A Travel Planning Guide to Oregon Wine Country

Are you a wine lover, enthusiast, aspiring aficionado? Have you been to Napa and Sonoma already and need a new wine destination? Do you want something a little more low key (and also a tad cheaper) to kick-off your wine travels? Oregon offers some of the world’s best wineries. The best part is that they are still slightly unspoiled. This wine region is not (yet) overrun with tourists and mainstream hotel and restaurant chains. That a big win in my personal book.


A Food Lover in Portland, OR- Top 5

Oregon, The Dish | July 13, 2017 | By

Hi all my food loving adventure junkies! This post was written specifically for you.

A lot of my city visits are too quick. This means there is little time to explore all that each place has to offer. I know that a lot of people travel like me and only get a limited amount of time in their destination. This may be because the travel is work related, it’s just a long weekend away, or you’re just stopping through. Because we often have such little time to explore, I wanted to start sharing the top 5 food related destinations or activities that a given city has to offer! My latest short visit stop was in Portland, Oregon. We flew in and out of the airport on our way to our wine region destinations for our recent long vacation. We had a total of 24 hours to see the city. The list below is not comprehensive, but rather some key spots that are no fail for food lovers if you’re trying to make the best of your short time too! 


Travel Food Feature-Jersey Girls Food Tours, Jersey City NJ

Over the course of the next few months, I think you’ll see some content shifting and small changes to Behind the Plates. I’m in the process of a small re-branding to start really focusing on what I love most and more importantly what you readers favor, recipes and travel. I’ve dipped my toes into a bunch of other content related pools but, I these are really the heart of Behind the Plates. This post is the beginning of that evolution. I’m hoping to bring you travel inspiration features that really speak to people who travel like me! So what does traveling like Missy entail? Well, I’m often on the hunt for the best food related experience I can find. Sometimes I plan ahead; sometimes I stumble upon them in our explorations. The most obvious is restaurant experiences but what about tours, street carts, classes, etc.? For the traveling food lover, like me!!, I think you’ll appreciate the ideas I’ll share along my journeys.


How to Spend a Weekend in Nashville

 After each of my travel experiences I try to reflect on what part of the trip stood out to me the most. I prefer to take a more natural, and less premeditated, approach to what I think my readers will like to hear about in a travel post. I take photos during every meal (as long as I remember to!), take note of all trip activities, and evaluate my accommodations while traveling. After my trip concludes, whatever experience jumps out to me the most is where I start my brainstorm.


“REAL” Good Food on Montford-Charlotte, NC


My Charlotte journeys continue to grow as the months pass on! Last month I had my fourth visit in the past six months to the Queen City. I spent three days bouncing around for work activities, visiting my best friend, and of course continuing my food adventures. I have to share a quick story that gave me a laugh while on my visit. I spent some time with a work colleague who lives in Charlotte and has for thirteen years. As we began to discuss my love for food she started to list off some of the popular bars and restaurants in the area. I let her in on the secret that I had gone to almost everything on her list. She explained with shock that she had lived there for over a decade and had yet to go to most of them.  The conversation continued with me giving her recommendations on which hot spots to get to and which seemed a bit overrated.


Manasota Key, Florida- Lemon Bay Tours

Florida, The Dish | March 14, 2017 | By

Weekend getaways to Florida in the middle of winter are always welcomed! I love to try and get a mid-winter vacation in to sneak away from the cold and get some Vitamin D. However; this year there was a major factor standing in my way, Zika virus. Before you get all “whoa congrats on the pregnancy”  “I had no clue?!” Well that’s because I am not pregnant. However; not understanding the lasting effects the virus can have, my husband and I made a conscience decision not to put ourselves in harm’s way. We actually went as far as to cancel our New Year’s Eve trip to Miami and the Florida Keys. My grandparents live on the West coast straddled between Tampa and Fort Meyers. They made it abundantly clear that no signs of Zika had been identified near them. When a flash sale from Allegiant Airlines (a new airline to Trenton-Mercer Airport) popped up promising $75 round trip flights to Tampa, we couldn’t pass it up.


A Foodie’s Guide to Hell’s Kitchen, NYC


I am not a New Yorker, or even a full on frequenter of the city. I say this upfront because there are PLENTY of restaurants I have not tried, discovered, or reviewed yet. This post comes from a recent business week trip and a date weekend spent in the Hell’s Kitchen area of the city. For the work trip, I was lucky enough to be with a group of like-minded food lovers who were excited at the prospect of trying out some of the area’s restaurants. Based on a little research, some friendly recommendations, and pure proximity we scoped out our week’s food conquests. This is a compilation of the best restaurants to encounter while visiting. It will give locals some new inspiration if they haven’t already tried these locations. And for the visitor or tourist, you can try these eateries with confidence that you will be eating something delicious. One quick public service announcement…I apologize for the lack of photos. After long days in our conference I tended to eat first, think later. You’ll just have to trust me!


Workman’s Friend, The Everybody Pub- Charlotte, NC

Hi Everyone!

Last month I scooted back down to Charlotte for a weekend to visit my bestie. I have a feeling it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship with the Queen City (As Charlotte is often referred to). For those of you looking to travel there, just check back every few months to find more reviews and travel tips. And for those of you reading from the Charlotte area looking for great spots to try out, I’m happy to share your city! If you missed out on my big foodie find from my September trip, here it is (Midwood Smoke House).


Best in Barbecue-North Carolina’s Midwood Smokehouse (Charlotte)

North Carolina, The Dish | September 20, 2016 | By

My best friend recently moved out of New Jersey and down to North Carolina. While I miss her terribly, the one perk of having her leave was getting to travel to a new place. She relocated to Charlotte and it is not a city that I have visited before. By the time she officially moved down there I already had flights lined up for my first visit. She took those first few months to learn the lay of the land and scope out the local hot spots. When asked if I had any special requests for things to do during my stay I had nothing to add to the agenda. In all honesty, I hadn’t heard much about the city in the past and didn’t know what it had to offer. I thought I would let someone else do the planning for once. My husband, on the other hand, had one item that was a non-negotiable. He wanted to experience Carolina barbecue.


A Food Lover’s Guide to Paris

I’ve been procrastinating on finalizing today’s post for a few days. I feel like by sharing my final page of my honeymoon travel diary, I am closing the book on the experience. I just want to keep reliving all the magical moments. I guess flipping through all my photo books and re-reading these posts will have to do!