The other night I was lying in bed flipping through photos on my phone and I was reminded of just how many things I ate this year (and how much of my student loans went to pastries and pizza...whoops). Here's a wrap up of some of my favorite eats from this year, from savory to sweet, LA to NYC.
In what was one of the best decisions of my life, I spent my "last real summer" working as a research assistant in NYC. I visited New York a number of times when I was in college two hours south of the city, but I had never stayed long enough to actually get the hang of what my friend Amanda calls "city-living-city-loving"--that quintessential New York hustle that never stops. When I first arrived in the city I was overwhelmed by how much I wanted to do, see, taste, and explore, but I decided that food would be the vehicle I'd use to see the city. I read tons of articles about the best pizza, cookies, pasta, cannolis, ice cream, coffee, bagels, brunch, and tacos in the city. I wrote them all on a sheet of paper and tried to hit one place at least every other day. Below are some of my favorite food memories.
And here's couple of non-food pics because it's New York and you can't just NOT have a picture of the Flatiron Building, a street pretzel, and taxi cab when you write about New York.
My summer started and ended with visits to Los Angeles and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I spent my first year out of college working in LA and it was one of the best years of my life. I find that LA is one of those towns people love to hate; I don't know if it's the Hollywood thing, the traffic, or the sheer commercialism of it all. However, I gotta say, even on the worst day of traffic on The 10 I think the pros greatly outweighed the cons of being an Angeleno for a year. So if you're one of the LA-haters do yourself a favor and skip the walk of fame, the studio tours, and the Santa Monica pier and instead take a drive up the PCH to Malibu, grab lunch at the Farmer's Market at the Grove, visit The Last Bookstore downtown, and go shopping on Abbot Kinney. You may just decide it's not such a bad place after all.
Philly...a piece of my heart lives here. Always will. I spent four awesome years in the City of Brotherly Love going to college. Philly is a little rough around the edges; people are quick to notice that this city doesn't have the sparkle of the Manhattan skyline, the magnified patriotism of DC or the New England-ness of Boston. What Philly has to offer is real people living in a city they are proud to call home. Sometimes that pride comes off as, well, rudeness. Anyone who has ever ridden SEPTA can attest to this. But if you look in the right places I think this pride is what adds to Philly's hidden charm. Look at the beautifully painted, unique homes in West Philadelphia, watch the rabid fans during a Phillies game, walk down historic Elfreth's Alley in Old City, go get a Dutch apple dumpling from Redding Terminal, or eat a cheesesteak at Jim's on 4th Street. Philly's got an extremely underrated food scene. It's less expensive than New York but it offers just as much variety and there are so many great BYOB restaurants.
Over the summer I met a friend from medical school down in Philly for the day. It was slightly overcast and not too hot. We ate at Federal Donuts which has expanded to four store fronts since I graduated, got popsicles at Lil Pop Shop, grabbed lunch at Percy Street BBQ on South Street, and ate dinner at Audrey Claire, my favorite BYO in the city.
Boise | Salt Lake City | Park City
SLC is my home town and I returned here to attend medical school. It's changed a lot since I grew up here and it's been great discovering new places to eat. And when you get tired of options in the valley Park City is only a 40 minute drive up the canyon and there are so many great options up there as well. Also, I went to Boise for the first time over Spring Break last year and it was so charming! I couldn't believe I'd never been there before since it's so close.