I love going to new places, new cities and eating what the locals eat. Normally, I will not eat at the hotel. I know the hotels don’t want to hear this but the hotel restaurants tend not to be “local” establishments. Don’t I ask the concierge for restaurant ideas. I normally ask the bellmen, the hotel desk staff or the valet. Why? I ask them where they go to eat lunch in the city. They go to where the locals eat. The concierge normally sends me to restaurants that are touristy places. I don’t want to go to a tourist place. I want to eat locally.
For food talk, I love talking to cab drivers, people walking along in the city, hotel staff, etc. Really anyone who is from the area. I like to find out those hidden gems.
When my husband and I went to the Big Island of Hawaii, we asked the Valets where to go for breakfast. They told us about a little place about 15 minutes away from the hotel. We went there and had a jackpot breakfast of pancakes, eggs, a linguica type sausage, homefries, and toast. We ate like kings! The plates were huge and filled with delicious food. The whooping cost? $15 with tip! That’s right, $15 with tip!!! We went there 1 other time…it was that good. When we went back to the hotel, we heard the hotel breakfast was great but was $50 per person. That’s right, $50 per person!!! Ouch! We told everyone about the breakfast we had. Needless to say, the restaurant was busier the next time we went with people we saw at the hotel.
On a recent trip, I went to Louisville, KY for a conference. During a lunch break, we saw a Panera Bread across the street from the convention center. While I love Panera Bread, I do not want to go the same chain restaurant that I could at home. I want a different experience. I want a local experience.
I spied a food cart just across the street to my left and told my friends that I wanted to go there instead. Off we went to talk to the guy at the hot dog cart. I asked him what was so special about his hot dogs. He told me about the toppings he has…garlic aioli, sweet pepper sauce, caramelized onions, potato sticks (I love potato sticks) and coleslaw. I was sold! I told him to put it all on the dog.
I loved every minute of eating this delicous hot dog. I recreated it at home and got 2 thumbs up from my family. I cooked it a the Council on Aging got rave reviews.
So, here is the kind of recipe I used. And, if you want to see me in action, cooking the Louisville Hot Dogs, go to this link
Here’s the recipe:
Louisville Hot Dogs
- Grilled Hot Dogs
- Sweet Red Pepper Sauce
- Garlic Aioli
- Caramelized Onions
- Cold slaw
- Potato Sticks
Put hot dogs in a bun of your choice. Top with Aioli, Pepper Sauce, Onions, Potato Sticks and then Cold Slaw. Enjoy! Super yummy!
Sweet Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 cup roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a blender, combine the red peppers, vinegar, and oil and process until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 of one lemon, juiced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- 6 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Salt and pepper
In a large bowl, make dressing by combining mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and pepper. Combine cabbage and carrots on top of dressing. Toss dressing into cabbage mixture and let chill.