Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
I recently discovered the merits of the hot toddy. I started drinking them over the December holidays after I woke up one morning with a head cold and sore throat. Although I was skeptical that this centuries old hot drink would help me feel better than a regular cup of tea, I was happy to sip something a little different. I became a convert to its medicinal advantages, however, when after a few sips the rough soreness in my throat dissipated while warmth radiated throughout my body. I’m not kidding here. That hot toddy really did make me feel remarkably better.
Although restaurants that offer well-prepared dishes from organic and/or local ingredients can be difficult to find once you leave your home turf, there are a few wonderful online sites that will do some of the groundwork for you. I spent some time on both TripAdvisor and Chowhound before we left town, and it paid off. The reviews on TripAdvisor led me to some great country inns with fantastic food, and Chowhound helped me find a restaurant or two in Edinburgh that we really loved. We also had the benefit of getting some sound advice from friends in the know — which is always the best option if you have it.
It’s probably not going to surprise anyone to hear that one of the things I love about being in a foreign country is experiencing the food. But this simple pleasure became far more complicated when I started traveling with kids. I have tried to raise daughters with a sense of gastronomic adventure — and for the most part they are willing and excited participants in our culinary outings — but when you’re in a different time zone, all bets are off as the crabby-child factor increases with each 1,000 miles you journey from home.
I recently got married (and changed my name from Kim Goodfriend to Kim Laidlaw, in the off chance that there was any confusion) and my new mother-in-law and her partner, who I’ve only met on one other occasion, came to visit us…all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland. Now, I adore my mother-in-law, but I was […]