For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using my over the door resistance band gym system that Pat and I brought back from the States for a mere $26 in order to get fitter. So far, I’ve noticed firmer arms, a flatter tummy and a teeny-tiny bit of slimming in the legs (we’ll get there!). But why? Why am I feeling like I need to do this whole exercise thing – because let’s face it I’d rather not.
In passing, I mentioned that my mom was feeding Pat and I like 8 meals a day when visiting in the US, which was a total exaggeration and still accurate at the same time. I was lucky to have not put on any weight in Malaysia, but the USA was throwing food at me left and right, and it was food that I both love and hadn’t eaten in years. I couldn’t say no.
This, my friends, is why I am exercising:
From the moment we landed in the USA, we were on a mission to eat some Mexican food, especially since I have been ranting and raving about the quality of it all compared to what’s available in Australia for, oh, 2.5 years! We hit up Chipotle a couple of times, had a birthday Mexican celebration in Los Angeles and enjoyed the biggest burrito ever (along with chips and salsa) after landing in Chicago. Oh sweet free chips and salsa Gods, you rock.
Steaks, Burgers & Barbecues
America does really good beef, and the burgers… okay, Australia, you really need to take notes. A burger is beef, all beef… 100% ground beef and not that meatloaf-type crap you get here Down Under (I’m sorry, Oz, it’s just not what I like). We enjoyed amazing burgers back home, and Pat even got this double patty stuffed burger that was pretty damn amazing.
We got our steak and potato fill by eating at both Texas Roadhouse and Logans in East Peoria (Texas Roadhouse was better). As for barbecue, we had some pulled pork at Sheffield’s in Chicago and at Famous Dave’s in Peoria.
Big American Dinners
I guess people usually only have big turkey dinners around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s my favorite meal of all time. In fact, my mom has actually cooked me a big turkey dinner on my birthday before because I love it so much. Obviously she cooked it for us when we visited.
We had a couple of cookouts (I made Pat say “cookout” instead of “barbie”) with all the trimmings like potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans and the like. And, did you know that the best fried chicken in East Peoria is found at Wal-Mart? Yep, we ate that, too.
From the cheesy stuffed pizza at Giordano’s to the thin crust of Davis Brothers, we had our fill of pizza (although is it really ever enough?). There are so many things I’d like to bring back to Australia with me, and one of them is a nice variety of pizza chains.
Unique Restaurant Experiences
In San Francisco, we ate at The Stinking Rose, a restaurant that makes all its food with garlic. I’m talking garlic fontina fondue, garlic ravioli and 40 clove garlic chicken (served with 40 cloves!). In Chicago, we partook in a Russian tasting extravaganza at the Russian Tea Time. Mmm… beef stroganoff.
There were seriously so many places on my to-eat list in the States that we couldn’t do them all. When it came to fast food, we did manage to hit up Quiznos, Wendy’s (thanks to Rebecca in L.A.) and also Arby’s for the roast beef!
Habanero doritos. Peanut butter M&Ms. Spicy funyuns. Pop tarts. I think we were too full from our meals to even want to buy snack foods, so these are all we got I do believe.
The whole soup, salad and sandwich type establishments in America are quite popular, and I realize now how much I miss them. There’s nothing like a sandwich and a cup of soup when the weather is cool to make you feel all warm and healthy inside. We ate at a few places like this around the country and loved every bit of it.
Besides the birthday cake that was forced upon us at home, we had our fair share of goodies while in America. I finally got Pat to taste what a real s’more is like thanks to a lovely cookie-cracker known as the graham cracker. We picked up some healthy dessert in Chicago — some frozen yogurt (please disregard the flabby arm below). My mom also bought us some peanut butter cup ice cream bars.
While sitting at the slot machines in Vegas, I would request white russians from the waitress. When walking down the street there, I preferred my giganto-sized margaritas, those of which also helped when watching Criss Angel perform. We tried out several microbrews while in Chicago, and Pat took it upon himself to down a few pitchers of $3 PBR in my hometown. It is so easy to forget that alcohol has calories.
To top it all off, this post doesn’t even talk about the buffets we devoured in Vegas. No, I’ll let you read about that over on this post.
Wow, we ate so, soooo much food in America!