So I recently had a four day weekend, something of a rarity of a restaurant lifer. Four days of no throwing saute pans, sweating, and scrubbing the oven, so what’s a guy to do? Go out of town of course. Even though it was just an overnight trip to Charlotte it was still amazing to get out of the everyday grind and see new surroundings. Plus who doesn’t like to stay in a hotel and steal the little soaps and things? Growing up, I was spoiled to how much my parents and I would travel. You name it, we went there. I think that’s where I first got my appreciation for great food. If I didn’t eat what was on the menu, I didn’t eat; so I learned from an early age to adapt. My mom always likes to tell the story of the first time they took me to New York City and how and I ate venison. I was like 10 I think. Anyway, once I started working in restaurants my ability to travel has definitely decreased. Part of the job, I get it. However, when I do travel I pretty much plan around where I am going to eat and drink. And I know I am not the only one who does this. Some people might plan on what sights they want to see, museums, historical buildings, blah blah. That’s fun and all, but I want to dine and have an adult beverage. The inner fat kid in me I suppose. I like to see what restaurants are doing in other cities. I love Raleigh and all, but it’s not the most progressive city as far as cutting edge food. It’s a lot of work to plan three meals a day plus snacks right? Social media is a definite aid in planning a food trip; you just have to consider the source of the advice. Other restaurant people are also a great tool as well, especially for reservations. Everyone in the industry knows each other, so there is a definite possibility they know a guy who knows a guy. If I’m suggested a restaurant, first thing I do it go to the website and check out their menu. It has to pass the menu test. Now this may seem like a lot of planning and research, but it’s definitely worth the time and effort. Your belly will be rewarded and Instagram full of food pictures. Now I just need to figure out how I can take more vacations.