For those of you who haven’t followed, I’m currently “on tour” speaking and cooking up delectables at the national Travel & Adventure Shows.
The FORKS Tour Van made the trek from San Diego to Chicago and at a stop in Springfield, Missouri, it got hit with a mild battering of snow—hardly the dumping that happened on the East Coast that same week. Waiting out the storm with a late night meal at a local whiskey bar, the J O B Public House.
In Chicago it was great to meet old friends and make new friends and find new readers of FORKS. I even connected with Miguel at Portugal Motorcycle Tours. He offers upmarket tours of Portugal and the region. No need to bring your motorcycle, just show up and he takes care of everything. We’re discussing the possibility of jointly doing a food and motorcycle ride tour with friends of WorldRider. Stay tuned, or drop me a message if you’re interested.
The best part of doing these shows is meeting people. That’s why I love to travel. Though I normally don’t have a traditional “booth” or “exhibit” at these shows, in Chicago there was an opportunity to showcase my bike and book sin a traditional 20 foot booth space. So for the duration of the two days, when not speaking or demonstrating, I shared stories, sold and signed books, and found so many strangers turn into friends. Though at the end of a few days, I was hoarse, a bit tired and yet eager to pack up and make my way to Dallas.
As I do whether traveling overland or otherwise, it’s always fun to check out where the locals eat. So instead of heading to the Rosemont development near the convention center where chain restaurants cater to conventioneers and business out-of-towners, I wanted to check out the local food scene. So I stumbled into a neighborhood Italian restaurant, Zia’s Trattoria, where for more than 17 years the Calabrese family, leg by executive chef “Joe”, has been serving Italian-inspired cuisine to locals in Chicago’s Edison Park neighborhood.
The place was hopping, people waiting outside, dressed in huge jackets and just trying to turn their faces away from the wind. Valet parking staff fumble with key fobs awkwardly with big clunky gloves. The energy is positive, a party in the back corner seems to be celebrating a great grandmother. There’s barely a stool available, but I squeeze in at the bar. It feels old school, dark wood, high ceiling and big windows so I could watch the world go by. Here I made new friends and enjoyed a good glass of Italian red while dining on Maialie, a pancetta wrapped Pork tenderloin, mushroom-Marsala sauce served with butternut squash soft polenta, and rapini.
TRAVEL & ADVENTURE SHOWS — 2016
- WASHINGTON DC
- LOS ANGELES
- SF/BAY AREA
- JANUARY 30 – 31, 2016
- FEBRUARY 20 – 21, 2016
- FEBRUARY 27 – 28, 2016
- MARCH 5 – 6, 2016
- MARCH 19 – 20, 2016