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Archive for June, 2010

Food, Glorious Food

For the last few months, I have been blessed enough with the opportunity to travel to the continent two different times. In May, I went to a conference in Texas and then I went to Pennsylvania to celebrate my sister’s graduation from Carnegie Mellon University.

Whenever I go on trips people invariably will ask me what I ate. Luckily for them, I love taking pictures of food so for the next few posts I will show you guys what i ate. In this post, we’ll revisit Texas and Pennsylvania and in the next post well look at our food adventures in Atlanta, Georgia.

Our conference was in Plano (it was a database conference) and the church sent me and Cindy Loo. Of course since we went all the way to Texas I dragged Cindy to a baseball game. So after traveling overnight and going straight to the conference we managed to find the strength to go to the Ballpark at Arlington. As luck would have it, it was dollar hot dog night that night so of course we loaded up on hot dogs and enjoyed a great baseball game (the Rangers won and we all sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas” together).

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Here’s the crowd filtering into the ball park

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The hot dogs weren’t great, but they were only a buck each

Of course you can’t go to Texas with out eating some Texas BBQ so based on a recommendation from one of my friends that used to live in Plano, we tried one of the local favorites: Dickie’s Barbecue Pit.

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This place was literally right across from the church. We should have eaten there more often!

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You know it’s authentic when there’s a smoker right in the parking lot

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My plate was full of brisket, sausage, fried okra and green beans (plus you can get sweet tea everywhere!)

After leaving Cindy and departing to Pennsylvania I met up with my family in Pittsburgh. One of the great things about living in an age of the Food Network and the Travel Channel is they have changed some lucky local eateries into food destinations. Of course since my sister lives in Pittsburgh she also made a few suggestions too. WARNING: There are going to be tons of pictures following!

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First stop: breakfast at Deluca’s!

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Their signature waffle sundae. You can barely see the ice cream peeking out under the whipped cream.

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Another Pittsburgh institution is Primanti Brothers

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Their claim to fame is putting the french fries inside the sandwich (which incidentally makes for a very thick sandwich

After spending some time in Pittsburgh we did a little sightseeing in central PA. We drove stayed a few nights in Gettysburg (which will probably be the subject of a later post) and visited Hershey (home of Hershey Chocolates) and Lancaster County (probably most known for the Amish).

Gettysburg, as you probably remember from your American history classes, was the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. Because of this battle President Lincoln turned the land in to a national cemetery and his dedication of the cemetery is the famous Gettysburg address.

Anyway, they keep the Civil War alive in Gettysburg by allowing you to eat what they would have eaten if you had been there during the 1860s.

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The Farnsworth House Dining is one of the more famous houses in Gettysburg

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Our meal started out with pickled watermelon rind (my sister loved it, I didn’t)

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Another appetizer was this bowl of spoon bread

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My mom had the pumpkin fritters, sweet potato pudding and Lancaster chicken

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I opted for the game pie

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Can you see the chunks of turkey, pheasant and duck?

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This is what greets you when you arrive at Hershey

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The chicken nuggets weren’t spectacular but the dipping sauce was interesting

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That’s honey mustard on the right and a chocolate barbecue on the left (that’s right, chocolate barbecue!)

One of the more fascinating places we visited in central Pennsylvania was Lancaster county. In addition to the Amish people that live there they have a nice bustling city. Then a little ways out of town there was a magical place called the Shady Maple Smorgasbord. They claim to have over 200 feet of fine Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. It happened to be seafood spectacular night when we ate there and I must say, it did not disappoint.

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We had no idea what we were in for

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My first trip included among other things orange roughy, corned beef, shrimp, scallops, salmon, steak, fried chicken, roast beef, pork tenderloin and lobster bisque

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Here’s a sampling of what they had to offer (now multiply this station by 15)

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Another favorite of mine was birch beer (think root beer)

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This little piece of pie is the famous shoofly pie

But alas our trip had to end sometime and so we headed back to Pittsburg. I’m not sure how I did this, but I managed to convince everyone to watch another baseball game with me so we went out to PNC Park to watch the Pittsburg Pirates. In another first for me, we sat in the outfield in the “all you can eat” section. In this section there is a special concession booth and you can go and order off the menu as many times during the game as you wish.

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The view of the centerfield scoreboard from our seats in right field

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It says limit 4 but you can come back as much as you wish

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Nothing great but you can eat all that you wanted

Unfortunately for me this trip was met with more than one flight delay. I was late getting in due to a weather delay out of Dallas/Ft. Worth and I was late to leave due to a sick flight attendant in Pittsburgh. However the one bright spot that came out of the delay was Quaker Steak and Lube. If it wasn’t for that sick flight attendant I wouldn’t have had a chance to eat here. This popular spot is famous for their wings and different sauces. They go from the mild all the way to the atomic (which they claim is one of the hottest in the world).

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They take their automotive theme very seriously

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These are the Buckeye BBQ in front and I believe Tequila Lime BBQ in back

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As you can see the Buckeye BBQ is rated at 5,000 while the Atomic is 150,000

We weren’t brave enough to try the atomic wings. I hear they’re very hot. So hot in fact, they make you sign a release form before you can eat them.

Overall I did get to try some great new dishes while visiting some great new places. Stay tuned to see what we ate in Atlanta.

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