Over Memorial Day Weekend, I took my first trip to Philadelphia for a family wedding, and decided to head into town early so that I could check out the city, and of course eat alllll the cheesesteaks!
There were so many delicious spots to eat and fun things to do in Philadelphia that I decided to put together a “food bloggers guide” to the City of Brotherly Love, highlighting all of my favorite spots to eat, drink and play!
Throughout the past year I spent a lot of time adventuring through New Orleans, Seattle, New York City, Washington DC, Phoenix, Houston, Oklahoma City and San Francisco. In each city, I found delicious dishes at great restaurants, awesome breweries, fantastic live music venues, charming boutique hotels and quaint shopping districts.
In 2016, I’m so excited to introduce my Food Bloggers Guide for where to eat, stay & play in dozens of different cities!
For the first city guide of 2016, I’m taking you through all of my favorite things to do in NYC!
One amazing roll + one serious challenge = lots of yummy lobster eating on Martha’s Vineyard!
As we boarded the ferry to escape the city of Boston for a week of play on Martha’s Vineyard, a challenge was set, who could eat the most Lobster Rolls.
This is New England and these people are serious about their lobster!
This wasn’t just a challenge of who could eat the most, it was also a challenge of who could find the best lobster roll on the Vineyard!
I quickly joined in the challenge as who doesn’t love the simple combination of fresh lobster meat, light mayonnaise and celery tossed into a deliciously toasted hot dog bun.
The Lobster Roll above came from the Seafood Shanty. A local bar serving up lots of fresh seafood and awesome ocean views! While the roll was delicious, it was a little heavy on the mayonnaise for my taste, and come to find out, I prefer my lobster rolls sans the celery!
The next Lobster Roll came from a restaurant in an awesome part of Martha’s Vineyard known as Gay Head Cliffs.
The views there were absolutely picturesque. We picked Aquinnah, a spot right on the cliffs to enjoy another delicious roll with a great view!
This was my favorite lobster roll of the trip and I definitely feel that I deserve the award for finding the best lobster roll on the Vineyard!
Served with the traditional side of dill pickles and chips (Cape Cod chips nonetheless!), the meat was cold, tender and flavorful inside of a soft bun, minus the celery, with a little added lettuce.
Although there is only photographic evidence of two of the delicious Lobster Rolls consumed on Martha’s Vineyard, never fear, I was able to take down 4 rolls while on the Vineyard to tie for second place. My former roommate made me proud by coming in first place with 5 1/2 lobster rolls!
Can’t wait to return to this little island gem for beautiful food and magnificent sunrises!
After discovering Boston Magazine’s article on the amazing Grillo’s Pickles, I went on past the article I originally attended to read on the best burgers in Boston and continued on to the best fries in Boston.
Just 2 blocks down from Grillo’s was one of Boston’s best french fry spots. This spot was the All Star Sandwich Bar where they’re serving up delicious fried potatoes known as Hell Fries.
These cayenne pepper, cilantro and hot sauce topped fries live up to their hellish name. Order an extra ice-cold beverage on the side, you’re gonna need it!
Although I am a glutton for delicious, spicy potatoes, I knew I shouldn’t lunch on them alone. I decided to take a peak over at the sandwich menu, I mean the name of the spot is All Star Sandwich Bar, they must make some pretty killer sandwiches. And do they ever.
I wanted to try one of each! Fried Poblano Cheeseburger, BBQ Fried Chicken Bacon Melt, American Fondue Cheeseburger, how would I pick just one?
Upon the recommendation from my excellent server Brad and my crazy obsessive love for Buffalo sauce I went with the Funky Daily Special Buffalo Cheesesteak BLT. Say what? A sandwich with multiple meats, blue cheese and buffalo sauce, I’m so in!
I really can not express the excitement and anticipation that overcame me when this sandwich arrived!
And the anticipation was met with overwhelming joy after just one bite. Crispy bacon, juicy burger, creamy blue cheese and spicy buffalo sauce, quite the perfect combination and balance of amazingness!
They have tons of daily specials that I wish I had more time in Boston to try each one!
If you’re in Boston, check out your favorite daily special and let me know which you think is the best!
I’m thinking Wednesday’s Pastrami-Nater sounds right up my alley! I do have a slight obsession with the almighty pastrami sandwich though!
The decor in this little sandwich shop is cool and casual and the service was excellent. See Brad, awesome server, hard at work!
If you want to break a little sweat with some Hell Fries or chow down on an amazing sandwich special check out All Star Sandwich Bar at 1245 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA. To view their entire menu visit their website at: AllStarSandwichBar.
While the Fenway Frank may not have won over my taste buds, the city of Boston, their sports and their people stole a piece of my heart! I have so much love for the city of Boston and look forward to visiting again soon!
Being a devoted sports girl, there were several items on my summer bucket list related to visiting stadiums and watching sporting events from basketball to baseball. I was able to check one off my list while in Boston with a visit to Fenway Park.
We started the Fenway experience at the Bleacher Bar. Given its name because it is literally below the Fenway Park Bleachers.
If you’re ambitious (like 8 hours pre-game ambitious) you can even get a seat in the bar and watch the entire game with free front row seats.
Yes, this shot was actually taken inside of the bar. My other favorite part of Bleacher Bar. They have windows in the bathroom that face in this direction so you never have to miss a minute of action.
Yes, Boston people definitely take their sports seriously (one of my favorite things about them!)
Pictured above is the awesome gentleman that made my Fenway Park experience happen, my friend Greg. Thanks Mr Pickle! Inside joke, has something to do with one awesome pickle shirt!
Post Bleacher Bar we headed over to Island Creek Oyster Bar.
Yes, most people eat hot dogs pre-game. This crew eats oysters!
They were talking up these oysters for a week on Martha’s Vineyard, like constantly obsessing over Island Creek Oysters.
Now, I would not consider myself an oyster connoisseur by any means, but I have had my fair share of oysters from coast-to-coast and I’m not going to lie, these are the best I’ve ever had.
Following a dozen oysters and couple apps, we headed over to the game. Luckily it was a night game because Boston was getting pretty hot and sticky during the days! This also made for the most amazing sunset over the park.
Unfortunately the Sox aren’t looking so great this year and they lost to the Yankees, but we still had a great time!
I really don’t understand why people hate Boston fans, they’re awesome, just a little passionate with a side of incredible blunt-ness!
As a foodie, food blogger extraordinaire, culinary creator, girl who loves to eat, whatever you want to call me, I almost hate to admit that one of my favorite foods is yes, the hot dog!
There’s something about a delicious, juicy grilled dog nestled in a nicely toasted, warm bun with a slight drizzle of ketchup that makes my mouth water every time!
While in New York I was lucky enough to attend a game at the beautiful new Yankee stadium!
First stop: obvi, hot dog and beer!
This is me, taking my “ketchup-placing-strategy” very seriously!
And now the ultimate moment has descended upon us. The time for Yankee Dog consumption.
Um ya people, that was delicious. I don’t think I even made it away from the condiment counter before the whole thing was gone and I was back in line for numero dos!
A little background on my Yankee Dog. While downstairs at the stadium there are Nathan’s hot dogs, upstairs there are Hebrew National. I’m telling you all, that’s the good stuff! Something about that “kosher-ness” that really makes for a delicious dog!
Just in case you’re not a dog lover like myself, never fear, Yankee Stadium has their own sushi.
Yup, they’re high-class in New York. I mean you can’t expect Jay Z to eat a hot dog, can you? Are you now picturing Jay Z grilling up a dog for Beyonce, because I definitely am!
But never fear Zooey Deschanel, you and the other Celiac peeps can eat at Yankee Stadium too!
While checking this item off, I felt another blog post coming to me, the show down between the Yankee Dog and the Fenway Frank. New York vs. Boston. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Who would win in the best darn dog contest?
After eating dinner at two different restaurants prior to arrival at the game, I still felt it was my duty to take down a dog and complete the challenge. So I maneuvered my way around the most confusing sports stadium in America to find my perfect Fenway Frank. One frank purchased, a squirt or ketchup and I was ready to go.
Chomp, chomp, chomp.
And the winner is…
The Yankee Dog, by a mile! No offense Boston, your city won my heart, but your Fenway Frank was a disappointment!
Barely warm, no juiciness to be found and the flavor just wasn’t there! Must be that “all beef Kosher-ness” that really puts the Yankee Dog over the top!
The battle is not over, I still must try dogs at each and every baseball stadium in America before I can name a true winner. But for now, the Yankee Dog has my heart!
Although I do realize that you can get Nathan’s Hot Dogs virtually anywhere these days, it was important to me, as a hot dog connoisseur, to eat an original as part of my bucket list!
After two fabulous nights in NYC, it was time to get a little gritty and head out to Coney Island for this bucket list experience.
Upon arrival, I knew I was not on the Upper East Side anymore!
The first stop was obviously Nathan’s.
And of course I knew my order from the minute I stepped on to the Island. One original hot dog, plain.
I felt that to get the true Nathan’s original experience, I had to enjoy the delicacy in its purest form, meat on a bun!
Just a couple of cuties ready to take down Nathan’s original!
The time had come to take my first bite and savour the dog in all its glory!
Juicy and delicious it was!
After chowing down on my original, we decided to take advantage of being away from the city and at the beach!
A little feet-in-the-water stroll was in order!
We then met up with my girl Katie from high school on the boardwalk for a couple New York brews at this cool little spot, Paul’s Daughter.
So fun to experience a different part of New York that most New Yorker’s themselves never even experience, and of course any day involving an original hot dog eating experience is a good day in my book!
Pulling up to the Caprino Royale farm is like pulling into an adult petting zoo. We were greeted at the door with a glass of wine, excited doggies, chickens running everywhere, cock-a-doodle-doing roosters and a 10 day old baby goat.
Now that is my kind of welcoming!
Although I grew up in Oklahoma, we were definitely more city folk than country folk, there were no goats, cows, pigs or roaming buffaloes in our back yard.
The closest thing we had to wildlife were some goldfish I bought at Walmart!
When I started planning my “Summer Blogging Adventure” I knew I wanted to take some time in Oklahoma and Texas to see where the meat and dairy I was consuming came from.
I was given my first opportunity to do so when I met Eric Tippit. I knew it was meant to be, when he told me his farm was named after the James Bond movie Casino Royale. My name is Whitney Bond y’all! Eric invited me out to his farm and the rest is goat milking history!
It’s amazing how much your level of appreciation for food rises after visiting a farm. There are about 1,000 components that go into making that little block of goat cheese for your favorite dish.
From feeding the goats to milking the goats to turning that milk into cheese and the hundred things that come in-between each one, these farmers are working around the clock, 365 days out of the year to make the cheese we all love so much!
At Caprino Royale, husband and wife team Eric and Karen are taking things to a whole new level with the time and love they give to their goats.
As a consumer of food, we should all know where our food is coming from and what we’re putting in our bodies.
I believe in eating meat and dairy, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan. With that said, I do believe in buying local meat and dairy from farmers that treat their animals with love and respect. I believe you can taste the love put into the animals, just how you can taste the love I put into all of the dishes I create! And if love is a key ingredient in great cheese, than Caprino Royale may just have the best cheese out there!
Each goat is called by name and fed and milked individually twice a day, yeah that’s 24 goats each given individual love and attention = 5 hours of milking and feeding a day!
That’s 35 hours per week, that’s 1,825 hours per year, just for the milking and feeding, we haven’t even gotten to the actual cheese making yet!
While I was at the farm they let me attempt to milk one of the goats… and this happened!
Well now that we’ve all had a good laugh for the day, lets meet some of my farm favorites!
This little guy was only 10 days old and so sweet!
He was so cute and playful, I could have just hung with him all day and been so happy… but he needed his rest!
While he rested, the other kids came to play!
And for my favorite picture of the day…
Thank you so much to Karen and Eric for introducing me to all the goats and a special thanks to Cachet the goat for allowing me to attempt my first goat milking experience on her!
What an exciting moment, the first check off the bucket list, and I couldn’t imagine a better one to start with!
As I flew back to my hometown of Edmond, Oklahoma on Sunday evening, my good friend and fellow crazed sports fan, Bradie, booked a plane ticket for her first trip to the great state of Oklahoma to help me complete my first bucket list item!
She flew in Monday morning and the first item of business was well under way, get that girl some Thunder gear! Five shirts later, my Mom, myself and Bradie all had new Thunder gear for the game that night!
I ended up wearing four different Thunder shirts throughout the day! (Can you say wardrobe change much?!)
Following the Thunder shirt shopping spree Bradie and I headed straight for my favorite restaurant in OKC, Ted’s Cafe Escondido for the best frozen sangria I’ve ever had!
We then headed down to “Thunder Alley” which takes place before and during all Thunder games directly in front of the stadium. They have bounce houses and games for kids, plenty of photo ops and of course mingling with fellow Thunder fans!
After meeting up with some friends, getting our tickets and pre-gaming, it was time to Thunder Up, and they don’t call it “Loud City” for nothing! The stadium was rocking all night!
I have to say that it is SO fun to be the fan of a team whose city is behind them 110%, you can barely go a block in OKC right now without seeing a Thunder flag, shirt, banner or painted building supporting the team!
Thunder pulled out a huge win over the Lakers to win the Round Two series 4:1 and advance to the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.
I am so excited that I actually get to check this bucket list item off TWICE because my good friend Garrick is taking me to Game 3 in OKC on Thursday night! Can’t wait to Thunder Up again in Loud City!
This also means I need another Thunder shirt… or 4 😉
Following up from yesterdays post announcing my Summer Adventure Plan, this is my tentative summer schedule!
If I’m coming to a city near you, contact me! If I should go somewhere that’s not on the schedule, let me know! Tell me who to interview and what fun events are in your city, as well as where to eat and who to meet!
This post will be changing and evolving as I add new cities, events and interviews, so check back regularly to see what I’m up to!
May 19: Depart Los Angeles
May 19-20: San Diego, California
May 21-23: Edmond, Oklahoma
May 24-25: Dallas, Texas
May 26- June 7: Edmond, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma
Interviews: The stars of YouTube video sensation “Beard Like Harden”
Events: June 1 – My Big Brothers 30th Birthday Celebration
June 8- June 10: Houston, Texas
June 11: Waco, Texas
Interviews: Caprino Royale Goat Farm
June 12 – 27: Edmond, Oklahoma
June 28- July 2: New York City, New York
July 3 – July 7: Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
July 8- 11: Boston, Massachusetts
July 12-27: San Diego, California
Events: July 18 – Opening Day at the Races, Del Mar, CA
“You cannot always wait for the perfect time, sometimes you must dare to jump. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Don’t be a person who has to look back and wonder what they would have or could have had.” – Don Kel
I’m jumping into a new social experiment in blogging that involves a summer of travel and I need your help, read below to find out just what this all means!
As I approached (and gracefully passed) my quarter life mark, the usual life events began to occur, friends got married (Congratulations Marin!), friends had babies (Love you Eli!),
friends graduated college, friends got new jobs, friends advanced in their careers, friends moved away and friends moved closer and I…. made food!
My life is an ever-changing adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Growing up, my parents (the greatest in the world in my book!) always told me to go for it, to live my dreams and to never miss out on an opportunity. I took their advice, probably even further than they expected (and maybe wanted me to) sometimes!
When I was 21 I started my first business and I loved every minute of it, but at a certain point I realized that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That is when the crazy adventure that is, my life in LA, began.
I really had no plans in LA, but just to try something new. And something new is what I got. I went back to school, I traveled, I made new friends and I began the ever amazing journey that is blogging.
The blog began as an actual notebook I wrote in when I first moved to LA. I wrote in the book about things that made me happy, what my goals were and what I was doing to achieve each of those goals.
Today’s post is a culmination of all those things. Over the last year I’ve realized that the things that make me the happiest and most fulfilled are:
People – meeting them, talking to them, being around them. I love fun people, people with interesting stories, adventurous people and my favorite, the positive people 🙂
Traveling – “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustin
Adventures – Everything from half marathons in the mountains to hiking at the beach to camping in the woods, I’m always up for a new adventure!
Food – I’m pretty sure if you’ve ever read my blog before, you can pretty much figure this one out!
Cooking – This is my escape, when I’m in the kitchen I’m the most creative, the happiest and the most at peace than anywhere else!
Writing – What a release! Writing for me is therapy. Everything from jotting down notes, to writing stories, writing recipes and writing about my adventures, I love the way the written word can resonate with people so uniquely and reach people on different levels!
I have combined all of these and come up with my latest plan for life.
I will be traveling to cities everywhere from the US, to Mexico, to Canada and anywhere else someone invites me!
I will be staying with friends, family, friends of friends and cooking for them. Yup, you heard me right, I stay at your house = I cook for you! I would say the trade-off works pretty well right?
In each city I want to experience a new adventure, whether it be sky diving, mud runs, swimming with dolphins or anything in between, I’m up for it! I’ll be interviewing chefs, bloggers and interesting people in each city and trying the best and most intriguing restaurants each one has to offer!
Here’s where you come in:
Where should I go? Tell me where you live or where you’ve visited that I must go and see!
What should I do? What adventure should I experience in this city? Do you all have the largest Jazz festival outside of New Orleans, do you have a beer festival that would put Oktoberfest to shame, do you have a secret adventure spot that only the locals know about?
Where should I eat? Who has the best pizza, most interesting menu, biggest pancake I’ve ever seen?
Who should I interview? Are you a chef, do you know a chef, do you own a restaurant, are you a fellow blogger, are you “in” with the chef at your favorite restaurant or are you just an interesting person with a story to tell? Tell me who to talk to!
The good news:
I’ll be recording everything on the blog and sharing my adventures, recipes, interviews and restaurant reviews with all of you!
The book. At the end of the summer I will publish my first “food and travel” book!
The people. I want to meet you! You can view a calendar of my travel here! If I’m coming to a city near you, lets meet for coffee or a pint! I’d love to hear your story!
The adventures. Adventures = Stories and “Stories are the creative conversion of life itself. They are the currency of human contact.” — Robert McKee. Join in the adventure by helping me complete one of my Summer Bucket List items!
The food. In the words of my girlfriends OBVI!
I need your help in this adventure!!! Comment below, message me on Facebook, tweet me on Twitter, Instagram me (@whitneybond), tag me on Pinterest in a destination or adventure picture I have to try, share this with your friends, family, fellow bloggers, join the adventure with me!
In the end, my goal is to say this every day of the summer:
“Each day I am thankful for friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love.” – Unknown