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It is that time of the year when people are taking vacations.

It has me reminiscing about my favorite meals I've had away from home. Vacations are so much about food - the new cuisines, tastes, spots, all of it. It took me a long time to get down my list of favorites. I decided to start it off with a dinner I had many years ago in Paris, France ( the restaurant is still open), to a recent meal I enjoyed in San Francisco, California.

My 5 Favorite Restaurants on Vacation

  • Paris, France: Chez l’Ami Louis
    32 Rue du Vertbois, 75003 Paris, France

    This is truly one of the best meals I’ve ever had. L’Ami Louie (our friend Louie’s) had been serving their famous roasted whole chicken and foie gras since 1924. I had my first mangosteen here, long before they were being imported into the United States, and l’Ami Louie, that has been called “the world’s most famous bistro,” has only 12 tables. Be forewarned, l’Ami is expensive.

  • Miami, Florida: Joe’s Stone Crab
    11 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 

    If you’ve never had stone crabs you are missing a real treat. Just the delicate, sweet claw of the crab is eaten and they come in four sizes. Stone crab season in Florida runs from October 15th to May 15th and Joe’s ships nationwide so you can enjoy their food at home. I remember the excellent signature mustard sauce, spinach soufflé and the key lime pie, a perfect end to a perfect dinner. But Joe’s has a very complete menu of soups, steaks, and fish.



  • Vicksburg, Mississippi:
 Walnut Hills Restaurant
    1214 Adams St, Vicksburg, MS 

    Southern Plantation Cuisine is what Walnut Hills calls their food but I call it some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted. And if you choose, you can sit at a family service table where platters of food are delivered to you. Think fried oysters, fried green tomatoes, baked sweet potato, grits, sautéed green beans, pecan praline pie, 
cream of coconut pie, key lime pie and, of course, fried chicken.

Yountville, California:
 Ad Hoc
    6476 Washington St, Yountville, CA
    Ad Hoc’s 4-course family style menu changes each day and includes their famous buttermilk fried chicken, barbecue pork ribs and pulled pork. They offer a small, quality wine list in a casual setting. Ad Hoc serves dinner five nights a week and Sunday brunch and a recent addition is called Addendum, where boxed lunches are served to go Thursdays through Saturdays. My choices is the fried chicken (seeing a pattern here?).



  • San Francisco, California: Swan’s Oyster Depot
    1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA

    If you are looking for VERY fresh seafood, top notch Boston-style clam chowder, smoked salmon, raw oysters, Dungeness crab and shrimp cocktails, don’t pass up this Nob Hill/Russian Hill San Francisco classic. This family run restaurant and fish market opened in 1912. It is, basically, a hole in the wall. About 20 bar stools accompany a long marble bar. Yes, there may be a wait but the food is worth it; open lunch only. No reservations. A San Francisco treat! 

For more cooking tips, visit Sally's Place.

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