I have another confession, my friends: I am a total foodie. Once you meet me, this fact becomes extremely apparent. Not only am I overweight, but I can tell you all the best local restaurants, and I can even usually tell you the name of a few servers or bartenders. Food is what I do. No joke.
When I lived in Los Angeles, I was exposed to so many different foods, that it would literally blow your mind. Colombian, Peruvian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, German, and the list goes one. It is alot of fun to go into these restaurants, eat their food, drink their alcohol, and try to learn something from their language. Everybody eats, well, except for starving populations, but even they get to eat rice, khat, and some other vegetables.
I know some of you are probably wondering what the point may be. Well, the point is this: you do not have to travel the world to experience it. Look for it in your own backyard. There are people from all over the globe that have traveled to America to experience our freedoms and opportunities. They want nothing more than for some cool Americans to drop in and spend some money on their restaurant/shop, and get to know them a little. Become a regular. Get to know their family. Then when riots break out in Egypt, you have a name and some faces to attach to it. It makes the world feel smaller. Way smaller. Just give it a try.
Start with stuff you have never heard of. I highly recommend Indian food. Chicken Tikka Marsala with some Na’an and a Kingfisher or Monk is hard to beat. I recently learned that the Greek word (as in Septuagint Greek) for “temple” is na’an, which is also the Indian word for “bread.” Only by learning different language nuances and different food groups was I able to make that connection. In short, I had to have some Indian food that day! Also, it’s hard to beat some Vietnamese Pho with a TsingTao. TsingTao is a Chinese beer, but it goes excellent with Pho. Peruvian is also extremely delicious, but very rare. If you find Peruvian near you, do it! You won’t regret it!
There is always Italian food and wine. Olive Garden is an easy recommendation. They always have the best California and Italian wines. If you want to go Italian, go with a Sangiovese or Toscana. My favorite entree is the Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo, and I love to start it off with their salad, and maybe a flatbread. True story: my wife, Jennifer, and I met waiting tables at the Olive Garden in Arlington off Cooper and I-20. We go back on occasion to that location and do a big dinner!
I say all this to say, that food is fun! New experiences are usually pleasant. For those that wish they were globetrotters, take a look in your own community. You may be surprised what you find. Going to someplace new may push you out of your comfort zone, and those of you in more rural areas may have to drive into the city to find something you are looking for, but in the end, it’s worth it. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!