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Dining and driving

For a lot of us, the desire to travel is stacked up heavily in our genes.  Then there are those of us who would much rather stay at home.  Some of us may be partial to eating rather well.  And then there are those who are happy with cold chicken noodles and the odd flaccid carrot.  So what happens for those people where much travel and eating heartily go hand in hand?  First of all, count yourselves rather lucky and see yourself as one of a very special breed.  The pleasure of both seeing the sights and eating out go together like a duck takes to water.  So what are the favourite food outlets for the serious traveller?  And what’s easy to eat while driving?

Googling for my answer found me arriving at inverts.com.au.  I was very pleased to see that nearly 23% of voters were of the ‘Don’t be lazy’ category.  These were the people that made their meals at home.  How easy is that to do on a journey, though?  Do many of you go to lengths to carry fresh ingredients on any trip of great length?  Are you prepared to put some forethought into your meals and prepare your food before setting out?  It makes a lot of sense, and definitely saves on cash, if you can take some sandwiches, fresh fruit, water and slices that you have prepared before setting out from home, the motel room or the tent.  I guess those of us who have a campervan will carry all the ingredients to make a first-class meal at any time of the day.  If you are travelling by car and are, perhaps, on your own, you can still purchase a lot of good food from a supermarket and store it in the boot – obviously the things that need to be kept cool can be placed in an eskie.  Sure, preparing your own food means that you have to be a little more organised; however, you may well eat healthier and save yourself a few dollars. 

Sandwiches and filled rolls are also convenient to eat while driving, as they are perfectly designed to fit in the hand.  The same goes for many other home-made bits and pieces, as most of them stay together and don’t need tricky wrappers to be removed with one hand while at the wheel.

Pizza and Subway© were similarly the next favourite takeaway, mentioned.  Subway is definitely one of the healthier takeaway options, and would have to rate highly on my favourites.  The beauty of a takeaway is that they are so convenient while on the move.  The problem is if we ate nothing but takeaways for each meal while taking in the sights, our girth measurement is going to enlarge itself rather quickly.  If you like drive-through meals, though, you’ll have to look elsewhere, as pizza outlets and Subway can’t do drive-throughs.  Those long submarine sandwiches can be tricky to eat at the wheel, but it is possible.

Indian and Chinese takeaways are the next favourite dishes.  Very tasty!  However, if you eat them in great quantities, you are going to be a rather fat little hobbit before too long!  It can also be rather tricky to eat this sort of food inside your car. Chopsticks and gear sticks don’t mix very easily.

Then there is the rest of the takeaway variety.  I’m sure you can fill in the popular contenders.  For one of the more interesting dishes: I’ve heard that Adelaide does a great pie floater dish.  This is where your favourite pie is served floating in pea soup and then is quickly sunk with lashings of tomato sauce poured on top.  Put a few of the pie floaters away and you’ll be sinking a few ships!  If you’re going to eat this in your car, stop first.  Pea soup is not all that nice to clear off the upholstery. Plain pies are a bit easier, but beware of gravy welling out of the pie and getting all over the wheel and your clothes. Take small bites.

Fish and chips are easy enough to eat at the wheel – tear a hole in the newspaper wrapper (if your local chippie still serves them this way) and pull the chips out one by one.  If the chips are too hot, then hold them to the air vents rather than out the window.

If cash isn’t a big deal, then a restaurant meal is definitely a great place to go for a classy meal, good food, and atmosphere.  You have to incorporate a few of these meals on your travel, especially if romance is on your agenda.  If you can afford it, one restaurant meal a day would sit nicely.  Don’t forget the pubs.  There are some great pubs tucked away that provide value for money meals, nice food and great company.  Obviously, you can’t eat restaurant or pub meals behind the wheel, and remember to be sensible when it comes to drinking and driving.

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