The Way We’ve Been Feeding our Traveling Foodie Cravings
When we travel, the foods we eat along the way help shape our memories about our experience. But with our travel options severely limited in the last year, those foodie memories are about all we’ve had to snack on.
At least, that was the case until we found a creative way to both reminisce and keep exploring. Enter Goldbelly, a curated, online marketplace that brings together 800+ of the best restaurants, chefs and foodmakers from around the country and ships their signature dishes to your front door. Think: lobster rolls from Maine or dry-rub ribs from Memphis or a cake from the actual Cake Boss in Jersey.
We’ve been obsessed with this service during the pandemic—and so have our members, ordering nearly 20,000 iconic foods in the last several months. And while it doesn’t quite match the experience of dining in our favorite restaurants miles away from home, it certainly ups the ante on takeout delivery. It also helps support these small businesses during a very tough time for the industry (ensuring they will be there the next time we are able to visit).
So while we wait for our favorite eateries and cities to fully reopen, these are some of the dishes we have and will be ordering in the meantime. (But much like the age-old advice “don’t go to the supermarket hungry,” consider this your warning about perusing Goldbelly on an empty stomach.)
Cure those hunger pangs of past adventures
If you've taken a bite (or two) out of the Big Apple on previous trips, then you likely already have a list of iconic favorites stacked higher than a pastrami sandwich. Chances are, you'll find a few of those favorites among the 100+ options in NYC.
Check out the Upper West Side’s H&H Bagels or Utopia Bagels from Queens to see if the rumor is true -- is it the city’s water that makes the bagels so good? Liebman’s Kosher Deli has been featured in the New York Times and New York Magazine as well as on Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" on CNN. Liebman’s also offers free shipping, meaning we all can easily get a taste and surely sing our praises too.
Break out the bibs and drawn butter
For those living in landlocked states, summer beach trips are no longer the only time to gorge on fresh seafood.
With the help of Goldbelly, ice packs and overnight shipping, McLoons Lobster Rolls from Maine, Alaskan King Crab legs and claws from Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market or a full mid-Atlantic seafood boil from Topsail Steamers out of North Carolina can be delivered nearly any day of the year. Get raw oysters straight out of the Chesapeake Bay from Virginia’s Rappahannock River Oysters or indulge in massive “Crab Bombs,” aka Maryland crab cakes, from Jerry’s Seafood.
Includes “What smells so good?” at no extra cost
Aromas are powerfully memory drivers and the scent of a BBQ pit cooking “low and slow” with charcoal and hardwoods is hard to put into a candle, so bring it home in a different way.
This could be the best Father’s Day gift ever or a chance to kick your grill skills up a notch. Pick your meats or order a smorgasbord: Memphis dry rubbed ribs from Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous, a whole brisket from Terry Black’s BBQ in Texas, a meat sampler including Kansas City’s staple burnt ends from Joe’s KC BBQ or smoked turkey with Alabama White Sauce from Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.
Upgrade your dinner spread to celebrity status
We've all been binge-watching cooking shows during quarantine, and while Netflix is asking "Are you still watching Chef's Table?,” we're trying to figure out how many celebrity chef restaurants we can visit on our next vacation.
Until then, we'll be ordering from Goldbelly, so we don't have to wait for a trip to New Orleans to try the Garden District's marquee restaurant, Commander's Palace. Get a three-course creole meal including shrimp and grits and a pecan pie delivered right to your front steps.
Similarly, flights to Los Angeles or NYC aren’t required to sample chef David Chang’s Momofuku creations. Instead, gather around your kitchen table for a feast of Bo SsäM (Korean pork shoulder). If you’re looking to defy gravity, grab a kit to build your own brisket trash can nachos from the Mayor of Flavortown himself, Guy Fieri. Or, indulge a sweet tooth with a cake from “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman or some Southern baked goods like oatmeal cream pies from Chef Carla Hall.
Stumble upon a new favorite … virtually
Remember that cafe on the side street near your hotel you stumbled into or the menu outside that restaurant which made you change your dinner plans? Goldbelly’s site leads to similar discoveries as you can search by geographical region or food category.
Attention pie lovers, Blue Owl Bakery in Kimmswick, Missouri, is home to a caramel pecan apple pie that’s nearly a foot tall, making it an unforgettable Mother's Day gift. There are some pretty iconic burgers out there, so finding one that still feels like a secret is something special. Gott's Roadside is the go-to in California's Napa Valley thanks to locally sourced beef, bun and a secret sauce. Craving pierogies with some local flare? Denver’s Baba & Pops has grown from food truck to brick-and-mortar to now shipping their local-favorite pierogies, flavor options include chile relleno and pulled pork.
What we love from Goldbelly
Like we said earlier, we've been obsessed with Goldbelly since we started partnering with the company last summer. Our colleagues have been sharing one foodie find after another through our all-company messaging system.
We've also used Goldbelly to send loved ones a special treat when we can't physically share a meal or celebration. Birthdays were celebrated with cakes endorsed by Oprah and spreads of pastrami on rye. Bagels from NYC found their way to Los Angeles for a Father’s Day spread and Chicago for a special Saturday breakfast.
A Key Lime pie brought some Florida sunshine and Key West vibes to Long Island. A bucket-list dinner at Zahav in Philadelphia helped a family share the flavors of Israel without leaving home. Southern staples like biscuits and gravy brought some comfort food to Las Vegas.
We haven't traveled much in the last year, but we've been coast-to-coast with our taste buds.