Still Hungry: Eating (and Drinking) my Way Through the World

A few years ago, a group of family members took an autumn, long weekend jaunt to Lake Lure, NC. I remember very little about the trip outside of three things. We had fun. I climbed Chimney Rock with my sister. And whilst devouring a spread of North Carolina’s best, Bridges Barbecue, I watched my Carolina Panthers lose a tightly contested Thursday Night Football game to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Almost a year later, I remember when I touched down in Vegas for the first time. Just hours before takeoff, I had received a massive health scare that had me more than a little shook. (It later turned out to be a false alarm.) Combine that with Christy’s reaction to the airline’s misplacement of her luggage, and there were a few nerves dancing around Sin City that night. So when Kousin Kris, my caddie and trusty travel mate arrived, we decided to get right to it. Our Uber driver suggested an old school, mobster, Frank Sinatra kind of Italian restaurant called Battista’s near our hotel, and much to our delight, the carafes of red wine were on our table glaring at us immediately upon our arrival.

Just a couple of months later, I found myself having an otherworldly pasta in New York City, flying back to Charlotte to grab my son, and then heading to the farthest eastern reaches of the state to meet Christy. We ordered some insanely flavored Asian fusion and then watched my Carolina Panthers get battered by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football, the night my boy Cam Newton’s demise began.

Apparently, I was still hungry, so I headed to Cleveland with a couple of friends for a Panthers-Browns GameDay and a super gluttonous meal. If I recall correctly, it had shades of Las Vegas written all over it. Land at the airport, (toss in some snow), EAT.

I’m still hungry, as last weekend’s autumn jaunt a few hours north proved. The chili glazed shrimp tacos were on point and the soul food, southern cooking BBQ touched my soul. But I’m a first night, set the tone kind of guy. Arrive in a new place, get the local recommendation, watch a ballgame and get to it.

But a funny thing happened this time. We picked up the crazy pizza. We arrived at the cabin in the woods. But when the website said there would be no wi-fi, damnit, they were not lying. LSU was giving Alabama all they had, I had a dollar or seven on the game, and I basically had to stand on my head to get an update.

But we had fun, and that’s all that matters. Well, that, plus my taste buds were happy and my belly was full.

Have a great week.-Benj

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