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Vacation Dining..

Summer is in full swing, loved to hear your faves...do you love that breakfast out at the patio or room service..lunch by the pool or dinner with cocktails.

Breakfast is always a wonderful thing to have prepared for you on vacation since I don't normally cook breakfast for myself unless on weekends/holidays..love getting the $$ credit which makes you feel like your getting something for free.
My favorite is at the Plantation House in Maui for their ahi benedict with wasabi hollandaise..

Pool bars are another thread but I could live in those big ass pools all day long with the waterfall bar..

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  1. My husband and I spend most of our vactions at our house in Croatia. Though we love to eat out (especially dinner), we usually make breakfasts at our house using fresh produce at the market and what we have foraged (i.e. wild mushrooms, herbs, fruits, nuts). We buy artisan cheese from a few miles away and prsut (like Italian prosciutto but better) from a neighbour, wine from our friends. Sometimes we also cook lunch but often eat lunch out.

    We also really enjoy cooking dinners at our Croatia house because there is such an abundance of wonderful stuff including the above but also fresh fish from the sea that is only a few km from our place. We have a wood-burning oven so our ideal vacation dining is cooking at home. The scenery is surreal - we are completely surrounded by forest and vineyards and olive groves; the atmosphere is lovely - our house is an old stone restored house; we listen to silence and the multitude of birds we do not have in Canada. A great dinner with fabulous wine while sitting outside in the midst of nature is my idea of paradise. Then we go for a walk by the sea. Just amazing and wonderful.

    When in other countries we enjoy eating out more in tiny villages with cobblestone streets or in the countryside at an agriturismo. Regardless, we eat outside whenever and wherever we can. No hotels for us - we stay in charming agriturismos, B&Bs (in the UK especially) or atmospheric villas.

    2 Replies
    1. Vacation for me is usually spent at a rented beach house. Standard cereal or toast for breakfast, but enjoyed out on the deck or porch listening to the waves. Lunch is sandwiches in the living room, followed by afternoon naps because we all spent the morning swimming in the ocean. Dinners are half dining out, half cooked at the house. The best vacation dinner I've ever had was spaghetti and meatballs cooked at the beach house, enjoyed over candle light, on a screened porch as the remnants of a tropical storm passed through. It was a family meal with three generations at the table, bundled up in blankets and laughing every time the rain sprayed through the screen.

      1. Room service in a great hotel is always a treat for us, usually breakfast but sometimes dinner depending on the circumstances. No matter how much planning we do or where we are, it seems like there are times when we just want to chill and enjoy luxurious surroundings with good music or a movie. Alone:)

        1. I was fortunate enough to receive a nice trip this past January @ The Four Seasons Resort on Maui. I can think of nothing better than the Breakfast offerings there. Traditional Eggs, Cereal, Fruits, Baked Goods, Kona Coffee and Fresh Squeezed Juices/Nectar.....all with a Hawaiian twist......I could never decide on one, so I had the Buffet every morning. The only deviation from that...was the Traditional Japanese Breakfast of Ahi Tuna. Absolutely Sensational.

          I'll have to try the Plantation House next time if I'm ever so lucky to go again.

          1. My daughter, who is 18, an I have gone car camping for our vacations over the last 13 years. I cook over the fire or on the Coleman stove. I freeze some meat in marinade for use over the first few days. We bring a can of the frozen lobster meat that comes with knuckles and claws and big chunks of tail meat and sauté that in butter and serve with fresh spinach one night. That is a feast! We eat too much, but wouldn't like the idea of eating left over seafood from an ice chest so what can we do? Haha. We have a big breakfast most days, homefries or pancakes, eggs, bacon or sausage and don't typically eat lunch. We do always have ramen and Kraft mac&cheese in case hunger strikes, but we seldom break into it. Often we will snack on trail mix or cheese & crackers mid day. The trail mix is especially nice while swinging in the hammock with a good book or while sitting on the sandy edge of the crystal clear mountain pond. Everything tastes delicious when we are coming. Just need to make sure no food is in the tent (or even toothpaste) or left out because of the black bears.

            1. I have vacationed in the Yucatan and Belize, oh, I dunno, maybe 30 or 40 times, and many were normal vacations - hotel & meals out for a week or so. But 4 of them ended up lasting about a year, so I had to make adjustments along the way - hotel then apartment then house. In all cases I always enjoy good coffee and fresh squozen OJ at home, and then I let a real mexican fix me a real mexican breakfast, always outdoors. For other meals I would guess 70% out and 30% home. When I had the house in Turks & Caicos, it was 70% home and 30% out. In most other places I'm a regular tourist but I always have drink fixins in my lodging.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                Veggo..you had a home in Turks & Caicos...W.O.W!

                1. re: Veggo

                  but I always have drink fixins in my lodging.

                  That's me too :)

                  1. re: gaffk

                    Me three!
                    I always have drink fixins.. pool/golf, I have cheap beers and wine with snacks before dinner.
                    Islands, I hit up the Costco for mai tai love.

                2. Loving all your wonderful vacation dining stories..

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    These are great accounts; thanks so much for sharing them!! I especially loved Veggo's vacation that ended up being more of a staycation!!
                    I'm thinking that our stays end up being about 50/50, between room service and taking meals out. UNLESS it's specifically a cooking-at-"home" centric vacation. And I love 'em all.

                  2. We don't do a lot of breakfast or brunch during our vacations. Usually fruit or a pastry from the hotel. Unless there is a french cafe some where. We are huge home cooks that often cook breakfast on the weekends so we tend to save the money and do a larger lunch or dinner.

                    Mostly my got to haves are local ingredients from the area and things I just can't get much of at home.

                    Pacific northwest oysters in Seattle, Pink Shrimp in Key West, South Carolina Pulled Pork BBQ, Maine Lobster, etc.

                    And we alway hit up a local bar or pub.

                    1. For me vacations bring two big food loves. The first is the "amazing" breakfast. Growing up my parents used to vacation in rented homes/apartments where they'd cook most of the meals - but depending on how far away we were traveling, we would spend the night at a bed and breakfast on the way there/back. So it started with those wonderful full American breakfasts. However, now the Israeli hotel breakfast buffest is my favorite for breakfast extravagance. Most Israeli hotels are Jewish operated - so there's no breakfast meat, but they make up for it with a huge array of salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, cured fishes, all sorts of cheeses, egg varieties, etc.

                      And my next favorite holiday eating involves decent food served on the beach/right by the water. Having your toes in the sand makes so many dishes taste better. There's a restaurant I love in Akko where the waves of the Mediterranean slap against the open air patio. In addition to getting so sea spray, I'm convinced it adds a lovely sea-salt flavor to items like fried calamari.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cresyd

                        Yes! The Israeli hotel buffets are amazing! They are always so fresh and full of variety.

                      2. We generally rent a house for vacations. Toast a bagel for breakfast, make sandwiches for lunch and go out for dinner. There aren't a lot of fine dining options where we live so we tend to splurge in a big way on vacation.

                        1. I guess one could call our 3 months in Berlin each year a vacation (even though I personally define vacation as "being on a beach" -- really, the only thing that Berlin is missing to make it the perfect city. Well, that and appropriate summer temps). I love having a typical German breakfast / brunch in our pad most every day, or scooting over to one of the markets for lunch where one can find most anything the heart desires: kick-ass Thai food, whole grilled fish, excellent falafel, the ubiquitous currywurst, zucchini fritters.... I could go on and on. Or scooting to our favorite sushi joint once a week, or the wonderful food hall that is Rogacki.

                          Since most of our meals back in the US are home-cooked, we enjoy the incredible variety of restaurants the city has to offer. And the cocktail bars not (exclusively) populated by 20-somethings.

                          's all good.

                          1. Aside from Hokie travel, all of our travel is based around food.

                            Always bring "happy bag" with wine, bubbly, liquor and mixers for the room.

                            Always have a good breakfast & fabulous dinner. Lunch is usually either skipped because of the size of breakfast/brunch or a much more modest event.

                            1. The majority of my vacations are to urban areas. I do some pretty serious research beforehand, so even if I don't make reservations, I have a list, broken down by that city's neighborhoods, of places that have good reviews and sound good to me. This eliminates the "I'm starving so let's just eat at the next place we stumble upon" issue, which can backfire as much as it can be a success, even in great eating cities.

                              I also like to visit markets for a picnic (or even hotel) meal of local meats/cheeses/produce, and like to try local street food specialties.

                              1. If we are some place where I can "trust" the breakfast, I love getting fresh squeezed juices, fresh baked goods, etc. (I am insanely picky about breakfast foods)

                                We like the Caribbean/tropics and have an informal challenge with each other to not eat/order anything on vacation that we can get at home. For example - we pick the local fish/lobster/conch over a steak, a grill fish sandwich for lunch instead of a burger, etc. I had to choke down goat while on Anguilla but for the most part, I loved the adventure.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: cleobeach

                                  love me a conch sandwich on a white sand beach in the Carib right this second!

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    If excess is your thing(because you cannot decide) ...the best Breakfast Buffet @ a hotel/resort I have had (over 20 years) consistently is at The Mariott Desert Springs Resort, including a variety of Smoked Fishes, including Sable and Sturgeon an Caviar.......and then, for Sunday Brunch, the choices are seriously amped up to include Lobster and King Crab and a Meat Carving Station.....

                                    But the ultimate Sunday Brunch is in NYC @ the Waldorf Astoria.....over 150 items including a Meat Carving Station, Seafood Raw Bar, Mimosa and Bloodly Mary Bars.

                                2. My vacations are almost always to visit family and/or friends in different areas of the U.S. I live in California, so when I visit New York/Pennsylvania (where I grew up) I want the things I can't or don't get in CA. Last year my friend commented that I ordered a fried bologna steak at a small diner, but that is something that doesn't exist on a menu in CA that I know of, and I have fond memories.

                                  Or SCRAPPLE. However, mostly we like to cook at home, them for me ~~ roast corn, fresh tomatoes, my favorite locally produced hot dogs, etc. Or, I like (read LOVE) to cook for them, the "latest outrage ~~ at least to them" from California i.e. items such as salad pizza or fish tacos ~~ things they don't find on their menues. AND they are not foodies, so it must be tame.

                                  Here in CA I have family in the bay area I love to cook for, but since they are close to San Francisco, I have favorites in the city. Cioppino, seafood, House of Prime Rib, Chinatown, walk-away clam chowder, sourdough. That is vacation to me.

                                  If I stay in So Cal, I will go to Neptune's Net in Malibu. Love that place.

                                  1. Funny you should ask. I just got back from our annual sojourn to the Outer Banks of NC last week.

                                    We have two phases to vacation. We stay a couple of nights on Ocracoke Island, at the Anchorage Inn and Marina overlooking the harbor, then we check in to our house, upshore on Hatteras Island in Rodanthe, for a week.

                                    During the first leg we eat out a lot, usually at old favorites. Lunch at Sam & Omie's in Nag's Head on the way down to Ocracoke. Coffee at Ocracoke Coffee company. Dinner at Smacnally's across from the Inn or Howard's Pub on Ocracoke. Lunch at Atlantic Coast Cafe before we check into our house.

                                    The rest of the week, I cook. Breakfast is bagels or English muffins, with an outstanding regional sausage from Bass Farms, or cereal and fruit. Lunch is sandwiches or hot dogs. Dinner is my treat: fresh produce and whatever local fish or shellfish is plentiful that week. Always have a shrimp boil on Monday, with leftovers made into shrimp salad for lunch Tuesday. Flounder and salad. Tuna steaks and roasted vegetables. Whatever swims, I cook.

                                    My wife needs a break from seafood, so mid-week we have a pizza from the excellent local Lisa's -- fried chicken and vegatables on a pesto base.