Road Trip: Food Lover Style

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.

My partners in crime!

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.

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  1. Maris (In Good Taste)

    What an amzing trip with amazing friends and food!

  2. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

    This looks like such a wonderful experience! What a great idea to turn the IACP into a road trip cuisine extravaganza. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your photos!

  3. Taylor

    Wow what an awesome road trip! Delicious looking Tex Mex! Cafe Pasqualโ€™s looks amazing, I will definitely have to make a trip there some time.

  4. Lindsay Lehfeld

    Oh wow this sounds like a blast! So fun meeting y’all, and hopefully you will be convinced to make another roadtrip to Austin soon! If not, i’m happy to meet somewhere in the middle ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Deliciously Organic

    What a fantastic recap! I’ve driven this route (except detouring to Marfa) many times so now I have some food places to add to my list! Are you driving back or flying?

  6. Maria

    Enjoy the trip, food and good company. Papas fritas look a good choice for breakfast!

  7. sheryl

    Wow Gaby, what a great culinary adventure! Thanks for sharing.

  8. jenjenk

    YAY! you guys made it to Marfa! I was really concerned when I didn’t see it on your Map! ๐Ÿ™‚

    What a wonderful trip!! Darn it…we really need to road trip it to Nor Cal, STAT!!!

  9. Lucy Lean

    Love this road trip post – makes you realize quite how vast and beautifully America is – glad you had a good time and got home safely!

  10. Monika

    What a nice adventure. I look forward to the next installment!

  11. [email protected]

    Oh my goodness!! This trip sounds fantastic!!! Was thinking about road tripping to Dallas this summer and nixed the idea but after reading this, I may have to reconsider!!!
    So glad you guys had fun and glad that you are back safe and sound!!

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    What an amazing trip, Gaby!!!!

    HOW FUN! These are the things I would love to do one day after my daughter is a little older and car rides for more than an hour or two are easier ๐Ÿ™‚

    I cannot wait to hear about your IACP recap. I have been stalking everyone’s blogs for updates ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Allison [Girl’s Guide to Social Media]

    What a fun trip! Love this recap.

  14. Jennifer (Savor)

    I am totally jealous and wish I was with the posse. keep the photos coming

  15. marla

    Gaby, I have been waiting all day to read this post….my iPhone would not do it justice. Had to wait for the laptop. I tell ya this is great bedtime reading. Marfa sounds like a very dedicated & interesting detour. Your road buddies sound like a blast. Glad to hear the outcome was better than Thelma & Louise ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see you Friday!

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  17. Kathy – Panini Happy

    What a fabulous trip! I will definitely hit up the Mission the next time I’m in Scottsdale (we go 2-3 times a year). Looks like you girls had an absolute blast!

  18. The Waspy Redhead

    So glad you ate at La Gloria while you were in San Antonio – it’s a great spot! Thanks for sharing your road trip with us!

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  20. [email protected]

    I’m going on a 6 week (!) road trip in a giant circle around the US and the beginning of our trip is similar to yours! Looks like you guys had so much fun. I’m even more excited for mine now ๐Ÿ™‚

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