All posts filed under: Road trip

New York City | DadCooksDinner.com

The Big Apple (Road Trip Week 3)

New York City was hot, noisy, dirty…and full of energy, people, and fun things to do. We went to the top of the Empire State Building at night, and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on a gray and overcast day. We toured the Whitney museum and MOMA, piloted remote control sailboats in Central Park, and visited the somber memorial for 9/11. We enjoyed street cart kabobs and chili dogs, modern Sichuan at Café China, flat whites at Birch Coffee, the fried yard bird at Red Rooster Harlem, prosecco and rosé at Eataly, pop up food trucks on Broadway, table side guacamole at Rosa Mexicano, and a last day in the city breakfast at Balthazar. Now, after weeks on the road, we are relaxing on the shores of Lake Erie. I love traveling – but sometimes I need a vacation from my vacation.

Thank You for the Maine Suggestions (Road Trip Week 2)

Thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions for Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, and Acadia national park. We had a fantastic time, even if the hike up the north ridge of Cadillac Mountain almost finished me. Favorites from the trip Lobsters, lobsters everywhere! Lobster rolls were on the menu no matter where we went. My favorite meal was the whole steamed lobster and mussels at Thurston’s Lobster Pound…but it was hard to go wrong with any of the seafood choices on Mount Desert Island The Island Cruise with Bass Harbor Cruises was the highlight of the trip. I learned a ton about lobster fishing, the islands of Downeast Maine, and got some fantastic photos of the seals lounging on the rocks. Highly recommended. Popovers at Jordan Pond restaurant in the park. Unfortunately, it was raining when we visited, so the view from the terrace was gray with low cloud cover. The popovers made up for the dreary view – they were massive and airy. Thanks again to everyone for the food suggestions. Once again, …

Montreal and Maine Suggestions? (East Coast Road Trip 2017)

DadCooksDinner is on the road again! My day job gives me a month long sabbatical every five years. It’s that time again, so I’m using it to take a trip out East. I have two teenagers and a pre-teen. (How did that happen so fast?) So I think this is our last chance for a while to take a big family road trip. I’ve never been to Maine, so we are heading there to spend a week at Acadia national park. We’re going by way of Montreal for a few days (my wife’s request), to Maine, and then driving down the east coast to New York City (the kids request.) After that, we’re heading to my family’s cottage on Lake Erie, to hang out by the beach until the end of the month. Why am I telling you all this? Two reasons: Posting will be spotty for the month of July. I have some posts ready to go, but not enough for the whole month, and posting three times a week is probably not going …

Behind the scenes Time Lapse - Chili Facebook Live Video with Certified Angus Beef | DadCooksDinner.com

Behind the Scenes Time Lapse – Chili with Certified Angus Beef

I know I’ve been talking a lot about my friends over at Certified Angus Beef (thanks again for sponsoring me! Check out hashtag #BestBeef!), but I still have to share this. I shot a time lapse video of my Facebook Live Chili video with Chef Michael Ollier from last week. Right before we started the live video, I put my phone on time lapse mode, out of the way in the corner. I love the quick “fly on the wall” video of what it looks like to do a live shoot: Behind the Scenes Time Lapse – Chili Facebook Live with Certified Angus Beef [YouTube.com] Thanks again to chef Michael Ollier, chef Gavin Pinto, videographer Matt Pinto, and everyone else at Certified Angus Beef for inviting me down and letting me talk chili. I had a great time!

#BestBeef Virtual Chili Cook-Off at Certified Angus Beef | DadCooksDinner.com

Watch me talk chili with Certified Angus Beef on Facebook Live!

Special thanks to my friends at Certified Angus Beef® Brand for sponsoring DadCooksDinner. Score Big with Chili and Game Day Appetizers! Don’t miss Certified Angus Beef® brand LIVE on Facebook this Thursday, Feb. 2 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Chef Michael Ollier and friends will share chili ideas and beefy appetizers for the big game. He’ll also announce the winner of the brand’s #BestBeef Virtual Chili Cook-off. “…and friends…” means me! I’ll be broadcasting live on Facebook from Wooster, OH – home to Certified Angus Beef – and we’ll be talking about chili, my first great culinary love. Stop by Certified Angus Beef’s Facebook page on Thursday, Feb 2, at 12:30PM EST to watch my Facebook Live debut – or check it out later; the replay will be in their Videos section. Also, you still have a couple of days to enter the Instagram chili cook-off: There’s still time to enter your homemade chili in the #BestBeef Chili Cook-off! Just post your chili photo on Instagram with hashtags #BestBeef and #certifiedangusbeef – enter by Wednesday, Feb 1(at 11:59pm ET). …

Japanese Market Square | DadCooksDinner.com

Winter Break Road Trip: Tensuke Market in Columbus, OH

My good friend Rhonda fell in love with the Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking cookbook, and wanted to stock up on Japanese ingredients at Tensuke Market in Columbus, OH. A road trip to a Japanese market? How could I say no? It was a fantastic little market – packed with people for their end of year sale. It was a truly a Japanese market. Most of the Asian markets near me are Chinese or Korean. They try to cover all of Asia, and I can get the ingredients I need, but you can tell where their focus is. This market was unapologetically Japanese. As an example: Tensuke Market has the best Sake selection I’ve ever seen. I threw myself on the mercy of their Sake expert, and picked up a few bottles, hoping to learn more. (I mean, hey, I have to do research for the blog, right?) Rhonda and I wandered around, scrutinizing packages to see if they were on her list. I picked up a few things I needed to re-stock …

Road Trip: Seattle

Road Trip: Seattle

I’m on a road trip! Which, this time around, is a euphemism for “At a conference for the day job.” An army marches on its stomach. – Napoleon Bonaparte I travel to see new places, meet new people…oh, who am I kidding. I travel to eat. Seattle has a fantastic food scene, and I have too many suggestions to do all of them justice. But I’ve been eating a lot! And taking pictures! So I have to show them to you now! (Pulls out slide show, sees everyone edging towards the exits, reluctantly puts slide show away.) OK, how about just a few highlights: Caution: Low Flying Fish Watch Out for Low Flying Fish [YouTube.com] My favorite place to visit in Seattle is the Pike Place Market – and not just for the flying fish show at the Pike Place Fish Market. (Though they have a great time, flinging fish around and chatting up the crowd. Check ’em out. And get an oyster shooter while you’re there. Or a whole sockeye – they ship anywhere in …

Salt Lake City Food Tips? #EFC2016

I’m off to Salt Lake City this week for the  Everything Food Conference. I have never been to Utah or Salt Lake City, and I’m looking to my readers for suggestions.  Anyone out there been to SLC? If I have some a free afternoon or evening, where should I go, and what should I do? Any local food specialities I need to seek out? Thank you, Mike

A Farewell to West Point Market

West Point Market was an Akron institution. Unfortunately, I’m using the past tense – West Point closed its doors last week. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the closing sale. I’m sure there were some great deals, especially on wine, but It felt too much like scavengers picking over the bones. Wine is what brought me to West Point Market. I got into wine around the same time I moved to Akron, twenty years ago. Everyone said to check out West Point – and they were absolutely correct. I bought my first mixed case there, with the help of their salespeople, and was back for many more cases after that. The summer after we moved in, I got a grill for my new house, and that was the start of my love affair with food. Back then, for an enthusiastic home cook, West Point was the only game in town. Specialty ethnic ingredients? Le Creuset cookware? Exotic cheese? Prime beef? It was my go-to destination for a few years. This blog’s first big boost …

Road Trip: The Big Harvest Potluck 2014

Why are you calling yourself a “D list blogger”? The salad line stretches out in the shadow of an ancient tree. It’s lunchtime at The Big Harvest Potluck, and Cheryl Sternman Rule is giving me a swift kick in the pants about my attitude. Why do that to yourself? Who are you comparing yourself to? Cheryl is a skilled interrogator, asking questions that make me think. And she is not pleased with my answers. After slowing down and listening to myself, neither am I. Why do you write about food? What moves you? Are you just doing it for page views, or do you have other reasons? I could spend the rest of this post doing what I normally do after a conference – rambling on about the fantastic location, the fun things we did (balloon rides!), the great speakers, the wonderful people I met. But… Not today. All you have is your perspective. Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of Canal House Cooking gave us an assignment. Take one apple from this crate, and take …

Blogger Duck University 2014 at Maple Leaf Farms

This is the story about my trip to Blogger Duck University 2014 at Maple Leaf Farms. Maple Leaf Farms paid for the classes, my meals, and my lodging. The thoughts are my own. Phew, now I’m good with the FCC. Duck Fact: Only the female duck quacks! I love duck. It’s one of my favorite things to order at a restaurant, usually as sliced duck breast with crackling crisp skin, or duck leg confit, shredded and melting in your mouth. Rotisserie duck with drip pan potatoes is one of my favorite recipes on this website. Duck fat is marvelous – it has a rich flavor that no other fat has. Potatoes cooked in duck fat are one of the best things to eat, ever, hands down. My problem: while I love duck, I’m a duck novice. I know how to pan sear a duck breast, I can make a decent duck leg stew, and like I said, I love my rotisserie roast duck. But I feel like I’m in a duck rut, stuck for new …

Road Trip: Frank Cianciola and Son

[UPDATE 2016-11-11: Cianciola’s is closed. They were bought out and shut down by a larger food distributor. Darn.] Cianciola’s is an Italian food importer and distributor in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood. Their main business is supplying local pizzerias and Italian restaurants in the Akron area, but they are open to the public, and if you’re looking for a good deal on imported Italian ingredients, they’re definitely worth a visit. Now, Cianciola’s doesn’t look like much. The building is a, square, windowless warehouse – see the picture at the top of the post. I drove past it, not realizing it was my destination until Google Maps told me to do a U-Turn. The public section is in a corner of the warehouse – they were loading pallets of flour while I was there. And, the stock is limited. This is not a gourmet emporium, looking to supply your every possible Italian food need. So, why go there? Because what they have is carefully chosen, good quality, and sold at warehouse pricing to the general public. Their …

Road Trip: Weber Grills – Palatine Factory

July 4th kettle(Painted for display, not for cooking) I’m a Weber fanatic. I’ve always loved to eat, but cooking came to me later in life. When we bought our house, I had to have a grill for the back yard, and I asked my Dad to get me a Weber kettle as a housewarming gift. That’s when I dove head first into the world of food. My Weber collection currently stands at 5: a Performer (love the side table) as my primary charcoal grill, with a 26.75″ One-touch gold for entertaining and larger groups. I have a massive Weber Summit 650 for the convenience of gas and for cold weather grilling, and a Weber Q for tailgating and picnics at the park. And my original kettle is in my garage, disassembled and stacked in a neat pile. It goes on road trips a couple of times a year, to our family cottage and my parent’s house for Thanksgiving. Why am I telling you all this? Because, thanks to a connection with the people at Weber …

Road Trip – Seasons of My Heart Cooking School in Oaxaca, Mexico

Susana Trilling’s cooking school, Seasons of My Heart, has been on my bucket list for a while. I learned about it years ago; probably from Rick Bayless, but maybe from Susana’s cookbook, which I picked up at the library. Oaxaca is acclaimed as the best food city in Mexico, famous for its seven different types of mole, the complex sauce based on chiles, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. And Susana is the expert on Oaxacan cooking. I would occasionally check the Seasons of My Heart website, looking at the list of classes, dreaming about an escape to Mexico. (Especially this time of year – in February, highs in the 80’s sound fantastic, and that was before this brutal winter.) Late last year, I saw it – Susana was hosting a week long chef’s intensive tour of Oaxaca for culinary professionals. A whole week? In a cooking school in Mexico? I’m so there. Seasons of my Heart has lots of shorter, less intense classes; half day classes, Wednesday market trips with cooking lessons, and week long tours that aren’t …

Road Trip – Market District – Grand Opening in Green, OH

Market District is a new type of grocery store. Start with a normal Giant Eagle store. Add a wide selection of specialty and gourmet cooking supplies. Include a cafe, and a food court with a wok station, sushi bar, pizzeria, and wine bar. Then stand back, and try to avoid being trampled by the lucky people in Green, Ohio, as they rush in to see what happened to their neighborhood grocery store. I read about Market District stores opening in our area, and I was itching to go see one. I’m a sucker for specialty cooking ingredients. When I was invited to the grand opening of the Market District in Green, Ohio, I jumped at the chance. I was part of a group of local bloggers – we arrived at 8AM, connected to the store wi-fi, grabbed our complimentary cups of coffee, and warmed up the digital cameras. We were ready for the tour. Market District Green 1700 Corporate Woods Parkway Uniontown, OH 44685 Open 24 hours Website: MarketDistrict.com Phone: (330) 896-4456   Dinner is …

Road Trip: Le Creuset Outlet Store

Never trust a pot you can lift.– Tom Johnson Back in the late 90’s, when I was first starting out as a home cook, I stumbled across a Le Creuset outlet store in St. Augustine, Florida. I bought a ton of cookware. OK, maybe not an actual ton, but I’m sure it felt that way to the UPS guy when the boxes arrived at my house. Now, I got crazy, and bought some things I shouldn’t have – enameled cast iron Windsor pot, anyone? – But there were a couple of pieces I really loved. Like Big Blue, my 7 Quart round dutch oven, and the smaller 3.5 quart red oven that comes out every time I make no knead bread. For a while, I’ve wanted to pick up some more enameled cast iron, especially some of the larger pots. That 7 quart dutch oven is a little small when I’m making a big pot of chili. But the prices for large pieces? Yowch. I love Le Creuset, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend …

All Clad Factory Sale Summer 2013

Looking for information about the latest All-Clad factory sale? Here are my All-Clad posts. All-Clad Factory Sale: Summer 2013*The dates for this summer’s All-Clad factory sale have been announced, so I’m posting a heads-up for my readers… All-Clad’s factory is located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Twice a year, on the first weekend in June and December, All-Clad holds a factory seconds sale at the Washington County Fair and Expo Center. Here’s the announcement from All-Clad’s Facebook page: PLAN TO SAVE BIG! Put the All-Clad Factory Outlet Sale on your calendar now! Cookware, bakeware, electrics & gourmet accessories will be offered at exclusive prices for 2 days only. Select All-Clad Metalcrafters, Krups USA & Rowenta products will be included, with up to 70% off factory seconds! All-Clad Factory in Washington County Fairgrounds, Washington PA.Friday, May 31st from 9am-7pmSaturday, June 1st from 9am-4pm Location: Washington County Fair and Expo Center:2151 North Main StreetWashington, PA 15301Phone: 724-225-7718Website: WashingtonFair.org This is about a two hour drive from the Akron area. You get prices from 40% to 70% off on factory …

Road Trip: West Side Market

Cleveland’s West Side Market, on the corner of West 25th and Lorain Avenue, is one of the few public markets that remained open during the dark days when grocery store giants roamed the land, crushing everything in their…ahem, sorry, got carried away there. The West Side Market opened in 1912, and celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. My own history with the market goes back to high school…when I ignored it every day as I trudged by. But I’m not here to talk about history. I’m here to talk about food. And, oh, my, this is a food paradise. The market is made up of more than 100 small businesses. There are butchers and bakers, produce vendors, cheese sellers, and seafood markets, all in the same building. If I lived any closer, I’d be visiting every week, but the market is just a little too far away for regular shopping. I make a trip up every few months, to visit and stock up on things I can’t find locally. The market had a fire a …

Road Trip: Food Warehouses

Part of my haul from the food warehouse A GFS Marketplace just opened in my neighborhood. I’m excited; this means I don’t have to make a cross-town trip to stock up my kitchen. Now, I’m a buy local kind of guy. I try to support the food businesses around me. I shop at my local farmers market, and I’m a member of a CSA. I’m the kind of person who worries about sustainable seafood and food miles. But I’m also trying to balance my food budget with a family of five. I make an occasional trip to a warehouse store to stock up on bulk items. It helps keep my costs down. That is, as long as I don’t have impulse purchases. Like Chris Rock’s famous “five gallons of mayonnaise!”, I can be lured in by a deal that I later regret. GFS is the store that opened near me; they’re a food warehouse that is open to the public. Traditional warehouse stores (Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s) carry some of these items some of …