Everything You Need To Know About The Rideshare Foodie

Have you ever dreamed of a cross-country road trip or to taste food from across America? Well, one guy has found a brilliant way to do both! Kreskin J. Torres is The Rideshare Foodie, and for the last several years, he's made it his mission to travel to every state to meet new people and experience new foods — all while working as a rideshare driver. In a statement provided to Mashed, Torres says that he's made it to 49 states and hopes to visit number 50 soon. 

So how did Torres get the idea for this multi-state expedition? On his official website, Torres shares he and his siblings grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, raised by their single mother. In those days, it seemed an "impossible dream" that he would ever have the chance to travel and see the world. In his late 20s, after deciding to put his dreams into action, he was given the chance to stay in London, England, for a month. That experience opened his eyes to the incredible sights, people, and flavors that lay beyond his doorstep. Once back home in San Antonio, Texas, Torres made plans to travel all across the U.S. and figured that working as a Lyft and Uber driver would not only fund the adventure but let him ask locals about the best places to eat. 

Here's how ridesharing made Kreskin J. Torres' adventure possible

In an interview on the podcast St. Louis In Tune, Kreskin J. Torres shares how he's made this dream a reality. He said that working as an Uber driver revealed "nooks and crannies" of his city that he'd never visited before, as well as favorite eateries that residents in those spots loved. Torres realized that rideshare work would give him the same opportunity in other cities and states. 

The Rideshare Foodie said his method is to choose a destination city and then use a map to plot out all of the states he can visit along the way. In each state, Torres finds customers via the Uber or Lyft apps, and while driving, he asks them about their favorite places to eat and their city's most famous dishes. As well as sharing photos of his visits on his Instagram and Facebook pages, Torres also shares videos and live streams as he tries new foods to give viewers his "authentic" reactions and impressions of the newly discovered eats. 

Torres shares on the podcast that many people wonder how he stays healthy on an expedition that primarily consists of driving and eating. One of the ways he strikes a balance is with a membership to the national gym chain Planet Fitness, which has locations in almost every city he visits. Torres says another strategy is to balance indulgent meals with a few days of "eating light" by eating vegetarian and vegan dishes or having a smoothie.

The Rideshare Foodie helps shine a spotlight on local businesses

As Kreskin J. Torres travels across states sharing his stops, food, and experiences with his followers on social media, local eateries benefit, too. By connecting with residents through his rideshare work, Torres is able to get the inside scoop on the best small businesses that might otherwise get overlooked in a Google search. One such stop was in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a food stand named Lil Jamaica, according to NBC 26. "A lot of the locals told me this was a place I had to definitely check out, guy has an amazing story," Torres told the news station. He was even joined for lunch by Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich! 

Lil Jamaica's Instagram page lists Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken sandwiches, spicy shrimp soup, and curry plates. "I'm happy with my decision, it was incredible," Torres said. Owner Nemard Wilson was grateful, too. "It was kind of like, an honor to know that somebody out there appreciates what we're doing here at Lil Jamaica," he said. A food truck proprietor in California agrees, telling WSAW Channel 7 that, "By him doing this, it puts a lot of the small businesses on the map."

Torres' posts on The Rideshare Foodie Instagram account show that he's brought attention to a diverse range of businesses, including food trucks, barbecue pits, cafes, ice cream stands, lunch counters, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, drive-ins, and sandwich shops.

Kreskin J. Torres' favorite states and foods ... so far

After having seen and tasted so much across the country, of course we want to know what Kreskin J. Torres has enjoyed the most. In a statement to Mashed, he shared his current top three states. At the top of Torres' list is Mississippi, and on his Instagram page, he shares that his favorite restaurant there is the 1693 Red Zone Grill in Jackson, where he tried the Catfish Mountain with crawfish sauce. Another favorite state is Arizona, where the best dish he tried was the brisket grease cornbread in the town of Cave Creek. Also in Torres' top three is Idaho, where he got to try potato ice cream as well as huckleberry-flavored vodka made by local distiller 44 North. 

Some of Torres' other favorite discoveries are Vermont's maple fries with bacon bits, meat-filled pasties in Montana, the St. Paul Sandwich in Missouri (which he said is made with egg foo yung,) and caribou meat in Alaska. In South Dakota, he enjoyed a regional dish called chislic — which Dakota News Now describes as skewers of mutton or beef that are fried in oil — and in Arkansas, he liked the brisket fried rice. Though he says on the St. Louis In Tune podcast that he's not a huge sweets fan, Torres shared in his statement to Mashed that he did love the banana pudding cheesecake in Arkansas, creemees in Vermont, and huckleberry swirls in Montana.

Kreskin J. Torres has only one state left to visit

Kreskin J. Torres has already found a wealth of amazing dishes and restaurants across the country, but what remains to be seen is if Hawaii will move into the top spot on Torres' favorite states list. In a statement shared with Mashed, The Rideshare Foodie says Hawaii is the last place he has to visit to complete his quest to travel to all 50 states. In an interview on the St. Louis In Tune podcast, Torres points out that he won't be driving to the islands, of course. But he hopes that when he's finally able to fly to Hawaii, he'll be able to stay for at least a month. He plans to camp on the beach to help save some money and live-stream his adventures there, which will include setting up a tent for the first time!

When asked on the podcast why more people don't try taking a cross-country trip as he has, Torres thinks the biggest obstacle is a fear of the unknown, of unfamiliar places. He says people ask him if he gets lonely traveling solo, but Torres actually enjoys the freedom. "A lot of people can't be alone like that ... they have to have someone around them all the time," he says and notes that not only is he comfortable being on his own, he loves the chance to meet new people.

The best part about being The Rideshare Foodie

Kreskin J. Torres gets to experience the best food in his travels as The Rideshare Foodie, but most inspiring are the people he meets. "There's so much good about the country and the people in it," he says in his interview on the St. Louis In Tune podcast. Torres goes on to say he's seen "different local businesses and how they help one another and give back to the community, which is phenomenal." One of the best surprises Torres has found is how welcoming and generous people have been. "They're willing to open their homes or come out just for a beer," he says. "[They want] to get my point of view or what I think about their city or state." 

Torres also shares in the podcast that he loves classic TV westerns like "Bonanza" and "Wagon Train" and grew up watching these and other adventure shows and movies. Torres would imagine himself in these on-screen thrillers and daydream about what it would be like "get up and get out" and to find his own adventure.

Thinking about taking your own foodie road trip adventure across the state or across the country? Torres shared this advice with KRIS 6 News: "Just do it ... make something happen, you know? Don't be afraid to meet new people."