No this post isn’t going to be talking about my favourite wraps (souvlaki probably) but this is a wrap up of our USA trip and a little bit about some of the things I brought home to use in the kitchen!

Best BBQ

Wow, talk about starting with a tough one! Ok so everywhere we went had something great, Lockhart’s sausage, Franklin’s brisket, La Barbecue’s sarnies, the simplicity of Smitty’s and Memphis’ ribs.

But for me based on the whole experience, it has to be Franklin Barbecue – such a cool place, great fun queuing and that brisket – so amazing!

Honourable mention goes to Smitty’s Market– an amazing old school BBQ joint, whose prime rib was something else!

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Best Creole Dish

Again so much to choose from – crispy beignets, rich gumbo, deep filled po’ boys – this was a really tough one.

But the winner has got to be the fried chicken served with a side of the amazing rabbit and sausage jambalaya from Coops Place in New Orleans. The chicken was so crispy and meaty and the jambalaya was spicy, rich and meaty – an absolutely winning combination.

Honourable mention goes to Cafe du Monde, for their superb beignets.

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Best Burger

I may not have written about them all, but I ended up having a few burgers on this trip – from fast food (In-N-Out, Maccy D’s) to big beefy, organic burgers in Austin and Nashville. They were pretty much always topped with cheese and bacon, and pretty much always delicious.

But the winner for me was In-N-Out. Fast food as it should be done – quick, but delicious and a really great feel – gutted we don’t have these over in the UK!

Honourable mention for the Counter burger in East Austin, organic big and meaty with crazy crisp bacon on top.

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Best Coffee

Most of the coffee we drank was pretty terrible, endless refills from a pot kind of stuff in diners and restaurants, but we were lucky to visit a few very cool coffee shops. My favourite has to be Barista Parlor in Nashville, not only a really, really cool place but the choice and types of coffee was incredible. The Ethiopian coffee through the V60 was astounding, fruity, unusual with no bitterness – beautiful!

Honourable mention goes to Cuvee Coffee in Austin for their amazing cold brew coffee, a winner on a hot day (of which every day was!).

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What I  brought home 

So of course, I had to pick up some bits as I went along, to try and recreate that American food back home. Here’s a pic of the fairly substantial amount I picked up along the way.

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From left to right:

Gumbo File – a key ingredient in Gumbo made from ground sassafras leaves. 

Hot sauce – from Gumbo shop, really hot and really tasty.

Espresso BBQ sauce – from Franklin BBQ coffee and BBQ, awesome.

Dry Rub – from Salt Lick for that authentic Texas BBQ.

Ethiopian Coffee Beans – from Barista Parlor, packaging alone is kick-ass, hope the coffee is too.

Travel size Tabasco sauces – from Memphis.

Fiya Water – Creole BBQ sauce, looking forward to trying this over the summer.

Nashville Garlic Rub – from a great store in East Nashville using locally grown ingredients.

Hot Chicken Rub – for that classic Prince’s Hot Chicken flavour.

Coffee BBQ Rub – BBQ’s are gonna be pretty special at my place this summer – I’m taking bookings! 

So there we have it, a hell of a trip, plenty of memories, plenty of weight put on, plenty of money spent – but well worth it!

Thanks for reading Y’all!

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