There is an old saying that “Food is love,” and that’s never truer than when we travel. Immersing yourself in the cuisine of a destination is like mainlining that place’s cultural identity straight into your veins (well, belly, in this case). Nothing will make you fall in love with a place faster or harder than the food.
When the Expedia Viewfinder team wanted to learn more about which East Coast destination should be our next cuisine crush, we consulted two men whose love of food is boundless: Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal, co-founders of The Infatuation. Their site started out as a New York City-based restaurant review hub designed to cut through food critic pretension and become the digital equivalent of the trusted friend you always turn to for restaurant recommendations.
Since then, The Infatuation has risen to prominence through the use of a unique hashtag, #EEEEEATS, which has flooded Instagram with more than 200,000 unabashedly gluttonous food porn pics from the site’s loyal followers. Our challenge to Stang and Steinthal was simple: Show us where you find your EEEEEATS when traveling through the East Coast. They responded in kind with an epic food tour documented on social media via the #FindYourEEEEEATS hashtag.
We caught up with the guys upon their return to glean some of the best food and travel tips from their journey:
Expedia Viewfinder: You’ve described yourselves in previous interviews as the guys to whom your friends would turn for restaurant recommendations, but where do you turn for food recommendations when you’re traveling somewhere you’ve never been?
Infatuation: It really depends on where we’re going, as there’s not one reliable resource out there that covers a lot of ground. That said, there are some great sites and people to follow if you look hard enough. For example, Paris by Mouth is an excellent website to help you find the best of what that city has to offer.
Expedia Viewfinder: You guys ate a lot of lobster rolls on the #FindYourEEEEEATS trip. They all looked delicious, but was there one that stood above the rest?
Infatuation: The funny thing is that the most memorable was the one we heard the least about. Someone on Instagram commented on a photo and suggested we check out the Old Salt’s Pantry in Kennebunkport, Maine. It’s just a little deli, but that lobster roll was amazing.
Expedia Viewfinder: What are your criteria for what makes a good lobster roll? What elements should always/never be included in order to achieve greatness?
Infatuation: That’s a question with no true answer. There’s no wrong way to do a lobster roll. It all just comes down to preference. Generally, we prefer the ones with a little mayo and some other fixings mixed in. But there are some true “butter only” rolls that achieve greatness as well. We had one at Eventide [in Portland, Maine] that was tossed in brown butter and served in a steamed bun. Not traditional, but certainly not bad.
Expedia Viewfinder: We know you ate a lot of great food on the trip, but what about lodging? Any memorable hotel stays you’d recommend for our next East Coast visit?
Infatuation: The Charlotte Inn was one of the most memorable places we’ve ever been to. It’s a bed and breakfast in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, run by a couple and their awesome golden retrievers. It’s like some quaint cottage from an episode ofDownton Abbey, but at the same time feels modern and updated. The people are nice, the food in the restaurant is great. It’s really just perfect all around. Other than that, the Windham Hill Inn, in [West Townshend,] Vermont, was very special, for a lot of the same reasons. For a more “hotel” experience, the Westin in Portland, Maine, is really nice, and you can walk to all the good restaurants from there.
Viewfinder Tip: Check out The Old Salt’s Pantry, in Kennebunkport, Maine, for great lobster rolls.
Expedia Viewfinder: What’s your most memorable food and travel experience of all time? Where were you? What’d you eat? What blew your mind about it?
Infatuation: We went on a trip a few years back where we hopped around the country eating food and drinking bourbon. It was a 7-day run that started in Dallas, moved on to San Francisco, and then ended in Seattle. We just wanted to find great food in cities to which we might not otherwise have traveled, and we succeeded. We also succeeded in gaining about 10 pounds over the course of a week. Worth it.
Expedia Viewfinder: What would be your ultimate #FindYourEEEEEATS dream destination? What would be the first food you’d seek out when you got there?
Infatuation: The same trip as mentioned above, but in Asia. First stop, Japan. First thing we eat? ALL THE RAMEN.
Where do you find your EEEEEATS? Comment below or share your photos on Instagram or Twitter with #FindYourEEEEEATS!