July 7, 2011

Three amazing food experiences on one amazing trip

Two weeks ago, my wife and I were on vacation and we had three food experiences that were truly amazing. The interesting thing is that each one represents a different movement in terms of culinary experiences.

The first little story happened in Canada and it´s about the road food movement - locals (and sometimes tourists) who drive for miles to eat at authentic roadside eateries. While our daughters were at camp, my wife and I went exploring the Lake Muskoka area. We drove north on Highway 11 in Ontario, close to a town called Orillia, to experience what our resort concierge told us was the best burger experience in that part of the world. Half hour later, we arrived to Weber's Hamburgers. She was right. This place is like hamburger heaven. Simple charcoal BBQ'd burgers, friendly staff, picnic tables on a backyard park-like setting, railroad cars transformed into a dinning area, storage and restrooms... the place rocks!

My second story is about the farm to table movement, a movement that celebrates the people who farm and produce in your own communities, creating more awareness about the benefits of eating local. My wife made reservations two months in advance at Blue Hill at Stone Barn Farms in Pocantico Hills, thirty minutes north of New York City.

Everything about our dining experience was magical. When we arrived, the host asked if we wanted to have a drink at the bar or watch the fireflies. Obviously, we were curious about the fireflies. He walked us onto a terrace overlooking a moon-lit section of the farm and in complete silence we watched in awe thousands of fireflies creating an unforgettable scene. Back in the restaurant, we were delighted by a no-menu evening. Waiters brought five different courses all using ingredients from the fields and pastures of their own and surrounding farms. Each course with revernce and storytelling. At the end, a cart comes up at the side of your table and, after you sleect the type of tea you want, a woman clips leaves from pots and brews in front of you. I can easily say it was the best dining experience in my life.

My third story is about the Miami Food truck movement. Arriving in Miami for some business meetings, one of my best friends invited me to go with him to one of the many food truck festivals that happen every week in different locations around Miami. Different than other cities where I´ve eaten from one truck, these events bring together over twenty trucks with live music and a rock-concert-type feel with hundreds of people with their folding chairs. Just simple fun.

Three amazing... and yet totally different food experiences.

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