Scott and I travel more than 50% of the year and my favorite thing to do is find that hidden gem restaurant or cool hipster joint to enjoy a few cocktails or nice bottle of wine and of course some amazing food!
Extensive research is involved in finding that perfect mix between casual dining and great food. When your on the road we tend to gravitate toward the restaurants that we can show up in jeans and if necessary a button up. Scott has to wear a suit when he flies with the team and the last thing he wants to do is sit another 2 hours at dinner suited and booted.
Instagram and social media are a great resource to catch a glimpse at what people are eating in your area or what those famous chefs have tried and approve.
I like to think back in the archives of my brain and cross reference renown or upcoming chefs I’ve heard of with the city we are in and decide from there if we should or could even get into their hot restaurant. I also use apps like OpenTable and very seldom Yelp to find reviews for different restaurants to get a feel for what we should expect. I go even further by Googling the restaurants to see Google reviews or even a sneak peak at their menu.
What I look for in a menu is a wide range of ingredients; things I possibly haven’t heard of or cooking techniques I’ve wanted to try. I look for certain proteins that standout or sometimes proteins I’ve been craving and just want to settle the urge. Creativity is a must when looking for the right menu and a farm to table concept is the cherry on top.
Great chefs buy locally. Great chefs support local farmers and purveyors and that reflects in their food. Two minutes of research on a chef or restaurant will take you pretty far. Sometimes I google Food and Wine Magazine or Bon Appetit “best restaurants in (fill in city)” and that is a good starting point for finding a cool new restaurant.
If you are fan of any and every cooking show out there, then I don’t need to tell you to google your favorite chef and go support his/her restaurant if your in the area. Or even hit up “your favorite joint” from one of Guy Fieri’s Triple D spots. (Side note: One of Scott’s dad’s dreams is to go on a road trip and hit up every Triple D joint along the way)
- Research: Google is your best friend. Find reviews or scout menus prior to going to see if it’s something you’re interested in.
- Social Media: Instagram and Twitter. Check out posts from people that have already eaten there and get a peak of what the food and restaurant looks likes.
- Apps: Use apps like OpenTable to read reviews or book a reservation. In OpenTable you can narrow your search by price point, location, and key words like “foodie.” Yelp is a good resource to cross reference food reviews or also see pictures diners have posted.
- TV & Magazines: Support your favorite celebrity chefs or check out a place Guy Fieri stopped by on his way through Flavortown. If you are traveling, grab a food magazine at the airport and see what’s hot now in your area.