I Ate Dog Meat in Vietnam

Categories: Travel Hog

All photos by Zachary Fagenson
Dog meat, herbs, fish sauce.
No, I don't know what breed it was. Yes, I know I'm disgusting. It tastes mostly like overcooked lamb. The worst part is actually the mushy gray fermented shrimp sauce that smells like a bowl of anchovies left to bake in the sun for six months.

Now that your basic questions about dog meat -- thit cho (pronounced teet-choh) in Vietnamese -- are out of the way we can dig a little deeper.

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Three Great Dining Spots In the Upper Keys, From Burgers to Tacos to Hogfish

Categories: Travel Hog

Bill Citara
Bill Burkhardt
No one has ever accused the Upper Keys of being a hotbed of fine dining. Lukewarm-bed, maybe. Cold-bed, even.

But over the past couple of years the local dining scene has started heating up, giving diners who just can't choke down the thought of one more plate of fried shrimp with a side order of Margaritaville a few more palatable options. Here are three good ones.

See also: Key West: Where to Score the Best Hogfish, Doughnuts, and Shrimp

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New York Times' 36 Hours in South Beach: Take it With a Grain of Salt

Categories: Travel Hog

There's life outside Ocean Drive for tourists to explore.
From time to time, Short Order writers share their travel experiences. We've blogged about our meals in New York, fruit carvings in Singapore, and a coffee plantation in Jamaica.

Travel writing is interesting because it's so subjective. In a long weekend visit, a writer can't possibly find all the perfect spots to visit, and woe is the reporter who gets wooed into recommendations by PR firms, a hotel concierge, or the local tourism bureau.

That's why an article such as the New York Times' recent "36 Hours in South Beach" has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Assuming even that in a 36-hour period, most people won't venture out of South Beach (so let's not even talk about a cab to midtown or Wynwood), the piece still misses most highlights of SoBe and never really delves into why the restaurants and bars listed make good choices.

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Maker's Mark Distillery: A Very Christmas Place to Be

All photos by Laine Doss
Maker's Mark: All decked out for the holidays.
There are many places that embody the spirit of Christmas. New York has the giant tree and ice skaters at Rockefeller Center, London recalls a Dickens-style holiday, and Aspen offers a snow-covered vista (and Mariah Carey in a red bikini).

But after a brief visit, Christmas will now and forever be associated with the small town of Loretto, Kentucky, home of the Maker's Mark distillery.

See also: Yardbird Southern Table and Bar Named One of the Best Bourbon Bars in the Country

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Nile Ethiopian in Orlando Is Worth the Three-Hour Drive

Categories: Travel Hog

It tastes better than it looks, guaranteed.
When I tell people Ethiopian food is my favorite, I'm often met with a blank stare. It's understandable, particularly in Miami, where you can't find this kind of cuisine within a 200-mile radius. The closest eatery is Nile Ethiopian in Orlando, tucked away off the madness of International Drive.

So, what the hell is it? It's a delicious mashup of spicy, stew-like dishes, all served atop and eaten with a spongy flatbread called injera. Red lentils, split peas, cabbage (and lamb, beef, and chicken for meat eaters) are all standard additions to this East African fare.

And trust me, eating it is worth every damn minute of the three-hour drive to Orlando.

See also: Miami Needs An Ethiopian Restaurant For Christmas

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Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala: A Haven For Turkeys

Kindred Spirits / Facebook
Isn't it nice to see turkeys eating, instead of the other way around?
This isn't a warm and fuzzy time for American turkeys. To provide fodder for millions of tryptophan comas, roughly 45 million birds meet their makers every November.

But at Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary in Ocala, turkeys aren't for eating. Instead, they live out their lives in peace and comfort. Plus, they get cuddles.

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A Trip to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin: A Wonka-Like Experience (With Beer)

All photos by Laine Doss
The Guinness Storehouse and Brewery: A theme-park of beer.
A trip to Dublin absolutely cannot exist without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse.

In a city rich with history including Trinity College, the homes of James Joyce and Bram Stoker, Dublin castle, and Viking remnants, the number one tourist attraction is a visit to the Arthur Guinness's vision of beertopia. Why?

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Whole Foods' Austin Flagship Is Amazing (Photos)

Categories: Travel Hog

All photos by Hannah Sentenac
If despite its hefty price tags and intimidatingly perfect patrons, you're drinking the Whole Foods' Kool Aid -- their flagship store in Austin might send you into a diabetic coma. It's the healthy eater's Holy Grail, even if too much of a good thing is, well, freakin' expensive.

The 80,000-square-foot market, bar, eatery, makeup counter and pick-up joint (we suspect) makes our local branches look like the neighborhood 7-11. But if you can't make the trek yourself, here's a photo tour of their edible wonders instead. And staying home is probably best. We're saving you like $750 in vegan cheese, organic face cream, and GMO-free lettuce.

See also: How to Navigate Whole Foods' Cafeteria Without Getting Burned

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Drive-Thru Margaritas in Houston: How Is This Legal?

All photos by Hannah Sentenac
A drive-thru margarita bar might sound a little, well, illegal. After all, open containers aren't allowed in any state in the U.S. of A. But there are loopholes, and through those loopholes pops up Houston's W Grill and its delicious frozen concoctions.

At this neighborhood spot in the hip Heights neighborhood of Houston, you can sail into the drive-thru on any given day and head home with a slushy cocktail. It's your choice of a piƱa colada, a cherry margarita, a mudslide, or any number of other boozy treats. But, you might ask, how exactly is this legal?

See also: Blue Starlite Miami Urban Drive-In Announces Grand Opening

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Cheese, Potatoes and Pickles: Raclette is the Best Dish You've Never Eaten

Categories: Travel Hog

All photos by Hannah Sentenac
In my wildest food fantasies, there's typically some combination of cheese, potatoes, pickles or all of the above. After all, I never met a cheese I didn't like, and potatoes are the world's most versatile plant. And pickles -- well, who doesn't love the satisfying crunch of a sweet gherkin? A hearty dill? A glowing green half sour?

So I was more than a little thrilled to discover that there's a classic Swiss dish that encompasses all three: raclette. Recently, I was introduced to a genuine incarnation of this gourmet wonder at London's Borough Market; specifically, at a world-famous cheese stand called Kappacasein.

See also: London's Borough Market: The World's Most Amazing Food Court (Photos)

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