Thursday, August 18, 2016

My Favorite Places to Eat Out {52 Lists}

Oh, boy! I love this weeks list! The topic this week is our favorite meals or places to eat out. I love dining out and trying new food. I also love taking pictures of food so that I can remember what it was and try to recreate it at home. I am also incapable of making a simple list, and I will need to divide my list into two sections, as what I am able to eat now is entirely different from what I used to eat. These lists are in no particular order.

My Favorite Places to Eat Out (Current)

1. BEAN Vegan Cuisine in Asheville, NC (and Charlotte, NC)

This is not your typical vegan restaurant. It is vegan comfort food (mostly Southern comfort food) and it is oh so delicious. My husband and I both like their burgers, although they have a lot of other menu items. Dessert is also a must. Our family is very much looking forward to a visit here in the fall.

2. Japanese Food

I've always loved Japanese food. Many people don't realize this, but the population of Hawaii is  almost 60% Asian and so many local restaurants serve their own variations of Asian food. Moving away was difficult. Fortunately, people on the East Coast also love Japanese food, and every now and then I will find a place that will make vegan sushi. My favorite is this aburaage (deep fried seasoned tofu) and avocado sushi.

3. Thai Food

There are a few Thai restaurants in our town and in most towns we travel to. We love it because there is often a wide variety of vegan options. My children love tofu, and I love curry (especially green curry). Thai noodles with peanuts is also a favorite. For dessert, we can always count on there being sweet coconut rice with sliced mango. 

4. Mediterranean Food

My family loves falafel and hummus. I also can't get enough stuffed grape leaves. I did not grow up eating Mediterranean food, but I am sure glad I started!

5. zpizza

This pizza chain may not be very well known, but it is worth the visit. We have been to their locations in Williamsburg, VA and Washington, DC. They sell both vegan and non-vegan pizza. I did not realize how much I missed eating pizza until I tried their Berkeley Vegan pizza. Loaded with veggies, vegan sausage crumbles, and Daiya cheese.

6. Food For Thought in Williamsburg, VA

I had my very first experience with spaghetti squash here. They topped it with a delicious pesto, fresh tomatoes, and pine nuts, placed on a bed of jasmine mushroom rice. They also serve a vegan brownie for dessert, though I was unable to try it because I ate way too much! We will be going back for our next family trip to Colonial Williamsburg.

My Favorite Places to Eat Out (Past)

The most difficult part of giving up meat and dairy was giving up my favorite go-to places. I still think of them often and have tried to recreate my favorite dishes.

1. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Two heaping scoops of rice, another heaping scoop of sinful macaroni salad, and a choice of meat (chicken katsu, barbecue chicken, short ribs, and kalua pig and cabbage). They have many locations in Hawaii but also a lot of locations in California, Washington, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. I hear there is even one in Dallas, Texas, and Upstate New York!

2. Carrabba's Italian Grill 

We had to drive to Raleigh, NC to eat at Carrabba's, but it was well worth it. It is very similar to The Olive Garden, but kicked up a few notches in flavor and authenticity. We often ate our fair share of fresh bread dipped in olive oil and herbs. 

3. Logan's Roadhouse

We usually went here for the yeast rolls. Their loaded baked potato was almost a meal in itself. As a vegan, I shouldn't be promoting this, but their ribs were probably the best. I never had ribs so tender. The meat literally would fall off the bone.  

4. Buffalo Wild Wings

My co-workers and I would order a variety of flavors on our lunch break and eat them at the office. My friend Tiffany and I preferred the more spicy flavors while our friends Karen and Marilee stuck with the more mild ones. Good times. Those poor chickens. They didn't stand a chance.

5. Hilo Lunch Shop

This is a go-to okazuya place for locals in my hometown of Hilo, Hawaii. Takeout only, they have maki sushi, inarizushi, spam musubi, vegetables, nori chicken, other types of meats, and did I mention sushi?!? It is very fast-paced and you need to know what you want before you even get in line, as you have a lot of people behind you on a limited lunch break. Make sure to grab lot's of napkins, because the food is g-r-e-a-s-y!

I didn't want to add a fast food place, but I have fond memories of ordering a bucket of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. That's all that was needed and there were always leftovers. 

That's it for this list. I could totally go overboard and double my lists, but I need to stop somewhere. 

Linking Up With: 


  1. OOh! You just gave me such a great idea to put pesto on my spaghetti squash. I have an abundance of basil this year and have been looking for new recipes to use it with.

    1. Jealous of your abundance of basil! It is pricey at our grocery store so pesto is something I make on rare occasion. The pesto over spaghetti squash shouldn't disappoint. My 4 year old had three servings!

  2. I love that you included new and old foods that you eat, especially Buffalo Wild Wings. That may or may not have ended up on my list too....

    1. I think the good company made Buffalo Wild Wings a favorite. Glad to see we share the same memories!

  3. The sweet memories of Kentucky Fried Chicken are close to my heart. My Nana loved hosting family gatherings around a bucket of chicken. Great list and now I'm hungry!

    1. I don't know what it is about Kentucky Fried Chicken and family gatherings! Though it is much easier than spending the afternoon standing by the frying pan. I got rather hungry myself as I made my list and read everyone else's!

  4. I have lots of good memories of KFC too. Love fried chicken!!

    1. Same here! Though I always preferred the taste of KFC over anywhere else.

  5. KFC made my list too, though when we visit family, we get Zaxby's!


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