I just spent nine days on the road with my family for spring break.
Yes, there was Disney and Busch Gardens, but there was also a good bit of sampling going on in Orlando, Tampa, Athens and Atlanta.
It was a mouthful over one spring break, but I'd be lying if I didn't say we found plenty of places to Eat It and Like It.
More on all of that stuff another time, but I must recommend Berns Steakhouse in Tampa. It is an absolute institution - a bucket list kind of stop.
I say this quite respectfully, but the next time you go see the Bulldogs playing in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, give it a look.
All of that said, our travels took us to Athens for a Season 3 shoot of "Eat It and Like It" (coming in September) and then to Atlanta. On my list of things to try in Atlanta was a product I had heard wonderful things about, but never remembered to try.
Ever heard of High Road Ice Cream? It is a high-end "craft" ice cream along the lines of Ben and Jerry's.
It's not available 'round these parts just yet, but I had heard enough about it to seek it out. Gotta love how social media works: Four tweets later and we were on our way, 4.1 miles up the road to Whole Foods Market in Druid Hills.
The ice cream was the reason for the drive, but what about this Whole Foods thing?
We are getting one down the street here in Savannah very, very soon, so in my amazing race to get to the frozen stuff, I found myself stopping to kick the tires a little bit. It was after 9 p.m. on a Saturday night.
"What are you doing?" my wife asks.
"I want to see what is coming to Savannah."
When Whole Foods made the worst-kept secret in Georgia official a couple of years back, I got a text message from a friend.
It was a picture of a beef display with $30-a-pound tenderloin.
"No thanks," he said.
So naturally I was curious if this was true across the board. Quite obviously, the reputation for Whole Foods is "frou-frou," but it also is at Fresh Market.
I find that if you are strategic with your shopping, you can get out of there safely, with enough money left over for a glass of wine. Some things at Fresh Market are actually better and cheaper, for example, than the other guys across the street.
So I look. I wander. I saw red potatoes for $1.49 a pound. I saw bags of chips for $3.49. I saw steaks and chops selling per pound for around what they are at Fresh Market.
It was the selection that was different, frankly. If you pay close enough attention while shopping, then you've seen all the same things all the time and you get used to what they cost, or should cost when the price goes up.
I saw a different cast of characters at Whole Foods, the aforementioned ice cream being just one.
Do I know if all of these things are any better and a justification of the higher (in some cases) price tag? No.
The ice cream was very good, though. We had the Aztec Chocolate and the Brown Butter Praline, by the way.
Incredibly rich and almost demanding to be paired with something to offset that richness. Let's hope Whole Foods will bring it with them.
I recognize fully that there are preconceived notions about this new grocer coming to town.
Some people won't set foot in it on principle because they will think everything is overpriced.
There will also be those who cannot wait for it to get here because they can't live without their particular organic line of products. Some will pass, others will line up.
Whole Foods is counting on about 2,200 customers a day with an average ticket of $40.
That's a lot of red potatoes.
I frankly can't wait for them to get here.
Variety is good, competition is better, and taking the time to invest in a few higher-quality products for that special occasion or holiday meal is the best of all if you enjoy Eating It and Liking It as much as we do.
Just leave the road rage at home when trying to navigate Victory Drive and the Truman once it opens.
Oy! See you on TV.
â€¢ I always like to share great dishes around town when I have them. New York Strip at the Public Kitchen and Bar, Bull and Liberty. Perfectly cooked, mashed potatoes, charred tomato and a chimichurri drizzle. $20 and worth every nickel.
â€¢ Damon Lee Fowler has a new cookbook coming out. "Savannah's Chef Table" is a collection of recipes from Savannah's finest. Grab a copy and attend the publication party all in one 6:30 p.m. April 16 at Kitchenware Outfitters. Please call 912-356-1117 to RSVP.
â€¢ Shopping and great food? They are calling it a "Taste and Style Experience" at Tanger Outlets this weekend. Gourmet food trucks, live music and live cooking demos by Robert Irvine and Orchid Paulmeier. Tangeroutlet.com
â€¢ Don't forget to get up to the minute updates on all of my tomfoolery on Facebook and Twitter @eatitandlikeit.