Eating in America

After a recent trip to the USA, I realised American food & diet can get a bad rap. Yes they have huge obesity, portion sizes are enormous and fresh healthy food can be hard to find. But on the other hand there is so much choice and you can eat well if you want.

Amazing Choice

I love the fact you can easily eat whatever cuisine you like in most places – there’s always Mexican, fresh burgers in most places, Italian pizza & pasta, good delis which make whatever sandwich you want (cheese – Jack, Swiss, provolone), lots of pies (pumpkin, pecan, apple, berry), great Japanese sushi. Plus most bars will have standard fare for a reasonable price. Friendly staff also make a difference – I know they rely on tips but it does mean you get helpful, quick service.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, yum

Top Places to Eat

My favourite meals last trip were elk burger in Midtown Eats in Reno, sushi in Bellevue, tacos in Azul Latin Kitchen in South Lake Tahoe. Thanksgiving turkey & pumpkin pie were great too in Rosie’s Café, Tahoe City. The variety of produce amazes at times: go to Seattle and the fish menu could have 10 types of salmon (Alaskan, Atlantic, Pacific, sockeye, pink, king, etc.). Same for cheese, crab, coffee flavours, breads. I also discovered new things like Edamame beans.

Edamame beans – I thought they were a type of Edam cheese!
Midtown Eats, Reno, NV

What I Don’t Like

The lack of fresh bread at breakfast (bread, bagels and pastries are so stodgy with preservatives), huge portion sizes (32oz coffee anybody?), difficulty in finding fresh fruit or snacks, sugar/glucose loaded into almost everything as well as lack of real cutlery, plates or cups (why is everything throw away? Even the cutlery wasn’t steel in many places).


Your Opinion

So what do you think? If you’re American, what’s your favourite food? If you’re a visitor, what do you crave in the US and what makes you go “ewww”?


One thought on “Eating in America

  1. Good article Dave. The chains should always be avoided (except for Chipotle), and when in cities – get off main street for something to eat. In New York get as far away from Times Square as possible and down to SOHO, in Philadelphia go to Rittenhouse Square or Northern Liberties, in DC I found Logan Circle area to have nice choice. Choice is always fantastic over here and if you like beers, the US has really developed a fantastic micro-brewer culture and every city has a couple.

    Salt, sugar and cinnamon are all heavily used, especially in chains to increase shelf-life of food. Yes their bread, nice is impossible to find over here. Trader Joes does some half decent half baked french sticks… I recently had a friend who visited Italy for a week tell me she found their “very bread bland…” so you can’t win.

    Quality of meat is another issue, in Ireland we are used to farm to plate in most restaurants. In the US seek out farm to plate places to eat, they taste a lot nicer and obviously cost more than Applebee’s, but you know you aren’t getting a mouth full of hormones and antibiotics.

    My favorites places are for breakfasts and brunch and they are the local American diners or brunch cafes – Honeys or Green Eggs in Northern Liberties. I’m a big fan of Parc on Rittenhouse Square. In Manhattan my brother (a 12 year NYC veteran) brings me to lots of cool SOHO places. Everywhere should be on my 4square account.

    I miss from Ireland, chips (not crisps!) especially garlic cheese chips – I get cravings, traditional Irish breakfast and bread, especially home baked soda or brown bread. Strangely enough I also miss fake Irish Chinese food, but not that much.

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