Or, why I don't like to deprive my travel buddies of experiencing local cuisine
The other day Karrie was over and we were cooking a casual meal. Naturally we got to talking about our trip to NYC next week and all the places we wanted to eat and things we wanted to do. I'm going to be working for the first 3 days and evenings, after which we'll have 2 days of full vacation mode (and lots of photos of course). She told me that while I'm working she's going to visit all the bakeries and cafe's that I wouldn't be able to eat at on her own since I wouldn't be able to participate.
First, I thought okay this girl knows what's up. As I get older I'm realizing more and more the value of having a few really close friends who are always there for you and thinking ahead about your well-being. You may recall that on our last trip together, to Boston, Karrie made an itinerary with planned dining spots so I could call ahead and check that they could accommodate. The one place I chose for brunch was the only place I ended up not being able to eat in. Sometimes BFF's know best. But we also had some one-off food experiences where I could tell she may have felt bad eating something in front of me if it contained dairy, nuts, peanuts, or legumes.
For example, we stopped by a food truck festival where one of the vendors was serving homemade ice cream sandwiches. She ordered one and I enjoyed watching her enjoy it (I'm not creepy I swear) because that's just what I'm used to doing. Others eat and enjoy, I hover and check my phone. We also ate at Neptune's and I was happy she tried the lobster roll because it's a famous menu item and I needed her to have it and describe it to me in detail.
The same thing goes when I travel with Brandon. In Italy I'd ask him to try certain gelato flavors and describe the taste. I might even want a quick smell of it because gelato smells amazing. And the same thing goes for any regional food that you try on vacation. Those cafe's, restaurants, local dishes, regional traditional favorites; all the things I can't try, I want others to experience on my behalf so I can live vicariously through them. I also don't want them to miss out on a highly localized and rare experience because of me. If Brandon can wait for me to take 50 photos of an iguana sighting, I can stand by while he samples some local fare.
When I get back to Toronto, back to work, people will always ask if I tried so-and-so dish at what's-it's-name restaurant. And my answer is always, no, but (insert name of travel partner) did and it looked delicious.
So when Karrie and I got to talking about where we'd eat in NYC next week, I made sure to let her know that I want to stop at Magnolia Bakery, so she can try their banana pudding.