Unexpected Eureka, California

The morning fog is cool, a gentle breeze blowing in from the Pacific as I get into my car. Highway 101 is just a street here, reminiscent of an earlier, simpler time when major highways were lined with businesses in small towns like this rather than bypassed by interstates. Just south of town, it turns…

Cuisine Profile: Sushi

I am forty years old - geez that sounds old - and I remember growing up that sushi was an exotic cuisine here in Los Angeles. Today, it seems sushi exists on every block in most metropolitan areas of the US, and even the entire world. What was once a cause for a shudder of…

Cuisine Profile: Memphis BBQ

Memphis holds a special place in my heart. It was the first place I visited after starting The Royal Tour, and my first attempt at writing about a destination. (I think I've come pretty far in that respect.) Likewise, Memphis BBQ holds a special spot in my soul. Growing up largely keeping Kosher - the…

Cuisine Profile: Tapas

Tapas has become one of the hottest cuisines in the United States. However, what we think of as tapas has little to do with the foundational cuisine in Spain. So what is tapas, where does the concept originate, and how has it evolved? Today we will take a deep look at one of my favorite…

Spectacular Serbia

Editor's note: getting off the beaten path can lead to some amazing experiences, like this trip to Serbia by writer Sam Spector. When I was in Belgrade ten years ago, I remember thinking that it was going to be a hot destination, but wasn't quite there yet. I'm glad to see it made it! For…

The Garlic Capitol of the World

The smell wafts through the air, permeating even the car I'm driving. Garlic. Fresh garlic growing all over. This is Gilroy, California, and the smell greets visitors like an old friend. Warm, familiar, emotional. That is garlic for me, and a sure sign I've arrived in the city known as the Garlic Capitol of the…

The Apples of Oak Glen

The role of apples in societal lore is well documented. From the snake in the Garden of Eden encouraging Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge what has come to be thought of as an apple to Johnny Appleseed and his pot hat spreading seeds all over America to my own Jewish tradition of…

Olive Oil Tasting in Ojai, CA

I have been wine tasting at a vineyard in France, port tasting in Portugal, and beer tasting at the best brewery in Milwaukee. Tourism for food - and drinks - is a big part of my travel life, and having a small progression of different flavors to taste is a wonderful way to gain appreciation…