America knows best: My USA food diary

After a little over a month of exploring the United States with my best friend and main man, I’ve come to the realisation that Americans know their food, they know their service and they know nothing about healthy portion sizes…

I was so overwhelmed at the beginning of our trip, my breakfast omelet was larger than a practical sized dinner plate and it came with an entourage of sides – for $15, including unlimited coffee. I felt like I was being presented with some sort of food challenge every morning. Luckily, we soon caught on as to how to order, how to ask for dressing on the side and how amazing proper drip coffee could be. You have to understand that in Australia everything is largely set in stone, there’s no adding this or removing that from a meal – you get what you’re given and you leave breakfast with no change from a fifty. It’s hard to understand unless you’ve eaten on both sides of the tracks.

But seriously, we had some of the most fantastic food in the US, below is a little sample of some of our highlights..and forget fine dining (it’s overrated), we food-coma’d out on some of the most authentic, most humble of dishes there are, and it was worth every extra calorie. So here’s to America, thanks for believing that a 12-egg omelet has a place in this world.

So below I have detailed some of my foodie highlights from the US of A. Enjoy…

  • Franklin Barbeque, Austin, Texas

Oh-my-meatiness. This place was a serious find and I am so glad that we waited in line for three hours (yes, you heard correct, three long and hungry hours) for this melt in your mouth BBQ. They say Texans know how to BBQ and Franklin’s sure didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t just about the meat either, even the experience in the line waiting anxiously to get our hands on the carefully prepared meat-fest going on inside, we got to hang out with some great people, tell stories and learn more about American culture. All up it was an absolute highlight of our trip.

Franklin Barbeque

  • Katz’s Delicatessen, New York

We were both dying to get to Katz’s while in New York and on our first day in town we ventured on the Subway to the infamous Jewish deli. We entered, were handed pink tickets and watched in earnest as we tried to determine what to order, how to order and how not to order one of everything – it all sounded so good but we stayed true to our mission and ended up with Reuben sandwiches, Matzo ball soup and of course, pickles – because no American meal is complete without one.

Katz's Deli

Oh my Reuben

  • Pizza by the slice, Sacco Pizza, New York

It’s one of those New York foods that can either be done well or easily be done sub-par, but at Sacco’s we were treated to delicious pepperoni pizza. I didn’t think I would be a fan, but it only took a sprinkle of Parmesan, dried herbs and a few dried chili flakes to turn me into an absolute fan. Needless to say we went back for seconds…and thirds on the way home from the pub.

Sacco Pizza

  • Bagels, Ess-a-Bagel, New York

Bagels are everywhere in New York – and so they should be – packed full of whatever goodness you want, these morning starters cater to your every desire. He opted for ‘erb cream cheese (apparently “herb” doesn’t translate so well with an Aussie accent), smoked salmon, tomato and lettuce on an everything bagel…and I got cream cheese, smoked ham and tomato on a toasted onion bagel. They were simple, awesome and so super filling.


  • Muffaletta, Napoleon House, New Orleans

A humble sandwich packed with meaty goodness and homemade olive spread. We got ours alongside a serve of seafood gumbo. If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans, plan a visit to Napoleon House, you won’t regret it.

  • Beignets, Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans

The beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with icing sugar. Ollie has not been able to stop obsessing over them since we started planning our trip in April 2014, so for him it was a real highlight to return to the place which made him fall in love with these messy delights when he was a young boy visiting family in New Orleans. I am now too a fan, won over with their soft texture and delicious sugar-hit which kept me buzzing throughout the morning (but perhaps that was the coffee?).

photo 4

  • Seafood chowder, Pier 39, San Francisco

Sourdough bread bowl, creamy seafood packed chowder, a side of Tabasco covered oysters and beers. Does it get much better on a hot Summer’s day? San Francisco know their seafood, and you can’t miss the chowder – it’s cheap, tasty and fills you up.



  1. Pingback: The post-holiday guilt (and some healthy pancakes) | date with a plate

  2. Pingback: Pulled Pork | date with a plate.

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