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If I came to visit...

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What would you show me??

Where would you take me??

What would you cook me??

If you came to visit me here in Melbourne, Australia, I'd take you to the Original Pie Shop for a good aussie meat pie (and you could try a crocodile pie, or an emu pie while you;re there).

I'd take you to my mum's for lamingtons and pav, and to our local fish n' chip shop for scallops.

I'd take you to a footy match and we'd drink real beer and watch real men gladiate (oh, the palpable testosterone!)

I'd cook you asian-fusion food and moussaka and curries and mussels gremolata

I'd show you chinatown and little vietnam and the slow food market and the Mornington peninsula and Warburton and The Great Ocean Road.

Ed to add: Vlado's.. I'd totally take you there. too!!! http://www.vlados.com.au/

What would you do for me??

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  1. We'd have to travel a bit....

    In Virgnia, I'd take you to Monticello because its just remarkable both in terms of construction, history (good and bad) and wine and food. While we were in Charlottesville I'd take you to Spudnuts for sublime donuts, Bodos for bagels better than anywhere else (yes, including NYC and I'll meet up for a taste test to prove it), Wayside for true, old fashioned, delicious Southern Fried Chicken with hushpuppies and sweet tea.

    I'd cook you my enchiladas and my bolognese with duck and chicken and turkey and drink far too much red wine with it while eating piles of pasta.

    I'd have to take you to my Mom's to pick artichokes and tomatoes from the back yard in the evening for dinner and then to pick plums and peaches and nectarines in the morning for breakfast.

    Then up to San Francisco to go to Chinatown and walk and eat and walk and eat and walk....

    A baseball game, because there's no better sporting event at which to eat. A hot dog, a beer and, probably garlic fries. Plenty of testosterone, but probably quite a bit of it artificial...still enjoyable.

    You'd have to see the Palace of Fine Arts because its simply wonderful and the Golden Gate because its worth singing about.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      NOW you HAVE to tell me what a hushpuppy is!!

      1. re: purple goddess

        You por deprived thing! I cannot beleive you have never experienced the wonder of a hushpuppy! This is a pretty accurate description of the ones I am familiar with:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hushpuppy
        They are an absolute necessity at fish fry's where I come from and were made in regular, cajun, and garlic versions by varying relatives and fishing friends. Not a health food by any means, but something I enjoy when I visit home and the fishin's good.

    2. I'd be doing most of the cooking here in Cali, Colombia, with some exceptions:

      1. Steaks cooked by an Argentinian using our 100% organic, fully range-fed beef at a rustic restaurant at the foot of the mountains;
      2. A few meals in the traditional markets in the city;
      3. Coffee at a friend's high-end specialty coffee shop;
      4. Greek food at the original "Los Turcos";

      My own kitchen is largely limited to Japanese, Thai/Lao, Mexican, Chinese, and French.

      We would travel to the coffee zone, stay at a beautiful place overlooking a Shangri-La of a valley and on another couple of days at a hotel built over hot springs at the foot of one of the glacial parks. With more time we would visit the historical city of Cartegena and then the Island of Providencia for diving.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        I love how you said your kitchen is "limited" and then list several cuisines most people would not even brave to attempt. It certainly doesn't sound very limited to me, haha.

        My own kitchen is truly limited to things a person with no natural ability as a cook will not completely destroy by over/undercooking, seasoning improperly, and in general disgracing in every way =). Your kitchen abilities sound like a dream.

        1. re: ArikaDawn

          Thanks, AD. I've been fortunate in having had an extended family of cooks--both professional and home--and in having worked in lots of countries, and in the rural remote areas of those countries. I've enjoyed the food almost everywhere, but didn't end up incorporating quite a number in my own kitchen. You and BF should visit when pg and dh come traveling. We'd all have some jello-based lemon pie for laughs.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            laugh all you want. ive had some surprisingly good lemon pies that i was surprised to find out were "jello based" - and no I don't have the recipies, sorry.

      2. What would you show me??

        Boston's North End (my home), which is the best Little Italy in America. Then perhaps to Gillette Stadium to see some REAL football players. The Old North Church ("one if by land, two if by sea..."). Back Bay's Newbury Street for shopping and people watching. Jamaica Plain for strolling. Pete's Pub for drinking. Southie for more drinking (hey, you're Australian, you can handle it, mate:) Then a night of local music clubs, to see bands like Mittens, Japetus, A Global Threat...

        Where would you take me??

        I'd take you to Fenway Park (the greatest baseball park in all the world) to watch the Red Sox smash the Yankees.

        Then for dinner, I'd take you to Clio and O Ya, and Uni, and Hamersley's, and Terramia, and Taranta, and, well, we'd eat a LOT.

        What would you cook me??

        Grilled quail in a raspberry/chilli glaze, rosemary-garlic lamb lollipops (baby chops), Wagyu beef burger, BBQ ribs.

        1. Howdy! I'd show you the Palo Duro canyon at sunset...in all its purple majesty. We'd have to stay for the outdoor theater production, "Texas".

          I'd take you up the road aways to Hereford, Tx....beef capital of the world! You'd know when we were getting close....no mistaking that aroma....the town has 1800 people and 5000 head of cattle.

          I'd also take you to our famous steak house, The Big Texan Steak Ranch....where, if you consume the entire 72 ou. steak and all the trimmings, your meal is free! See, you'd be a cheap date! (just kidding). We'd mosey on over there in the restaurant's pink Cadillac limo with the steer horns on the front...the one they take to pick up tourists at the hotels in town.

          I'd cook you up a Mexican supper....Enchiladas Verdes served with Frijoles Cocidos. For dessert, we'd have some Apple Empanadas and coffee with a little chocolate and cinnamon. Oh, and I wouldn't forget the Margaritas and the longnecks!

          Y'all come back now, heah?

          1 Reply
          1. re: cookingschool

            I am a cheap date at the best of times, but I might leave the 72oz steak to Mr Goddess...

            Yikes.. I'd most likely keel over from a heart attack after that!!

          2. i love this thread and i want to visit every single one of you!

            i'm sure the ny hounds are going to go mad with all the great places here, but let me start.

            i'd take you for a brunch at prune, recommending either the dutch pancake or their incredible monte cristo and something off of their rather extensive bloody mary menu.

            i'd bring you home and plump up some pillows behind your head, so you could sit and watch trashy American TV, while i cooked up some bacon wrapped scallops on a rosemary white-bean puree. and profiteroles for dessert.

            i'd take you for a walk across the brooklyn bridge and for some dim sum in chinatown.

            i'd drag you all the way up to the new york botanical garden in the bronx, because it's just so gorgeous, especially in the spring. we'd go via grand central station, so when we got back, we could have a burger at Michael Jordan's steakhouse (sounds cheesy, but excellent burger!) and watch the gorgeous, carefully orchestrated mess of commuters rushing by below.

            i'd take you for a fat pastrami sandwich at Katz's and some pizza at DiFara's and bialys at Kossars and pickles on the lower east side and donuts at The Donut Plant and gnocchi at Babbo.

            and then i'd take you to Saks Fifth Avenue to buy new trousers, because i'd have made you so fat you couldn't fit in the ones your brought.

            1. if you came to pomona, Ca. i'd take you:

              to eat at a taqueria. there are tons of little taco and burrito shops here.

              to a pan bakery to get some fresh pan, flan and chicharron.

              to the curb in front of my house. around 5:15 pm a man carts around a shopping cart selling durritos (wheat chips) splashed w/lemon juice & chili sauce, a corn topped w/mayo, butter, parm cheese and chili, and a shaved ice---all for $1 each.

              this is what pomona is all about! lol!

              1. what a terrific topic.

                i'd show you the brooklyn bridge. we'd walk it from the manhattan side at 10:30 a.m. or so. we would end up at grimaldi's in brooklyn and chow down on some serious pizza. later, we would share drinks at river cafe and watch the sun set on the battery. we would take the water taxi back to manhattan, passing both the statue of liberty and ellis island on the way.

                i'd take you to the market at grand central terminal and load up a picnic basket with breads, pate, cured meats and wine. we'd then take a bus on 42nd st. to the hudson river where we would take the circle line tour around manhattan (east river, harlem river, hudson river). we would sit on the port side.

                what would i cook? probably baked clams to tease your palate. deb would follow with a homemade pasta course and then a veal dish. choosing wines would be a hoot. dessert would be small, probably savory. port and coffee.

                3 Replies
                1. re: steve h.

                  Couldn't we go to Peter Luger, too? :))

                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    porterhouse for two, the house bacon and creamed spinach. yes!

                    1. re: steve h.

                      Oh God, you DO know your Luger! So many people don't know about that fabulous bacon.

                      Also, their lamb chops are overlooked, too. (Sometimes I have the tomatoes and onions, the chops, and the bacon before I even get the steak, creamed spinach, and hash browns. I'm not a healthy boy. :)

                2. I'd show you a beautiful lakefront and amazing architecture. We would go on one of the architecture foundations boat tours, and then over to the museum campus for stroll through the Field Museum or the Shedd Aquarium. We'd check out a few street festivals, and hit a music festival too.

                  I'd take you to a Cubs game, because Wrigley is the most beautiful ballpark in the country, even if we don't win a lot of games, and we'd see a band at Metro or the Double Door.

                  I'd take you to Hot Dougs for a dog unlike any you've ever had (today's special is a Merlot and Blueberry Venison Sausage with Sweet-n-Spicy Mustard and Goat Cheese) and the Hopleaf for mussels and beer.

                  I'd make you roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and big pan of the world's best brownies.

                  http://www.architecture.org/
                  http://fmnh.org/
                  http://www.sheddaquarium.org/index.html
                  http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/we...
                  http://www.pitchforkmusicfestival.com/

                  http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/index.jsp...
                  http://www.metrochicago.com/
                  http://www.doubledoor.com/
                  http://www.hotdougs.com/
                  http://www.hopleaf.com/

                  1. i would take you over the hudson river on the george washington bridge into new york city...where we could eat and drink ourselves around the world

                    then we would take the lincoln tunnel back into new jersey to watch the (american football!) jets crush the patriots in the meadowlands at giants stadium...cross the parking lot to the (horse) track and win a lot of money

                    then back into new york and repeat again and again...never going back to the same places or eating the same food twice...until we get tired of enjoying life

                    1. I'd take you to Pueblo Grande, a Hohokam (Native American) village from somewhere around 1500, today smack dab next to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. AND we'd go to Sedona, to visit the red rocks, canyons (and mystical vortexes) AND perhaps south of Tucson to see the Spanish missions from the 18th century....And then we'd need to end up in Scottsdale, to watch the glitterati strut and preen a while. We'd need to eat at Tradiciones, a Kitchen that specializes in regional Mexican food, and perhaps at Roaring Fork or Cowboy Ciao for regional southwestern fare. In my kitchen, because we are, after all, in Arizona, an appetizer featuring salsas from our fabulous local producers, a first course of light pasta with farm-raised shrimp from two other local producers, local beef or perhaps local chicken - we'll grill the beef, fry the chicken. American-style potato salad and black-eyed pea/arugula salad. Local peaches or other fruit in a tart or with cream for dessert. New Mexican wines with dinner. And we haven't yet gotten to the Grand Canyon or the Painted Desert....and we even bypassed Tucson and the Old Pueblo!

                      1. pg, you've offered the perfect post--one that touches our collective passions, pride in our individual places and foods, and what each has to give. Thank you.

                        1. I'd take you to the wharf of a little fishing village 15 min. away for a 2 1/2 lb. steamed Maine lobster, clams, and corn-on-the-cob.

                          Then I don't know what I'd do with you until the next meal; there are so many beautiful places to visit in mid-coast Maine: beaches, historic houses, maritime museums, boat trips to outlying islands like Monhegan, Andrew Wyeth country including the Olson house, antique shops and flea markets. I'd let you choose.

                          To renew my native Texan credentials, dinner at my house would probably be chicken/sour cream Enchiladas Verdes or grilled garlicky jumbo Gulf shrimp on cheese/green chile grits, maybe a sweet potato pecan pie for dessert.

                          The next meal I'd have you cook. I love a good curry.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: PhoebeB

                            P.S., pg,

                            NO! I wrote that way too late at night. What I'd fix you in honor of my childhood in Texas in the '40s & 50s is every little town cafe's Blue Plate Special: a great big crispy-coated, fork-tender, chicken-fried steak with creamy black-peppery pan gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, a sliced tomato on the side.

                            (I'm talking about green beans cooked with salt pork & onion til they're TENDER--none of this D_ _n Yankee "tender crisp" business.)

                            And a pastry-crust peach cobbler for dessert, made with San Saba/Goldthwaite Elberta freestone peaches.

                          2. Ok, I'll play......Chengdu, Sichuan

                            I would take you to Jinli street by Wuhouci to eat traditional street food and watch lamp shadow puppets or sichuan opera. We could go to the Songxian Bridge antique and art market to see pottery and Tibetan jewellery, and RenMin park to drink tea and listen to retired people sing karaoke.

                            I would take you to that great restaurant whose name I'm still trying to decipher (sorry), deep fried rabbit legs and mapo tofu and the ribs in steamed rice meal. We would sample lots of local snacks like dan dan mian and chao shou at Snack City or another xiaochi (snacks) place, and eat mangoes and pipa fruit that we could buy on the street. If you want to go for Tibetan or Uighur food we could do that too.

                            We would go to a local market where people yell out their wares and prices in Sichuan dialect and pick up whatever looks the freshest. We'll find a good fresh chicken or rabbit (with liver still attached). I would cook you the most basic, normal comfort food like roast chicken or meatloaf with mashed potatoes as a counterpoint to all the new and strange tastes.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: pepper_mil

                              You know what's really funny???

                              Living in OZ, I am actually more likely to eat Sea Slug and Hair Vegetable Stew at a Karaoke bar, than I am to eat grits... I don't even know what they are!!! But by the Gods Of All Things Chow-Houndy, I am going to find out one day!!!

                              And I'd NEVER say no to a good meatloaf!!!

                              1. re: purple goddess

                                pg, there's a long current thread with everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know about grits. Something like, "grits; savory recipes".

                                1. re: PhoebeB

                                  Grits, IMHO, are quite nasty. Cheese grits being a delightful exception.

                                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                                    Bostonbob, wash yo' mouth out with soap! You are clearly not grits-worthy.

                                    1. re: PhoebeB

                                      I said I like cheese grits...

                                      And sour grits are edible.

                                      The plain grits just don't do it for me. Sorry.

                                      You'd probably hate our johnny cakes. Actually, you'd probably like them since they're basically grits.

                                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                                        I love johnny cake. What are sour grits?

                                        1. re: PhoebeB

                                          Well, I've never made them myself (just wolfed them down), but there are two kinds I can describe.

                                          One is simply with sour cream dolloped on top.

                                          The other is cooked in buttermilk, so it has a "tang."

                                          I like them both.

                                          But I like cheese grits best. :)

                            2. After picking you up at the airport in Phoenix, I would take you to Phoenix Ranch Market where we would have a quick lunch of street tacos, tortas, horchata, and a pineapple empanada.

                              After that, I would take you to the Heard Museum, a fantastic Native American museum with an exceptional collection. We would then head over to the Desert Botanical Garden where I could show you how lush and green the Sonoran Desert really is.

                              It would be time for a quick snack, so I would take you to Manuel's Mexican Food near my home and we would split an Extra Crispy Cheese Crisp (see my avatar) with plenty of hot sauce and salsa and a traditional margarita.

                              We would go to one of the resorts and I would bribe my way to one of the elegant swimming pools where we would swim and tan and talk about selling the house in the Hamptons

                              After a quick shower, drinks at sunset at The Sanctuary, a beautiful resort on the side of Camelback Mountain. We would then head to Pizzeria Bianco for dinner with four of my friends so we could get a reservation and not have to wait a gazillion hours for a table. Following that, a leisurely drive over to Arlecchino Gelato for the best Gelato in the western U.S.

                              The next morning, I would let you sleep in and then I would take you to The Indian Fry Bread House where we would munch on fry bread with red chile and also munch on cardiac pills. Then a stop at Mary Coyle's Ice Cream shop for a cold treat since it would be about 105 F outside.

                              I would then head back to the house were I would begin to cook a dinner for you. Dinner would be a Southern meal since Mom is from the south and taught me everything she knows:

                              Sun Tea (sweet and unsweet)
                              Real Lemonade
                              Buttermilk Fried Chicken
                              Mashed Potatoes with Country Gravy
                              Green Beans with Salt Pork
                              Collar Greens
                              Glazed Carrots
                              Cornbread with Honey Butter
                              Peanut Butter Pie

                              The next day before your caught your afternoon flight home, I would take you to Delux for a Delux Burger, Sweet Potato Fries and a Pear Cider.

                              1. Welcome to beautiful Louisville, KY.. when you got here I'd show you our beautiful city.. I'd show you Churchhill Downs, home of the most famous horse race in the world, The new Ali center, a museum celebrating the most famous boxer in the world, I'd bring you to the famous Louisville Slugger Museum, where they still make the bats for most of the baseball players in the game today. I'd also take you across the street to the Arms Museum, where you could see Annie Oakley's guns, George Washington's Kentucky Rifle and Geronimo's bow and arrows.

                                I'd take you to eat at our diverse resturants, Lynn's Paradise Cafe for it's funky vibe and good food; Veitnam Kitchen for their avocado shake, catfish cooked in claypot and their summer rolls; Mark's Feed Store for it's Kentucky Style BBQ and their honey wings and fried corn; Jeff Ruby's Steak House just for the fact he booted OJ Simpson out during Derby week, and La Bodega for the best crab cake tapas you'll ever have.

                                What would I cook you... I could make you salmon teriyaki with rice, sauteed onions and mushrooms, and sesame seed spinich, if you wanted fish.. or shrimp scampi, or a nice filet with a carmalized onion cream sauce with roasted garlic mash tators and sweet fresh baby peas.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Lightsuprooms

                                  And then head over towards Lexington to see Keenland and all of the horse country with a stop in Shelbyville at Science Hill Inn for lunch and the incredible biscuit bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Then meander down to Birmingham Al for dinner at Highlands Grill and then the big decision would be whether to head east or west. East to Atlanta and then the coast or west to New Orleans where you can get a wonderful dinner on a restaurant deck on Lake Ponchetrain. If you decide you would like to go east we'd first go to Callaway Gardens and buy lots of grits, go visit the butterfly house and admire the gardens. After visiting with my Mom in Atlanta a trip to Savannah and Charleston and Beaufort, forget Hilton Head it is just ruined since I was a kid and it was undeveloped. Then head back up north through Asheville for a stop at the farmer's market to buy sourwood honey and back to Louisville

                                2. Oh, and I'd also make you Vegimite toast for breakfast, while Mr Goddess did bacon and eggs on The Grillonator (please note the use of Capital Letters to indicate just how important this BBq is **eye roll**).. \

                                  and I'd teach you the Tim Tam Slam, and we'd eat potato cakes and hot chips with vinegar on Dromana Beach.

                                  1. I would take you to tacos lupita for some yummy tortas and pupusas

                                    and since I am lazy I think I would just make you some really really good dwaengjang chigae (using actual homemade dwaengjang with the chunky soybeans) or some really good home made kimchi chigae using my mom's kimchi. Simple meal, but excellent if you like good homestyle korean food.

                                    and if I liked you a whole bunch, I would take you down to maryland to visit my parents. We would eat fresh flounder sashimi (korean style) with lots of ggaenip -beefsteak leaves and chojang for dipping. After we ate all the sashimi, we'd take the bones, leftover meat, and the fishhead and make a spicy fish soup with it.

                                    Or we'd have good ol' samgyupsal with lots of grilled garlic and grilled oyster mushrooms

                                    okay I am making myself hungry now

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bitsubeats

                                      The spicy fish soup sounds great. Can you share your ingredients and technique?

                                    2. I love when friends visit me in NYC, especially when it's their first time. Everyone has to visit the Empire State Building at least once, and see a lavish Broadway musical. And walk through Central Park. And visit at least one museum like The Metropolitan Museum or MOMA. And go to to a baseball game (to see the Mets, of course!) and eat hotdogs.

                                      I'd serve you a huge spread from Russ & Daughters with lox, cream cheese, whitefish salad, and all the fixins', plus, of course, bagels from Ess-a-Bagel (I live across the street from Ess-a!). And yes, we'd go to Peter Luger!

                                      I'd make you a Jewish-style home-cooked meal of chicken soup with matzoh balls, brisket, potato pancakes. And brownies for dessert, just because I love brownies!

                                      1. in my fair city of Montreal, we'd start with lunch at Schwartz Deli, for a Montreal smoked meat sandwich, medium-fat, with a Cott's black cherry soda.

                                        we'd then proceed to the St. Viateur bagel bakery and watch the guys roll some and load up the wood-burning oven, pick up a warm, fresh six-pack, half-half (meaning 3 poppy 3 sesame), a little tub of Astro brand cream cheese, and we'd head to Mount Royal, just a few blocks away, and eat in the beautiful park and people-watch.

                                        Dinnertime! Au Pied de Cochon awaits, with foie gras appetizers, and then a magnificent seafood platter. We'd get the pig's foot as well, it's really not to be missed.

                                        Off to BU wine bar for some civilized well-chosen glasses, and perhaps something sweet... Panna cotta or semifreddo, your choice.

                                        First thing in the morning, we're off to La Binerie, for a Quebecois-style diner brekky, complete with homemade baked beans and creton (a pork pate).

                                        Lunch is lighter today, we're off to Ferreira for some wonderful grilled Portuguese fish.

                                        We spend the afternoon at the Jean Talon market, where you pick up many jars of local specialties to bring home. A quick poutine at la Banquise and we're done, and you leave with an extra suitcase full of Quebec goodies.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: C70

                                          You are making me homesick. The closest I will get this year is Plattsburgh and I do so crave St. Viateur bagels

                                        2. Purple Goddess, what a delightful thread!

                                          Try to make it to Western North Carolina in mid July and I guarantee to show you a good time. We will start out Thursday evening with the opening ceremony of the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. Nothing like lots of men in kilts to start out a good weekend tour! There will even be a sheep herding demonstration to make you feel at home. We will wait for the sun to set over the blue ridge mountains over a light picnic of french bread, cheese and fruit.

                                          Rise and shine early Friday morning as we drive over to Asheville for breakfast at Early Girl and a tour of the Biltmore Estate. We will go horseback riding along the trails of the estate and then head downtown for a late lunch at the Laughing Seed.

                                          My hubby will make breakfast for you Saturday Morning as you and I sip coffee out on our deck and watch the sun rise. He makes the best weekend breakfasts! Usually some variation scrambled eggs & home made salsa, hash browns, fresh squeezed orange juice and muffins. And you will NEED a good breakfast if you are going to run in the marathon today...supposed to be one of the toughest in the States. I promise to take a good picture of you to take home and show your friends and greet you as you cross the finish line with some great local treats....organic fruit and veggies from our local farmer's market and wonderful breads and pastries from Stick Boy Bakery. In the afternoon I will have to take you over to Blowing Rock to stroll around a charming mountain village. Perhaps we will have lunch at Storie Street Grill. We then take a meandering drive back home to stop for cocktails and appetizers at the Inn at Crestwood and stop by to see my friend Polly's (who happens to be the best cook in the High Country) to say hello and just maybe get her cute hubby to pour us a glass of wine. Then we all will take off for dinner at Zuzda's in Banner Elk to share many plates of yummy tapas. After dinner we stop by Lee McCray Auditorium for the Ceilidh Scottish Gathering for a fun evening of folk music and dance. We are certain to see men in kilts here!

                                          You wont ever want to go home...well not till the last of the men in kilts head down the mountain.

                                          1. First, let me say Seth Chadwick's Phoenix itinerary suggested above is a great one. Stick to that for your first visit. For your second visit, I'd suggest the following:

                                            After arrival at Sky Harbor Airport, we'd begin with lunch at Carolina's, where they make their own tortillas and use them to create delicious burros (called burritos most other places). My favorite is the potato-and-bean burro. Carolina's is very down-to-earth and filled with an interesting crowd of cops, airport workers, and downtown office dwellers. In the evening, after touring the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum during the afternoon, we'd quench our desert thirst with pints of the house beer at the Roosevelt Tavern, a comfortable pub in an artsy corner of Downtown. For dinner, we'd go just up Central Avenue to Durant's to enjoy steak or seafood and see a slice of classic Phoenix that has been unchanged for decades.

                                            The next morning, we'd walk to a trailhead near my house and hike Piestewa Peak, a Phoenix landmark, early in the morning before the desert heat becomes too intense. I'd then make blueberry pancakes for brunch. Later in that day, a tour of the Camelback Corridor, home to luxurious resorts and shopping, would be in order with an upscale dinner following at Tarbell's or T. Cook's.

                                            Day 3: We'd take another hike at South Mountain, the world's largest municipal park, and follow it with a lunch in nearby Tempe at the Phoenicia Cafe (Middle Eastern), Cafe Lalibela (Ethiopian), Priya (southern Indian), or Khai Hoan (Vietnamese). After spending the afternoon swimming in the pool, we'd enjoy a final dinner at home with homemade mac-and-cheese and swiss chard harvested from my small backyard garden and sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and cilantro (perhaps known as coriander in your part of the world).

                                            1. Welcome to Sunny Buffalo NY!

                                              What would you show me??
                                              I would say you would definitely need to see Niagara Falls. If the Sabres are playing or the Bills, we can take in a game. And there are a bunch of casinos to lose some $$ in!

                                              Where would you take me??
                                              Obviously for wings. I personally like La Nova's but I would take you to Duff's and the Anchor Bar just for the comparison. I would get you a beef on weck, Ted's Hot Dogs, and then to a candy shop for some sponge candy. Oh yeah, and you have to have lots of beer to wash it all down!

                                              Other (personal) faves would be dessert at Butterwoods, lunch at Grovers, and shopping at Wegmans

                                              What would you cook me??
                                              Well, I bake so you would get my peanut butter oatmeal cookies. My SO is Italian so you would also get amazing ziti and/or sausage and peppers.

                                              1. If you visit Charleston, South Carolina, you'll be in luck--it's the most beautiful town in the U.S. in addition to being one of the most historic and delicious!

                                                My wife and I would play tour guide, escorting you along the Battery and lesser known side streets where you can marvel at the wonderfully preserved colonial and antebellum houses and mansions. We'll walk through gardens and churchyards and listen to the ringing of St. Michael's bells, the same bells that have crossed the Atlantic seven times in their 200 year history. We'll show you where pirates laid seige to the city, and then the British, and then the Yankees, and when soldiers weren't beating at the gates, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires were. Yet somehow the city is all the more beautiful for all its suffering over the years.

                                                We'll visit old plantations in the countryside and America's only commercial tea garden and the Angel Oak, oldest tree in the Eastern U.S. We'll buy sweetgrass baskets from Gullah women by the side of the road, practicing the weaving skills their ancestors brought over from Africa centuries ago. If you're lucky and they feel comfortable around you, they may even speak their Geechee dialect in your presence.

                                                How many days to you have to visit restaurants? We'll take you to Hank's for she crab soup, shrimp and grits, Charleston shrimp curry, fried fish, slaw, and hush puppies. We'll take you to Circa 1886 for a lavish, quiet dinner in a renovated carriage house behind the Wentworth Mansion. We'll take you to McCrady's or Cordavi's for cutting edge molecular gastronomy, followed by the famous coconut cake at Peninsual Grill. Or maybe we'll head across the bridge to Boulevard Diner for fried green tomatoes, tomato pie, chicken fried steak, fried chicken breast with green tomato chutney (yes, we do love our tomatoes and deep fryers!) and your choice of southern style veggies. Of course, if you're still up for seafood, The Wreck is an atmospheric dive just around the corner, located in the very spot that Hurrican Hugo deposited the ill-fated shrimp boat "The Richard and Charlene" back in 1989. Later, we'll get in the car again for a quick barbecue road trip of the area, featuring whole hog pulled pork with some ribs thrown in for good measure, vinegar and pepper sauce, mustard sauce, thin tomato sauce, you'll get it all! Accompaniments will range from cracklins to red rice to fried chicken to hash and don't forget banana pudding for dessert.

                                                I'll cook you pot likker soup with corn bread and bake my secret recipe pecan pie. We'll gorge ourselves on local peaches, John's Island tomatoes, and Silver Queen corn. We can also buy fresh shrimp right off the docks, but you've got to be willing to help clean the suckers! Or if you feel especially ambitious, we can try our hand at setting a crab pot at the pier down the street. (Full disclosure: I'm too lazy to go crabbing for myself or clean shrimp for that matter, but we would never deny guests if they insisted!) Whenever we can, we'll serve you fine tea, be it Chinese green, Formosa oolong, or the first flush black tea from the local plantation, hot or iced, however you like it. For a little something different, we'll visit my Filipino in-laws, and you'll be plied with lumpia, sinigang, adobo, and bibinka. If enough of their friends are around, they may even roast a pig. Everybody enjoys slow cooking a nice pig down South. I think it could even be our slogan!

                                                1. Wow. Alot has been covered.....BUT...I would start you in Washington DC, not just with the monuments but with the neighborhoods as well. D.C has a lot of history beyond The National Mall. That would mean a stop on U street for Ethiopian food and if there is still room, the legendary Ben's Chili Bowl(though living outside the beltway, I prefer the Vienna Inn). That trip to Monticello would take a few days. I would want to show off the vineyards of Virginia and take you hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Maybe you can explain the rules of Australian Rules Football while we are climbing Little Devil Stairs . We could either pack a picnic from Cowgirl Creamery or Italian Store here in Arlington or stop at the Epicurious Cow. Decisions decisions. I would hope you could come in the summer when homegrown corn along with other fruits and veggies are all at their peak. We have been known to make a meal out of silver queen corn on the cob and a fresh tomato plate.

                                                  Now it is on to Madisonville, Louisiana which is on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain. You would have to partake in a crawfish boil with my family and friends. Then there is the BBQ shrimp...cheesey grits..crawfish etouffe...all of which my stepmother prepares exceptionally well. For dessert it has to be ice cream with her homemade praline sauce. She will teach you how to make a proper roux. All of this, of course, will be washed down with Turbo Dog. We would have to go into New Orleans where we can tour the French Quarter...have beignets at cafe Du Monde and sink into a fully dressed...12 napkin po'boy....settle in for some zydeco music.. I would also want to take you to Saint Francisville to tour plantations, including spending the night at The Myrtles(famously haunted). Then it's off to Avery Island...the home of Tobasco......

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: rHairing

                                                    Don't skip Breaux Bridge and Cafe des Amis on your way to Avery Island

                                                  2. Cool thread! I am learning so much just reading it.

                                                    Here in Sacramento, I'd show you the delta by boat. Bring your suit! We'd stop in Isleton for a drink and fried something or other.

                                                    I'd take you to dinner at The Waterboy for the best sweetbreads you've ever tasted! No shit. Then we'd move on to New Canton for dim sum (as good as San Fran), and end at Biba for dessert and some port.

                                                    I'd cook you my signature rosemary/lemon/mint rack of lamb, grilled corn on the cob with
                                                    herbed butter, and a fresh farmer's market salad. I'd begin the meal with some fresh raw oysters on the half shell. You choose the beverage, I'll buy it.

                                                    I'd give you a fabulous head and neck massage before you left. I'm really good at that.

                                                    1. If you come at the right time (mid-august) we'll take you up to Albert City for the annual Threshermen's show. (www.albertcitythreshermen.com) You might have to come a little earlier than that, though, to get some good fresh sweet corn. And we'd certainly feed you home-grown tomatoes right out of our garden. I'll talk to the fishermen in my church and see if we can have a nice fish fry of walleye or whatever's biting, and I'd fix the Okie side dish for fish, chopped dill pickles and onions.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: revsharkie

                                                        Welcome to California's Gold Country - more cows than people (although the people seem to be gaining!), rolling grasslands and oaks.... the gates are open and the dogs don't bite. We'd start our day with bisuits and gravy - our own pork, and biscuits with WR flour, washed down with loads of coffee. We'd want to take you riding around the place - horses or the old jeep, your choice. Then how about a cold one at one of the Gold Rush era saloons? Azzo's is fun, likely we'll run into folks to visit with. Afternoon would be a great time to drive over Sonora Pass (9640' elevation, and grades of 26%!) so that we could watch the shadows play on the quakies...plus it will be deliciously cool and perfect for a picnic by one of the creeks. We'll stop at Twain Harte Market for cheeses, olives and some fresh baked bread. Nightime would find us on the eastern side of the Sierras....and then I would sear up a couple of lamb steaks (with LOADS of garlic) over the campfire, open a bottle of good red wine, and we'd feast before taking a moonlight soak in the hotsprings. Hope you enjoy the smell of sagebrush and juniper! If you were the type to insist on vegetables with your meal, I'd probably throw a few spears of good Victoria Island asparagis on the grill, too. Next morning, I'd boil coffee while we watched the sun hit the Sierras, and I'd fry up some eggs and chilis and tortillas before hitting the road for home.

                                                        Let's keep supper simple...I'll saute up some fresh tomatoes, onions, and okra from the garden and get Grandpa to fry up some fish. Won't take me long to bake a pecan pie, unless you'd rather have apple or peach or berry or chess or lemon or ?

                                                        1. re: revsharkie

                                                          I had a run-in with a big walleye in Minn. many years ago. That beast HISSED at me, tried to take my hand off! I greatly enjoyed frying him up.

                                                          1. re: PhoebeB

                                                            I've never met one in person, at least not before it was cooked. I grew up considerably south of here and the fish of choice was great big largemouth bass. There was one old granddaddy fish in the lake where we had a cabin that would let my grandpa catch him from time to time, then dance on his tail on the surface of the water as he spit out the hook--at least that's how Papa told the story.

                                                        2. You're making me homesick! One of the best things about growing up in Melbourne was how multicultural the food was... Don't forget the Victoria Market on one of the days they have fresh foods there.

                                                          1. What would I show you?
                                                            I'd take you home to upstate NY to show you the charm of a small NY town where people still leave their doors unlocked. I'd take you up to Titus Lake where we'd swim under the open sky and sleep in the grass under the stars. If we were lucky there'd be a meteor shower or a lunar eclipse. It's so dark there at night you can see all the stars. I'd take you to Cooperstown to see the baseball hall of fame, and eat at one of the swanky restaurants there. We'd stay at one of the local B&B's and sleep with the windows open so we could hear the peepers' chorus in the fields.

                                                            What would I feed you?
                                                            well, I'd have to take you to my grandmother's so she could stuff you with fresh veggies from her garden, and one of her wonderful roast pork loins. If it was in the fall we'd go to their church for the Harvest Dinner. Roast beef, mashed potatoes, veggies and more home made pies than you can count. We'd go to Brooks' Chicken which is known throughout the state for its great bbq.

                                                            What would we cook you?
                                                            I'd have my husband fire up his smoker and make you his "flat out chicken" paired with baking potatoes done on the grill and fresh corn on the cob. I'd follow that with a blueberry lemon coffee cake or my favorite strawberry pie.

                                                            Not as fancy as some of the other posts, but life isn't always about fancy, is it. :)

                                                            Thanks for a great topic

                                                            1. Hi Purple Goddess...
                                                              We're going on quite a trip, so get ready!

                                                              You can fly into DFW airport, and I'll pick you up, since I live practically at the end of a runway. Then we'll head over to a little family-run Mexican place I know, called Cachito's. We'll have sopes and carnitas tacos and some fruit waters. Then, we'll head over to the Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth. If you'd like, we can visit the Book Depository in Dallas, where Lee Harvey Oswald (supposedly) shot JFK from. For dinner, I'll cook you a perfect Texan meal of BBQ brisket, pinto beans, collards and cornbread. Can your body handle all the beef? I'm not sure mine can! For dessert, we'll drive to this little custard shack in Colleyville called Wooley's and have frozen custard with whatever you want mixed in.

                                                              Get up early, because we're hopping another plane. We'll arrive in Philly, where we can see some historic sights (Liberty Bell, Betsey Ross House, Independence Hall), then off to the Reading Terminal Market for roast pork sandwiches and warm pretzels from the Amish ladies. We'll get in the car and drive an hour to my hometown of Lansdale. There, we'll meet up with my family in our restaurant and have a cheesesteak. Have some pizza too, if you want, but the cheesesteak is better. If we're lucky, the Mexican boys will have brought some tequila and we'll get a couple shots. Then, we'll go to the Quakertown Farmer's Market (aka the Q-Mart) and people watch. You'll see some people there who you never knew existed. Strange but true. Enjoy the combination scents of rubber, fried foods and...well...I don't know what. For dinner, we'll head just a few minutes down the road to the Vietnamese community in Telford and feast at the Vietnam Cafe.
                                                              Get some sleep, because in the morning we're driving three hours to southern Delaware to visit my parents at the beach. We'll spend the day sunning ourselves and eating muffalatta sandwiches that my mom makes. That night, we'll go have a wonderful, nice meal at Espuma in town, then hit the boardwalk and finish up with a bucket of Thrasher's fries. For lunch the next day, we'll go to Nicola's for a Nic-O-Boli (personal calzone-like stromboli filled with seasoned meat, cheese, sauce and other toppings of your choice). Then, we'll catch a DelMarVa Shorebirds minor league baseball game. If we're lucky, we'll catch a hot dog that they fire out of a cannon into the bleachers.
                                                              We'll drive back up to Philly for dinner at Matyson, then part ways at the airport.
                                                              Are you tired? I am, but I sure had a good time. Thanks for visiting!