Skipping Across South Carolina: Hominy Grill, Terra, City Roots and Southern Belly BBQ

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Last we spoke, I was living it up in Charleston, pigging out at FIG and Husk and Butcher and Bee. The next morning, I was supposed to leave right away for Columbia but felt the pull of the one place I hadn’t managed to squeeze in over the previous 48 hours: Hominy Grill. And Hominy Grill serves breakfast. Surely, I could race over there and shovel some food down my throat before leaving for Columbia? Reader, that’s exactly what I did.

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Our Skeleton Twins Sundance Adventure

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When I first laid eyes on Craig, it was in the spring of 2006 at Joe on Waverly and he was with a guy slightly shorter than him working on a screenplay. I didn’t know they were working on a screenplay; mostly, I wondered if they were a couple or just friends. When Craig went to get water, we made eye contact. A few weeks later, totally randomly, he looked at my Friendster profile (remember Friendster?) and I sent him an e-mail. We went on a date. And another date. And now we’ve been together for almost eight years. And that screenplay he was working on with his friend (who turned out to be Mark Heyman who’d later go on to write Black Swan and to marry my good friend Diana)? It became a movie–The Skeleton Twins–that just premiered to wild acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

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The Top Ten Dishes That I Ate in 2013

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The dish that you see above (Tiger Prawn Salami from Movida in Sydney, Australia) is not one of the Top Ten Dishes That I Ate in 2013. I put it there, though, to illustrate how well I ate this year and how difficult it was to narrow everything down to the ten best dishes. My year brought me to Birmingham, Alabama (the 7-layer pecan coconut cake from Bottega would be #11 on my list), Perth and Sydney Australia, New York, Washington, and all over the city I now call home, Los Angeles. In fact, you’ll notice that 6 of the 10 items on this list are to be found in L.A. and that’s not just because I live here. It’s because of all the cities that I visited this year, L.A. remains the most dynamic and exciting food-wise. Check out my list and see if you agree.

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48 Hours in Sydney

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After spending a week in Perth, Australia for the Eat Drink Blog conference, I knew I’d be connecting back through Sydney and everyone in my life told me I’d be crazy not to spend some time there. As it happened, I had recently signed up for an American Express Starwood card that came with 25,000 points—or I’d earned them or something—and I could use those points to stay at the Westin in the Central Business District for three nights. So, in other words, I could stay in Sydney for three nights totally for free or just go straight back to America. Duh: I chose to see Sydney.

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Farewell To Perth: Hawker Markets, Eat Drink Blog, A Food Truck Party, Aisuru Sushi, Flipside Burgers & Taiwanese Dessert

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My sense of time is totally warped. I flew back from Sydney yesterday, leaving Thursday morning and arriving in L.A. on Thursday morning, five hours earlier than when I left. Today might be Friday but it also might not be Friday, I’m really not sure. All I know is that after visiting Fremantle last week, I had a few more days in Perth before going to Sydney on Monday (or was it really Monday?) This is an account of everything that I did in that time.

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Let’s Go To An Australian Supermarket!

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All right, class, find your buddy and take them by the hand…we’re going on a class trip to Australia to check out an Australian supermarket!

Surely there are better reasons to go to Australia, like the Sydney Opera House or kangaroos or Olivia Newton John, but as a lover of food and food shopping and grocery stores, I was fascinated to go into a mainstream grocery store today to see how it differed from its American cousins. And the one that I chose, Cole’s, was a perfect choice because it couldn’t have been more conventional. It is to Sydney what D’Agastino’s is to New York and Ralph’s is to California. It’s where normal people go to shop and, because of that, it’s easier to compare the differences. So hop into my cart and let’s see what there is to see.

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Heli to Rotto, Biking The Island, Quokkas, The Rottnest Express, A Beach Lunch and A Colombian Dinner

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The truth about my trip to Australia is that, until I boarded the flight over here, I hadn’t really thought about what it was that I expected to get out of the trip. Of course, just coming here was going to be enriching and exciting, but what specific thing did I hope to take away? And then it dawned on me as I studied my itinerary; Australians are daring, they just get up and do things and don’t think twice about it. And so the activities planned for Wednesday (yesterday) would be the perfect opportunity for me to let go of my neurotic New York Woody-Allen-like qualities and become a Paul Hogan, a Steve Irwin, a Priscilla Queen of the Desert. It all began with a helicopter.

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Eating Swan Valley, Bushtucker, Makin’ Nougat, Lunch at Houghton Wines and Kanga Bangas on the Beach

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Today was a day so filled with food and information about food I’m not sure what’s more likely to burst: my belly or my brain. Before I take you along on my first Perth adventure, here’s something I learned from my new Australian friends: Australians like to abbreviate words to make them easier to say. So they wouldn’t call me Adam here, they’d call me “Ads.” A fireman is a “firey,” a relative is a “relly,” breakfast is “brekky.” Got it? So let’s get started on this posty.

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