As everyone knows, the Northeast and the South are two incredibly different worlds…literally. Sometimes that four-hour plane ride from Connecticut to Texas makes me feel like I went from earth to mars.
Being the “yankee” who now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, I can say there are a few things I do miss about that “foreign land” I call home… New England.
Being a college student, seafood is hard to get. It’s expensive and school cafeterias think chicken is the only viable protein source. Don’t get me wrong, a good chicken and vegetable dinner is very satisfying, but coming from Connecticut and being a yearly vacationer in Maine, all I want sometimes is fish.
I thought my craving for seafood came from my daily consumption of chicken in college, but as I started going out to dinner and searching for seafood around Fort Worth I realized it’s Texas seafood in itself that fails to compare to a good salmon or lobster you would find up north.
Although Texas has some insanely good Tex-Mex and some solid racks of ribs, I have yet to satisfy my seafood craving.
2. Dunkin’ Donuts
Tis’ the season of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Fun fact, we have three Starbucks on and in walking distance of TCU’s campus. One thing we don’t have, however, is Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m used to a Dunkin’ Donuts at every gas station and around every corner. When in Texas, it’s like finding Waldo in a picture book.
You may be thinking, why does it matter, it’s just Dunkin’ Donuts? But let me tell you, America really should start running on Dunkin’.
Not only is their $2 pumpkin coffee five times better than the average Starbucks’ six dollar PSL, but all of Dunkin’s prices dominate any other coffee shop. Road trips up north and early morning car rides to school automatically call for a sweet caramel ice coffee stop at Dunkin’.
3. Real Italian Food
Sure, there are Italian restaurants in every shopping center around. It’s not hard to find a plate of pasta or pizza to be delivered to your door. But in the Northeast, we have restaurants that define authentic Italian.
Yeah, the whole menu is usually in Italian, but that just makes it more authentic.
Whether it’s Gnocchi al Telefono with Mozzarella di Bufala and Garganelli with Swiss Chard, Pancetta and Asiago or some other dish you have no idea how to pronounce, you’re probably not going to find it in Texas.
All people down south, especially my fellow college students, know Einsteins as the go-to bagel place. Clearly, these people have never had NYC/Jersey bagel. Ever since I was little living in the city of Manhattan, I’ve grown up around the smell of bagels made fresh that morning. Coming home with a bag of bagels is a common sight around breakfast-time in the North.
These bagels aren’t your thin, flat, skimpy-on-the-cream-cheese kind of bagels. These are big, thick, flavor-filled, carb-containing circles of goodness.
Also…lox. Thinly sliced, fresh salmon, laid out nicely with a thick layer of cream cheese, and occasionally flavored with capers. The craving for a nice city lox hits me especially hard on Sunday mornings down south.
5. Jewish Delis
And…speaking of lox, a good old Jewish deli in Texas does not live up to one in the Northeast. Katz’s Delicatessen is a name that will be very familiar to all NYC tourists and northerners in general.
Not only does this deli have all the basic sandwiches, but it also reminds me of my family coming together at Grandma’s house. They’re most famous for their stacked pastrami sandwich, but like every other Jewish deli up north, you can find a comforting matzo ball soup behind the stacks of fresh bread and meat piled high.
Although getting away from home is a nice change of pace, I certainly do miss my Northeastern foods.