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G. Garvin’s Miami Travel Tips

G. and the staff at Swine

Miami has a big reputation for being a party city because of South Beach, but there are plenty of wonderful things to see and restaurants to visit. When you’re in town, check out Coconut Grove and Coral Gables for shopping and different cuisines. Brickell is a new neighborhood in downtown Miami with great restaurants and free public transportation.

Crackers Casual Dining
I loved this place’s vibe — it’s a wonderful combination of Florida and the South. This spot can be found in the growing city of Miami Springs. At Crackers you’ll find a great family welcoming you with warm hospitality and awesome Southern dishes. Make sure you save room for dessert!

Swine Southern Table & Bar
Just like Yardbird, Swine takes all of the wonderful things about southern cooking and steps it up. The space, the smells and the whisky all create a fantastic experience that you’re going to have a hard time finding anywhere else in Miami. Swine is located in Coral Gables, right off of Miracle Mile, making it a great spot to visit after doing some shopping.

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G. Garvin’s New York City Travel Guide

Me and Double Wide's Christen Hagan

There are plenty of reasons to visit the Big Apple, the food scene being just one of them. There are thousands of restaurants in New York City. Obviously, you can’t visit them all, so my advice is to pick a few in different neighborhoods; that way you can explore the city and have different dining experiences.

Bell Book & Candle
Chef John Mooney’s created something special in Bell Book & Candle. The West Village is filled with romantic places perfect for a date, and his restaurant is no exception. The rooftop garden guarantees you’re getting the freshest produce possible, and the space is as imaginative as the menu.

Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque
If a New Yorker waits in line, you know it’s worth it! Hugh Mangum brings Texas–style barbecue to the East Village in a modern space. As soon as you step in, the smell from the smoker hits you and makes your mouth water. Sides like the sweet potato casserole are a must when digging into the brisket.

Double Wide
Owner Christen Hagan has created a Southern getaway in the East Village at Double Wide. The drinks are creative and nostalgic, and the tasty bar food pairs perfectly with them. Double Wide doesn’t take itself too seriously, making it a great bar for a fun night.

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G. Garvin’s Connecticut Travel Guide

Me and Natalie Duplessy, the pastry chef at Mama's Boy

Connecticut is the southernmost state in New England and a neighbor of New York and Massachusetts, making it a great state for a quick vacation. The restaurant scene is alive and growing, thanks to local purveyors. During the warmer months the farms are open to visitors and are an awesome place to bring the family to pick fresh fruits.

Mama’s Boy Southern Table & Refuge
Greer Fredericks showed me a great time at her restaurant with every meal. South Norwalk has some wonderful spots, especially this one. Southern hospitality is the top priority at Mama’s Boy. You’ll feel the warm welcome as soon as you walk in, and you won’t want to leave, because of the amazing cakes!

Sandra’s Next Generation
What I love about Sandra’s Next Generation is how much they treat you like family. Sandra, her husband and their children do a magnificent job making truly soulful cooking and giving you a great experience. It’s also a nice spot to meet some of New Haven’s locals.

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Signed Cookbook Giveaway: G. Garvin’s Dining In


On Road Trip with G. Garvin (tune in tomorrow, 5/21, at 9pm for the Season 3 premiere), host Gerry (“G.”) Garvin travels the country finding the best Southern cuisine — in and outside of the American South. But when he’s off the clock and not on the road, G. prefers to spend time at home in Atlanta, where he loves preparing intimate meals for friends and family. In his book Dining In, G. shares that love of entertaining with readers, showing them how simple tricks can be employed to give easy recipes a bit of a gourmet edge.

To G., difficult does not necessarily mean better, and ambiance, plating skills and the wine you serve alongside your meal are deemed equally important. He shares his tips on mastering these hosting skills in the book’s introduction before diving into his approachable recipes that are chaptered by ingredient type (pasta, chicken, meats, seafood), cooking styles (braises, grilling) and some niche passions (gourmet sandwiches, oodles of desserts). G. arms readers with more than 150 recipes to prove to them that preparing a special meal at home can be more rewarding — and more celebratory — than eating at any restaurant. Likewise, everyday meals (such as the simply prepared fish tacos featured above) can be prepared in under 30 minutes, trumping takeout and letting fresh ingredients shine through.

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G. Garvin’s Philadelphia Travel Tips

G. with Chef Mitch Prensky and his wife Jennifer at Supper

Philly gets a lot of flack for “not being as good as New York,” but it’s unique and special. Philadelphia has a lot of history and character and it shouldn’t be counted out in your search for a great vacation city. It’s filled with interesting treasures like the Magic Gardens: an artistic outdoor gallery made up of mosaic art by Isaiah Zagar.

Supper
Owner and chef Mitch Prensky has taken all of his great experiences and his background and applied them to his cozy but sophisticated restaurant. His red velvet waffles, made on an old hand-me-down waffle iron with naturally red Dutch cocoa and a luscious compote, sum up Supper: It’s simple, thoughtful, flavorful and loved by all.

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G. Garvin’s Washington D.C. Travel Tips

Every American should visit the nation’s capital. Obviously there is a great deal of history here and incredible monuments. The food scene is going strong as well. The next time you get the chance to visit D.C., make sure you’re not just seeing the historic landmarks but also going to different parts of the city to get the full experience. H Street is filled with new, hot restaurants.

Sixth Engine (pictured above)
I love this place. It’s set in an old firehouse and you can really feel it with the decor and old paintings on the brick walls. Chef Paul Madrid makes a great no-nonsense grilled shrimp dish and his black-eyed peas are super flavorful. I had an amazing time cooking for the firemen.

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G. Garvin’s Los Angeles Travel Tips

G. in the kitchen of The Serving Spoon

Southern California has its own energy. The weather is always perfect, and there’s just about something for everyone. You can hit the Santa Monica Pier, hike in Malibu and head down to Abbott Kinney to check out the hot culinary scene. If you’re a night owl, hit the Sunset Strip to listen to some local rock stars.

M.B. Post
Chef David LeFevre’s food at M.B. Post is simply delicious. A lot of thought and heart goes into his dishes, as well as fresh ingredients from Coastal Farms. I had a great time seeing what goes into his cooking. I wish I could have taken those bacon cheddar biscuits home with me!

The Serving Spoon
The Serving Spoon in Inglewood embodies what I love about soul food. The menu reminded me of food you’d see in Atlanta. I had a wonderful time in the kitchen cooking up some breakfast Salmon Croquettes. You can’t go wrong with having people over for a big breakfast!

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G. Garvin’s California Travel Tips

I found some amazing places to eat during the years I lived in Los Angeles. Now I love coming through to visit and checking out the new spots. The next time you’re in Cali, live like a local. Stray off the beaten path for a truly unique experience in one of the hip neighborhoods like Abbott Kinney, Silver Lake or Los Feliz.

Original Farmers Market
This farmers’ market is the ultimate L.A. destination because of the wide variety of places. You can have a craving for just about anything and find it here. I visited The Gumbo Pot for an authentic taste of the Cajun South. Fritzi Dog is a newer addition to the market that’s causing a stir with gourmet hot dogs I had to try for myself. Bennett’s Ice Cream has been around a while serving classic flavors, but the Cabernet Sauvignon Sorbet is the perfect California treat.

Woody’s Bar-B-Que
Sometimes you have a craving for real barbecue, no matter where you are in the country. Luckily Woody’s Bar-B-Que exists right in Inglewood. I love some good no-nonsense meat from the smoker with a homemade barbecue. When in doubt, this is the perfect go-to spot in Los Angeles.

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G. Garvin’s Las Vegas Travel Tips

Vegas is all about go big or go home. People imagine a crazy party on the strip, but it’s so much more than that. The culinary scene both in the resorts and off the beaten path can’t be missed. I had a great time seeing different sides to Vegas, and I encourage you all to do the same. Spend a day exploring outside of the strip and see why so many call it home.

Hash House a go go
I had a great time at Hash House a go go. The Twisted Farm Food concept brings big ideas and portions to the table. This place screams Vegas with the insane dishes and amazing presentations. It’s the perfect vacation spot where you’ll definitely bring some food home.

Sandy Valley Ranch
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a place like this would be so close to Las Vegas. The team at Sandy Valley does an incredible job at taking guests back in time. I worked like a cowboy, I ate like a cowboy, and I completely forgot we were just an hour away from Vegas.

Pink Box Doughnuts
Pink Box Doughnuts is home to some of the best gourmet doughnuts I’ve ever had. The Fat Elvis really showcases Las Vegas with its big flavors, reminiscent of the King himself. The locals are lucky to have a doughnut spot like this to visit before work.

Russo’s Pizza Kitchen
In the event that you’re craving some New York-style pizza in Vegas, look no further than Russo’s Pizza Kitchen. This place has all of the classic Italian dishes, and kids can even make their own pizza, from kneading the dough to picking the toppings. It’s a truly authentic experience not too far from the strip.

Mundo
Mundo is a sexy, upscale spot in downtown Vegas. If you’re on vacation with someone you’re looking to impress, take a cab to the World Market Center. At Mundo they keep the glamour of Vegas with their chic decor and fancy plating, but the flavors are all Latin.

Sweet Addiction
Let’s face it — it gets hot in Las Vegas, especially on the strip. Sweet Addiction offers the best way to cool down and satisfy your sweet tooth: cookies and ice cream. You’ll never look at an ice cream sandwich the same way again. The combinations are endless, so you’re bound to find something to beat the heat.

Get the locations of G’s favorite Las Vegas spots.

Tune in to a new episode of Road Trip with G. Garvin G. Garvin tonight at 9pm | 8c to watch G. hit the best Southern food in Las Vegas.

Watch Deleted Scenes from Tonight’s Road Trip with G. Garvin

Watch G. Garvin have some fun down home with drinks, goats and more drinks in these deleted scenes from Road Trip with G. Garvin‘s ‘Down Home’ episode:

Watch Road Trip with G. Garvin every Tuesday at 9pm ET on Cooking Channel.

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