Food For Thought

I’ve now been in the US for a year and in that time I’ve done a great deal of eating. I have also gained weight and while I’m not surprised, I’m somewhat annoyed by it. 

Food is important. Obviously we need it to stay alive, but food is such an important part of life, culture, and memories. As an Australian I’ve had to adjust to American food and some I really like and some I don’t. 

What I know for sure is that I’ve had enough time to review a range of restaurants and fast food places. This is my list so far, in no order.


I don’t like it. I’ve been twice and tried a range of different things and I haven’t liked any. The first time the food was a bit cold so that was an instant dislike, but the second time everything was hot and I still didn’t like it. I won’t go back.

Olive Garden

I’ve also been to Olive Garden twice and I have mixed feelings. The first time we had a couple of really good seafood appetisers and they were tasty. The salad and bread were also good. The salmon we had for the main was dry so I didn’t like it.

The second time I tried the eggplant parmigiana and it was average. Jim had a shrimp pasta and it was good. 

Overall I found the food to be okay but I don’t think I’d go back.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

I know that I was really hungry when we went to Carrabba’s in Tennessee on a road trip, but the food was incredible. I had the most delicious veal dish with capers and it was so good. Jim had chicken breast and he said it was the juiciest he’d ever had. I cannot believe how good the meal was. I can’t wait to go back.

Cheesecake Factory

I’ve now been to the Cheesecake Factory three times and it’s wonderful every time I go. I struggle to choose as there are just so many choices but everything I’ve had so far is fabulous. I think my favourite so far is the Thai curry with so much flavour and colour. It’s exceptional. I’ll definitely be back.

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is another favourite. We’ve been there three times and each meal was good. My favourite is the fried chicken with honey. It’s crispy and moist chicken on the bone and extra good with the honey.

I’m not a breakfast person at all but we stopped in for a quick breakfast while on a road trip in Arkansas. I ordered the kid’s pancakes as I didn’t want much and I was surprised by how good they were. And the coffee wasn’t as nasty as I’d expected. I will be back.


Quite simply, Buc-ees has amazing barbecue at a decent price. The brisket is utterly delicious whether chopped or sliced. It’s impossible to stop eating once you start. Well it is for me, hence the weight gain.


I am a fan of Chipotle. It reminds me of the Australian chain called Zambrero. So fresh and delicious and you can make up your own bowls. This is one of my favourite places to eat for Australian food memories.


I love Maccas. What more can I say? I don’t even care that it’s bad for me. That $3 menu is magnificent.

Taco Trucks

I’m yet to find a taco truck I don’t like. Tacos are spectacular in America and the meat is so tender and delicious. Can’t get enough.


Schlotzky’s is well known in Texas. I have only been once and had pizza. It was okay.

Mod Pizza

I’m surprised by how much we like Mod Pizza. You can choose the toppings you like, in any combination. Everything is so fresh and it’s prepared and cooked in front of you, quickly. They also make great salads. This is a favourite of ours.


I’m not a fan. I’ve tried to be but I’m not. I’ve had it twice now and ordered two different meals, and they were average at best. The coffee isn’t hideous. That’s the positive. I don’t think I’ll go back. 

Jim and I have found a really good local Indian restaurant that we can’t get enough of. The food is fresh and delicious and we are slowly working our way through the menu. It’s certainly fun trying it all. 

I’ve been to lots of other independent places that have been both good and crappy, but overall I’m enjoying trying different things. If we were closer to the city we’d have access to a huge variety of great restaurants but I don’t fancy navigating the busyness of Dallas. Dallas has the reputation for having some fantastic restaurants but I don’t think I’ll get to try many unless I can find a way to manage the crazy traffic. 

Food can always be relied on to give us an experience. Both good and bad. I really miss some of the great food I had in Australia, but I’m slowly finding places that make me happy. Food has a way of doing that.

Published by My Average Travels

I'm Annelise; an Australian writer living in the USA, who loves experiencing new places and things. I'm perpetually on a budget, but despite this I manage to find myself in some incredible places. I'm not about glamour or luxury, but about real life, real experiences, and making real memories. Most of my travel experiences have resulted from plan B's. I write about average moments that have brought me great joy in the midst of the every day.

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