The Backseat Gourmet-Roadtrip Through The N.E. 7 States in 7 Days!- Part 1 of 2

Let the driving begin- 7 states in 7 days!  I was graciously invited to travel with my step-mom and sisters to journey to uncharted territories.  With ipods charged, the Prius packed and several bags of eat-with-your-hands snacks, our expedition to the north east began.  We had no reservations and no real plan…except to eat.

Road trip snacks! All to be eaten with your hands!  A little bit salty, a little bit sweet and mostly healthy.

Our first stop was on the US side of Niagara Falls in New York.  Of course the main parking area was next to a multi-level mall with (shudder) a food court.  Tourist trap food courts?!…..NEVER!!!  We passed a corner restaurant that looked suitable to our hunger needs and decided the Red Coach Inn would be our dining destination for lunch.

Our first stop in Niagara, New York.

Now I know in my About Me page it says that you will find, clean, fresh, local, organic foods and 99% of the time that will be true.  BUT I just got back from living in Fiji for over 2 years and there are certain things that I have been craving with inexplicable fervor.  One of these things was a reuben sandwich.  And behold on this blessed menu was just such dish.  Yes, I know, you are right.  It’s not local and it’s not really all that healthy either, but they are my rules and if I make ’em then I can break ’em.  Plus,  I’m on vacation in my own country, everything is new again!!  The toasted rye bread is crunchy, the meat is salty, cheese gooey, kraut tangy and the light shmear of thousand island dressing makes my eyes roll back in reuben bliss.

Gooey goodness.

With the weight of the reuben reminding me the next day of why I don’t usually eat that way, on day 2 I suggest a picnic lunch.  Of course I love gourmet, innovative menus, exotic food pairings and layered desserts dripping in syrup.  But honestly I’m even more happy with a good old fashioned picnic.  We ran into the supermarket picked up some fruit, veggies, hummus, olives, avocado and bread and built ourselves a lovely little picnic in the woods of upstate New York.  I like indulging, but not everyday and especially not when I’m sitting on my rear end in a car for hours on end. Keeping it light and local makes me happier.

Picnic lunch in the woods. Fruits and build your own sandwiches. Yum!

On to our next spot, Lake Placid, New York.  The remnants of the Olympic rings still hang and vacationers saunter up and down the main thoroughfare of small boutiques, cafes and shops filled with outdoor gear for the weekend warrior.  My step-mom is an iphone aficionado and was on the ready to look up the latest trip adviser ratings.  And in Lake Placid, Alegria Garden Cafe was the place to be.   The food was inventive, service attentive and ambiance quiet and relaxed.  I ordered the suggested crab cakes with an orange beurre blanc.  They were indeed amazing as our hostess had said.  The crusty cakes were FILLED with shredded crab from edge to edge and the sauce they were nestled in was a creamy, citrusy delight.  Prior to my crab cakes arriving I perused the drink menu and made a tough decision: I narrowed it down to the Ginger Fizz.   Whew!! A punch to the taste buds, the fresh ginger gave my mouth a wallop and the fizz from the Prosecco nearly made me sneeze.  Calling this drink vibrant would be an understatement.  I also tried the Pisco Sour….its a good thing I wasn’t driving….there was no shortage of liquor there.  Check out the ingenuity of this drink menu, make them at home (but call me up to taste test first!)

Make it yourself!!

After New york we moved on to Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts!  Check out where we went and what we ate on my next post.  I’ll give you a hint…..maple syrup, Ben and Jerry’s factory, wild blueberries and lobster!! (but not all mixed together : )


Feijoa……This Fruit Puts The “Fun” In Funky!

If you’ve never been to New Zealand before you may be asking yourself “What the Feijoa?”

This fabulous fragrant fruit is showing up all over New Zealand and is fast becoming the nation’s favorite behind the kiwi. The fruit, sometimes referred to as the pineapple guava, has its native origins in Brazil and other S. American countries as well as tropical regions like New Zealand.  If you are so blessed to be living in Texas or California you may find a few there too.  The peak of the growing season is late May so sadly I did not get to try one in the flesh.

As I am often attracted to the unique and indigenous I had to inquire.  I first tried it in flavored chocolate.  But we all know mimic-flavored anything is never exactly the same as the real thing, like “cherry” popsicles or “green apple” jolly ranchers.  However, the chocolate was well crafted and the flavor of the feijoa was well pronounced.  I was particularly fond of the white chocolate truffle filled with a thick, creamy center of  42 Below feijoa vodka (another NZ fave).

Heartstoppingly delicious!

I wanted to try everything I could feijoa.  So what better way than a sky high sparkling cocktail?  3 words: “I’ll take another.”  Refreshing, light and slightly sweet it was mixed with another NZ fave called Chi water, an herb infused mineral water. This cocktail was exactly what the naturopathic doctor ordered.

Cool Off With A Feijoa Fizz. See My Recipe Below.

Organic Feijoa Flavored Soda

Next, a sparkling feijoa soda, fizzy and refreshing with a light aroma of feijoa, followed by feijoa and orange jelly that nearly broke the bank and sadly left me wishing for a stronger flavor of both foods promised on the label.  I also saw a feijoa and apple juice mix as well as a throat lozenge combined with feijoa and echinacea.

Feijoa & Orange Jelly With Whole Grain Toast






I have a suspicion that this little grass-green gem is going to be the next BIG thing.  We are going to see it dried and powdered on every health food store shelf next to the goji berries and chia seeds.  We are going to see minuscule desserts bathed in  feijoa puree, feijoa flavored candies, popsicles and gelatos.

It’s coming people.  Get excited!!

Feijoa Fizz

2 oz. 42 Below Feijoa Vodka

6 oz. Club Soda

1 Lime wedge


Rocks Glass

In rocks glass add handful of ice followed by vodka then club soda.  Squeeze lime juice into glass and toss lime in.  Stir, then drink and roll your eyes back in enjoyment at the refreshing drink you’ve just made yourself.  Cheers!