Food on Vacation


My new friend Lois and I have been holding meetings of our two person button club.  I truly enjoy our time together and come away rewarded with a new story, more information on buttons (you can tell a lot about a button by biting it…no joke!), and a deeper friendship with a woman right around the age my mom would be if she were alive.

This week Lois had this framed piece up.  Three menus from three different motels around Yellowstone Park in July, 1949.  Memories from a vacation she enjoyed with her family.

• Interesting breakfast options at Mammoth Springs Hotel: 

Eggs: boiled, fried, shirred or scrambled  what are shirred eggs? * eggs placed in small buttered dishes with a dash of cream and baked until whites are set
Omelets: plain, ham or jelly  ever heard of a jelly omelet? Sweet + eggs? No appeal to me!
Toast: dry, milk or butter  I’ve only known milk toast as a metaphor! M.F.K. Fisher calls it “a warm, mild, soothing thing, full of innocent strength”

• Lunch options at Canyon Hotel

Grilled Halibut, Hungarian Goulash or Fresh Alaskan Shrimp Salad   yu-uhmmm!
Cauliflower Polonaise  boiled cauliflower, fried in butter, w/ bread crumbs and chopped boiled eggs
Brown Betty Pudding consists of apples, lemon peel, brown bread, suet (!) and spices

• Dinner menu items at Old Faithful Inn

Chilled Tomato Juice  this makes me salivate.  What a splendid beginning!
Steamed Sweet Rice and Peaches, Coude    ?????
Grilled Cube Steak, Colbert    more ??????
Boysenberry Cobbler  I’m ready to go back in time
Cheese and Saltines   I’m amused that this is in the dessert section

How much fun is that?  What a fine memory to have on your kitchen wall!  My family laughs because every description of a vacation always starts and ends with the food.   One of our rules when we travel is that we don’t eat anything we could get in our hometown.  You won’t find us at Denny’s in Alabama.  (You won’t find us at Denny’s at home either!)  We always try to avoid franchises.  If there is a local specialty (like sauerkraut on pizza in North Dakota) we’re game to try it.

Your turn!  What’s the best food you’ve had on a trip?


16 thoughts on “Food on Vacation

  1. I can sooo relate, as food is generally a very distinct memory for me.  I’ve never framed a menu, but I have quite of few in scrapbooks.We ate shirred eggs, growing up.  It was one of my mother’s time management ploys.  She taught us each how to prepare them in the toaster oven….. Your Scottish breakfasts come to mind, too.  PS  I once baked a cake with bacon grease.  It turned out fine, most tasty and no one knew (unless I told)  BTW I was 12 when that happened

  2. What a wonderful idea!  I had milk toast a few times as a child, with cinnamon and sugar.  Apparently my grandmother fed it to her kids when they weren’t feeling well, and mine did the same on a couple of occasions.  As far as food goes on vacation, I don’t think anything can top the lobster dinner I had while on our honeymoon cruise…

  3. I’m not near as adventurous as you when it comes to vacation food – I still shudder when I think of black pudding! Best food on vacation (at least that comes to mind without thinking too hard) was the fish and chips at Mo’s in Lincoln City. :)I’m going to admit my ignorance – what’s “suet” ?Carrie

  4. Hard to choose just one favorite vacation meal, but I almost salivate when I remember a pizza from a tiny pizzaria attached to the Royal Scot hotel in London (this was many years ago).  Until then I didn’t care for pizza of any kind, but when jetlagged and hungry some of us will go for anything.   The pizza had a uniquely flavored sauce (couldn’t put my finger on what made it unique), as well as the usual bell peppers, onions and cheeses, but what took it to the next level was — get this — lots of raisins and pine nuts.  Oh — and anchovies.  The overall flavor defied description!   The following year I could almost taste it as I booked us into the same hotel (this time accompanied by Martha Ball, Carol!).  Made a beeline to the little pizzaria downstairs, but — sob! — it was no longer there.   Whoever invented that pizza has no idea that 28 years later, there’s a woman in California who still almost drools at the memory. 

  5. One of the most unique things I’ve eaten on vacation is a chocolate egg cream, in Las Vegas at the hotel/casino New York New York. It’s kinda like a milkshake, but they put an egg in it. It was big in the 50s, I believe. Quite rich and yummy. And of course, for me, vacation in Illinois just isn’t right without going to Portillo’s for an Italian Beef Sandwich–nowhere else!!!BTW, I remember as a kid (so this was more than 40 years ago!), going to Lake Tahoe w/ my parents and grandparents, stopping at a little cafe kinda late one night, and my grandpa asked for milk toast. The cook was really sweet and Grandpa told him how to make it for him, w/ a little sugar on top.

  6. We ate shrimp from a converted UPS van up on blocks in Hawaii.  It was the best meal I have ever eaten anywhere, but it taught me to look for dives.  We also ate crab at a bait shop in Florida which was excellent.

  7. @Nanfranz – A sad story!  You have to come visit and have a pesto pizza at the new pub in town.  I also think foods improve in our memory.  We had a meal in SF at “The Great Wall” which was down a (scary) alley, tucked under and behind…A few years later we search and sniffed and scratched our way through Chinatown to find it.  And, lo!, we did!  But, alas, the food was sub-par the second time. @LimboLady – Portillos!!  I forgot about Portillos!!  I’m booking a ticket to Chicago.  Those were THE BEST Italian beef sandwiches.  I used to make my sister stop at a little Greek stand for gyros as soon as we left O’Hare.  But now that I have that option in LG, I think I’ll substitute Portillos.  You ought to see when our whole family is together and we take an order for everyone.  Pure. Chaos.  Some people don’t want ingredient A, so don’t want ingredient B.  Then when the transporters bring back bags and bags of Italian Beefs and we have to sort through it all.  Oh, the joys of a large family! @Wildflowersp – Crab at a bait shop?  Girl, you are brave!  I agree, dives can hold promise.

  8. the best food (always) on vacation: the food we take in a picnic basket to eat alongside the road when we go on a long trip and stop for a rest: boiled eggs, sandwiches, grilled chicken legs, frikkadelletjies (small meatballs), tomatoes, coffee from a flask, and fruit … and I always put in a tablecloth to use … the second best: the meals I don’t have to prepare!

  9. @sonskyn – Oh your comment took me back to family trips as a child.  We all drove in a station wagon.  We made tomato sandwiches with plump, ripe tomatoes.  Can you write the phonetic spelling for frikkadelletjies?  I’m guessing it would be FREE-kuh-duh-LETCH-eeze.  When we were in England, the high cost of restaurant food (because of the dollar pound exchange) inspired trips to the store to buy a few buns, some mayonnaise, some meat and cheese and fruit.  We enjoyed our “urban” picnics!

  10. After reading Dorothy Sayers’ Strong Poison, I tried a sweet omelet – they’re actually pretty good.  I added sugar, a bit of orange zest, and some orange bakery emulsion, with a touch of salt to bring out the sweetness.Best meal on vacation – a small clamcake and chowder dive near my grandparents’ beach houses on Point Judith in Rhode Island.

  11. @magistramater – you’ve almost got the pronounciation! If you pronounce it like that I’ll understand.  It’s FRI (as the i in sit) kah-DEL (as in bell) luh – keys; sorry no proper phonetics – mine is somewhat rusted! The tjie– sound actually sound like tchee – and some folk do use it, but the proper pronounciation is with a k (as in key).

  12. Mo’s, Lincoln City, 2 of my favorite places!I think the best meal, not home cooked, I’ve ever had was a garden party bar be cue in Italy, just out side Rome around Tivoli. There were local musicians playing Italian folk songs (many of them by Verdi), the sun was setting and we were in an arbor with grape vines growing up the sides. Lovely setting. They served roasted egg plant, fresh fruit, cheese and panchetta to start, they literally made the pasta and sauce in front of us, there was roasted lamb, grilled veggies, more fresh fruit, olives, more cheeses, wines. . .  wow! Not only was it a fabulous meal, it is a sweet memory.  

Comments are cinnamon on my oatmeal!

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