10 Things to Avoid While Traveling as an American: Number 5

Number 5: Where can I find a Hard Rock Café?

Eggs and Asparagus? Sure!
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
If you’re traveling in a foreign country and you want ‘American’ food, you should not be traveling. 

I can’t count how many times I've heard people ask where they can find American food or why there are no restaurants offering American options. Why are foreign restaurants under an obligation to serve American picnic finger food?  Why not broaden our horizons and taste the local food? Avoid the stereotypes of foods to eat in certain countries by talking to the locals and find out where they eat. Or better yet, for longer stays, make friends and have them cook for you in return for beer and banter.

The best thing about traveling abroad is the uncertainty in the cuisine. More often than not, when I try something entirely new, it turns out to be entirely delicious. For example, homemade garlic butter gnocchi in a back-alley of Rome changed my life….as did a traditional goulash partnered with a dark beer in one of the most well-hidden microbreweries of Prague. I can’t say that I was thrilled to once have an entire grilled squid staring at me from my plate in a small local restaurant across from a fish market on Aegina, but squid never tasted so good. This year was especially wonderful, when I snagged a steak with fresh veggies at a safari lodge in South Africa. Good food partnered with impalas and wandering wildebeests makes for a great atmosphere.

Fine local cuisine in Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
If something doesn't turn out to be the best thing you've ever tasted, order something else. You’re traveling, so you can afford to live a little.

My gal-pal Elizabeth Graham alongside Marley McKenzie have created an excellent blog called beersnbreads, which addresses the beauty of exploring cities and delving into foreign culinary and libation delights.  

What’s the fun of traveling if you don’t eat like a local? Get out there. Eat, drink, and enjoy.

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