Thursday, January 8, 2009

141 Posts Later...

2008 was our most active year ever on Menu In Progress. Ok, that's mostly because it was the first full year of the blog, but still, it was quite a year.

Last January, we headed down to Mexico for a fantastic couple of months.

Mexico City

We spent about half of our time in Mexico City, a crazy sprawling metropolis that we have come to love. Pictured above are the canals at Xochimilco, the salsa tray that accompanies Tacos al Pastor at El Tizoncito, Ceviche de Pulpo at Salón Corona, and "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park" by Diego Rivera.

From Mexico City, we traveled to Oaxaca where we spent a few weeks.


Queso Fresco at the Etla market, the characteristic stall-front of a Oaxacan carneceria, toasting pumpkin seeds to make Pipían at Susana Trilling's Seasons Of My Heart cooking school, and one of the near-constant celebrations in the streets of the city of Oaxaca.

We also traveled to both coasts - west to Puerto Escondido, and east to Veracruz.

Puerto Escondido and Veracruz

Living la vida tranquila in Puerto Escondido, coral walls at 16th century fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, a breakfast of Huevos Cubanos, and drinking Café Lechero at the Gran Café de la Parroquia.

Our second big trip of last year was a road trip from the west coast out to the east coast and back.


We ate well in Louisiana. A bucket-full of crawfish at Don's Seafood Hut in Lafayette, the Oyster Po'Boy at Acme Oyster House, a fantastic demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and late-night eats at places like the Clover Grill.

Barbecue was a big theme on the trip.


We had the best brisket of our lives at Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas, Memphis ribs to die for at the Bar-B-Q Shop, and both Eastern (Allen & Son in Chapel Hill) and Western (Barbecue Center in Lexington) North Carolina barbecue.

Road Food

And we had plenty of other local specialties along the way, such as the aptly-named Hot Chicken at Prince's in Nashville, Chori-Migas at Habanero in Austin, our first breakfast at Waffle House (in Lexington, Kentucky), and the Green Chile Breakfast Burrito at Frontier in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We didn't neglect the beverage side of the equation, either.

Beer and Bourbon

We reveled in the local beer scene in Asheville, North Carolina, and made the pilgrimage along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, with stops at Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses and Maker's Mark.

Inspired by the awesome barbecue we had on the road trip, we bought a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker when we got back home.


So far, it has produced a cornucopia of tasty treats like Andouille Sausage, Homemade Bacon, and of course the requisite Smoked Ribs and Pulled Pork. We've only scratched the surface of what this little guy is capable of, and we're looking forward to more smokey goodness.

All in all, a very flavorful year indeed. Bring on the next course, please!


  1. Hi Michael - You sure had a delicious year!

  2. Hi Kirk - it was a delicious year indeed. If 2009 is even half as tasty, I'll be very happy.

  3. I love my WSM. Haven't made bacon in it yet. Shall have to try it this year.

    You certainly had a delicious year!

  4. this post has really brought to life the beauty of a good 'ole road trip in the US of A. what a gorgeous pictorial. the food around this country is spectacular and more varied than people think. that acme po boy brings back memories of jazz fest trip i took to NO - we must've eaten there every day!

  5. Yep, road trips are pretty fantastic. We need to hop in the car and take off again sometime soon.