1800 Miles Later...

September 29, 2014

I made it to Florida after six days on the road and about 1800 miles traveled. The special friend and I made our journey from Buffalo Grove-St. Louis-Nashville-The Smoky Mountains-Asheville-Atlanta-St. Petersburg, FL. It was a long trip filled with fun sites, delicious food and some tasty cupcakes!
Best Meal:
I was a huge fan of Kevin Gillespie on season 6 of Top Chef. (I was super bummed when he didn’t win). When I knew that our travels would take us to Atlanta, I immediately made reservations at his dim sum style restaurant, Gunshow. The food is brought to you on carts, and you can try whatever looks appealing.

All of our six dishes were so delicious and I left with a full and happy belly. Waiting for a particular dish can take a while but occupy yourself with a tasty cocktail and enjoy watching the chefs hard at work.

Best View:
I’ll admit, I wasn’t totally in the mood to take a short half-mile hike up the Smoky Mountains to Clingman’s Dome but I’m glad I did. The view of the mountains did make it appear that there was smoke emitting from them. It was beauteous.

Most Fun Night:
We slid down super steep slides, rode a rooftop Ferris wheel and explored the dark caves all inside St. Louis’s City Museum. It is basically a crazy maze of slides, tunnels and old planes/buses/cars.

Best Pit Stop:
In the heart of the Smokies, in the touristy section of Gatlinburg, lies Sugarlands Distilling Company, where we sampled six different kinds of Tennessee Moonshine. The tasting started with the strongest one and ended with sweet samples of apple pie and blackberry. The tasting was for free and I left the distillery with a happy buzz.

Cupcake Hunting:

I didn’t make it to my 100th cupcake bakery on this trip but nos. 98 and 99 were quite tasty.

On our way out of Nashville, we stopped at Daily Meal’s #33 cupcake bakery: The Cupcake Collection. We got there just after the bakery opened so we had a large selection of flavors to choose from. We decided on their Sweet Potato cupcake. This classic cupcake was $2.00.
located at: 1213 6th Ave North, Germantown, Tennessee
The cupcake was so moist and well balanced between the frosting and cake. It was a spice filled caked that actually did taste like sweet potato, similar to sweet potato pie. It was topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting and was a nice treat as we drove through the Smoky Mountains that afternoon.
Cupcake no. 99 was had in Atlanta at the Daily Meal’s #6 bakery: CamiCakes Cupcakes. There was also a large variety of cupcake available that day but we opted for an Elvis cupcake: a chocolate cake topped with banana frosting, peanut butter and drizzled with chocolate. Each cupcake is $2.75. 
located at: 2221 Peachtree Road, Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia
It was perfectly moist too but the large tower of frosting was a bit overwhelming. The combination of peanut butter, banana frosting and chocolate cake made for a delicious bite, but I only wish it had more than a tiny glob of peanut butter on top.
But the winner of this roadtrip cupcake hunting was my AppleButter cupcake from Jilly’s Cupcake Bar in St. Louis. But the five cupcakes I had in the past week were all so tasty.

I may take a break from cupcaking for a while since right now, I’m just itching to finally cook for myself in my new kitchen. But stay tuned for the 100th cupcake.

Other highlights:
Breakfast at Big Al's Deli in Nashville, live music at the Whiskey Jam, a pit stop to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, the ghost town that was once Cairo, Illinois, dinner at Chai Pani in Asheville and stopping by Big Sista's to see Baby Sophie. 

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