have snacks, will travel

greens, sprouts, avocado, quinoa, chick peas, pomegranate seeds, beet balsamic vinagrette

It's inevitable: lengthy road trips make for bad food choices.  Of course, there's the occasional roadside gem, but even those are not usually anywhere near healthy eatin' (think Buc-ee Beaver Nuggets, all-American greasy spoons, or iconic Texas kolaches).  So before my friend Leah and I hit the road for Tucson, I decided to pack up some stellar salads and start off on the right foot.  Because, let's face it-- I knew we'd be happy to see a Subway by the time we were driving back...

I love how Arizona means distinct change of scenery!

we stopped for sleep in Fort Stockton and followed this train the rest of the way!

Speaking of road food, as we finally started to near the end of Texas (some 8 or 9 hours from our start), I began telling Leah about Chico's Tacos.  I'd had one less-than-impressive visit to the legendary taco joint on an epic post-college roadtrip more years ago than I'd like to believe.  My travel companion and I had picked it because it was the only non-chain place in sight-- without realizing it has a pretty-near cult following.  I'd heard so much about the place since, I began to wonder if I'd somehow missed something.  

This is what you get from a "single order" of Chico's Tacos: three taquitos (the only kind of taco they sell), soaking in a watery tomato-based liquid, piled high with shredded government cheese.  Add their spicy green sauce to your liking.

Chico's Tacos has folks linin' up since 1953!

Despite my gross description of the place and its food to her, we had ironically convinced ourselves that we needed to stop and check it out by the time we got to El Paso.  If for nothing but novelty purposes!

taquito diptych

Verdict?  Still the same, weird taquitos-called-tacos in a bland sauce with a freakish amount of cheese on top.  Kinda trife but an entertaining stop for sure.  If you make it to El Paso, you've got to try Chico's at least once in your life!   

yeeee ha! (not here for the hot dogs!)

As for road snacks, I'd brought along a box of Amy's cheddar bunnies which really hit the spot when I was craving some crunch (which I always do on long drives), and Leah had planned ahead very nicely with a cooler stocked with salami, baba ganouj, and cucumber/carrot slices.  Look at these tasty little snackwiches we enjoyed on the ride!

Cheetah Girls unite!

We finally landed in Tucson!  Abby welcomed us with dinner: crab-stuffed portabella, salad, and fancy weenies in puff pastry! :)

..and then we promptly headed out for a tour of all the bizarre dive bars (with equally interesting names) that Tucson has to offer...