From the home base in Old City, I traveled over 5,000 miles across the Eastern United States throughout the month of May as abstractly illustrated in the above SnagIt Editor on Google Maps digital visualization. In real terms, I made round-trip visits from Philadelphia to:
- Atlantic City, NJ
- Charlotte, NC
- Nantucket, MA
- New Orleans, LA
- New York, NY
- Rideau Ferry, ON
As much as my itinerant nomadisticity was a journey of man on wheel, rail, wing and hull, what strikes me here at the end of it all was the gastronomic effort involved in literally eating my way through May on the road. En route I sampled an awesome array of distinctly North American cuisine in all of its regional splendor. While the exotic wonders of cajun cuisine in New Orleans, buttered chip wagons in Canada, and Nantucket's amazing Portuguese bread command respect, the core of the culinary experience was far more American: lite beers (and lots of them) plus hot meat, cheese and white bread.
For the most part I try to watch what I eat. But healthy eating, like exercise, piano-lessons, non-fiction reading and prayer, is a routine easily toppled by the flux of travel. Simply stated, the road is an excuse to scarf all the junk food you can handle. And so this May I happily gave-in to the impulse to eat, and eat I did to end up here in June counting back on the previous month and realizing that I ate literally 3 home-cooked meals, had red meat almost daily and can count among that total cheeseburgers from 10 different sources and 3 philly cheesesteaks (my normal total on both of the above is like 1 per month).
- Hot barbecue brisket at the random strangers house in New Orleans on the recovery from being rocked by Pearl Jam at Jazz Fest.
- Returning to the fast-food burgers of my youth: Wendy's 1/4 Single with Cheese, A&W Papa Burger, McDonald's Big Mac.
- The simple, yet technically advanced burger at the Crepe Cellar in Charlotte, NC - hand-packed patty, fried onion strings, gruyere and a truly wonderful bun make this the only one I'll refer to as the French Onion Soup of cheeseburgers.
- Not 1, but 2 cheesesteaks at Cosmi's - Philadelphia's best 'Philly Cheesesteak.' (Suck it Pat's and Geno's!)
- Memorial Day Natucket grill-o-rama featuring classic, hand-made burgers on the grill with sliced tomato, grilled onion and pickles and the best weather anybody's seen on that island since the New World was discovered.
It's been real.
Now as my brother says, it's time to be a homeboy, and for June that means getting back to leafy greens and high fiber to hopefully undo some of the massive damage May must have done on arterial walls and GI tract.