Best Food Stops While Traveling: An Educational Leadership Consultant’s Guide

By Taylor Krivas, Senior Educational Leadership Consultant

As an Educational Leadership Consultant (ELC), there are infinite possibilities in the realm of food exploration! I consider myself a “foodie” by nature, but more in the sense of the desire to eat literally anything in sight. My previous region, North Carolina/Kentucky/Virginia, allowed me to sample more BBQ than many would consider humanly possible. Indulging in comfort food has recently changed, and I’ve found myself more on a health kick. Finding the best places to eat while on the road can be challenging when looking to stay within my newfound food parameters. Regardless of your dietary desires, there are always a plethora of recommendations from undergraduate members, staff members, and websites.

Tacos are a personal passion of mine, and I make sure to make that known in every all-chapter meeting I’ve ever hosted. Because of this, nearly all the chapters I visited had a recommendation for the best tacos in town. The greatest taco suggestion I received was from a chapter in North Carolina. The restaurant, Tangent, still holds precedence over all my subsequent taco excursions. I made sure that every other meal during my 3-day visit both semesters was at this eatery, just so I could have the Spicy Catfish Taco just one last time. The Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken & Waffle tacos are also a must. If you ever have the chance to go to North Carolina, I cannot recommend this local taco joint any more highly. I asked other staffers for their recommendations from their travel regions in the Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast.

Current and former staff members are a fantastic reference, because nobody knows the best recommendations than those that have already visited that area. Here are a few of the gentlemen I had the pleasure of working with during my first year as a consultant and their must-haves for food:

  • Zac Bell—Old Crow Burgers in La Crosse, WI. Wisconsin is known for one thing in particular, and that is cheese, cheese, and more cheese! Old Crow Burgers was the most frequented spot for Zac during his expansion project at La Crosse.
  • Joe Berry—Hard Eight BBQ in Stephenville, TX. Joe considers himself a connoisseur of BBQ. His all-time favorite meal was the brisket stuffed potato with sides of okra and, as is customary in the south, sweet tea. Can’t go wrong with Texas BBQ!
  • Nick Kobernik—Portland Lobster Co. in Portland, ME. Because there’s no lobster like Maine ‘lobstah’! Nick got boiled lobster, saving up his per diem for the biggest lobster he could get right on the coast.

When it comes to becoming an ELC, there will always be hurdles to jump. Food is one constant for comfort, but it’s also important to stay open to new opportunities! This is not the time to be picky or stick to your norm at home. This can range from cheese curds in Wisconsin, all the way to Texas BBQ, and lobster off the coast of Maine. It is imperative to humor the recommendations of others because you may just discover your new favorite dish.

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