CHOW Tour: North America RSS

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Vacation Tamales

A hearty south-of-the-border “Hola” from here in sunny Mexico, where, resplendent in cheap sunglasses, I’m about to hunker down for a vacation week spent entirely prone on sand.

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Chow Tour Redux (or, Lots and Lots of Millet)

I’ve been back home for a while now, steaming millet, leeks, and organic Swiss chard, and generally recovering. It’s time to wrap up nine weeks on the road, and to account for nearly 8,000 miles driven (plus many more flown) and several hundred restaurant

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The Enchanted Misty Mountain of Tea and Excrement

After several days spent unbudgingly horizontal, I’ve segued from my slimming diet of Gatorade and Pedialyte to a heartier regimen of BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).

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Big Dog Down

A horrendous stomach flu is ravaging the West Coast, and my digestive tract is ground zero.

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Adopted by Fijians, Moved by Koreans, and a Defense of Apple Pan

It’s showtime at Fiji Market (10305 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California; 310-559-9218).

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Chowus Interruptus En Route to L.A.

We’re off to California! Swimmin’ pools! Movie stars! (cue banjo music). The goal had been to more or less do the continent in a little over two months, but that proved impossible. I couldn’t move faster than I did and still find finds.

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Magical Lebanese Time Portal Bakery

Boulangerie Zaatar (151 rue de Castelnau Est, Montreal, Quebec; 514-274-4775) may be the find of the week. To all appearances, it’s a generic little Middle Eastern bakery. The owner, a sad-eyed older Lebanese gentleman, keeps an extremely low profile.

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Astounding Macrobiotic (Not a Typo!)

Aux Vivres (4631 Boulevard St. Laurent, Montreal; 514-842-3479) is both macrobiotic and enormously delicious. That’s a radical statement, I know.

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Refreshed Troops Wallow in French Fries

This was a day of transition, as one group of overfed, exhausted, cranky chowhound friends headed home and was replaced by fresh, zippy, happy eaters.

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A Meal in Pitch Blackness

I thought I’d read somewhere that this hotel had an 80-foot water slide. This was a huge draw for all of us, particularly Joel, who had his heart set on splashy fun.

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Montreal: The Chowhound’s Promised Land

I intend to finish off this leg of the tour with several days in Montreal, one of the world’s best food cities. Here’s what I wrote about Montreal a few years ago …

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36 Sublime Hours in Newfoundland

First of all, it’s pronounced “New-fund-LAND.” The standard mnemonic offered by locals is, “You must underSTAND we’re in NewfoundLAND!” One cannot overstate the importance of not merely stressing that last syllable, but of more or less clobbering it.

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Peanut Butter Burgers, French Fry Titans, and Bye-Bye “Streak”

I’m staying at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, a terrific and underpriced new hotel with surprisingly good room service and a fun, lively bar. Best of all, it’s right on the waterfront, an irresistible part of Halifax.

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Halifax: Faux Turks and Primordial Corned Beef Hash

Cape Breton Island is shut tight for the season, so I’ll be hunkering down in Halifax for the next few days. If I’d arrived just a week or two earlier, there’d have been many more Maritime options.

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A Tale of Two Restaurants (or, Yin ‘n’ Yang in Nova Scotia)

I’ve traversed Nova Scotia, trading the bucolic salty south shore for the bucolic salty north, where I scored a surprisingly inexpensive room ($125 Canadian) at hoity-toity Blomidon Inn (195 Main Street, Wolfville, Nova Scotia; 877-542-2291).

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Dashing Up to New Brunswick

My logistical skills have been falling well short of Prussian military standard. Assigned to, essentially, meander for weeks on end, I’ve lost my organizational chops.

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What Is Real and What Is Shtick?

I could relate to most of Maine, but once I reached Machias, way up in the Down East—where stews are soups, stew/soups consist of magical thin milk, and strawberry pie is deliciousness from another galaxy—I started feeling very off the map.

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Belfast and Up North to Down East

Virginia may be for lovers, but Maine is for cookie lovers. I haven’t had a bad cookie since I entered the state, and, sure enough, the ones at Weaver’s Bakery (101 Main Street, Belfast, Maine; 207-338-3540) were charming.

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Midcoast Maine in Pain (and Big Score in Damariscotta)

Heading northward, I stopped at the legendary Red’s Eats (Main and Water streets, Wiscasset, Maine; 207-882-6128). They’re a landmark for lobster rolls, though opinion seems extraordinarily divided.

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Portland’s Greek Pizza Sleeper, Plus Stealth Somali

Sometimes the biggest finds are obvious places that are undervalued by locals. No one in Portland doesn’t know Bill’s Pizza (177 Commercial St., Portland, Maine; 207-774-6166). But no one in Portland seems to fully recognize the majesty of their pies.

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Before and After Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I didn’t have a chance to eat in Portsmouth itself. All chowconnaissance was executed on my way in and out of town. I’ve merged both legs into this one gigunda report.

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