The best way to plan your holiday food stops
A Saltee trip is shaped by the food we eat and the restaurants we visit as much the beaches and the poolside view. Our smart phones now give us so many options; but how do we prioritise and ensure that the gastronomic memories match the healthy glow of our sun-kissed skin?
For us, the world divides into two types of people. The first type show up, drop their bags and wander into the nearest eatery. Returning home these people will swear that Alghero/Rio/Hanoi has the best food in the world and the friendliest people they’ve ever met.
Then there’s the rest of us, who are equally Saltee in outlook but without restaurant research, we’ll be left picking at our plates in a half-empty dining room, having been served the same bland meal we could have ordered in the brasserie round the corner from home. All the while we fear the locals are gorging on fresh seafood and the best local tipple just round the corner, clinking glasses with the aforementioned first type of traveller.
So for most of us it really makes a difference to knuckle down and do our holiday homework. But where to begin?
In the days when information was not crowdsourced, there was a wonderful holiday planning device known as the Tourist Guidebook. You’d consult the index, pinpoint your destination, and be presented with a list of, oh, at least three restaurants to choose from. When you turned up (assuming the place hadn’t closed in the four years since the guide was published), you’d be greeted by the disappointed looks of other foreigners hoping to glimpse a more local clientele, and the knowing smirk of the owner.
Thankfully, the Web now gives us access to a fount of knowledge: the Random Nameless Stranger. Even better, a whole bunch of random nameless strangers, brought together in one-stop shops of holiday wisdom: TripAdvisor or OpenTable. If you haven’t already noticed the weaknesses of these sites, we’ll leave you to look up the places you know in your home town and draw your own conclusions. In other words, a healthy dose of cynicism is advised when using these sites and Apps.
Still, for those willing to put in the hours, the internet holds more than just an opinion free-for-all. If you’re the kind of person who can still utter the word “foodie” without the need for air quotes and a painfully self-aware eye roll, you’ll find a wealth of information on Chowhound, where food fanatics pen mini essays on the best bagels in New York and guides on avoiding the tourist traps in Brussels, and spill the beans on the latest, hottest eats in town and country. And for the big cities of the English-speaking world, have a glance at Zomato (you might know it better as Urbanspoon), which often has its finger on the Saltee foodie pulse. Again, have a go at the home town test and see if you agree.
On a recent Saltee ski trip, Chowhound ensured we avoided the cliched bistos of the centre and instead brought us to this Flocons de Sel which is mountain sourcing and cooking of the highest level.
Whilst Zomato ensured we didn’t miss the tiger prawns and cocktails at Mojo’s Tapas Bar in Bondi Sydney. In fact it was so good for dinner that we popped back for a delicious vegan breakfast the next morning.
This is our Saltee approach to holiday gastronomy. What’s yours?
Wherever you’re headed, take Saltee with your on your adventure. Vegan friendly, cruelty free, paraben free, gluten free and suitable for sensitive skin. Discover your perfect Saltee match.