I’ve judged a few chili cook-offs in my day, but I was beyond honored to be asked to judge Southwest Airline’s 39th and Last Chili Cook-off (and no, it’s not really the last, but I’ll explain that later.) Although many tried and true chili recipes have passed these lips, I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting real-deal, authentic Texas chili. When we arrived at the event, held at Sandy Lake Park just outside of Dallas, I met with my fellow judges to learn the rating criteria and The Dish Trip crew got to work filming and tweeting all the fun for us to share.
Sandy Lake is chock-full of traditional fairground fun, from rides and amusement tents to games and, of course, tables of teams offering up their homemade chili. Made with lots of love from the LUV airline, this chili cook-off is a true company event where more than 4,000 employees, families and friends come annually to offer their support. The energy and excitement in the air was just enough to pull me from the lure of the tilt-a-whirl and bumper cars to focus on my judging duties.
As a judge, the first step was to rate each team’s Showmanship through their fun decorations, music, themes and skits. We all had a good laugh over the Communications Department (including the Emerging Media Team) political campaign spoof where opponents Rick Centercut and Pinto Fartenheimer debated the qualities of all-beef chili or chili with beans. The elaborate skit included protesters, folks “occupying” Sandy Lake and even incriminating evidence against a candidate a la Watergate. One of my favorite team displays was from the Maintenance team, which had a covered wagon on display, a cast-iron cauldron, an open grill and a talented band strumming and singing traditional Texan tunes. This is their go-to routine every year, but it was new to this girl. Maybe it was the tourist in me but it won my heart as a traditional Texas display. We left the winner of Best Showmanship up to the attendees and the vote for most applause went to The Communications Department!
Showmanship: Best in Show
1st Place – Culture and Communications
2nd Place – Maintenance Production (Chuck Wagon)
3rd Place – SWAPA
For the second step it was time to get a taste of the chilis. The blind tasting included lots of chilis with various heat levels and combinations. I was told that “real” Texas chili has no beans and should make your spoon stand up. The ones I liked the most had a variety of meats and, according to the teams, they used anything from venison and wild boar to pork. One team even joked that they used fresh roadkill (I hope they were kidding?). The judges weighed in with the following winners:
Top-Five Chili Cooks: Judges’ Choice
1st Place – Maintenance Control
2nd Place – SWAPA
3rd Place – M&E Regulatory Compliance
4th Place – Finance
5th Place – Cabin Services
There are few times in my life that I’d consider it a good idea to eat more than 20 types of chili and then go on amusement park rides. This was one of those few times. One of our Dish Trippers, Danielle, didn’t handle the combo very well (sorry, Danielle!) but it was a great way to end Southwest Airlines’ 39th and Last Chili Cook-off with. This company knows how to party! Kudos to SWA for having such an amazing company culture. It was a true honor to be a part of this incredible annual event.
And just in case you all were wondering, each Cook-off is named the "__th and Last" as a tribute to the first Cook-off. When it started there was serious doubt whether Southwest would still be in business to host another Cook-off, so it was named the "First and Last Chili Cook-off."
Don’t forget to follow DishTrip on Twitter @dishtrip or friend Dish Trip on Facebook. Dish Tip for a Dish Trip? Do you have a favorite city or food destination that we should know about? Click here to shoot us a recommendation.
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The LUV airline adores the City of Brotherly Love, especially since Dish Trip (Southwest Airlines’ food correspondents) are based out of this great beer city. In honor of Southwest’s appreciation for Philadelphia and its vibrant craft beer culture, we are offering up a sudsy contest for a chance to attend the 5 th Annual Philly Beer Week that kicks off on June 1!
Here’s how you enter: Tweet a creative photo and caption to @SouthwestAir and #SWALUVsPhilly to show us how Southwest showers LUV on Philadelphia—the City of Brotherly Love no later than Thurs., May 17 at 5:00 p.m. CT.
Here’s what you’ll win: We’re giving away a VIP prize package to the 5th Annual Philly Beer Week, which includes two roundtrip Southwest Airlines tickets, two nights at The Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia located in the heart of downtown Philly, and a beer-infused brunch for two at Jose Pistola’s. You’ll also win two VIP tickets to the Opening Tap and two VIP tickets to the International Great Beer Expo on June 2.
Photo Courtesy: The Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia
Established in 2008, Philly Beer Week has become the city's pride and joy—the largest beer celebration of its kind in the United States. The entire annual event is to honor “America’s Best Beer-Drinking City,” with the celebrations jump-starting on June 1 with the official Opening Tap celebration–which features a ceremonial “first tapping” by Philly’s Mayor Michael Nutter on the first official keg of the week: Brotherly Suds 3 (a collaboration beer concocted with a band of local brewing comrades). The International Great Beer Expo tasting event on June 2, 2012, will feature an incredible variety of beers from some of the finest U.S. and international breweries–more than 50–while raising money for Philly's Committee To Benefit The Children. Check out this video for a preview of Philly Beer Week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfGjsc4JbFw
Southwest Airlines debuted their service to the city of Brotherly Love on May 09, 2004. What started as 14 daily nonstop flights to 6 cities has now progressed to 33 daily nonstop departures to 13 cities (how cool is that!). Better yet, with Southwest maintaining nine gates in Philadelphia, they’re offering 203 jobs to locals. Many future beer cheers to the LUV airline!
Don’t forget to follow DishTrip on Twitter @dishtrip or friend Dish Trip on Facebook to follow along with their own Philly Beer Week adventures. Dish Tip for a Dish Trip? Do you have a favorite city or food destination that we should know about? Click here to shoot us a recommendation.
“Southwest LUVs Philly” Contest
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING.
VOID IN PUERTO RICO AND WHERE PROHIBITED.
1. How to Enter the Contest
a. Southwest Airlines “Southwest LUVs Philly” ("Contest") will begin at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, May 10, 2012 and will end at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, May 17, 2012.
b. To participate in the Contest, you may enter via the following method:
Tweet a creative photo and caption mentioning @SouthwestAir and #SWALUVsPhilly that illustrates “Southwest’s LUV serving Philadelphia and Philadelphia being known as the City of Brotherly Love." All entries submitted will not be acknowledged or returned. By entering, Entrant grants Sponsor an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free, freely transferable license to use the photo for all purposes, in any and all media, whether now known or hereafter devised. Photos must not be copied. Entries may not violate any third party rights nor use any third-party intellectual property such as logos or background signs. Entrants acknowledge and agree that their entry does not violate any rights of privacy or publicity and that they have the written permission of those appearing in their photo to submit their image. Entries must not disparage; contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, or vulgar; or promote bigotry, racism, hatred or discrimination based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation. Use of any device to automate entry is prohibited. Proof of submission of an entry shall not be deemed proof of receipt by Southwest. Southwest Airlines computer is the official time keeping device for the contest. Southwest is not responsible for entries not received due to difficulty accessing the internet, service outage or delays, computer difficulties or other technological glitches. By entering this Contest, you agree to abide by these Official Rules.
c. One entry per person is permitted. Any person found using multiple email addresses or Twitter accounts to enter will be found to be ineligible.
2. Eligibility Restrictions
a. The contest is open to all legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older and the age of majority in their place of residence as of May 10, 2012. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited or restricted by law. The contest is open to legal residents of the United States and is offered only in the United States. Employees of Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, and the members of their immediate families (spouse and parents, children and siblings and their spouses) and individuals living in the same households of such employees are ineligible to enter or win. The contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
b. Only one winner per household is permitted in any Contest administered by Southwest.
c. Entrants are required to provide truthful information and Southwest will reject and delete any entry that it discovers to be false or fraudulent. Southwest Airlines will disqualify any entry from individuals who do not meet the eligibility requirements, and Southwest Airlines will also delete any entry received from persons under the age of 13 in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
a. One (1) Grand Prize to consist of two (2) roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines from the closest airport to winner's residence served by Southwest Airlines to Philadelphia International Airport good for travel to/from the Philly Beer Week opening weekend taking place on June 1 and June 2, 2012 (subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply), two (2) night-stay, double occupancy at The Four Seasons Philadelphia, and brunch at Jose Pistola’s for the winner and their guest, and two (2) VIP Opening Tap Tickets and two (2) VIP Big Beer Expo Tickets. APV for Southwest Airlines tickets is $400 each ($800 total), APV for two VIP Opening Tap Tickets and Two VIP Big Beer Expo Tickets are $300, APV for brunch at Jose Pistola’s is $100, and APV for two-night Four Seasons Philadelphia hotel stay is $790. The total APV of grand prize is $1,990. Grand Prize tickets are non-transferable, and winner and their guest will be filmed during the Philly Beer Week events for use on Southwest Airlines’ internal and external communication channels. No prize substitutions, cash equivalent, or transfer of prizes permitted except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Prize subject to availability and the Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to award a prize of greater or equal value if the advertised prize is unavailable. Taxes are solely the responsibility of the winner.
b. In the event that a prize or prize certificate is mailed to the winner, it will be with the prior written consent of the winner and therefore, winner assumes the risk of its loss. Sponsor is not responsible for the safe arrival of a prize or prize certificate.
4. Selection of Winners
Decisions of judges with respect to the Contest are final. This is a contest of skill. Your chances of winning depend on how well your entry reflects the judging criteria, as compared to the other entries in the contest.
The judges will be judging on the following qualities:
Creativity and Originality: 20%
Southwest Appeal: 35% photo should reflect our Culture and Fun-LUVing Attitude.
Rules: 20% Read and complied with the official rules.
a. The top photo and story submission will be selected by a panel of judges. You need not be present to win.
b. Potential winner notification will be made by Sponsor via email. Potential winner must execute and return any required affidavit of eligibility and/or liability/publicity release in which they agree to hold Sponsor and its parent, subsidiary and affiliated corporations, and the officers, shareholders, directors, employees, agents and representatives harmless against any and all claims or liability arising directly or indirectly from use of the prize or participation in the Contest. Affidavits will be mailed or emailed based on the potential winner’s preference beginning May 22, 2012. Affidavits must be executed and returned within seven (7) days or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner may be chosen. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the required affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. Upon timely completion of required affidavits and release, winners should expect to receive their prizes in the mail by May 29, 2012.
a. Payments of all federal, state and local taxes are solely the responsibility of the winner. Winner may be required to sign an IRS Form W-9 or the equivalent.
b. By participating in the contest, the winner agrees to have their name, voice, or likeness used in any advertising or broadcasting material relating to this contest without additional financial or other compensation unless prohibited by law, and, where legal, to sign a publicity release confirming such consent prior to acceptance of the prize.
c. Southwest Airlines is not responsible for lost, stolen, mangled, miss-delivered, postage due, illegible, incomplete or late entries, telephone service outages, delays, busy signals, equipment malfunctions and any other technological difficulties that may prevent an individual from entering or claiming a prize.
d. Southwest Airlines, in is sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the entry process, the operation of Southwest Airlines website or is otherwise in violation of the rules. It further reserves the right to cancel, terminate or modify the contest if it is not capable of completion as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention or technical failures of any sort.
e. Sponsor reserves the right to make changes in the rules of the Contest, including the substitution of a prize of greater or equivalent value, which will become effective upon announcement.
f. Failure to comply with the Contest rules may result in a contestant’s disqualification solely at the discretion of the Sponsor.
g. The Sponsor is not responsible for typographical or other errors in the printing, the offering or the administration of the Contest, or in the announcement of a prize.
h. Copies of the written Contest rules and a list of the winner (when complete) are available during regular business hours at Southwest Airlines, Emerging Media P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX 75235-1611. For a winners list, send a self-addressed return envelope, after May 29, 2012. All requests must be received by June 15, 2012.
Sponsor is Southwest Airlines Co., Emerging Media, P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX 75235-1611.
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On this Dish Trip, two gals took on LA to find the best food in the city in 24 hours. Because Southwest Airlines was a proud sponsor of Blogworld Expo 2011 in LA, Dish Trip was lucky enough to cover the food scene. We were thrilled to meet new foodie friends over dinner for a special Southwest Airlines and Dish Trip “Eat Up” at Napa Valley Grille on our first night in town.
Of all the food bloggers that joined us, vylovestoeat and midliferoadtrip , recapped the evening on their own blogs. As part of this blog post, we are asking you, the reader, to help us pick the blogger that best recapped the evening for the chance to win their own Dish Trip with our crew on Southwest Airlines.
Napa Valley Grille
1100 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles
Under the dedicated leadership of Executive Chef Joseph Gillard, Napa Valley Grille hosted our “Eat Up” event. Nestled in the Westwood Village of Los Angeles, this Open Table restaurant entertained and delighted the food and wine aficionados over four courses of locally-sourced, seasonal plates.
Orchestrated by Napa Valley Grille ’s Pastry Chef Manuel Ortega, the food bloggers experienced an evening with the culinary superstar, uncovering his West Coast craft through bites of signature dishes and desserts, which were paired with select East Coast-brewed beers from Victory Brewing Company .
For a full recap of our “Eat Up” at Napa Valley Grille with our food-loving friends, swing over to Open Table – available by clicking here .
Our guests included Vy-Uyen Truong of Contiki , Ann Campea of Girl Vs. Food , Stacey Sun of Dine LA , Aisha Lomando of The Choosy Foodie and Foodspotting LA, and Caroline Bean, the Director of Social Media for The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation . Be sure to vote for your favorite recap of the dinner in the comments to decide which food blogger goes with us on our next Dish Trip!
You can check out those recaps here:
Vy Loves to Eat: http://vylovestoeat.blogspot.com/2011/11/napa-valley-grille-eat-up-with-dishtrip.html
Mid Life Road Trip: http://midliferoadtrip.tv/2011/02/social-media-sets-the-table-food-friend-pairing-dishtripla/
Dish Trip LA: One Day of Dining in LA
Now, here’s OUR recap of the trip:
Mary Bigham: I read online that people in LA wear their sunglasses ALL the time. Outside, inside, it didn’t matter. I bought the biggest shades I could find so that I’d blend in. Turns out, no one really does this, but I still wore them everywhere, for fun. I almost hurt myself in a lobby because of this, but … whatever.
We consulted a local friend on where we should grab our first bite, and he suggested The Standard. We also wanted to check out Philippes , the home of the first French Dip sandwich where we could pick from roast beef, roast pork, leg of lamb, turkey, or ham served on a freshly baked French roll then dipped in the natural gravy of the roasts. While we love a good sandwich, we had limited time, and we wanted sunshine, so we opted for the rooftop at The Standard.
Amy Strauss: Just wanted to throw this out there: We’re two East Coast girls – born and raised – who hit the West Coast for a whirlwind food trip, one that had a deliciously-packed agenda. This food trek was interesting, to say the least!
550 South Flower Street, Los Angeles
Mary Bigham: Amy made a beeline for the Biergarten as soon as she noticed the sign. I was still trying to adjust my eyes to the sunlit rooftop atmosphere (wearing shades inside and outside is harder than you think). I checked out the people lounging by the heated swimming pool and decided to try the vibrating waterbed pods. Yup, you heard me; vibrating waterbed pod. An employee stopped me to make sure I wasn’t wearing heels before getting in it (apparently heels have punctured the waterbed in the past). I was wearing flats, so we were safe. I looked over at the AstroTurf deck, dance floor, bar, outdoor fireplace, and grassy knoll with sculptured topiary from my pod. This is why people live in LA, I suppose. I ordered a fancy drink with champagne and enjoyed a Turkey BALT (Bacon, Avocado, Lettuce and Tomato) sandwich while Amy swooned over the German goodness of the Biergarten.
Amy Strauss: I dig two concept spaces, especially since each member of Dish Trip has his or her own personal preferences. Standard offers a Biergarten aside their posh rooftop bar – which may sound mind-boggling since the roof isn’t that big. But, for my sipping choice: the German-themed, open-air space enclosed by exceptionally-tall hedges, lined with artificial grass turf, and accented with communal picnic tables and mustard-colored umbrellas, I was able to score stellar views of the downtown skyline while having a German getaway! Of course, I recommend you do the same, but first by snagging yourself a ticket from the quirky, straw-lined hut at the entrance. This petite piece of paper will be your one-stop ticket for an authentic (and affordable) Biergarten experience! Just $8 bucks scored me a serious-sized German beer, but other rooftop-dwellers were rocking choice two: a hearty, rock-your-world soft pretzel. I’d opted for the beer, but hey – my diet consists of eighty-percent things hoppy. Other German eats included bratwurst, weisswurst, currywurst, dill-spiked cuke salad, red cabbage salad, and more.
8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
Mary Bigham: Amy has had a serious crush on anything Top Chef , so we had to try Season 6 winner Mike Voltaggio's restaurant, “ink,” while we were in town. Normally, you’d need a standing reservation for this hot spot, but we were able to score a sit-down spot at the bar. This is where we met our bartender that was so precise and focused I nicknamed him, “the cocktail warrior.” As talented as the chef was, our head bartender was equally skilled when it came to cocktail creation. My favorite? The savory and spicy Aviation Gin cocktail, made with red bell pepper, agave, and Parfait Amour. A basil flower topped it like a sweet little tiara. Loved this.
Amy could crush all she wanted on the chef, ‘cause my love was for the food.’ Best meal I had all year in 2011. Each dish had elements of surprise and unique twists on classics. For example, the Berkshire pork dish that I cut with my fork and was crusted with a light charcoal and paired with macaroni and cheese (translated into tubular pasta with a creamy cheese filling) and served with leeks. On top? Fried leek roots. Every bit of this dish was dreamy.
Amy Strauss: Any Top Chef fanatic (come on, you know you are) fawns over the swaggering, tattooed Season 6 winner. But, I must confirm: He is not just a pretty face, he has “chops,” the creative culinary skill-set that is able to flood a one page, deliberately-small menu with petite plates that will blow your freaking mind into a stupendous mush. If we would’ve excused ourselves after our first taste, a mashing of crispy pig ears with house-cured lardo, creamed apple and Brussels sprouts, we would’ve had enough food-induced ecstasy to speed us through the brisk LA night. But–we kept going.
The chickpea poutine would possess any Canadian to bow down to the chef, especially after tasting this captivating construction composed with curds of yogurt, braised lamb neck, and a chive puree. Our meal-closer – a marvelous, multi-textural sugary creme caramel paired with frozen “grape-like” apples, walnuts and burnt wood-infused sabayon – will forever linger in my always-hankering brain as a perfect illustration of a cutting-edge culinary icon who is successfully able to redefine the way we approach food.
Sweet Lady Jane:
8360 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles
We had a lot of West Hollywood locals recommend the quaint bakery next door to ink for a another meal-ending sweet treat. This cozy European cafe was chock-full of gorgeous cakes, fit for the set of Alice in Wonderland. French press coffee and a full selection of teas also joined their enchanting menu offerings. With only 20 seats indoors, we opted to take cake to-go and chose the layered Red Velvet Cake, filled with generous cream cheese frosting, topped with red poppies, and crusted with a dainty edge of toasted red velvet cake crumbs.
The Roger Room:
370 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
Mary Bigham: It’s always a good idea to ask an excellent bartender where he likes to go for a good drink. We wanted a nightcap and our bartender at ink gave directions to an unmarked speakeasy-style bar in West Hollywood. “Take the second left and walk until you see a neon sign of an old psychic parlor, then you’ll see a door. It’s in there.” We trusted him and ventured inside (cake in hand) to find suspender-wearing, mustache-faced gentlemen slinging drinks. Awesome. I got a bourbon cocktail (bartender’s pick) and tried to spot some famous faces. I wanted to say I saw at least one famous person in LA.
Amy Strauss: I rest assured knowing that we’re living in the revival of pre-Prohibition age, where cocktails are topped with incredible whipped egg whites. Damian Windsor, our spirit-slinging barkeep, suggested I sip a feminine ‘tail topped with a perfect, frothy head – and well, I just couldn’t deny such a recommendation from an Australian lad. My drink, the cocktail wizard’s Spiced Mule, was a rum-based beverage crafted with liquefied ginger, lime, nutmeg- and cinnamon-spiced simple syrup, and some Sailor Jerry’s. Creative, especially with the balanced sweet and spice, I get why this mixologist has a cult-like following.
Pink’s Hot Dogs:
709 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles
We had hoped to grab a dog at the infamous Pinks. But, we were full of so much LA goodness that we couldn’t. We waved at Pink’s as our taxi drove by and promised to visit next time we were in the city. If we could have ordered something, we’re pretty sure it’d be the Pastrami Burrito – a beautiful gut-buster that is built on a huge flour tortilla that’s packing two of Pink’s signature dogs aside grilled pastrami, Swiss, chili, and onions. Sounds amazing, right? (I know, shame on us!)
The Terrace Café in Venice Beach:
7 Washington Boulevard, Venice
The next morning, before our flight home, we had to go to Venice Beach, so we hailed a taxi to the coast. Venice Beach was exactly what we envisioned it to be – sun forever-shining, surfers and skaters everywhere. We had limited time, so we popped into the closest restaurant that we could find. It just so happened to be excellent! Casual and friendly, the patio seating at The Terrace Cafe had views of the beach and made for perfect coffee sipping and late-morning eating while soaking up our last rays of the California sun.
Mary Bigham: I always order Eggs Benedict, and this time was no exception. They were light, fluffy and were a flavorful last bite of LA.
Amy Strauss: My choice for pre-flight fare? A pair of fish tacos on house-made tortillas, served up aside a fresh-squeezed glass of lemonade. I must also tip my hat to the fantastic staff of the beach-side restaurant, who were incredibly hospitable and made sure this hungry duo didn’t miss their flight sailing back to the East Coast.
LAX Airport, 332 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles
Since the European-inspired frozen yogurt chain is headquartered in California and had its first-ever dessert shop debut in West Hollywood in 2005, we found it fitting to sneak in one last treat – a shareable dose of Pinkberry’s Original topped with pomegranate seeds and mango slices. We quickly learned what all the fuss was about. A sweet treat with fresh flavors, low-fat content, and nutritious – we were smitten.
We left Los Angeles wanting even more, but we were thrilled to meet new foodie friends and experience fabulous flavors in our limited time on the West Coast. Until next time, LA! Cheers!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend Dish Trip on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you. Thanks for reading—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip!
Dish Tip for a Dish Trip? Do you have a favorite city or food destination that we should know about? Share with us in the comments below.
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To celebrate the 40 th anniversary of Southwest Airlines (a.k.a. the LUV airline), we (our social media guru Amy, our camera guys Jason and Gary, and me) decided to make a special Dish Trip to San Antonio, one of the first cities Southwest provided service to as part of the airline's Texas Triangle service approach. We explored a few local favorites that our new friend and local food writer Garrett, owner of An Average Joe suggested. He met us with a few of his friends to check out some of his favorite spots. After we landed and checked into our rooms at the beautiful Marriott Rivercenter, we went to Hofbrau & Beergarden to experience something called a “Dos-a-rita”—a bottle of Dos Equis flipped over into a giant frozen margarita. Doesn’t that sound good? (We loved it so much we used some of our favorite beer from Philly, Victory Brewing Company’s Summer Love Ale, to make our own version, which tasted like a grapefruit margarita. Warning: the combination of tequila and a beer will give you a great buzz for your buck, so make sure you have a designated driver after one of these beauties. Our next stop was to the open-24-hours Chachos (7870 Callaghan Road) to experience the King Kong Nachos! This mega plate of nachos is the size of a pizza and looks like a cheesy Bundt cake before the cheese is melted in the oven. Our friend Garrett says that when you order the King Kong you have to sit furthest away from the counter so that you can count the number of people gasping while you are making your, way back to your seat. Boy, was he right! With an impressive salsa bar full of creamy, savory, and fruity condiment choices, you can easily pick at this nacho plate of four meats, two cheeses, and a cheese dipping sauce for hours. We started the next day with Breakfast at Blanco Cafe (pronounced “Blank-O”) at the original location (1720 Blanco Road). They are known in San Antonio for the best enchiladas, breakfast, and delicious tortillas. Our server showed us how locals prefer to eat their breakfast, spreading butter on the hot tortillas, then filling them with their version of country sausage, fried egg (with a tomato sauce a la huevos racheros), and beans. We were also lucky enough to get a taste of their famous enchiladas, and all I can say is, I know why locals call them the BEST! After breakfast, we headed over to the Pearl Farmers Market at The Pearl Brewery (200 East Grayson Street), which used to be the location for a brewery and is now a culinary and cultural destination and a historical gathering place. Unfortunately, the market was closed when we got there, but we learned that they do offer tours of the property every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and noon. (Good to know for the next time I’m in town!). The tours cover details of the market including vendors as well as the restaurants, the Culinary Institute of America, and the other buildings on the property. Our lunch stop, La Gloria (Spanish for “the heavens”), was also located on the Pearl Brewery property (100 East Grayson Street). As award-winning Chef Johnny Hernandez says, "No hace falta morir para llegar a la Gloria" ("You don’t have to die to go to heaven"), and his resulting restaurant certainly takes you there, showcasing the authentic foods of Mexico in a polished but casual atmosphere. The space has garage doors that open up onto a patio with a bar overlooking a picturesque part of the North River, to give a nod to the former brewery’s ice house that was situated on this location and had doors that opened to load ice for beer delivery. We tried some of the Chef’s favorites, including queso, (a hot, bubbling cheese that is so rich and indulgent you’ll actually thank him for any weight gained) panuchos (gorditas made with masa filled with black beans and topped with various toppings) and vibrant, flavorful ceviches. Of course, we couldn’t forget to try their bold fruit drinks and juices like the Champereña, a delightful concoction of rum, sugar cane syrup, lime, orange juice, and fresh fruit. This was truly a vacation in a meal, proving that there is no need to travel to Mexico when you have a culinary passport at La Gloria. We spent the afternoon exploring the Riverwalk and all the culinary nooks and crannies of the city. We stopped into Schilo’s Delicatessen (424 East Commerce Street), a German-influenced spot where we had creamy, homemade root beer with strong vanilla accents and deviled eggs (full egg sandwiched together) that our PA Dutch Dish Tripper Amy Strauss fell in love with. Then we explored the King William district and got a quick bite of cilantro cream enchiladas from Tito’s (955 South Alamo Street) and a local beer sampler from Blue Star Brewing Company (1414 South Alamo Street), giving gifts of Victory’s Summer Love all along the way. We had just enough time to work up an appetite for dinner, and we loved the Spanish and Latin flavors at Sazo’s Latin Grill (101 Bowie Street, inside the Marriott Rivercenter Hotel). After a full day of eating, the light and refreshing Sazo salad with hearts of palm and a tasty jalapeño dressing was a welcome taste after a spicy day of eats. I couldn’t get enough of the crab salad lettuce wraps with mango, lump crab, avocado, and a cool and creamy dressing on the side. Our video guy, Gary, loved their steak (he still talks about it) and I went a bit “figgy” (see video for that lame reference) over the desserts, especially the flan. Of course, before we left San Antonio we had to “Remember The Alamo.” If you watch the end of our video, you’ll see how well my memory worked after a Dos-a-rita. This, of course, is the shrine to Texas liberty and celebrates the 175 th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo, and it’s a must-see, especially lit up at night in historic downtown under the San Antonio stars. And the best thing about this Dish Trip? To top it off, we’ve working with Southwest so one of our lucky readers who is also celebrating 40 years of LUV can win their own Dish Trip, featuring highlights from our San Antonio Dish Trip. How do you win this fabulous trip? Submit a fun and creative 200 word or less story about you and your significant other who have been together for 40 years and why you should win along with a photo to 40yearsofLUV@wnco.com. So, what does the lucky winner get? Two roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines to San Antonio, two nights suite accommodations at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, lunch at La Gloria Restaurant, a Foodie Tour at Pearl Farmers Market, dinner at Sazo’s Latin Grill, a riverboat cruise, and a tour of the Alamo. We hope that our lucky winner finds their Dish Trip adventure to San Antonio as tasty as we did, and we can’t wait to hear what they eat! Good luck to those entering the contest and as always, follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend us on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you. Thanks for reading and watching—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip! OFFICIAL RULES Southwest Airlines – 40 Years of LUV Contest. 1. To Enter: No purchase or obligation necessary. Contest runs July 27, 2011, from 2:00 pm CST – August 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST. To enter without purchase or obligation, submit a fun and creative 200 word or less story about you and your significant other who have been together for 40 years and why you should win along with a photo to 40yearsofLUV@wnco.com. All entries become property of the sponsor and will not be returned. Entries limited to one (1) per person. Anonymous entries will be considered invalid. You warrant your story and photo will not be sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory. It cannot promote drugs, alcohol, or firearms. It cannot contain trademarks, logos or copyrighted materials owned by others. 2. Selection of Winner: On or about August 10, 2011 at 5 pm CST, members of the Southwest Airlines Emerging Media Team will review all eligible entries received and choose a winner. The judges will be judging on the following qualities: · Creativity and Originality: 55% · Entertaining: 25% · Rules: 20% Read and complied with the official rules. Prizes are guaranteed to be awarded. Odds of winning will depend on the total number of eligible entries received. 3. Prize: One (1) Grand Prize to consist of two (2) roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines from the closest airport to winner's residence served by Southwest Airlines to San Antonio International Airport good for 12 months (subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply), two (2) night-stay, double occupancy at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel based on hotel’s availability and dinner at Sazo’s Latin Grill for the winner and their guest, lunch for two (2) at La Gloria Restaurant in San Antonio, foodie tour for two (2) at Pearl Farmers Market, a riverboat cruise tour in San Antonio, a tour of the Alamo in San Antonio for two (2). APV for Southwest Airlines tickets is $800, APV for two night San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel stay and dinner at Sazo’s Latin Grill for two is $2,500, APV for lunch for two at La Gloria Restaurant is $150, APV for foodie tour for two at Pearl Farmers Market is $0, APV for riverboat cruise tour is $16, and APV for Alamo tour is $0. Grand Prize tickets are non-transferable, and winner and their guest will be filmed during the progressive dinner for use on Southwest Airlines’ internal and external communication channels. 4. Eligibility: Contest open to all legal US residents, 21 years and older as of July 27, 2011. Employees of Southwest Airlines Co., AirTran Airways, Inc. and their advertising and promotions agencies, and their immediate families (spouse and parents, children and siblings and their spouses) and individuals living in the same households of such employees are ineligible. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Contest subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. By participating, entrants agree to these official rules and accept decisions of the Sponsor as final. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. The promotion is offered in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. Do not proceed in this site if you are not located in the United States. 5. To Claim Prize: Potential winner only will be notified by Southwest Airlines via e-mail. Unclaimed or undeliverable prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Prize is guaranteed to be awarded. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner's name, hometown and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in any media without additional compensation. Winner and their guest must execute and return any required affidavit of eligibility and/or liability/publicity release within one (1) day of notification attempt or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner may be chosen. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the required affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. 6. Limitation of Liability: Sponsor and their affiliated entities, are not responsible for printing or typographical errors in any related materials; stolen, fraudulent, entries or mail; or transactions that are processed or lost due to computer or electronic malfunction. Winner is solely responsible for payment of all federal, state, and local taxes on prize and for any travel or other expenses not specifically mentioned in prize description. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify Contest if fraud or technical failure to compromise the integrity of the Contest as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. This Contest offer is being made exclusively by Sponsor. Sponsor not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections or fraud, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission whether caused by Sponsor, user, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the promotion or by any technical or human error which may occur in the process of submissions which may limit a participants ability to participate in this promotion. 7. Winner's List: To request a Winner's Name List, send a self addressed stamped return envelope, after August 10, 2011, to Southwest Airlines Emerging Media. All requests must be received by July 22, 2011. Utah and Washington residents may omit return postage. 8. Sponsor: Southwest Airlines Co., P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX. 75235-1611
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I blame one fateful night in college for my aversion to tequila. I don’t remember much about that experience except running in the snow, barefoot, and waking up surrounded by pulpless limes and an empty salt shaker...followed by a three-day hangover. My palate has since rejected the nutty taste of tequila, and for that reason, I have avoided it like the plague. That is, until a recent trip to Mexico.
As you may already know, Southwest Airlines recently partnered with Volaris Airlines to connect Customers to Mexico. To mark the occasion, Dish Trip teamed up with José Cuervo to celebrate the release of their 2011 Reserva de la Familia (the family reserve) with a trip to Guadalajara and the José Cuervo estate in Tequila, Mexico (yes, that’s actually the name of the town!).
I was excited to embark on this experience, but I felt like a fraud traveling to the home of this world-famous tequila brand when I could barely stomach the taste. After a fun-filled flight from Philly to Chicago, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first Volaris flight. WOW! Unlimited complimentary drinks and snacks are a great way to kick off a trip. Since I had to get used to it, I started off with a José Cuervo drink. This proved easier than I thought, as the drink of choice (recommended by our adorable Flight Attendant) was a Paloma—a light, fruity drink with a fizz consisting of José Cuervo Traditional, grapefruit soda OR Squirt (a lemon-lime soda), and a lime wedge. This went down smoothly. So, without hesitation, I ordered a second one. Apparently, GOOD tequila makes all the difference.
We joined a group of other journalists in Guadalajara and stayed at the Camino Real Hotel, which proved to have gorgeous grounds and a spectacular brunch (I still wish I had more time to explore all the brunch options available). After a city tour of Guadalajara, we enjoyed shopping in the Tlaquepaque district and then lunch at a restaurant called Adobe Fonda , where we filled up on local favorites like ahi tuna pastor tacos, duck tacos (my new favorite) fried cheese, and guacamole. Let me just a take a minute to talk about the guacamole in Guadalajara. It’s one of the most amazing things I've EVER had. Why? Many restaurants mix pomegranate seeds or dried fruits into the creamy dip, which add a truly amazing sweet flavor and a variety of textures.
That night, we had dinner at Corazon de Alcachofa Restaurante (meaning the artichoke heart), where they focus on locally produced, organic, gourmet dishes. Dinner standouts were the fresh fish, 36-month-aged Spanish ham, and the crème brulée. I washed all of this down with my first taste of the Jose Cuervo Añejo (extra aged) tequila, which has an amber color and a smooth, rich, and complex flavor that went down nice and easy, almost like a cognac.
I had a renewed respect for tequila and was excited to continue my love affair in its eponymous hometown. Our Tequila adventure began the next day with a trip to the agave fields surrounding the city in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The red volcanic soil surrounding this region is particularly well suited to the growing of the blue agave. We also learned that Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco, so real tequila can only come from this area.
Take a look at the video for the full behind-the-scenes look at the José Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Party and the inside scoop on how José Cuervo is made!
Key takeaways: 1. Don’t try to mount a donkey in a dress. 2. Be a good guest; bring a gift. 3. Don’t mistake the head tequila taster for a butler, but DO ask him to dance cause he has the BEST dance moves.
As a thank you for inviting us to the 2011 release of Reserva de la Familia (the Cuervo family's finest tequila), we brought along two beautiful bottles of Victory Brewing Company’s beer, Golden Monkey and V-12, and presented them to our gracious host, Don Juan Domingo Beekman, the owner and heir of José Cuervo. He enjoyed our gifts and even gushed to us about his passion for micro brews. We love sharing the Philly love!
For over 10 generations Reserva de la Familia was a family secret only shared with the closest of friends. In 1995, to celebrate their 200-year anniversary as the world's leading producer of tequila, the Cuervo family decided to share this blend of its special tequila reserves with people who truly savor an exceptional taste sensation, and it was a true honor to get a taste and celebrate this year's release with the José Cuervo family!
Head over to dishtrip.com for more information, and, if you're in the Philly area, stay tuned for an upcoming tequila tasting, which will feature some of the best José Cuervo tequilas I sampled on my trip! As always, follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend us on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you. Thanks for reading and watching—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip!
For more information about flying Southwest Airlines to connect to Mexico click here: http://www.southwest.com/html/air/intl/index.html.
For more information about the Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia click here: http://www.cuervo.com/.
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There has been a lot to celebrate lately over at Southwest Airlines! With this week’s acquisition of AirTran, which created “One LUV” between the two airlines and which will expand service to Mexico and many other new destinations, we at Dish Trip have even more of a reason to party on May 5! In this post, our Dish Trip writer Melissa Shertz takes us to some of the best spots in the country to fill up on fiesta foods and celebrate Cinco de Mayo! And, just cause I know you’ll need it, check out this handy Mexican Food Glossary to help navigate your way through any menu!
As a product of an Irish mother and a Mexican father, I was brought up on good food and have a penchant for celebrations of all kinds. St. Patty’s Day, of course, is an old favorite, but as soon as spring is in the air, there’s nothing I look forward to more than Cinco de Mayo. In our house, that always meant a constant supply of homemade pico de gallo in the fridge and tortilla chips in a bowl on the counter, not to mention the main event of the meal, enchiladas, and my dad’s signature saffron-infused paella.
Needless to say, some might call me an expert at finding the best Mexican fare to properly celebrate the 5th of May—no matter where I might be. From dives to five-star restaurants, margaritas to ‘Mexi-tinis,‘ the U.S. is by no means lacking in authentic Mexican cuisine. So, in honor of the 5th, here’s a quick review of five fabulous Southwest travel destinations to indulge your appetite.
We’ll start our tour in “the Golden State,” where taco trucks patrol most major cities and authentic Mexican restaurants can be found on the main streets of most towns.
For a delicious meal-on-the-go, I recommend the highly touted Tamales Mi Lupitas, located in Oakland, which serves some of the tastiest Mexican delicacies such as pork tamales and pupusas—corn tortillas filled with your choice of queso, black beans, and chicharron.
If you are in the mood for a more upscale restaurant experience, try Manhattan Beach’s Mucho Ultima Mexicana, which serves up a great menu of modern Mexican fare (Filet Mignon Tacos or Chipotle Glazed Salmon, anyone?) and offers a weekly happy hour special including $6.00 appetizers, mojitos, and, of course, margaritas.
We asked our Dish Trip fans what they thought about Californian Mexican food, and Emily Bell told us, “San Diego is probably the best for fish tacos and great burritos throughout Cali.” Andrea Taylor Broughton agreed that “Southern CA has the best Mexican food. We have some good restaurants up here in Humboldt, but nothing beats San Diego!” So, there you have it. If you have the opportunity to visit, California is undoubtedly rich in choices, regardless of your budget.
Next, we travel to Texas, the home of “Tex-Mex” cuisine. For an authentic Tex-Mex experience, travel to Fonda San Miguel in Austin (below), which was founded in 1975 and was one of the first U.S. restaurants to exclusively serve authentic Mexican cuisine. Here, ensconced in a classically intimate atmosphere, complete with an atrium and private garden, you will be wowed by the restaurant’s extensive menu. But, make sure you save room for dessert! Many of our readers suggest the Flan de Almendra and Tres Leches cake. Another plus? They offer a great Sunday brunch.
If you find yourself in San Antonio, stop by a Dish follower favorite, Taco Cabana. Although it presents like any other fast food Mexican “dine and dash” to the naked eye, Amy Young Lannen describes the food as “hot and fresh” and singles out the breakfast burrito as her meal of choice.
Another Dish Trip fan, Chad Crowhurst, recommends flying into Houston and then driving about 40 miles south to Galveston to pay a visit to one of his favorite Mexican places, Tortuga Mexican Kitchen. With two locations (one also in Baytown, TX), the Mexican food at Tortuga has more of a Yucatan flare. He digs their seafood enchiladas and beef/chicken fajitas and says, “if you go, make sure you try one of their signature drinks, the Pacific Punch (it's a 60-oz. monster of a drink made for two). If you're coming for Cinco de Mayo, this place will probably be packed!”
For all you frequent Florida travelers, Miami is the spot for Mexican food! When visiting my sister, I always make sure to stop by Mr. Taco Mexican Food, located along the ever-popular Collins Avenue. Do not be fooled by the name. I was reluctant at first when recommended by a local, but after one dinner there I was hooked. This casual dining spot features prompt and friendly service and the best guacamole I’ve ever had, and that’s coming from a true Mexican food connoisseur. On my third trip there I tried the beef tongue special, served with a side of fried rice and beans, and I was pleasantly surprised—both by my bravery and the taste! The meat was tender and flavored to perfection—the perfect plate for a late night snack.
To avoid the hustle and bustle of downtown Miami, find your way to Mi Rinconcito Mexicano, another casual and affordable restaurant located on 8th Street in the Havana District. Try the flautas or the lamb tacos, and I promise you will not be disappointed.
With nearly 24,000 active restaurants in New York City, there is no shortage of Mexican spots to choose from, ranging from casual to fine dining and, yes, more of those fabulous taco trucks. Among these numerous street vendors, the majority of the locals are loyal to Calexico, located in downtown SoHo, open from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to accommodate the bustling lunch crowd. This convenient spot won second place in the 2010 “Vendy Awards,” which recognizes the best food trucks in New York City.
If you are interested in a sit-down meal and willing to make a trip over to Brooklyn, I strongly encourage you to visit La Superior in Williamsburg. With a menu full of classic Latin specialties—gorditas, sopas, tostadas, frijoles, enchiladas—you really can’t go wrong. And the best thing? They’re open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, so you can satisfy your craving any time of day.
Last but certainly not least, I’ve gotta talk about PA! If you’re looking for some “haute” Mexican flavors try Xochitl, where traditional Mexican fare is served with a modern twist. Try Executive Chef Lucio Palazzo’s fresh guacamole, antojitos, ceviches, and platos fuertes, and sip your way through hand-squeezed margaritas and specialty cocktails (the extensive tequila list features over 70 bottles).
Everyone in Philly knows Iron Chef José Garces, and his third restaurant, Distrito (above), features his fun updates on Mexican classics like tacos with truffled potatoes and queso fundito with duck. Plus, in this restaurant’s fun atmosphere, complete with colorful Mexican wrestler masks, a car parked in the window, and pink lighting, any meal becomes quite the experience.
Of course, I am partial to Chester County, where our Dish team is from, and we have a listing of all things Cinco on West Chester Dish for those looking for something authentic outside of the city to celebrate on the 5th. But we can’t forget about our friends at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Macaroni Company who recommend “Cantina in Lawrenceville, Mad Mex in Shadyside, or Vera Cruz in Oakland.”
Of course, you could always have the real deal in Mexico now that Southwest has service there. No matter where you choose to celebrate, the Dish Trip team wishes you happy eating!
As always, follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend us on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you. Let us know where YOU love to enjoy your favorite Mexican food and how you plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo! Thanks for reading—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip!
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Hello, Southwest fans! As you already know, the Dish Trip team travels only in the name of food, and our latest Dish Trip took us to Upstate country in South Carolina.
This special trip to Greenville-Spartanburg was to celebrate Southwest Airlines' service to their 70th destination, and part of the festivities included a progressive dinner where we got to fill up on the best eats in town. Here is our latest video of all the delicious action.
Stop #1: Nantucket Seafood Grill and Marriott Courtyard Greenville
40 West Broad Street Greenville, SC (864) 546-3535
50 West Broad Street, Greenville - (864) 451-5700Our first stop was for crab cakes and hush puppies paired with Nantucket Summer Cocktails at Nantucket Seafood Grill. This restaurant represents the second addition to the thriving downtown business district by Rick Erwin — a Greenville native — and I was lucky to have joined their CFO for some savory seafood goodness!
The Company Crabcakes were served with a mustard aoili and were filled with so much colossal lump crab meat that I joked that there was no cake, just crab. Amazing! The house-made hush puppies had blue crab, bell pepper, and corn, and were served with a tasty tartar sauce. This is the spot for Greenville’s freshest seafood, served up in a warm, modern atmosphere. The weather was perfect (despite the wind) to enjoy these delicious bites outdoors in the gorgeous green space at the Courtyard Marriott next door.
Company Crab Cakes and Hush Puppies with Nantucket Summer Ale from Nantucket Seafood Grill
The restaurant windows overlook the Courtyard Marriott green space and the patio. This was a perfect spot to sit and sip on a Nantucket Summer Cocktail alongside the peaceful waterfall wall and it felt like an instant vacation. How much fun to have a little slice of paradise to enjoy while looking out at the hustle and bustle of downtown Greenville! (I also heard that this space is used for an ice rink during winter months. Fun!).
The gorgeous green space at the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Greenville
Stop #2 Larkin’s on the River
318 South Main Street, Greenville, SC (864) 467-9777Our second stop for the evening was Larkin’s on the River. I love me some southern food and was so excited to have some good ole shrimp and grits in such a cool atmosphere, along the river. The Larkin’s shrimp and stone ground grits were served in a martini glass with a rich cheese sauce, topped with sautéed jumbo shrimp, peppers, and a sprinkle of more cheese on top paired with a Ketel One Oranje martini. Larkin’s is known for their steak, so I was thrilled to try some of their Tenderloin bites—incredibly tender slices of beef tenderloin served with chipotle aioli and pita chips paired with a Lewellen Syrah. Both dishes and drink pairings are worth a trip to Greenville just for a bite, trust me. (You know I’d actually do that, right?).
Shrimp and Grits paired with a Ketel One Oranje Cocktail from Larkin's on the River
Downtown Greenville is like a secret city built on top of a gorgeous park overflowing with natural waterfalls and grassy areas. Picture perfect couples, families, and singles use the numerous bridges of the city to hop from hot spot to hot spot and to dine at the adorable restaurants downtown. We walked our way between each restaurant and loved discovering the nooks and crannies of the city.
Beautiful Downtown Greenville
Stop #3: The Lazy Goat
170 River Place, Greenville, SC (864) 679-5299Our third stop was The Lazy Goat, known for a “made from scratch” approach from the zahtar on the table to the house-made pasta. The concept at this restaurant is to take your time, savor your food, share your stories, and escape in the flavors of the Mediterranean. And that, we did!
Moroccan Lamb and Fried Goat Cheese with Lazy Goat White Sangria
I sat with Chef de Cuisine Vicky Moore, who was cute as a button and a self-described “food geek” who loves to explore the culinary cultures of different areas of the world. We started with fried goat cheese bites that were dusted with pistachio and drizzled with honey. One bite of one of those little morsels was all that this girl needed to sit back and embrace the slow food atmosphere. But I had to get a taste of the succulent Moroccan lamb that was braised and served with warm pita, cucumber yogurt, and plantain chips. Of course, I put it all together in one huge, amazing bite and, yes, I needed a napkin. I was so distracted by the colorful tastes of the Mediterranean that I wasn’t paying attention to the mess I was making. But that’s what good food makes you do, right? Flavorful dishes, a breathtaking view of the river, and a Lazy Goat signature sangria to wash it all down with ... check, check, and check!Stop #4: The Nose Dive
116 South Main Street Greenville, SC (864) 373-7300Our fourth stop was The Nose Dive, a hip, fun, and bustling downtown spot. The Nose Dive is a casual GastroPub featuring an eclectic menu of comfort food and pub fare created by Chef de Cuisine, Joey Pearson. Their signature dishes are favorites like fish and chips, traditional lobster rolls and—one of my favorite pub foods—the Scotch egg, which I was happy to get a taste of.
A Scotch Egg from The Nose Dive
This hearty snack food is a hard-boiled egg that is wrapped with house-made sausage, covered in Panko bread crumbs, and then deep fried to golden brown perfection. It was served with roasted red pepper puree and a celery remoulade. When you cut the Scotch Egg, it creates a really cool layering effect that looks like a food rainbow on your plate. And, who doesn’t like a rainbow? Joey was a good sport to hang with me, and I loved his choice to pair this treat with local Thomas Creek Beers. It was a match made in, well, Greenville heaven.
Stop #5: Barley’s Tap Room
25 West Washington Street Greenville, SC (864) 232-3706Our last stop was Barley’s Tap Room which has been the regular recipient of local "Best of..." awards—best poolroom, best pizza, best beer list, best bar, and best place to hang out. We were too full from our food tour of Greenville to try their famous fresh sourdough pizza, but we did enjoy their pool hall and cold beer on tap.
Of course, as good guests, we came bearing Philly food gifts for our new friends in South Carolina. Our friends at Victory Brewing Company shared a special brew presented exclusively for Southwest Airlines, called 737 Lager, which paired perfectly with the Victory Beer Truffles from Eclat Chocolates (voted to have the World's greatest caramels). The Dish Trip team even brought cake pops in Southwest colors from Cakes and Candies by Maryellen for everyone to enjoy.
Victory Beer Truffles from Eclat Chocolate (served with the Victory 737 Lager, exclusively for Southwest Airlines)
We talked, we mingled, we drank, and we did a toast to celebrate Southwest’s service to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. A few lucky fans even won roundtrip tickets on Southwest, and we called it a delicious night!The next morning the Dish Trip team headed over to the airport bright and early to send off the first flights with breakfast and Southwest’s signature coffee blend called Lift. We loved watching a group of locals head to Chicago Midway on a first flight for a day trip just to experience some authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Those are my kind of people! (Many of them reported back to a Southwest Rep that they spent a lot more on pizza and beer than their airfare on Southwest!)
Southwest Signature Lift Coffee
Special thanks to Greenville HD for being part of this adventure and for additional footage. Check out their work at http://www.greenvillehd.com/
Head over to dishtrip.com for more information! As always, follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend us on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you. Thanks for reading and watching—we’ll see you on the next Dish Trip!
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Would you travel only in the name of food? I do! My name is Mary, and for our latest DishTrip project we tackled Pittsburgh, PA for a ONE day dining adventure. We thought you'd wanna come along for the ride, so here is our latest video of all the delicious action.
In Pittsburgh we discovered a slammin' breakfast spot, delicious donuts, heavenly hot dogs, award-winning baked goods, savory sausages, some BIG cheese and some pairings that were pure chemistry. Of course, as good guests, we came bearing gifts from our friends at Victory Brewing Company.
Head over to dishtrip.com for full descriptions of each stop, photos, video clips, and a map! As always, follow us on Twitter @dishtrip or friend us on Facebook for more dining details in a city near you.
Special thanks to our hospitality sponsors, Sage Hospitality.
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My name is Mary, and I'm a Philly-based food writer who, like many of you, loves to eat and loves to travel. I am so excited to be sharing with you, my fellow Southwest Airlines fans, our new project, DishTrip. We're taking foodie travel to a whole new level on our recent and upcoming food adventures. On DishTrip you can follow along with me and my team of food-loving techies—Jay, the video guy, Gary, the audio dude, and Danielle, the social media expert—as we visit a new city each month and explore the best eats of the city in ONE day.
Some of the Dish Trip crew at their first stop Pamela's P&G Diner in PIttsburgh, PA. Jay, Mary, and Danielle meet up with Mary's Sister-in-law and niece to start their day of eating with Breakfast!
We are real people on a real trip, meeting with local foodie writers and reporting back as we go about the regional flavors and unique restaurant experiences we find. It's not easy finding all the best food in just one day, but we are on a mission to experience all that we can. We post live location updates, photos, tweets, and mini videos during our DishTrip travel days. If you aren't able to follow along the day of our trip, we put together a video of the entire experience and post it on dishtrip.com along with a map and description of each place we went so that you can check them out for yourself when you travel.
Mary, Danielle, and Jay with local Pittsburgh foodie, Sylvia, of Bits and Bites Pittsburgh Food Tours, in the The Strip District in Pittsburgh.
When the DishTrip crew hits a new destination, we don't come empty-handed. Our favorite local brewery, Victory Brewing Company, provides some generous beer gifts so that people we meet along the way get a taste of Philly love. We also give hugs.
Sage Hospitality, DishTrip's exclusive accommodation host, also allows us to showcase their gorgeous properties in each city and provides a fabulous and comfortable spot where we can rest our full bellies and sore feet. It's definitely appreciated at the end of a marathon DishTrip day.
Dish Trippers Mary and Danielle fill up with some smoothies at the Philadelphia Airport before their latest Pittsburgh Dish Trip.
We think food and travel go hand-in-hand. I hope DishTrip inspires some of you to follow your love of food to new places and fabulous adventures. Whether you’re in town for business, vacationing, or sitting at your desk wishing you were somewhere else, you're only a step away from your own DishTrip.
I want to personally invite you to travel along with us. Visit dishtrip.com for live location updates, extended videos, blog recap, bonus outtakes, travel buzz, and a do-it-yourself scavenger hunt. Become a fan of Dish Trip and follow us live on Twitter @dishtrip and on Facebook from the comfort of your desk. And, of course, look for our updated blog posts right here on the Southwest Airlines blog, www.blogsouthwest.com/.
Pack your appetites; it's gonna be a blast!
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