On the Road Eats: Road Trip from Dallas to 30A

Summer + COVID means a road trip.  Different scenery but still social distancing.  This trip was Dallas to 30A with stops in Little Rock, Memphis, Alabama and Louisiana.

Hotel: TownePlace Suites Memphis Olive Branch
Would I stay again?  Yes.  It was clean and the checkin was contactless.  We checked in around 9:30pm and were back on the road by 7:30am but breakfast was available and I took a cup of coffee to go.


Lunch to-go (Little Rock, Arkansas): ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.
Would I dine again? Yes
.  Great salads, pizza and gelato when they are open.  I had been here years back for work travel so I knew it would be a family friendly experience.  Eating in the car was not ideal BUT good food!

Snack (Memphis, TN): Gibson’s Donuts
Would I dine again? Yes. 
We stopped in Memphis to visit friends on the way to 30A, not on the way but a must do trip.  They picked up Gibson’s as a treat and they were delicious.

Breakfast (Birmingham, AL): Tip Top Grill
Would I dine again?
Well, we tried to dine.  We showed up and saw the view but they closed early for breakfast due to a large lunch order.  All I wanted was a biscuit!

Breakfast (Birmingham, AL): Edgar’s Bakery & Cafe
Would I dine again? Yes. 
I got my biscuit.  And the whole family had a great meal, sitting outside with lots of distance between the tables.

Breakfast: Charlie’s Donut Truck
Would I dine again? Yes. 
We biked from the house to Alys Beach and found the truck with a short line.  Donuts and Smoothies and a shady spot to eat!

Breakfast: Big Bad Breakfast
Would I dine again? Yes. 
We ate outside, had a great breakfast and were lucky to get there early because there was a short wait when we left.

Dinner: 30a Burger
Would I dine again? Maybe. 
My daughter loves burgers.  She got to choose dinner so burgers it is.

Dinner: Pizza by the Sea
Would I dine again? Yes. 
Regardless of where we are, we will always order italian and this spot was easy to pick up on the way home.

Dinner: goatfeathers
Would I dine again? Yes. 
We picked up fish, we had them cook and even got tuna sashimi.  There are multiple markets so it was an easy option for dinner one night.

Dinner: Lola Coastal Italian
Would I dine again? Yes.
I used to live in Atlanta and found out about a new Tom Catherall restaurant on 30a so I had to try it. Wood fired chicken with an amazing lemon sauce, a shrimp scampi that made me smile and spaghetti and meatballs with a sauce I wish I could eat daily. Happy we started our trip with takeout from Lola.

Dinner: Perfect Pig Grill and Fish House
Would I dine again? Yes.
Another great takeout night in 30a! Tonight was pork tenderloin medallions over gruyere grits with a blackberry pinot noir sauce and a tomahawk pork chop with grilled veggies and a pineapple chutney.

Dinner: Seagrove Village MarketCafe
Would I dine again? Maybe. 
Fried fish.  And a burger for our daughter.  Sometimes you just need some fried food.

Snack (Louisiana): Cafe Du Monde
Would I dine again? Yes. 
Of course.  Now I will admit this was not in New Orleans, but at a small spot on the way back to Dallas.  Regardless, we had to introduce our daughter to a beignet.  She wasn’t that impressed but I think doing beignets via drive thru took away some of the thrill.

On the Road Eats: North Austin

Hotel: Aloft Austin Northwest
Would I stay again?  Yes.  It was clean, convenient to our office and the staff was nice.  Options for amazing dining were very limited compared to downtown but it was easy on and off the highway to get me where I needed to be ontime.



Dinner: Paul Martin’s American Grill
Would I dine again? Maybe
.  I ended up driving to Austin rather than flying from Dallas so I arrived at dinner time.  I decided to eat in the Domain area so I could have choices.  I wanted a nicer bar to sit, eat dinner and enjoy a glass of wine before heading to the hotel after an almost 4-hour drive.  The pork chop was good, the wine was fine and one of the two bartenders was very knowledgable.

Pork Chop with brussel sprouts

Breakfast: One Taco
Would I dine again? Yes. 
Love breakfast tacos and when in Austin, it is a must.  I found a small spot on the way to our office and it hit the spot.

Lunch: Rudy’s
Would I dine again? Yes. 
I knew the local options were going to be a lot of chains so I stuck with one that I really enjoy.

Brisket and Sausage and Corn and Cole Slaw

Dinner: Soto
Would I dine again? YES
.  I asked a colleague in Austin where I could eat close to my hotel and he knows I enjoy great local spots.  His response…you won’t find what you are looking for.  I was so happy he was wrong.  When you arrive at Soto, you do not expect to see a Party City next store.  And then you walk into this very modern restaurant that delivers amazing service.  Now onto the food.  The server recommended a new sake to me and brought me a small edamame starter, I selected the chef’s choice for sushi and finished with a small appetizer since I was hungrier than I thought.  I would definitely go back even thought I blew through my per diem!

Lunch: Rosarito Food Truck
Would I dine again? Maybe. 
I love food trucks and the tuna tostada I had was awesome.  The tempura rice bowl was just ok.  I find that tempura is just not my favorite anymore….but my mistake for ordering it.  But that tostada- fantastic!

This trip took place before all of the restrictions became our new reality and this will be my last trip for a while due to world events. I look forward to supporting more local restaurants once I get on the road again!

On the Road Eats: Dayton, OH

Hotel:  Courtyard Dayton Beavercreek
Would I stay again?  Yes.  It was clean, convenient to where I needed to be and if I needed to be there longer, there was shopping and restaurants close by.  Unfortunately I was not very productive once I made it there after dinner due to the time change and the lack of sleep from the night before.


Dinner: Mamma DiSalvo’s
Would I dine again? Yes
.  My client recommended Mamma Disalvo’s when I asked for a great local spot.  The food and service were both great and I would not hesitate to send friends here!

Lunch: City Barbeque
Would I dine again? No. 
I hate to say that I would not go back but I have eaten BBQ in North Carolina, Kansas City and in Texas where I live so I was a bit disappointed.  But the place was packed so it must be one of the better options.

On the Road Eats: Santa Barbara

Hotel:  Hilton Santa Barbara
Would I stay again?  Yes.  The last time I stayed it was a DoubleTree and I always got an upgrade.  This year, upgraded to a partial ocean view in the building I like.  The hotel has been rebranded and updated and some things have changed like the free breakfast which used to be better as a DoubleTree.


Lunch: Oku
Would I dine again? Yes
.  Sushi with a view!  Needed to have a light lunch so I shared a couple items with a friend before attending an event, the way of the dragon roll and the cauliflower appetizer.

Super Bowl Party: The Project
Would I dine again? Yes. 
Corazon Cucina does the food and they have a good size bar and patio.  It was an easy walk to the Hilton as well as to other bars, restaurants and shopping on State Street.

Dinner: Loquita
Would I dine again? Yes
.  Amazing. Loved this place.  I would go back multiple times if I could visit Santa Barbara more often.

Dinner: Finch & Fork
Would I dine again? Yes. 
I chose this restaurant for my last night in town although for some reason I was not 100% excited. Happy to report that dinner was wonderful and the service was amazing.