Category Archives: Travel Bites

Travel Bites: Boston Food Truck

If you are a food truck lover like I am, then you would appreciate the amazing simplicity of this truck – Grilled Cheese Nation Food Truck in Boston, MA. I will admit I have a lot of  “favorite foods”, but you can always get to my heart through a grilled cheese sammie.  This wonderful American favorite originated in the 1920’s due to the abundance of inexpensive cheese and bread during the Great Depression. Nothing about a grilled cheese makes me depressed.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with the  owner of Grilled Cheese Nation and founder of the Boston Area Food Truck Association. For one, he and his members are fighting to get a larger food trucks presence in the city of Boston which is a kind-of-a-big-deal, and super respectable. Secondly, he is killing it with the grilled cheese options at his truck! Seriously.

I can only share a photo of the menu and not of the actual food because I scarfed it all down waaay  before I could say “cheese” (hehe get it?).


The gourmet grilled snackables that I tried were:
The Boston CommonAged Mild Vermont Cheddar with Applewood Smoked Bacon on Iggy’s Organic Pain de Mie Bread.
Brie Me Up: Melted Creamy Brie with Sliced Asian Pear on Iggy’s Organic Wheat Pain de Mie Bread.

But the most noteworthy and honestly, the one I still crave the most was:
The Blue Man GooGreat Hill Blue Cheese and Organic Fig Spread with Aged Balsamic on Iggy’s Raisin Pecan Bread. HOLY GRANOLI. That blew my mind. The salt of the blue cheese, the sweetness of the fig spread, the tart flavor of the balsamic, all pressed and grilled in a sweet and nutty bread. Man oh man, this is a must try.

What made this even better (since it was cold at the time), was their shot’s of tomato soup to accompany my grilled cheeses. What a combo!

If you are ever in the Boston area, you need to get your hands on one of these delicious sammies. You can find Grilled Cheese Nation’s schedule here or call: 857-728-2057.

Keep it cheesy.

-Ryllis


Travel Bites: New York: Lobster Rolls

I don’t get to eat this tasty treat often, but when I can devour some good ol’ Maine-style lobster rolls, I do. What’s a Maine-style roll you ask?? Simple. It’s a split top roll (like a hot dog roll or similar) that is lightly buttered and then lightly grilled (like). A gentle swipe of mayo is added (like), which is then filled with a generous serving of chilled seafood (love). Lastly it is topped with a sprinkled of lemon juice (like).  I’m drooling.

On a casual stroll in New York’s Upper East side we  stopped in on a  Luke’s Lobster, one of many locations in the city. Peep the menu.

Of course we went with the Noah’s Ark special: Two half lobster rolls, two half crab rolls, two half shrimp rolls, four crab claws, two sodas, two chips and two pickles. BOOM! Instant happiness.

Sadly the shrimp roll (right) was nothing special, but that lobster roll (left) takes the dang cake!! Crab roll (center) came at a close second. That warm buttery bread topped with creamy fresh lobster, with a dash of Luke’s yummy secret spice, is a definite Bite you need to take. If you make it to Luke’s, don’t sleep on the crab claw either. Might be good enough to make you move to New York. maybe.

Luke’s Lobster – Upper East Side 
242 E. 81st Street
New York, NY 10028
(212) 249-4241


Travel Bites: Venice

Oh the dreamy, beautiful, romantic little town known as Venice or Venise, or Venezia, or Venetia. If I could stay for months, I would. Such an absolutely lovely, unique and charming little city on water. I’m falling in love with it all over again as I type these words.

I recently had the chance to spend two perfect nights there. Besides all of the fabulous art, churches and shops, I of course also had the chance to get some good eats as well.

The first rainy night in Venice, my travel companion and I found a quaint little hidden gem in the dark streets of Venice. As many restaurants in Western Europe offer, we went for the prix-fixe full course option.  Here are some things that were worth mentioning in our travel bites.

I am still kicking myself for not documenting the most amazing clams I’ve had in a really long time. They were long rectangular-shaped crustaceans of heavenly goodness! Probably the best part of all the courses.  I guess I was too busy enjoying them to bother taking any pics.  But, the homemade pasta with yet more clams? Subtle, but scrumptious.

The beautifully crafted stuffed calamari was also damn delish. The stuffing was quite flavorful, consisting of sausage and seafood and very rich and sweet red sauce.

I had heard of their unusual specialty dish before getting there, and decided I had to try this intimidating local trademark. Squid in Ink Sauce is a popular local dish and it’s also pretty damn good. Not the prettiest thing to look at, since it is literally black, like, um…ink. We decided to make it friendlier though. Check out this cute and happy polenta dude with squid ink hair. I’m not usually a fan of polenta, but this combo was doing it right!

Day 2, our only full day in Venice, we killed it with an early dinner. Here’s the scene: early afternoon, sun is up, outside seating on a quiet street by the water with taxis and gondolas casually riding by, cool breeze on my face, with a nice glass of red wine making my lips a bit purple. What else could you ask for??

That’s right! More ink! This particular squid ink in pasta was straight up bomb. I can’t wait to go back for this local specialty.

Now, if only I could find the notes where I wrote down the names and addresses of these places! My bad.

-Ryllis


Travel Bites: München (Munich, Germany)

That’s right! BigBite made its way all the way to Munich, Germany! O Mein Gott!!Let me just say…I was not (1) expecting to like Munich or Germany for that matter (don’t ask me why), and (2) expecting to at all like the food (although the only Geman food I could identify was sausage and sauerkraut). I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

We made our way to Munich for the sole purpose of experiencing their gloabally-known three-week long beer and food festival: Oktoberfest.

Ummmmmmm…  Mind was blown.

Fresh off of a eight hour flight, we made our way to this: One of the 16 “tents” (aka massive buildings that host local Munich breweries for this day-long drinkfest) Löwenbräu brewery is where we started our insane adventure, and we had a plenty of these five-pounders of German goodness:As I mentioned, I wasn’t thrilled about German food going into this trip but, I was seriously mistaken. First off, the Germans take the cake on Philly’s proudest delicacy: my fave… the pretzel. I was in awe with the size and popularity of their massive pretzels at Oktoberfest and all over Munich. What truly made these fresh, salted pretzels delicious was the Bavarian-made sweet mustard. Heaven. 

For dinner, at our second tent stop and brewery, Hacker-Pschorr we had to add some traditional Oktoberfest fare to our drinking: Weisswurst (white sausage) with sauerkraut and Schweinshaxe with kartoffelknödel (hamhock and potato dumpling):Phew, both these dishes were absolutely outstanding. Hats off to the side dishes. The sauerkraut was fresh and packed with flavor to the point that I could pretty much eat it alone. But honestly, the kartoffelknödel was probably my favorite item of these two dishes. A savory poached dumpling-like, almost mashed potato ball. DANG that killed it.  I see you Germany.

I am proud to admit that our night did not end there. After several drinks and a few German sing-a-longs on tables, Oktoberfest had to come to a close. So what was up next? More FOOD!! We hit up one of many outdoor food vendors at the fest and munched on Zweifache– double sausage sandwiches with mustard. Bavarian Gut-ness!! I think we were still on a sausage high at this point and skipped out on their beef sandwiches, pictured left.

Once done, we hit the town in search for some good ol’ German dancing in Munich. Instead, we stumbled upon CRUX hip-hop club that happened to host EPMD’s Erick Sermon as the DJ. Yup, odd, very odd. That was a sign for us to call it a night.

In our stay in Munich other items were also worth mentioning:

Kaiserschmarrn This delectable Austrian-German dessert was introduced to my tastebuds on my last night in Munich. “Schmarrn” translates as a mishmash, a mess, or crumbs, and that was exactly what it was. It is a caramelized pancake-like batter baked and prepared with sugary  goodness. Served warm and with fruit. Wow. I think I am going to make that right now.

Döner KebabDöner (rotating roast) Kebab, seen below, is meat, usually lamb cooked on a vertical roasting pool, and sliced to order. This scrumptious wrap (also can be on bread) is not necessarily a German novalty, but Turkish. However, since there are so many Turkish immigrants in Germany, it was clear that it is a popular treat found around Munich for those wanting eat something different… especially after a few beers. So we had to go in!!Although I skipped out on it, it is common to have these kababs with a yogurt drink. A must travel bite when in Munich.


Travel Bites: Puerto Rico

 While the BigBite crew has been busy planning our next round of events, we’ve also been enjoying several food-tastic travels as well.

In mid-August we said, “Eff it! Let’s go to where the beautiful people go!” So BigBite made a trek all the way to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico (hooooooo!!!). Man oh man, it was fantastic! We sun-bathed on the beaches with the brightest sand in the Caribbean, swam in the natural waters of its well preserved rainforest (El Yunque), but spent the bulk of our time on this isla bonita in chow-town. We went in on Puerto Rican novelties– Frituras (fried island snacks), rice, beans, root veggies– and spared no expense when ordering the best of items on this Puerto Rican planet: mofongo ( fried and mashed plantains with garlic, oil and pork rinds) which is usually served in a pilón, or mortar and pestle. Que, que?!?!

 Check out these BigBite travel goodies. Please bear with us on our lack of quality photos.  Unfortunately, on BigBite’s last night together in the historic streets of El Viejo San Juan, our camera, full of great food shots, was um…misplaced.  The fact that it got lost had NOTHING to do with rum ingestion.

Buen provechoFresh Coconut water with a dab of Puerto Rico’s “special” touch: Rum. (On the way to Culebra. A small island off of the island)

And then came Mofongo. One of our travelers could not help but having mofongo for pretty much every meal documenting most of them on his camera phone.

Here are all the photos that were salvaged:Mofongo with the most buttery lobster stew everrrrr. This gem was by far the best we had, and amazingly was found on a roadside strip of small eateries. This irresistable treat was consumed post four-hour hike in El Yunque rainforest. The next night we made our way cross-island to Cabo Rojo, one of the best areas in Puerto Rico for fresh seafood. This snit right here, this snit right here….this was a pulpo and carrucho mofongo (octopus and conch friggin goodness).So, clearly we were on camera phone steez at this point so this photo is not too clear, but we indulged on our last night in El Viejo San Juan with nothing other than… more mofongo. What you see in the dark is a steak and a shrimp mofongo.

Trust us, when we return to Puerto Rico and capture our Travel Bites, you’ll be super jelly of the wealth of great food Ricans produce.

Take me back now!

-Ryllis