My 10 Most Memorable Meals while Traveling

Food is always a big part of travel. After all, what you are eating is often defined by where you are and the experience of eating it is often one of the most memorable parts of being there.  Below are 10 of the most memorable meals I’ve enjoyed while traveling. Be prepared because this list is kinda all over the place. Just being on this list doesn’t necessarily imply gourmet-quality food.  I have items on here that could be considered gourmet and I have items on here that have cost a couple dollars and were eaten on the street. But everything here is incredibly delicious and special to me because eating it wasn’t just about the food itself, it was about the experience. I would happily return to any of these places just to eat these meals again.

Before we get started a couple of disclaimers.  1) These foods are in no particular order and 2) I have included only foods you can purchase on this list – therefore none of my Mom’s or wife’s delicious cooking was eligible for inclusion.

10. Street Barbecue at Mamboz Corner Restaurant (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
Traveling by myself in Tanzania, I came across this nocturnal pop-up restaurant at the corners of Morogoro Road and Libya Street. The entire restaurant exists outside with only a cash register indoors. Set up each night the restaurant sprawls into the street with smoke billowing up from the barbecue grills, vats of meat marinating in bbq sauce and picnic tables filled with happy customers.

Mamboz Street BBQ in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Mamboz Street BBQ in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

9. Chicken Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce at The Lansdowne (Sydney, Australia)
I know what you’re thinking. Chicken schnitzel? Seriously? In Australia, this is typical pub food and any descent pub will serve it. That may be true, but there’s nothing like The Lansdowne. Maybe it’s because of all the memories I have eating there with amazing friends during grad school, or maybe it’s because it’s just that delicious.

Chicken Schnitzel with Chips and Mushroom Sauce at The Lansdowne in Sydney, Australia

Chicken Schnitzel with Chips and Mushroom Sauce at The Lansdowne in Sydney, Australia

8. Grilled Lobsters at La Cocoteraie at Le Méridien Barbarons (Mahe, Seychelles)
This is one of the most special and meaningful meals I’ve ever had. Chandra and I ended our honeymoon in the Seychelles staying at Le Meridien. The service was so over the top. At lunch, they asked us what we’d like for dinner so that they could prepare it. When we said “lobster”, they caught them fresh and grilled them especially for us. We enjoyed the meal right on the beach at a very private table. An unforgettable way to kick-off our marriage.

Grilled lobsters at the La Cocoteraie restaurant at Le Méridien Barbarons

Grilled lobsters at the La Cocoteraie restaurant at Le Méridien Barbarons

7. Fresh Cannolis at a Street Bakery Near Teatro Politeama (Palermo, Sicily)
Chandra and I took a pilgrimage to Sicily to visit the towns where my ancestors were born – Mezzojuso and Corleone. While we were walking the streets near Teatro Politeama in Palermo one night, we ducked into a small bakery and ordered some cannolis. What we got made us instantly realize that what we had thought were cannolis our whole lives weren’t cannolis at all…they were garbage. This cannoli rocked our world with its freshly cooked shell and filling. Apparently cannolis aren’t meant to sit in a bakery display window!

Fresh cannoli in Palermo, Sicily

Fresh cannoli in Palermo, Sicily

6. Beef Bunny Chow at The Oriental Restaurant (Durban, South Africa)
Bunny chow is very popular in Indian-influenced Durban. It’s a quarter loaf of bread, hollowed out and filled with the most delicious curry you’ll ever experience.  That’s basically it…you’d think with such a simple recipe there would be excellent bunnies all over Durban. But you’d be wrong. If you don’t go to The Oriental (which is actually located inside mall), you’re a fool. Oh, and wash it down with a strawberry daiquiri.

Bunny Chow at The Oriental in Durban, South Africa

Bunny Chow at The Oriental in Durban, South Africa

5. Paella at Restaurante Rias Altas (Madrid, Spain)
There are probably better places to get paella in Spain.  In fact, this place is really just a standard cafeteria cerveceria that you’d probably walk right past without thinking twice. After surviving Running with the Bulls in Pamplona in 2008 with my brother and our good friend, we drove to Madrid and had dinner at this restaurant.  They say paella never tastes so sweet as is does after you survived running through narrow streets with a half dozen angry bulls chasing you.

Seafood paella at Restaurante Rias Altas in Madrid, Spain

4. Indian Food at The Moghul Room at The Mena House (Giza, Egypt)
The Mena House was originally a hunting lodge situated in the shadow of The Great Pyramids. It was built in 1869 for the Egyptian King Isma’il Pasha. Today it’s a hotel with several restaurants inside. The Moghul Room is one of Cairo’s most celebrated Indian restaurants and also the first place I really, truly had Indian food. Live music and an ambiance rich with palatial exoticism only add to how amazing the food is.  Be sure to have a drink afterwards in The Sultan Lounge.

Indian food at The Moghul Room at The Mena House in Giza, Egypt

Indian food at The Moghul Room at The Mena House in Giza, Egypt

3. Seafood Curries at Lagoon at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Chandra and I still talk about this meal as one of the best we’ve ever had. The seafood here is extremely fresh. After being seated, you walk to a fish market-like atmosphere where you select your dinner as well as the cooking style, spices and flavors you’d like.  The menu boasts Chinese, Thai, Indian and Sri Lankan flavors and any dish can be prepared with whatever seafood you select. The quality is outstanding and after a day of playing with elephants, nothing could be better.

Seafood curries at Lagoon at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Seafood curries at Lagoon at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka

2. Lobster Newberg at The Lobster Pot (Provincetown, Massachusetts)
I couldn’t even guess how many times I’ve had this dish. I’ve been going to Provincetown since I was a kid and to this day, even if we just visit for a weekend, we always eat at The Lobster Pot multiple times. Although everything is delicious, the Lobster Newberg just has that extra something that you can’t quite describe but makes your brain happy. Without a doubt one of the most outstandingly delicious things I have eaten in my life.

Lobster newberg at The Lobster Pot in Provincetown, Massachusetts

Lobster newberg at The Lobster Pot in Provincetown, Massachusetts

1. Fillet Mignon at Freemasons Hotel (Geraldton, Australia)
I’m not really a big steak guy, but I will never forget the most delicious steak I’ve ever had.  After a long trip across Australia, we had arrived in Geraldton, Western Australia.  Here the steak is served totally raw atop a searing hot 450 degree black stone. Slice up the raw meat and let the hot stone cook it to absolute perfection. Each piece is delicious and so perfectly tender you can cut it with a spoon. Most. Delicious. Steak. Ever.

Fillet mignon at Freemasons Hotel in Geraldton, Australia

Fillet mignon at Freemasons Hotel in Geraldton, Australia

By the time I finished writing this post I thought of a half dozen other meals to include here including Mount Steak in Prague and Tao Heung in Hong Kong.  Maybe I’ll have to do a volume two at some point.  What about you?  What is the most memorable meal you’ve had while traveling? Was it only memorable because of the food itself? Let me know in the comments.

Like it? Share it!
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUpon0Buffer this pageEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest8

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “My 10 Most Memorable Meals while Traveling”

  1. April 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    Oh gosh, I have so many. Mexican in the US, deli sandwiches in NYC, BBQ in the south, all sorts of curries in SE Asia and of course almost every meal in Italy

Google+