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March 17, 2009

Note from Africa and thoughts on my own travels

I just got an e-mail from Gailor entitled "safe & sound." (She didn't take a computer with her so this is the first we've heard.) I promise I won't bore you with constant updates, but since Regina kindly asked this morning, I'll share my daughter's e-mail with you in its entirety:

Will write more later (including a description of plane meals), but wanted to let you know we got here safe & sound.  Just finished Day One.  High point: great plenary session with reps from PEPFAR, EGPAF, etc.  Low point: got pooped on by a Marabou Stork.  Google it.  It's one mother of a bird.

I know it makes some readers nervous when I write about anything but Maryland restaurants, and I appreciate that. However, if you think of Dining@Large as the blogging equivalent of Gourmet magazine, which has all those great travel articles, you might feel better. ...

Of course, I tend to take you to places like Sewanee, Tenn. and Vega, Tex. (pop.: 936), where I had lunch at a Diary Queen, but still.

Actually I was thinking this morning that it's seemed like a particularly long winter because I didn't travel to Los Angeles every six weeks or so as I did in the past when Gailor lived there. However, one thing about the current economy is that flights have gotten cheaper again; and if you have friends and family in various parts of the country you can take advantage of it without spending a whole lot of money.

I plan to do that, especially as I have some vacation to burn. (Hal Laurent VofR suggested doing so, and I always take his advice.)

Here are the trips we, and by "we" I mean "you and I," will be taking this year:

1) I plan to be at O'Hare to meet Gailor's plane on March 28.

2) Easter will be spent with my brother in Los Angeles. (The ticket was $219 round trip, taxes and everything included. It would have been more expensive to go to Ocean City.)

3) In May I'm going with a friend to Savannah. There should be some good eating there to tell you about.

4) This summer I'll spend a week in Sewanee, Tenn., as I do each year.

5) In August, Dining@Large's own Famous Foodie, Amanda, is getting married on the West Coast, and I plan to be at the wedding. I've begged her to make us one last video, but I don't know if she'll have time. (Check out her past contributions, one for Sugar Week and two for Crab Week.)

Keep your fingers crossed.




Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:20 PM | | Comments (18)


"I know it makes some readers nervous when I write about anything but Maryland restaurants..."

You've got to be kidding, right?

Well, for instance, this comment from L.D. during our trip to Italy. As you can see, I wrote a post about it. EL

No, she's not kidding, Laura Lee. There were some loud squawks when Lady E. graciously kept us up to date on her dining adventures in Italy a year or so ago.

Great, Elizabeth. I know what it is like to worry about a child who is far away. Forget the folks who don't think that you are a human being behind that magnificent eating machine. What do they know? This is after all, The Only Blog You Will Ever Need.

My wife, a prof at Hopkins in TB/HIV research, travels to Africa frequently and while there have been "moments" she has not had any health issues. Your daughter will be fine and will have the time of her life! It's very nice to read about your family and your day to day life. Keep it up!

Go ahead and "bore us" with Gailor updates, because Uncle Larry has been beside himself with worry over this trip. He will be glad to know that the first report was "safe and sound."

P.S. Marabou feathers are used to tie several flies (used by fly fishermen) including the classic Wooly Bugger. I think they are also used in those big, fancy Las Vegas showgirl costumes.

...The Only Blog You'll Ever Need.

Well, I would enjoy hearing about Gailor's experiences in Uganda as well as EL's dining experiences away from Baltimore.

I often chime in about the dining scene here, not sure if anyone cares. Probably not, but I do it more as a comparison to the dining scene in Baltimore. Others do as well; its good to get a perspective of restaurants out of the area.

I'm just disappointed there wasn't a picture of a Maribou stork. I've seen them in zoos. They are huge. Could probably serve a large family at Thanksgiving.

Oh, I forgot to add. I'm jealous!! I'm flying my dear fiancee down here in May and its $289! Still, that is a bit cheaper than just a couple months ago. But I've noticed its cheaper to fly roundtrip FROM here than it is to fly roundtrip TO here.

Guess its true that the farther you fly in the continental US, the cheaper it is. It also helps that Baltimore and LA are fairly large airports.

OMG (and I don't mean Owlie.) I just watched that crab video, which was on here before I wandered into the Sandbox.

She actually said, "I just take my mallet and I just gently..." . What the hell was gentle about that?

I might not be able to sleep tonight.

I'm disappointed. I thought you had gone back and read from the beginning. EL

I don't know if cassava is as big in Uganda as it is in some other Sub-Saharan countries, but on the chance Gailor's offered some, tell her to make sure it's been properly soaked or boiled (unlikely, but not impossible, that it wouldn't be).
On the other hand, I'm eager to know how Marabourgers taste.
Lastly, there is good eating in Savanah and just up the road in Charleston. Mmmmm ... Savanah/Charleston.

PCB Rob: you're right about the "fairly large airports" being cheaper destinations. I'd hoped to take advantage of the discounted airfares to surprise my mother by showing up on her birthday earlier this month, but she lives in Wichita. The airfare from here to there hasn't dropped much since Christmas.


LOL, one year we went to Niagara Falls (49 bucks each way to Buffalo, then rented car for another $100 for the week) and stayed for 7 days, and quite a few times we've flown down to Florida instead of going to OC - when the flights cheap, it's totally cheaper! People say, "I can't believe you're going to Florida in the summer, it's so hot". Hello? Summer in Baltimore is not hot and humid? It's a beach. And it's not crowded with a billion high school kids either because they already went during spring break.

EL, glad Gailor is safe (and will now have good luck from getting pooped on by a Marabou Stork). Love hearing about her trip and enjoy when you share travels with us as well. I hope when you go to Savannah that you'll go to The Lady and Sons. I want a real person's real impression on that place (who's not working for TFN).

Joyce W.--I hope you are right about poop from a major bird bringing major luck.

And Bucky--you're not the only one who found that crab video highly disturbing. I could not watch the whole thing.

Perhaps that should be the Line in the Sand(box), then. Those who required complete compliance with a strict Food agenda should Go Away. I don't, by any means, want to be exclusionary BUT there are about 90 gazillion Food blogs. Perhaps one - or many - of them would be more willing to fall into line.

Buck, Maribou feathers are used as trim on those flashy pegnoirs one sees in black & white movies.

EL wrote: I'm disappointed. I thought you had gone back and read from the beginning. EL

I've scrolled through the entire archive--a couple of times--and I've read a lot. But my eyes were most focused on the number of comments on each topic, because the scrolling was around finding the 100-comment posts.

That said, I am surprised, myself, that I wouldn't have stopped to read a topic entitled "R-rated" anything.

Glad to hear that you are returning to Sewanee for a week this summer.
It's a great place.
We have a cottage and guest suite for short term rental, two days or a week....please see our blog and call or email us if you are interested.

Wow. Talk about using the Sun's resources for my own personal gain. Now I'm getting leads on vacation rentals through my blog. EL

Good luck eating in Sewanee this summer. Pearl's is closed and doesn't look like it's opening any time soon. The good news is that there are a few decent new options in Cowan and Winchester, but I use the term "decent" in the way one does when they live in the middle of nowhere and the best dining option is Sonic.

Oh, bummer. Although my brother now refuses to eat at Pearl's. He thinks it's overpriced. Lovely setting though. If you search "Sewanee" you'll see that I've eaten at every possible option. EL

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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