Monday, May 24, 2010

Road Trip to the West (Food Blog)

St. Louis, MO --> Tulsa, OK --> Amarillo, TX --> Alburquerque, NM --> Holbrook, AZ --> Phoenix, AZ --> Riverside, CA --> UCLA, CA --> San Marino, CA

My second cousin is getting married this weekend in Irvine, so I road tripped to California with four other friends from WashU. After two days of driving around 2000 miles, we arrived at our destination.

One great thing about Oklahoma is that they have Brahms, a grocery store/ice cream shop/fast food joint. There, I had my first chicken in a while! Since I'm staying at another family's home this summer, I don't want to burden them even more with my vegetarian/pescatarian diet. Therefore, this week I've been building up my body to be able to handle eating meat again. At Brahms, I got their chicken finger salad, which was actually really good. That could just be because I haven't had meat in a while.

In Texas, they have this great BBQ/gas station called Rudy's. I ordered half a chicken, corn on the cob and beans. My friends ordered the brisket and ribs, which they said were the best and moist BBQ they've ever had, better than Pappy's in St. Louis. However, their sauce and beans can't even come close to Pappy's.

Next was New Mexico, which was pretty boring except for two things. 1) Their painted highways. 2) Their Quality Inn in complementary breakfast, which had the best two eggs and pancakes I've ever eaten. I don't understand how pancakes could be that heavenly. They actually kind of tasted like funnel cake.

The next day we set off to drive through Flagstaff in Arizona, but due to 80 mph winds and sand storms, the highway was closed and we had to take a detour further south through Pheonix. The guys were very tempted to watch the Lakers vs Suns game there, but we chugged along.

By 11am, we reached Riverside, where one of our friend's grandparents live. His grandma cooked a magnificent Taiwanese dinner for us with "three cup" chicken, minced meat rice, salmon fish cakes, and asparagus. I'm really glad I adjusted my body to eating meat before this meal. I miss Taiwanese food so much.

After a good night's rest in San Marino, I finally got to eat In-n-Out! I ordered a cheeseburger and animal style fries. Twas as good as I remembered it, but of all the meat that I ate, my body is least accustomed to beef :( From a marketing perspective, In-n-Out is one of the strangest fast food chains because 1) they hardly advertise except by word of mouth and 2) they had people from all ages and ethnicities there. Usually, businesses aim to target a specific demographic or audience, but In-n-Out managed to draw everybody! I'm impressed.

And this is just the beginning.


  1. mmmm... please continue to document your food adventures! i love looking at pictures of food and thinking about food... :)

  2. I remember going to In-N-out for the first time in Arizona. I think part of their marketing strategy is the novelty of the place. Its limited to the western part of the country, so it's not something everyone can have. I think they are careful not to dilute their brand.

  3. that is quite the roadtrip! lots of yums in the tums :]

  4. I LOVE roadtrips! Can't complain about fun on the road with friends. :)