Most people make a beeline for one of two places when they touch down in the States. If they’re on the East Coast, it’s New York. On the West, they’ll land in LA and head straight for the bright lights of Vegas like moths to a flashing neon flame. And hey, we’re not judging. If you want ridiculously tasty Reubens, Tom Jones in white pants or a replica Eiffel Tower, you ain’t going to get them anywhere else.
It’s an iconic American image – the endless expanse of the open road. And just like Australians can’t drive more than a few hundred kilometres before coming across a giant mango or something, Americans have their own quirky fondness for bizarre roadside attractions.
What it is about America that makes people cross it in search of something? For some it’s a better life, others are looking for truth or beauty, or the best home-cooked chilli; but for thousands of travellers each year, it’s music that drives them. Many will road trip square across the country to visit the hometown of their idol, or uncover the origins of a particular music scene. From the jazz-filled hotels of New Orleans to the crooner bars of Vegas and the grunge clubs of Seattle, there’s a song and a story for almost everyone.
New York is one of those destinations you feel like you’ve visited before. The Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, Carrie Bradshaw’s ridiculously beautiful rent-controlled brownstone – tick, tick, tick, tick. New York lives in our heads from the moment we’re old enough to switch on a television.
Mexican-mad Masterchefs Andy Allen (2012 Australia winner) and Ben Milbourne have recently returned from their Intrepid Real Food Adventure Mexico.
This food trip debunked a lot of myths about Mexican food for Ben and Andy, so we sat down with them to find out what they think now about travelling in Mexico, authentic Mexican cuisine and what tips they brought home…
You know that restaurant in your neighborhood that you always pass by, meaning to go there some other time?
Then when you finally do go, you realize it is the best! The best drinks, the most fun staff and delicious food. Soon you’re kicking yourself for passing by this gem for so long. Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I first went to Mexico!
It’s only in the last five or so years that mezcal has become well known outside of Mexico. And within this fiery nation it was seen as the drink of miners and Mexican cowboys (charros) for many years, so not considered very hip.
So you’ve decided… you are going to travel to America. But where to go?
Sure, cities like New York, San Fran, Las Vegas and Washington DC deserve the super-sized praise that gets dolloped on them from all over, but have you considered stopping by a few of the lesser-visited cities in the United States?
Mexico has always held a special place in our hearts and our stomachs, ever since we went there and ate fresh corn soaked in queso and lime juice.