Aaron and I have two very different sets of priorities when it comes to food on the road. Pre-allergy, his list was simple. Only two criteria long;

1. Will he be full afterward?  2. Will it be cheap?

I understand his reasoning. He's a man who would lose every game of blindfolded taste test. Delighting his palate isn't really an event, so why spend money on that? No, he'll put the dollars somewhere else. In a gas tank, or a hotel room or back in our savings account. I love this about him, because he is endlessly generous, but he is not driven by impulse in his money. He is smart.

I, on the other hand, can be counted on to research one thing before any other, when I hear we are visiting a new place. Not fancy sit down dinners or kitschy roadside pie stands (Not, of course, that I would pass one by without stopping for a ...slice of pie photo...) No. My priorities are clear.

Coffee shops 

Local ones. If they're also a cafe or book-adjacent, all the better. 

My patient husband has had to remind me more than once that, while I may be perfectly content to power my days on coffee and charming ambiance, he is a man and needs solid food.  


This was our first time traveling since we found out. His food priorities have changed substantially in the last year. My Stouffer's microwaving, Wendy's wielding, ice-cream-for-breakfast husband now requires a highly specialized menu. 

Specialized, as in I now grind our own nut-based flours from scratch.

So, now his on the go priorities have adjusted. The cheapest thing isn't usually an option. Now he wants to know; what can he eat that will leave him full, and what can he eat that won't wreck his world for five days afterwards. As the trip planner of our team, responsible for doing the digital scouting ahead, so we don't end up at the end of a day and starving with no ideas for where to go, it's my job to find those places, or to bring food that matches this criteria.


But this was our first get-away since we discovered the allergies and so despite my penchant for advance planning, it was at the very last minute that I realized the need to pack food. A lot of food, so it didn't get super expensive trying to find three allergy-friendly meals a day.  Here's what I made and packed;

three breakfast bowls | chocolate coconut pecan trail mix | plantain chips | dark chocolate Orange scones  | good decaf coffee | coconut creamer | pistachios | apples & peanut butter

We were still on our own for dinners, but this food served us pretty well, over all. 

I was still planning to visit some local coffee shops and even got recommendations from ex-Cincinnatians. And I did, with my one day where I played hookie from the convention to walk around downtown.  I only made it to two of the several wonderful looking coffee shops I scouted, because I was on foot. But the one pictured above is Collective Espresso, which has three locations, this one in the lobby of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center