It occurs to me that I should give special recognition to those establishments that helped make my vacation/road trip a little healthier. I’m a firm believer in the theory that what gets rewarded gets repeated, so without further ado…
In the hotel category:
Candlewood Suites – Fairfax, VA – Awesome staff, free laundry service, stability ball in the exercise room along with the other equipment, a $5 gift card to their “store”, and a $15 gift certificate to Wegman’s. Plus, a great weekend room rate. Score them five out of four stars!
Holiday Inn Express, Laurel, MD – Nice workout room, even if they do have limited options on weights for women. They also have lots of healthy options for breakfast (and plenty of caloric ones, too.)
In the grocery category:
Wegman’s (chain) – The one in Fairfax, VA is awesome. The one in Hunt Valley, MD was kind of ordinary. In the produce section anyway.
Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market (family-owned) in Bird-in-Hand, PA. Apples, apples, everywhere–including fresh-pressed apple cider. I deserve a medal for limiting myself to one cup. They also have an awesome bulk section and many types of whole grains. It’s where I’d shop if I lived in the area.
In the restaurant category:
Johnny Carino’s (chain), Texarkana, TX – Italian food is delicious, to say the least, but it usually packs a whole bunch of calories. Kudos to this restaurant for offering “mini” versions of some of their appetizers and desserts. The chicken Italian Nachos were delicious, and the mini version was the perfect size for lunch. Ditto the mini version of the turtle cheesecake! Four or five small bites was just enough to feel decadent, without adding too many calories.
Cafe Express, Plano, TX (local chain)- Fresh, real food with lots of wholesome choices. Hostess KT calls it ‘the sweet potato fries’ restaurant, because they’re so good. I don’t favor sweet potato fries, but these were nice–not fried tasting at all. (Well, the two I had didn’t taste fried.)
Park Place Diner, Denver, PA (local) – I had both dinner and a breakfast here, and both were tasty. Nice choices and friendly staff. The bakery items looked super delicious, but they were all awfully large. Large wasn’t in my calorie budget.
Honorable mention to Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, OH. I love their Chili 3-Way (chili, spaghetti, and cheese) and was thrilled when I saw they offered a small. I knew I was on the right track when the waitress asked if I was sure I wanted the small because “it’s really, really small.” I assured her that’s exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately, it came with about a 1/2 cup of cheese on top of it, but that was quickly remedied with a swift scoop of the fork. Delicious! I hadn’t been in Cincinnati for 10 years or so, and this local dish was just as tasty as I remembered. Good thing it’s located very far away from me! (Although I did just see a can of Skyline Chili for $3.59 at my local Kroger–in between the French and British food selections, which made me go, Huh?)
Congrats (and heartfelt thanks!) to all the winners. I hope to see you all again someday!
(FTC: No compensation requested, offered, or received for these mentions. I just appreciate their efforts.)