After my first week at Wake Washington, I have not only spent an absurd amount of money, but I have also had some wonderful food. And while D.C. has many amazing things to do both through the program and outside of it, the food has been the spotlight of my experience. I have had South African food, Korean food, Indian food, Caribbean food, American food, Columbian food and a lot of pizza.
As a vegetarian, I am usually worried to eat-out because I usually end up scouring the menu for options I can eat or just getting a bunch of sides. But in the past week, I haven’t had any problem finding delicious and filling vegetarian food. And as I have combed the menus, I have found foods and words that have been rabbit holes of information, on not just cuisine, but also culture.
As I have been eating out way too much, I have been thinking about what it means and what I am gaining from this experience of not just Washington but the food of Washington. While I am not abroad, I still have been able to explore snippets of culture from across the globe all while staying in the states.
Day after day, I looked through Yelp trying to see what new food I was going to try and I am always surprised by the new flavors and aromas that were to come. Post eating, I of course had to Yelp review the place and tell the world of the must-visit or no-go restaurant. Luckily, only two places have gotten less than three stars so far.
And while some places will be busts, the experience is worth it. Meeting new people, supporting local businesses and trying foods I never could have imagined trying all make the trip worthwhile. Plus, living away from campus means no access to the best of cuisine including Moe’s Southwest Grill and the Pit so we either have to cook for ourselves or explore. And as much as my wallet hates it, I would rather go out to eat.
Beyond your program abroad, away or even in Winston-Salem (just anywhere) there is food out there to explore. Part of life is exploration, and food is an easy and delicious way to see the world beyond the homefront. But pay attention to budget always and scout out those five-star, one-dollar signs.
So, check out Yelp or check out local newspapers to find the best food places wherever you are. No matter what you are doing, be aware of what you are eating and what the food means. Think of it beyond just materials for energy as pieces of beauty that can bring joy or sadness, but nonetheless bring experience.