Food Tour

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~ Carmen

I’ve always thought that if you really want experience a place, the culture’s food should be the primary focus.  So much of our values are wrapped up in what and how we eat.  Joe and I strive hard to eat local whenever we go to a new place.  That applies to our local restaurants, too.  But even with all of the research I do, with some restaurants changing menus or even owners, that can be a tricky task.  Luckily, the food tourism industry has taken over this challenge.

Joe and I recently took a food tour ( City Tasting Tours ) in our local city of Memphis, Tennessee.  We loved it so much that we have already signed up for another one!  Here are 3 reason you should take a food tour, too!

 

Sumptuous farm grit bowls & mimosa's at Belle: A Southern Bistro.

Sumptuous farm grit bowls & mimosa’s at Belle: A Southern Bistro.

3 Reasons to Take a Food Tasting Tour

1.  You’re in a food rut.

If you’re like me, you tend to order the same thing, time and time again at restaurants.  We live on a tight budget, so when we go out to eat, I don’t want to waste my money on an “unknown” entree.  If we’re eating Mexican, I’m going to order the fish tacos.  Chinese, it’s sesame seed shrimp.  Italian, I’m going for the lasagna.  Yes, I’m in a food rut.

When you are on a food tour, you are given sample-sized portions.  So if you don’t like it, you haven’t wasted a lot of food.  Since the chefs are “showing off” their restaurants, you know it’s going to be some pretty good grub!

What? No queso? Ended up loving the pico de gallo at Maciel's Tortas & Tacos!

What? No queso? Ended up loving the pico de gallo at Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos!

 

Chorizo meatloaf, shrimp & grits, cheeseburger soap- 3 items I would have never ordered on my own. Fantastic southern fare at Rizzo's Dinner.

Chorizo meatloaf, shrimp & grits, cheeseburger soup- 3 items I would have never ordered on my own. Fantastic southern fare at Rizzo’s Dinner.

 

2.  You’ll get a big picture of the food scene when traveling.

Trying to experience all of the flavors of a particular place when traveling can be overwhelming, time consuming, and you can quickly gain five pounds.  On our food tour, we ate at 5 different restaurant in just a couple of hours.  Since we were eating sample-sizes, we were able to try a huge variety of food!  On our tour there was a couple from London.  They knew Memphis was famous for barbecue, but had no idea about Southern classics.  Our wonderful tour guide Cristina was able to tell them about some other southern favorites they needed to try before leaving.  I only wish my first experiences with grits and meatloaf had been what I tasted on this tour.  I would have been a fan long time ago!

Crawfish corn chowder, pork rinds, and dry rub ribs at Jerry Lawler's Bar & Grill

Crawfish corn chowder, pork rinds, and dry rub ribs at Jerry Lawler’s Bar & Grill

 

Our tour guide, Cristina, giving us the backstory of Rizzo's Diner.

Our tour guide, Cristina, giving us the back story of Rizzo’s Diner.

3.  As a local, come to love your city!

I must admit, a lot of time Memphis gets a bad rap.  And as a suburbanite, I haven’t always embraced downtown Memphis.  Since meeting and marrying my adventurous Island Boy, I have learned to appreciate life outside of the mall and food chain.  On our food tour, there were several of us that were local “tourists”.  We all basically had the same reasons for booking a tour.  We wanted to experience new places and get the history of the establishments, too.

The chances of me entering Earnestine & Hazels, which is the epitome of a dive, were pretty small.  After all, it is suppose to be haunted, used to be a brothel, and has one item on the menu, a “Soul Burger”.  Not only was the Soul Burger heaven, the building itself was a sight to behold.  We even learned during our tour, the Earnestine & Hazels always gets the nod for “best jukebox” in the local newspaper.

 

Earnestines&Hazels

 

So does a food tasting tour look like fun to you?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please comment below.  Keep up with all of our travel, camping, and cycling tips by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and Snapchat (@packyourbaguios).  Leave us your email (blue box at the bottom of the post) to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and never miss a post!

Loved walking down Beale Street!

Loved walking down Beale Street!

~ Carmen

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