On the Road Eats: San Diego

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I headed out to a conference in San Diego.  One lunch and two dinners were mine.  The rest- conference food.  I stayed at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and took advantage of the easy walk to various restaurants.  I even tried out the scooters left around the city- super fun and a must try if you see one laying around!

Volcano Rabbit
I was staying in the Gaslamp district and arrived right before lunch.  I needed a quick spot close by so I could eat and then head to the conference hotel and grab my shirts and badge.  This was a short walk and a great meal to start my trip.  Time for some tacos – Chili rubbed Octopus and Sticky Beef Short Rib…..YUM!

Double Standard
I decided on a solo dinner and wanted something hearty.  I found Double Standard on OpenTable and I was able to sit outside.  My meal was fine but next time I will opt for a different spot.

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Lucky’s Lunch Counter
Right around the corner from the Marriott is Lucky’s lunch counter.  I wanted a breakfast burrito since I was going to be in meetings and in a sales booth most of the day.  Lucky’s hit the spot.  Egg whites, cheese, veggies, bacon – perfect start to the day!

Lionfish Restaurant at The Pendry Hotel
Some hits, some misses.  This restaurant got great reviews but I should have listened to the server and stayed away from the sushi.  You should never use avocado that is not ripe in a roll – never.  But on the positive side, the appetizers- octopus, mussels and the duck tostadas were a hit!

Jsix Restaurant at the Kimpton
Sometimes sitting down with a colleague after a work event is a necessity.  Debrief on the day and get ready for the next.  A refreshing adult drink, crispy spring rolls and guacamole hit the spot!

Soleil @k at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
I ended up with one monring to grab an early breakfast and decided to do so at the hotel so I easily bring my laptop with me.  Chilaquiles were on the menu and a must for me.  A bit spicy but really good!  Ready for the day ahead!


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On the Road Eats: Detroit(Suburbs) and Ann Arbor

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I have to find the local spots.  And I knew heading to the Detroit suburbs and Ann Arbor would cause me to spend some time finding the right spot for one dinner and two lunches.  Turns out I got a second dinner too!

Cafe Thai
img_0729Call and request an early hotel check-in.  Take the bus to Hertz, choose a car and while I wait in line to check out, call Cafe Thai.  Order lunch to go and let them know I will be there in 25 minutes.  Head towards Southfield and they will have lunch ready to go.  Check in at the hotel, eat quickly and head to my client meeting.  Same routine for many years if I have to head to the suburbs after an early flight.  Always Cafe Thai.  And still my favorite Pad Thai to date.

Voyager
I read about a restaurant in Ferndale, a 15-minute drive from my hotel that was named one of the top restaurants in the country.  Nothing fancy, just great seafood.  And they were right.  I could have sat at the bar and ate for hours.

Monahan’s Seafood Market
I have never been to Ann Arbor so of course I had to drive through the campus, see the stadium and find some good food.  I happened upon Kerrytown while looking for Monahan’s not realizing I was in the right spot.  On this particular day, there was a farmer’s market and the vendors pointed me in the right direction.  I walked into the Kerrytown Market and Shops and found Monahan’s.  Order at the counter, hope you can find a table or seat at the counter, and wonderful fresh mish is delivered via paper plate.  They had an amazing butternut squash that day and I could not resist a cup of the clam chowder.  Awesome experience!

Zingerman’s Delicatessen
Apparently Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution.  When I told someone I had just returned from Ann Arbor, their first question was if I stopped by Zingerman’s.  I was happy to be able to say yes.  And I must admit it was a neat place with multiple buildings and experiences.  I didn’t really have a plan for a meal before heading to the airport but at the last minute decided I should get something before heading back to the Detroit airport.  Corned beef on rye and some rugelach.  The drive took less than an hour which was a bit difficult with this great sandwich on the seat next to me waiting to be eaten but I made it through security quickly, found a quiet spot to chill for 30 minutes and enjoyed my final meal of this trip!

 

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On the Road Eats: Kansas City

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I have been to Kansas City so many times for work and almost always have a great food experience.  And there is one restaurant that will remain on my favorites list!

Oklahoma Joe’s
My favorite spot – I can visit the original location at a gas station, eat great barbeque and be in and out within 30 minutes.  Pulled pork and coleslaw on a sandwich – AWESOME!!!

Gram & Dun
It’s been a few years since I have been here but the food is always good, it’s an easy walk from the hotels on the plaza and they are on OpenTable.  After a crazy rain storm that forced allowed me to get some work done at the hotel, I walked to the restaurant with iPad in hand and got a high top table in the bar.  A glass of wine with the double cut breaded pork chop, creamed brussels sprouts with house-smoked bacon – my happy dance took place on the way home!

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Tavernonna
I admit, I didn’t love this restaurant but I think they had an off day.  I had the lunch special – salad and pasta (and added a meatball ).  The caesar salad needed to be chilled – it was as if they plated it and left it sitting on the line while they waited for the hot items.  As for the pasta, should have been cooked a minute or so longer to be perfect.  The flavors were good and I would return but there are too many other great spots to try.

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Residence Inn Kansas City Country Club Plaza
I stay here quite often IF I cannot get a room at The Raphael Hotel.  It’s super convenient to walk to many of my appointments and a block off the plaza.  It’s quiet and clean and they have a good amount of parking.  One night, Marriott points…all is good.

 

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On the Road Eats: South Bend, Indiana

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Another trip to South Bend.  The fun thing for me about visiting this city is I see or experience something new each time.

Aloft South Bend
I stayed here again.  And no reason not to.  The service is great, the rooms are large and clean and I can walk everywhere.  Bonus when they make you a great breakfast!

Render Kitchen & Bar
I knew the spots downtown and the ones near the college. So I decided to Yelp! and came across something new, new to me, as this great restaurant I found has been around for a couple years.  I sat at the bar, had a very friendly bartender and got to listen to a group of college girls chat about what they are doing after school.  Add that to some great food and a lavender infused cocktail – I will be back next time I am in town!

South Bend River Lights
Since the weather was still warm, I was able to wait until the sun went down and walk over to the bridge and see the lights.  They are interactive based on motion, change colors and are a great way to spend a few minutes at the end of the evening.

Cafe Navarre
This is the restaurant that comes up most often in my searches.  I was there about 5 years ago and it was great.  So I knew I had to stop by for a quick lunch before I headed to the airport.  Small caesar salad and the french onion soup- perfect.  And my boss joined me for lunch and said the beet salad was excellent!

Cafe Navarre Lunch

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