I'll just ‘fess up now - I plan my trips around food. When I think of a potential destination, I skip right over researching museums and monuments and spend my time looking up the local cuisine scene. Carolina barbeque? Yes please. Boston clam chowder? Gladly. Minneapolis's "Juicy Lucy"? (Keep reading...) Bring it on.
Imagine my delight when I discovered this treasure trove of "Man v. Food" episodes from the Travel Channel. Host Adam Richman travels to 18 different locales and samples the neighborhood grub in each spot, ending each episode with a regional competitive eating challenge. The New Orleans episode features Adam taking on 15 dozen oysters; a Texas challenge includes eating a 72 oz. steak with various side dishes. Yes, the challenges are extreme, but the visits to other local restaurants are just as fun to watch. Adam chats up the customers, goes on a quick tour of each kitchen, and samples their drool-worthy signature dishes - anything from deep dish pizza to a true New England clambake. I love this show because watching allows me to live vicariously through Adam's gluttony. I promise you, sometimes I feel full just from watching an episode. (Dieting tool, anyone?)
So try a "Man v. Food" episode for yourself and enjoy planning your own culinary journey. Oh, and that "Juicy Lucy" I mentioned before? Imagine an inside-out cheeseburger - two hamburger patties stuffed with oozing cheese, complete with your choice of fresh toppings. Mmm....one ticket to Minneapolis please!
Recommended by Amy Lewis