing of it, and so on. To those of you who have been following along since the beginning, I thank you for sticking with me. To those who EVER read my words, I am truly grateful.

10 Years? Time Means Nothing

When I first started, my intention was to write something weekly. And for a while I did that, but even someone who talks as much as I do runs out of valuable things to say after 10 years. I didn’t want to blather on about nothing, and sometimes silence is golden. Moment of Truth: I have had writer’s block (or content fatigue or thought constipation – take your pick) since my Dad died, so the golden silence stretched into months at a time. I wanted this content to be more than masturbatory self-promotion, I wanted you to really enjoy reading it. It’s hard to come up with fresh, valid content ALL. THE. FUCKING. TIME.

And Then COVID Happened

Sister Nancy inspired me to do a set of online cooking classes during the shutdown after I told her about the SecretBurger cook along events that were going on here in Vegas. For a while that was exciting, and now those live cooking classes with my sister have dried up too, for a variety of reasons (primarily the one below). I didn’t want to regurgitate the same shit you see from everyone else, and I truly felt (feel) I have nothing original to say or share right now…but wait, let me catch you up!

But Wait! There’s More…

Earlier this year, I finally convinced my husband to sell The Big House and downsize to something smaller. We moved downtown to a pre-war home that needs a LOT of TLC. I could bore you with details, but let’s just say that I have spent the equivalent of a micro-nation’s GDP on plumbing since moving into this lovely storybook looking house. I have thought of documenting, in words and pics, the process of the remodel, but there are literally hundreds of blogs about that if you are truly interested. We are really enjoying living downtown and walking to many of our fave dining and drinking establishments. One of the reasons the cooking classes have dried up is that my kitchen is a fucking nightmare, complete with electric stove, exposed MDF cabinets with the laminate peeling off the edges, and crowded counters.  The only things I love in my kitchen right now are my new fridge and my Boos block commercial worktable that I have repurposed as an island. Once the kitchen remodel is complete, the classes will resume. I promise.

When you reach middle age, 10 years flies by in the blink of an eye. Some days it feels like I just started this writing project. But more than that, relationships change. My relationship with writing has changed. My relationships with people, places, and things have changed. The way I respond to events is different now, in part to aging. An event that in my teen years would have caused a messy snot filled girl cry, did not bother me at all recently. I seriously have no fucks left to give for bull shit. I have no space or time for people who irritate me like a rash. There is no room in my head space for those who make me feel shitty in any way.

Things Change…

The passing of 10 years has put me fully into middle age and heading toward senior citizenship. I find myself now, oddly, at a point in my life when I see old friends after a long absence, I ask about their health. Yes, really.  A dear friend of mine from high school blew through town recently on a road trip. We hadn’t seen each other in nearly 2 years (thanks COVID), but I know he has a heart condition and worries about his blood sugar. After a huge hug (he said it was the first hug in over a year), the first questions out of my mouth were, “How’s your heart?” and “How’s your blood sugar.” And it wasn’t weird. For us. For now. It just is who we are in middle age.

The bottom line is this, what started out as a way to communicate my love for food, has morphed into something else across 10 years. I do hope you keep reading, sharing, and enjoying this small bit of myself. To be fair, I share more on Instagram, so if you consistently want to see what I am doing, you should follow me there!

Travel Egypt – Part Two – the Hotel and Bread

Usually when you take a cruise, your itinerary begins when you board the ship. Unlike other cruises, this one started and ended at a hotel. Let me explain. We arrived in Cairo, toured there for a couple of days then flew to Luxor to board the ship; sailed for a week and then flew back to Cairo for another couple of days culminating with a trip to Giza and THE pyramids. And I ate ALL. THE. BREAD.

A better than average breakfast

We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons and it is a lovely hotel. Like every Four Seasons in the world. The service is lavish, rooms are spacious and the food…well let’s just say it’s not all great. There is definitely some room for improvement. The breakfast buffet included with our room was above average.

The pastry shop in this hotel knows a thing or two about croissants and all of the bread was delicious (more on that further down the page). They offered American and European staples, along with traditional Egyptian fare, like ful (pronounced fool). Ful is the national dish of Egypt and it is stewed fava beans. The most surprising thing about the breakfast bar was the gorgeous honey display. Several varieties to choose from, plus a local honey that you could scrape right off the comb or break off a piece of the comb to enjoy. Delish!

Dinner however was another story all together. I am not sure what it is about the meat in Egypt, but they cook it to death. It doesn’t matter which meat – beef, lamb, veal – it is all COOKED. The meat dishes at the Four Seasons were cooked within an inch of their life. Almost to the point of being inedible. The fish and chicken were treated beautifully though, and were really tasty.

Great Bread is a THING in Egypt

As in most cultures, bread is a staple in Egypt. And nearly all of it is better than the average bread here in the states. Even the street markets had better bread than we get in the states. The croissants I enjoyed at the Four Seasons were some of the best I have ever had. The little rolls and mini baguettes, served with the cheese and charcuterie on board the ship, were really well executed. Bread making is a THING in Egypt. We saw housewives laying dough in the sun on balconies so it could rise. These were average housewives, not Martha Stewart-y kinds of women with too much time and money on their hands.

It’s not just the big hotels that make their own bread, small Mom & Pop places make their own bread daily as well. We had lunch in Alexandria at a bright fish place filled with tile and large glass windows to see the Mediterranean. They had a gas fired brick oven and turned out their own pita. Yes, it was delicious. While in Aswan, we enjoyed high tea at the historic Cataract Hotel. All of the finger sandwiches were exceptional, even though they had been sitting out waiting for our arrival.

I am forever ruined for the pita that we have access to here; those are pale imitations of what a pita can truly be. Walking through the souk you can smell the bread being made and then you round a corner and see it. Imagine one of those toasters you see on a buffet that takes your bread on a little conveyor belt, and spits your toast out of the bottom. Now imagine it as big as the hood of a mid-sized SUV spitting out perfectly puffed pita that are so hot you have to pass it back and forth in your hands like you are playing “hot potato” with yourself. (Yes, I took a pic. No, it didn’t come out well.) Shawarma wrapped in light thin lavash and petite baguettes filled with all manner of things. The fillings were immaterial, the bread was the star of the show for me. Hi, my name is LeAnne and I am a carb-aholic.

fresh pita is everywhere
New pal Sameh holding the pita fresh from the oven in the souk

Can terroir change the flavor of produce?

Sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with a culinarian or agriculturalist with a really good grasp of the English language to find out why all of the bread was so damn good. All of the staff on board the ship spoke English, but those who spoke it most fluently didn’t have deep culinary or agricultural knowledge. Is the wheat the same variety as we use here in the states? Is it grown differently or milled differently? Is it like grapes, where the terroir can change the flavor and the properties?

I may never know the answer. What I do know is that my husband is looking at a vacation home in Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea and I am not mad about it. At least I will get to eat the good bread again.

2018 – a Year of Loss and Love

2018 sucked. It just sucked. There was a LOT of loss. Loss of loved ones, heroes, icons, and precious items, but no weight, sadly.

There was also a LOT of love in 2018. I attended four weddings in four different parts of the country. The Hubs was the officiant at his very first wedding. My niece had a baby girl making me a Great Aunt three times over. And there were hugs, and tears, and hellos, and goodbyes. Through it all there was food, glorious food. Food to celebrate and food to drown sorrows or heal a broken heart. This my friends, is the list of the best things I ate in 2018. I had to weed out a few things that were awesome, like Maryland crab cakes IN Maryland. Many of these things made the list not just because they tasted great, but because of the memories attached to the enjoyment of or finding of the dish. I hope you enjoy this look back at my 2018 food year in review.

The Top 10 for 2018

Starting off with the locals, here they are…

Esther’s Kitchen

Local Chef James Trees, owner of Esther’s Kitchen, gave me two of my favorite bites of 2018. The Crispy Fried Cauliflower that I shared with The Hubs (he honestly didn’t get much of it) was better than any other version I have ever had. I am not sure if it was the capers or the anchovies or the texture, or the perfect combo of all of those, but I need to get back in there and eat this again!

fried cauliflower

Crispy Fried Cauliflower at Esther’s Kitchen

I thought pal Chef Johnny Church made the best porchetta (he made it for my Surprise 50th Birthday Party), but I was wrong (Sorry Johnny). The Porchetta SandWISH* made the list not only because it was delish, but because I split it with high school buddy Bob Bucci. The Porchetta is also available on the dinner menu as a main, but the pictured dish is only on the lunch menu.


The Best sandWISH I ate all year!

Sparrow + Wolf

On the ever changing menu at Sparrow + Wolf, you never know what you are going to find. Your fave may be taken off the menu to make room for something else that’s fabulous. I did learn from pal, Chef and Owner Brian Howard that they tried to take one of last year’s faves off the menu and there was a near riot. This was one of the nightly specials when I took Sister Nancy to dine there. Her words about this dish were, “I want this for breakfast every day for the rest of my life”. And she’s not wrong. It’s like the best French Toast you’ve ever had topped with the most decadent thing on the planet, and just so you don’t feel guilty, here’s a little fruit.

Foie Gras

Honey Toast with Foie Gras and Blueberries


Carnevino was one of the things we lost this year. It’s final meal service was July 21st and we were happily able to enjoy it with friends Al & Sue Mancini, Eric Gladstone and new friend Jason Harris. I had eaten at Carnevino before, and they have made this list before but I had never had the six month aged beef. Al called ahead and reserved a piece of this amazing beef for us. What a way to go! You can see all of the pics of that meal here.

Dry aged beef

180 day dry aged Prime NY Strip at Carnevino

Two From Vermont

Attending those four weddings in 2018 allowed me to try out some new places. Hen of the Wood in Burlington, Vermont was one of those places. Everything was exceptional and I really should have ordered this dish a second time. Yes, it was that good. Due to a seasonal and ever changing menu, you may not see this dish. Rest assured there will be something fabulous.

Hen of the Wood

Mushroom Toast at Hen of the Wood

The Bierhaus at the Von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont provided me with this perfect burger. The cattle are raised on the property and the beef is for the sole use of the Von Trapp family of restaurants on the property. The flavor is unique to that place as no other cattle can eat exactly what these grass fed cattle can. Think of the properties that terroir gives to wine and it’s kinda the same thing. Not anywhere in the same league as the steak above, but this was THE single best burger I had all year.

Farm raised beef

The best burger I ate all year!

Family Meal, Frederick Maryland

Attending Nephew Jeremy’s wedding took us to Frederick, Maryland and we toured several breweries and ate some fab food. Fried Chicken almost always makes my “best of” list in one form or fashion. For 2018 it was Bryan Voltaggio’s Fried Chicken at Family Meal. It made the list for several reasons:

  1. It was fucking delicious!
  2. We visited Rockwell Brewery and when we asked for a menu they pointed to the boring looking building in the parking lot and told us they could order from there and have it delivered. I declined. Face palm… I didn’t realize it was Bryan Voltaggio’s joint, so I was forced to return.
  3. It was served in a Revol Chicken Dish – one of my absolute favorite pieces from their collection (I have three small ones that were gifted to me). Fried Chicken served on a $60 plate? Yeah, it’s that kind of chicken!
  4. I ordered a side of Pimento Cheese Mac & Cheese and shared it with my two fave guys – The Hubs and The Son.

Family Meal

Bryan Voltaggio’s Fried Chicken

Conference Food

I often travel with The Hubs for his conferences because there are some fun locations. This year we attended three conferences and two locations made this list for 2018.

This rainbow of ciders from Schilling Cider House in Seattle was one of the best drinks of 2018! We went with friends and each of us ordered a flight of 6 and there were very few repeats because the variety was seemingly endless. Barrel aged, multi-fruit, and everything from sweet to ultra dry made the decision making process VERY difficult.

Rainbow of Ciders

A rainbow of Ciders from Schilling in Seattle

Orlando is…well, Orlando. We were at Universal Studios Resort and there was this. And it was so good I had to go back and order it a second time just to make sure that I wasn’t wrong. The first time I ate it I was so hungry that I thought maybe it was just mediocre. It was equally delicious the second time around. At Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, a kitschy themed restaurant in the tourist area, you can get these tater tot nachos – “totchos” – and they were loaded with toppings and flavor. I have to find a way to recreate them here because…damn.

Tater tot Nachos?

Totchos with green chile, queso and fried pork belly

And finally…from my kitchen

I love to cook and I hate to waste food, but sometimes “leftovers” aren’t what I want. I made this one day with freshly poached eggs and everything else was a leftover from something else. Jamon de Serrano crisped up in the pan with parmigiana reggiano and asparagus made for a great way to clear out the fridge and fill up my belly. Perfect leftovers? Perhaps. A little Hollandaise wouldn’t have sucked on this dish.

poached eggs

The one dish from my kitchen that made the list

I hope you have enjoyed this look back at 2018. I am ready to put all of that behind me and move on to creating and enjoying more food memories with my nearest and dearest. Wishing you all a tasty 2019.

*In case you are new here – I always write sandWISH instead of the correct word.

Take a Beer Vacation – Almost Anywhere

I am not saying you should take a vacation FROM beer. I am saying that you should turn your vacation into a Beer Vacation. With the growth of the craft beer scene all across the country, this is much easier than it sounds. Living with a home brewer, as I do, the task takes on even greater ease! He is willing to do all of the research into finding local breweries and craft beer bars in any area we travel! Consequently, each vacation lately has become a beer vacation for at least one of the days we are traveling. Sometimes we take a guided tour of the brew house; sometimes we just enjoy a flight of whatever happens to be on tap.

Beer Vacation – Hitting Up as Many Breweries as Possible

Vibrant craft beer scenes in the Pacific Northwest are a great place to start. We have made Seattle and Bend, Oregon into craft beer vacations, hitting up as many breweries as possible. (For Bend, go to the “Visit Bend” site and get all the info you need to take a great beer hike around town.) Another great option is the San Diego area. There are dozens of microbreweries there and a few really big ones too – like Stone, Green Flash and Lost Abbey off the top of my head.

Northern California is a Treasure Trove

Last year, attending the wedding of a friend, I had the good fortune to take some of my gal pals on a tour of Sierra Nevada in Chico. None of them had ever done a full blown brewery tour and they will forever be ruined for all others! I have been on dozens of tours, and this one is the BEST I’ve ever taken. The building is Lied Certified and they do all sorts of next level shit in there to help the local community, environment and the craft brew scene. All of Northern California is a treasure trove of amazing taprooms and breweries. The San Francisco area boasts a Rogue taproom, 21st Amendment Brewing and  Speakeasy brewing just to get you started.

On our most recent trip (you can read about it in four installments here on the site) we had the great good fortune of making beer vacation days out of Bamberg, Vienna and Frankfurt. But the biggest happy accident of the trip was finding a small local brewery in Amsterdam. After chatting with the barmaid at VOC Café where we enjoyed bitterballen, we asked about a nearby brewery, Brouwerij De Prael. She warned us that it was small, but we weren’t deterred. Size doesn’t always matter. Great beer does! It was close by so we trekked on over to check it out. We weren’t disappointed!

A Rabbit Warren of Small Rooms

After walking down a cobblestone alley where no car could have driven, we walked into a wild scene of “bingo night” where the grand prize was a scooter. Brouwerij De Prael was packed to the rafters with loud contemporary and 80’s pop music blaring and everyone was having a good time. The building itself is a rabbit warren of smaller rooms. A taproom in the front, several small dining rooms, and an American style bar menu featuring burgers, dogs and sandwiches. Because it was so busy, finding a place to park ourselves was a challenge, but we found a couple of seats at a shared high-top table in the front room near the door and tucked in for a good time. Of course John mentioned to the door man, Nelis, (pronounced NAY-liss) that he is a home brewer. Nelis then proceeded to give us a private guided tour of the brew house, complete with meeting the local homebrewing club! What a Happy Accident!

Clockwise from top left – beer aging in Ardbeg casks, the only burger I ate on the entire 2 week trip – cooked perfectly rare, Hubby John (in the red shirt) with the local Amsterdam Home Brewers Club, Nelis and I in the brewhouse, drinking beer in the taproom, Hubby John’s NotaBrau sticker in the brewhouse with other brewers’ stickers.

Resources to Get You Started

Intrigued? Wanna try it out for yourself? There are several great references out there. Of course you can go to the Chamber of Commerce or tourism site for any city you are visiting. Beware, they don’t always have great info on craft beer bars or breweries, unless the area is known for their craft beer scene, like Bend. Online be sure to check out Beer Advocate. Go to the “places” tab and select “directory”. They list breweries, bars, brew pubs with food, home brew supply stores, and stores with great beer selections. While you are there, subscribe to the magazine! Check out Lonely Planet and their collection of Global Beer Guides, available in print and digital formats. I prefer Lonely Planet travel guides over others because there are always quirky little things they find that aren’t in other guidebooks. You can select individual chapters for just the area you are traveling to, but WHY? Get the whole damn book so you are prepared for your next adventure ($20 in hardback)!

Buy Lonely Planet’s Global Beer Tour book  here in digital or print formats (photo from Lonely Planet website)

Another great book is this one by National Geographic. As with all Nat Geo products, the photography and content are first rate. It is a larger format book, a fantastic “coffee table book” for the beer lover on your Holiday gift list. ($40 in hardback.)

Buy Nat Geo’s Atlas of Beer here direct from National Geographic           (photo from Nat Geo website)

Finally, talk to the bartender at your local craft beer bar, beer goddesses at beer festivals or your local home brewers’ club. Those folks know where it’s at when it comes to craft beer and can point you in the direction of fab bars and breweries. Definitely do this AT your destination. Find one great taproom and the kind folks there will lead you to others. And ALWAYS – drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive!

Traveling with Friends and Conch   

If you are lucky, you have a few good friends that you can do anything with, including going on vacation. My friend Laurie earned a trip with the Pampered Chef to Atlantis in the Bahamas and invited her girlfriends, me, Lynn and Janet, to go along with her. We had a great time and I ate my weight in conch while I was there. Traveling with friends is very different than traveling with family. Your family knows what you like to do on vacation, but perhaps your friends don’t.

My idea of a vacation is getting out and seeing EVERYTHING; trying the local cuisine, beer and cocktails and talking with the locals. I don’t sleep in and I stay up late, just like at home. I like to walk around and eat stuff I can’t get at home. That’s what I do when I vacation with John. Laurie likes to sit on the beach or at the pool. Lynn and Janet both go with the flow. I rarely sit on the beach or, heaven forbid, a public pool. This vacation was a combination of all of that. Atlantis has a huge water park and is close to Nassau so we toured, walked, swam, parasailed, rode the rapids and ate…and ate…and ate.

Fried Conch, Conch Fritters, Conch SandWISHes

Here in Vegas I can get nearly anything, but Bahamian cuisine and lovely fried conch is something that is not readily available. I can get scungilli salad, but fried conch, conch fritters, conch sandWISHes? Good luck! I ate all of that and more while I was away. If you have never had conch, it’s sweet in the way crab is, but toothsome the way calamari is. I prefer it fried, but I’ll eat it in scungilli salad too. One thing I re-learned about Nassau is that I don’t like their beer. At ALL. And we tried “Sky Juice” a bizarre concoction of gin, milk and sweetened condensed milk, that on the surface sounds gross, but somehow it works.

One of the oddest things we did was hire a cab to drive us all around Nassau and point out the interesting things about the city. We had a good driver, Alfred, who showed us the sights. Government buildings, Fort Charlotte, “The Fish Fry” and local flora were all included for the ride. I would highly recommend doing this in any foreign city to get the lay of the land and figure out what you want to visit.

One of the Highlights Was Eating at Oh Andros

For me, the highlights of the trip were parasailing (something I was able to check off my Bucket List) and eating at Oh Andros. Oh Andros is located in “The Fish Fry”, an outdoor mall of sorts, featuring restaurants, bars and shops that serve mostly locals, but tourists are welcome. If you plan to go, just know it’s all cash only, so be prepared. Oh Andros serves authentic Bahamian food and when we arrived the joint was packed with locals. The pics below do not do justice to the food for several reasons, mainly, I had my little camera and you can’t see how big the plates were for scale. Each entrée came with rice with pigeon peas and two other sides. The plate was a standard 10” round. Pile it up 5” high and you get the picture. Everything was properly seasoned and there was WAY too much. If you are in a hotel and not an apartment with ability to reheat leftovers, I recommend sharing a plate with a friend. We had NO IDEA we’d be getting that much food.

Fried Conch and pan fried pork chop.

Fried Conch and pan fried pork chops.

Spicy grilled grouper - there were FIVE filets on this one plate!

Spicy grilled grouper – there were FIVE filets on this one plate!

Slipper tail lobster, cracked and fried

Slipper tail lobster, cracked and fried. No joke, it was an entire lobster!

Fried conch and pan fried whole snapper

Fried conch and pan fried whole snapper. One of the pieces of conch was literally the size of my hand.