A little over a week ago, I departed on a road trip with two lovely ladies, Aida and Lillian, as we headed towards Austin, TX for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. (IACP for short!) We met early one Saturday morning, picked up our rental car and headed out to do the food obsessed version of Thelma and Louise.
We carefully mapped out each stopping point and picked different restaurants and food items that we had to try and compare across states. It’s safe to say that we consumed more than our fair share of avocados, tortillas, and cheese on the first part of the trip. And then as we made our way closer to Texas we moved onto real Texas BBQ and Tex Mex cuisine. We also decided half way through the trip to take a 300 mile detour to Marfa, TX. Wait, whaaaaat! You haven’t heard of Marfa? It’s kinda one of the most amazing places I’ve been too and let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions we made – great food, fascinating town, and I would totally go back again – but more on that later.
First stop of the trip was Palm Springs. We opted for Cheeky’s Restaurant right on the main strip in Palm Springs. They have great seasonal and local fair so we loaded up on salads, agua frescas and chilequiles of course, before we hoped back on the road for Arizona.
I have to say that stopping in the Scottsdale area of AZ was one of the highlights of our road trip. Not only was it a semi-homecoming, as I am an AZ girl at heart, but we got to visit with one of my bestest friends AND have a great dinner at The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale.
The next morning we were up bright and early as we headed north to Sedona. Have you been to Sedona? You should totally go. It’s breathtaking and calm and everything seems to still while you are there. Not to mention the red rock…
After a quick pit stop for lunch we high tailed it outta there and drove through the most ridiculous wind storm in the history of wind storms to make it to Santa Fe. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to New Mexico in time to stop at the Gruet winery, but we made up for lost time by ordering a bottle while out to dinner. Trust me – if you like the bubbly drinks - you will like this!
The next morning, our road trip fairy godmother, Penny, suggested that we head over to Cafe Pasqual’s for breakfast. And boy am I glad that we did. After the wait to get into this darling little restaurant, we had some original and festive New Mexican style breakfast plates.
The Papas Fritas were my favorite of the day – a bowl of Home Fries topped with Red and Green Chile layered with melted Jack cheese, scrambled eggs and guacamole (I mean obviously I eat guacamole for breakfast – did you expect anything less?)
From Santa Fe we headed south to the Carlsbad Caverns but we made a quick pit stop on the way…. can you guess where?
Roswell of course. With a quick photo shoot with some aliens and a stop to the UFO museum, we were back on the road.
The Caverns were breathtaking to say the least…
After touring the caves in Carlsbad we headed over the state line and into Texas. We opted to make a 300 mile detour to Marfa, TX for lunch because we are awesome and that’s just what we do. Marfa was a complete delight. If you’ve had the pleasure to go then you totally know what I’m talking about. And if you ever find yourself roaming across the state of Texas, specifically the western region, be sure to plan a stop in Marfa.
Marfa is a small community, probably not more than 3000 people, located in the middle of nowhere Texas. It’s a town built on minimalistic design and filled with passionate artists and one kick ass food trailer. The Food Shark is where we stopped to eat lunch for a much needed dose of Mediterranean inspired cuisine.
Not only were we happy to eat some greens, after stuffing our faces with chile and other delicious New Mexican cuisine prior to Marfa, but the Food Shark had one of the most amazing Falafels I’ve had in my life. It was paired with fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, tahini, yogurt and harissa sauces on a bed of hummus = heaven!
And the fatoush salad with romaine lettuce, cucumber, red onion, fresh mint and kalamata olives, pita chips, sheep’s milk feta, falafel, with tahini sauce and yogurt totally hit the spot. I can’t wait to make this for myself at home.
From Marfa we headed toward San Antonio – our last stop before Austin.We loaded up on some Tex-Mex food, tlayuda to be exact, a few good margs and then hit the hotel since we needed to rest up for the start of IACP the following day. And stay tuned for a round up of our take on tlayuda as Aida, Lillian and I will be posting recipes soon.
Early the next morning we departed San Antonio had a big dance party in the car as we headed north to Austin for IACP where we were excited to see old friends, meet new ones, eat Texas BBQ, and go on a taco/tequila bike crawl…
And that my friends will be another post on another day.
Tags: aida, austin, cuisine, food, food and drink, food items, food lover, food road trips, foodie road trip, International Association of Culinary Professionals, marfa, mexican cuisine, palm spring, presidio county, rental cars, road, road trip, taco, Texas, tlayuda, trips