STAY AT A B&B OR DON’T STAY AT ALL
A charming Bed & Breakfast will only amplify the quaintness of the whole experience. There are plenty of reasonably priced options available in the area. If you can sneak out on a Friday, it always makes for a better weekend if you can wake up at your B&B on Saturday morning.
It’s hard to believe and potentially unnecessary, but there are plenty of great activities in Napa Valley that don’t involve wine tasting.
Oxbow Public Market: This lively market is perfectly nestled right against the Napa River. It’s full of plenty of vendors selling all sorts of fresh produce and also contains numerous restaurants. So this is a great place to grab a quick lunch.
The Silverado Trail: This beautiful trail just about runs the entire length of Napa Valley. It has amazing views and can be a perfect place to clear your head and get your calm on. And if you’re more of the active type, it’s great for biking!
Greenhaus Day Spa: What’s a weekend getaway without a trip to the spa? Greenhaus Day Spa in downtown Napa is widely considered the best spa in the area. Get the full treatment with a relaxing massage, a cleansing facial, and the all-important mani-pedi combo.
WINERIES ON WINERIES
If we’re talking about Napa Valley, we’re talking about wine. There are plenty of amazing wineries and vineyards in Napa, but here are our personal favorites.
O’Brien Estate: This is one of the most popular wineries in all of Napa and actually requires booking your tasting in advance. Make sure you try the Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pride Mountain Vineyards: This vineyard requires a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it. The whole property covers about 235 acres and has gorgeous views in every direction. When it comes to wine, their claims to fame are their Cabernet Sauvignon and their Merlot.
V. Sattui Winery: While the wine here is truly excellent, this spot is also great for a picnic lunch. You can grab everything you need in-house: the cheeses, the fresh bread, the antipasto spreads, and a nice bottle of wine and then grab one of the many picnic tables outside and take it all in.
Why Does Airplane Food Taste Bad? Science Has the Answer
Gone are the days when airplane travel was distinguished and seen as an event. The food was amazing and the experience was second to none, but nowadays airplane travel has become just another way to travel. Chefs used to fly on airplanes preparing 3-4 course meals and now you are lucky to get peanuts and a soda. So why does the food on an airplane taste so bad?
Science always finds the way and if you look hard enough, you are going to find an answer to any question.
Turns out, the noisy environment inside a claustrophobic airplane cabin may actually change the way food tastes.
In the study, 48 people were handed a variety of solutions that were spiked with the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami (basically, a Japanese word for the savory flavor found in foods like bacon, tomatoes, cheese, and soy sauce). First, the testers sipped in silence, then again, while wearing headsets that played about 85 decibels of noise, designed to mimic the hum of jet engines onboard a plane.
What the researchers found: While there wasn’t that much of a change in how the salty, sour, and bitter stuff tasted, the noisy surroundings dulled the sweet taste, while intensifying the savory one—which might explain why a meal eaten on a plane will usually seem a little, well, off.
“Our study confirmed that in an environment of loud noise, our sense of taste is compromised. Interestingly, this was specific to sweet and umami tastes, with sweet taste inhibited and umami taste significantly enhanced,” said Robin Dando, assistant professor of food science. “The multisensory properties of the environment where we consume our food can alter our perception of the foods we eat.”
This isn’t the first time airlines have tried to figure out the reason behind funky in-flight food. The Fraunhofer Institute, a research institute based in Germany, did a study on why a dish that would taste just fine on the ground would taste, “so dull in the air,” as Grant Mickles, the executive chef for culinary development of Lufthansa’s LSG Sky Chefs, put it to Conde Naste Traveler
German researchers tried taste tests at both sea level and in a pressurized condition. The tests revealed that the cabin atmosphere—pressurized at 8,000 feet—combined with cool, dry cabin air numbed the taste buds (kind of like when you’ve got a bad cold). In fact, the perception of saltiness and sweetness dropped by around 30% at high altitude. Multiplying the misery: The stagnant cabin dries out the mucus membranes in the nose, thus dulling the olfactory sensors that affect taste. All of which adds up to a less-than-fine dining experience.
The good news: This research may help airlines find a way to make in-the-air meals more palatable. (That is, for flights and airlines that still offer any food at all!)
The key, according to Mickles, may be using ingredients or foods that contain a lot of umami to enhance the other flavors. He may be on to something: The folks at the Lufthansa have found that passengers guzzle as much tomato juice as beer (to the tune of about 425,000 gallons a year). Turns out, cabin pressure brings out the savory taste of the red stuff.
Good to know. Now pass the earplugs—and bring on the Bloody Marys.
Check out the full article over at Health.com
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A Guide to the Best Food in San Diego
It’s one of the first questions every person asks when they are traveling to a new city for the first time.
Where is a good place to get a bite?
Food on a trip might even be a major component that you plan an entire vacation or day around. That is especially true in big cities like San Diego, which always seem to have the biggest and best local and chain restaurants.
San Diego in beautiful California is one of the ten largest cities in the U.S. and is known for its top-notch cuisine. Everyone loves a good food tour, and San Diego is somewhere that has numerous can’t-miss places to eat you will want to read about.
Continue reading for a comprehensive list and guide to the best food in San Diego broken up by category.
Seafood is Tops in San Diego
There’s no doubt that one of the first things on anyone’s mind traveling to San Diego is to try the fish. Sitting right on the coast, and arguably the biggest city right on a coast, San Diego can offer fresh seafood that other places simply can’t. If you live in the U.S., odds are you do not live near a coast, so take advantage of this unique situation.
One of the restaurants heavy into seafood with a top reputation is George’s at the Cove. They were once voted San Diego’s top restaurant!
Another is The Fishery, with some of the best main courses you can find on any menu in town. Their fresh catches are so good that they not only serve their own supply but they are a distributor for other restaurants.
If you have gone fishing yourself and caught something tasty, or want a closer look at the catch you elect to eat, head to El Pescador Fish Market. A traditional beach hangout, they’ll cook your fish for you, or you could head on in with nothing and sit down and eat too.
A couple more seafood restaurants of note are Civico 1845 and Seafood La 57.
San Diego Pizza
Beyond fresh fish right off the ocean, San Diego is also known for its strong pizza selection. Definitely try either the pizza or seafood as some of the best food in San Diego when you head over.
Civico by the Park has wood-fired pizza and pasta that is unmatched across the city and even the state. This restaurant combines the flair of pizza with the best wine selection as well.
If you are feeling homesick on your trip, try Tribute Pizza. They feature and imitate some of the most well-known pizza places around the country, so maybe they picked one from your hometown.
Tex-Mex in San Diego
It’s all in the name as you can get the best tacos not just in town but in the solar system at Galaxy Tacos.
Some taco spots are right next to each other and competing, but that offers a great chance to try them all. Taco joints Corazon de Torta, El Comal, and Las Cuatro Milpas are all in downtown San Diego.
For more great tacos and burritos, there is also Tuetano Taqueria. They coat their special tacos with a blend of seasoning to give it a different tone and unique taste.
More Great Restaurants
While seafood, pizza, and tacos may be some of the most irresistible food around, there is still plenty more to take in on your trip to San Diego.
If sushi is your thing, try Yakitori Hano or Yakitori Taisho. Try it as the nightcap, as they are only open for dining at dinnertime. A couple of other strong sushi options are Soichi, Sushi Ota, and Sushi Tadokoro.
With a name that stands out, Crack Shack has a giant chicken out front indicating their food of choice. Fried chicken and wings like you have never had before are available there.
Everyone loves a good steak, and a food tour would not be complete without mentioning the best place to get a porterhouse or filet cut. Born and Raised takes cooking steak back to its roots.
Italian-based Civico by the Park is probably the highest-rated and most sought-after pasta establishments in the area as well as pizza. Buona Forchetta is one more pasta place that some really love.
Beyond the highly-acclaimed In and Out Burger, the best hamburger restaurant is certainly Swagyu Burger. They even have another version of their place that is Swagyu Chop Shop that combines Japanese food with American burgers.
Upscale San Diego Cuisine
One of the best things about San Diego food is that they have something for everyone. If you are looking for more of a higher-scale dining experience, look no further.
When you give this level of restaurant a try, you will also get to experience food you might have never tried before. Like at Jeune et Jolie, one of the highest-rated establishments in the city and a French masterpiece.
If you are into golf and find yourself out near the famous Torrey Pines course, there are some incredible options right near you. Try the A.R. Valentien, an eatery built right into the golf course’s lodge. Walk the same grounds Tiger Woods did when he won his 14th Major championship on a leg with a torn ACL.
The Best Grub Around
In addition to being one of the most beautiful cities to visit in the U.S., San Diego has some of the best food in the country as well. You’ll want the best grub when you are soaking up the sun, enjoying the beach, and watching some of the best sports.
There could be no better place than to head on a food tour in sunny San Diego. Now that you know the lay of the land, go out and find the best meal today.
For more articles on food, culinary, and travel, head to the rest of our blog.
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