Posts from the “travel” Category

09/08/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: memphis

Posted on September 8, 2014


Next city on the road trip, Memphis. It’s a city known for its legendary music history and insanely tasty ribs. Our first stop was the National Civil Rights Museum, an extremely informative and moving experience.


lorraine motel memphis martin luther king jr.It’s built at the Lorraine Motel, the site where Martin Luther King Jr was shot.

lorraine motel memphis martin luther king jr.

lorraine motel memphis martin luther king jr.Room 306, the last place MLK Jr. stayed.

lorraine motel memphis martin luther king jr.

lorraine motel memphis martin luther king jr.

central bbq memphisRight across the street from the museum was Central BBQ, arguably the best ribs in all of Memphis.

central bbq memphisOh yeahhhh.

beale street memphisBeale Street.

beale street memphis

beale street memphis

beale street memphis jazz

cat airbnb memphisAirbnbs are so much better when they include cats.

off the hoof burgers arlington tennesseeAt this point, I had spent a week in the south but I’ve yet to eat a really good burger. After some googling, I found Off the Hoof burgers in Arlington, Tennessee, about a 40 minute drive east of Memphis.

off the hoof burgers arlington tennesseeThis is the Pat LaFrieda Chopped Steak burger, topped with habanero jack cheese and served on an 81-layer croissant bun. This perfectly cooked medium-rare burger was, hands down, the best I have ever tasted.

off the hoof burgers arlington tennessee

off the hoof burgers arlington tennesseeSweet potato waffle fries. Yes.

09/04/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: nola, pt 3

Posted on September 4, 2014


The last installment of our stay in New Orleans.


new orleans french quarter architectureI can’t get over how beautiful the architecture was in the French Quarter.

new orleans french quarter architecture

new orleans french quarter architecture

new orleans french quarter architecture

new orleans french quarterThis is an actual concern.

new orleans french quarter

hex voodoo shop new orleansHex Voodoo Shop is one of the coolest stops in all of NOLA. Even if you don’t believe in voodoo, the shop is well worth a browse. Be sure to talk with the interesting and knowledgeable staff who can recommend a potion or remedy for any sort of issue you may have.

hex voodoo shop new orleans

hex voodoo shop new orleansWe had our cards read by a Salem witch and asked some questions to the Spikeomancy board.

new orleans french quarter

new orleans garden district

commander's palace new orleansOur last meal in New Orleans was at Commander’s Palace, possibly the most famous restaurant in all of NOLA. This place is old school upscale, like stark white napkins and table cloths and a waiter each for bread and water.

commander's palace new orleansSoup trio: turtle, gumbo, and chicken black bean (their daily special). Commander’s Palace is known for its turtle soup, but personally I couldn’t get enough of their chicken black bean special. It was so much more flavorful than the turtle, which felt a little overpowered by the sherry.

commander's palace new orleansRoasted, chicory coffee lacquered, stuffed quail. I honestly don’t remember what the quail was stuffed with that day (some sort of grain-y yet tasty stuffing). The quail was perfectly roasted, still juicy and not dry. The real star of the dish, however, was the charred bits of pancetta the quail was served on.

commander's palace new orleansThe famous bread pudding souffle. To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed. It was a bit too egg-y and the bourbon sauce a bit too strong.

commander's palace new orleansThe peach and blueberry cobbler, however, was unbelievable.

lafayette cemetery new orleansBefore we left New Orleans, we had to make a stop at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, an above ground cemetery. The reason the graves are above ground is because of the low sea level of New Orleans. It makes for an eerie setting, perfect for walking around on a misty gray morning.

lafayette cemetery new orleans

lafayette cemetery new orleans

lafayette cemetery new orleans

lafayette cemetery new orleans

lafayette cemetery new orleans

lafayette cemetery new orleans

lafayette cemetery new orleans

09/03/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: nola, part 2

Posted on September 3, 2014

We started off the next day roaming around the French Quarter, New Orleans’ oldest and most popular neighborhood. It’s known for its colonial architecture, the noisy and bar-filled Bourbon Street, eccentric Voodoo shops, possibly haunted houses, and french-creole restaurants. We spent a full two days going around the Quarter, simply because there was so much to see.

new orleans french quarter

new orleans french quarterThe iconic architecture of the French Quarter is ironically of Spanish colonial influence.

new orleans french quarter

new orleans french quarter

new orleans french quarterLunch at the French Market.

gator new orleans

po boy new orleansAmazing fried catfish po’ boy from Mother Nature’s Cupboard. It came with a side of “tater bites” aka fried mashed potatoes.

new orleans french quarter

new orleans cafe du mondeWorld famous beignets from Cafe du Monde. Three fresh-outta-the-fryer beignets piled on with powdered sugar, and an iced coffee on the side, set me back only $6. This place may be super touristy, but their chicory coffee and sugary fried doughy clouds are soooo worth it.

new orleans cafe du monde

new orleans jackson squareJackson Square.

new orleans st louis cathedralThe St. Louis Cathedral.

new orleans french quarter

new orleans french quarter

new orleans coop's placeInsanely delicious fried chicken and mixed seafood jambalaya from Coop’s Place.

new orleans bourbon streetBourbon Street. Mind you, this was a Monday night. When we walked down here on a Saturday, it was completely packed, almost impassible, with drunk tourists. Best to be avoided on weekends.

new orleans bourbon street

new orleans bourbon streetNot exactly a kid-friendly place but ok then.

new orleans jazz frenchmen streetSome of the best jazz I’ve ever heard, coming from street performers on Frenchmen Street.

new orleans jazz frenchmen streetThey had a full 8 piece band and that drew quite a crowd.

new orleans jazz the spotted catMy favorite part about New Orleans (and the South in general) is the ability to walk into any bar and find amazing live music. We listened to the Jazz Vipers at the Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street. All the bars/clubs on Frenchmen Street are much more lively and entertaining than the crazy mess over on Bourbon, in my opinion.

new orleans jazz the spotted cat

new orleans jazz the spotted cat

new orleans the joint bbqThe next day started off with some brisket from the Joint.

new orleans the joint bbq“Ask me about net neutrality”– I liked this place already.

new orleans the joint bbq

new orleans the joint bbqThe brisket was extremely tender, you can see it falling apart right there. The real star, however, was their jalapeno corn bread and their mac n cheese (unfortunately not pictured).

09/02/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: nola, part 1

Posted on September 2, 2014


The last month of August has been a busy one with work and traveling, but now I’m back with more photos from my Tour du South. The story picks up in New Orleans…

Google Maps iPhone ScreengrabMississippi is a huge state, something we learned driving the 10ish hours from Birmingham to NOLA.

Sarah Kuszelewicz Photography

Sarah Kuszelewicz Photography

Sarah Kuszelewicz PhotographyBridge into New Orleans.

Sarah Kuszelewicz Photography

New Orleans AirbnbWe stayed in this beautiful Airbnb on Magazine Street in the Garden District of NOLA. This part of NOLA is much quieter, with lots of great galleries and artists’ homes.

New Orleans AirbnbHenah & Laura on the front porch.

New Orleans Airbnb

New Orleans AirbnbThe decoration in this place was impeccable.

New Orleans Airbnb

New Orleans AirbnbA little welcome gift from our host!

New Orleans Airbnb

New Orleans Airbnb

New Orleans Airbnb

New Orleans Airbnb

Delachaise Wine Bar New OrleansDinner our first night was at Delachaise Wine Bar at the recommendation of our host. The restaurant was tiny, homey, and rustic, but it had surprisingly refreshing and modern dishes. Despite the ridiculous NOLA humidity, diners ate in the quaint front patio.

Delachaise Wine Bar New Orleans

Delachaise Wine Bar New Orleans Grilled CheeseNow that’s a grilled cheese.

creole creamery new orleansDessert at the Creole Creamery after! A must stop for some really unique flavors.

creole creamery new orleans

creole creamery new orleans

Magazine Street New Orleans

Magazine Street New Orleans

Elizabeth's New OrleansBrunch the next day at Elizabeth’s. The line was out the door, but the meal was worth the hour wait. Plus, we were able to wait upstairs at their bar and gaze longingly at everyone else’s meals.

Elizabeth's New Orleans

Elizabeth's New OrleansFried eggplant benedict.

Elizabeth's New OrleansCorn meal waffle with a duck and sweet potato hash, topped with pepper jelly. Un. Believable.

Verti Marte Po BoyBonus food pic: a fried shrimp po’ boy from Verti Marte. The perfect post-Beyonce meal.

07/29/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: birmingham

Posted on July 29, 2014

DF9A8211-2Our first stop, Birmingham! We only spent one night in Birmingham but we made use of every minute of it.

birmingham-1Our first meal in Alabama was at Little Donkey, this wonderful authentic Mexican place in the neighborhood of Homewood.

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DF9A8194-2Fried catfish and braised brisket tacos, with elote corn on the side. Oh yeah that’s good.

DF9A8196-2Our awesome waiter Ryan who we talked to for a couple hours about Birmingham and all his worldly travels. He also suggested a great lookout point to see Birmingham at night.

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birmingham-2The next morning, after coffee and conversation with our awesome airbnb host, we checked out the Vulcan, the most “iconic” structure in Birmingham. It’s the largest cast iron statue in the world, and you’re able to grab some great views of Birmingham from the observation deck.

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DF9A8237-2It was windy at the top.

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birmingham-3

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birmingham-4

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DF9A8257-2Our lunch spot, Saw’s BBQ, which came highly recommended. This place is a no frills spot, and it’s all about the food.

DF9A8261-2This is their “pork & greens” platter: pulled pork, collard greens, cheesy grits, topped with fried onions.

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DF9A8269-2Henah’s meal: Fried okra sandwich with a huge portion of sweet potato fries.

DF9A8271-2My meal: a classic pulled pork sandwich with a big helping of fried pickles. Oh my BBQ this sandwich was juicy and the pickles crispy and not overly battered. No extra sauce or fancy toppings needed, the meat was cooked perfectly. After the best meal in Birmingham, we hit the road on our way to New Orleans!

07/28/14 – #southernfriedtour2014: nj to birmingham

Posted on July 28, 2014


Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just a little over a week ago, my best friend Henah and I kicked off our road trip through the southern United States. It was both our first times down in the South. On our trip, we went through 10 states, stopping in 7 cities, and savoring the best flavors from each, because if we’re being honest, this was just a food tour for us.


DF9A8083-2A gorgeous Pennsylvania sunset to kick off our trip.

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DF9A8144-2Spent a few short hours to sleep at this airbnb in Harrisonburg, Virginia before heading back out on the road!

DF9A8146-2Our hosts recommended Mister J’s bagels for breakfast. Being from New Jersey and living in New York, I’ll admit I have become a bit of a bagel snob, but our hosts assured us this place was legit and that it was owned by New Yorkers.

DF9A8147-2Our hosts were right– this place did not disappoint! This everything egg bagel with scallion cream cheese was on point.

DF9A8153-2Virginia is a giant state that you don’t really realize how giant it is until you are driving through it.

DF9A8159-2We stopped for lunch in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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DF9A8164-2We looked for places that were the highest and most rated on yelp, and there we found Tupelo Honey Cafe. Oh boy, this place was amazing.

DF9A8169-2FREE BISCUITS TO START. With blueberry preserves that might as well have been pie filling.


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DF9A8178-2O_O –my face when this meal came out. I ordered the “veggie melt” thinking I would be “healthy” for lunch… nope. This behemoth of a sandwich was a piece of fried sourdough, with sauteed peppers, spinach, and mushrooms, topped with havarti cheese, and a nice scoop of mac n cheese on the side. To say I food coma’d afterwards would be an understatement.

DF9A8179-2Henah is overwhelmed by her country sides plate, which consisted of goat cheese grits, grilled tofu, fried okra, and sweet potato fries. Did I mention that Henah is a vegetarian? She managed to also have some of the best meals of her life down here, proving that the south is waaay more than just meat dishes!

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DF9A8181-2Every seat in this restaurant was a window seat.

DF9A8183-2Some bell in the middle of the square in Knoxville we passed on our way out. And with our stomachs uncomfortably full, we were off to Birmingham!