Looking back on 2018 Stephany and I experienced some amazing cultural and culinary adventures.
Our first trip of the year was to Austin, TX, where Stephany had a work-related trip, so I tagged along for the tail-end of the trip because I knew this would be my opportunity to try the world famous barbecue from a little known place (JK) called Franklin’s Barbecue. I arrived at 5:00am to find 30 people were already tailgating in front of the restaurant with coffee, breakfast, and some good old conversation. I waited over seven hours until I finally sat down with my behemoth of a BBQ tray and it was worth every minute. However, on this trip I also went to La Barbecue and I must say it was just as good as Franklin’s, but Franklin’s was an experience. I would be remiss to not mention the other fantastic restaurants we ate in Austin, TX that’s not BBQ. We had dinner at Salty Sow one night, and it was absolutely amazing (for Chris since there were little options for Stephany’s taste)! Definitely need to try the triple fried duck fat fries, with a fired duck egg on top and béarnaise sauce for dipping. Another day we had brunch at Odd Duck, which is a trendy farm to table restaurant with creative dishes and a relaxed atmosphere.
Our next trip was to Japan! If you have not been to Japan, please put it on the top of your list and make sure it’s next on the list. We cannot express to you how awesome the food was in Japan. Needless to say I had my fair share of ramen on the trip (ate ramen at least once a day, just because) and it has now set the standard for what ramen should be anywhere, period. In Tokyo, one of the best culinary experiences I’ve ever had was waking up at 4am to go to Tsukiji Market to have sushi at 5:30AM in Sushi Daiwa. Yes, having sushi that early in the morning is a thing (probably more for the tourists), we waited 45 minutes in line to get into that little 8 seater sushi bar, and it was PHENOMENAL! Every bite of sushi tasted incredible. The precision of the sushi chef’s cuts along with the freshness of the fish is an experience that words cannot explain, you must experience. In Kyoto we had the fortune of eating at Jiki Miyazawa, which is headed by a Michelin Star chef Takamoto Izumi. This culinary experience has to be our favorite ever. We both left with our foodie hearts in the clouds. We were treated to a ten course meal that stimulated our tastebuds in a way a painting evokes emotions in one’s soul. Wow! That’s deep, I know, but it was that good. It’s all we’re trying to tell you.
We visited Napa for the second time and had amazing food and wine, while taking in some great Fall weather air and scenic views. The must go restaurant in Napa is without a doubt Mustards Grill, but make sure to have reservations or prepare to wait. It’s kind of hard to have bad wine in Napa, but some go-to places are Frog’s Leap, Duckhorn, Jarvis, and Frank Family vineyards to name a few that we love.
Why are we sharing these little snippets of trips we took in 2018? When we set out to create Fared Pair, we wanted to share our love for food and wine with everyone and anyone who loves to enjoy these life’s pleasures as much as we do. However, we created this site in 2014 and haven’t done a good job of posting much new content or sharing our culinary adventures with the world since. We apologize! So starting in 2019 we are committing to posting new content on a daily basis on our Instagram account @faredpair and on this site on a weekly basis. Chris will be sharing his love of cooking and simple recipes on this site and social media for you to recreate and enjoy with friends and family. Get ready for a delicious 2019… We’re hungry!