We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, October 28. 2021
I would amend that to foods or meals.
I'll start it off: A dinner which included woodcock ravioli with gibier sauce, followed by roasted (boned) Quail stuffed with foie gras. The appropriate wines, of course. Followed by a tarte tatin - with a hard caremelized crust. Ice cream on top.
My second might be a dinner when we indulged in 24 Wellfleet oysters each, followed by broiled Cod, Portuguese-style.
I could go beyond two, but that's the science.
The Mrs. would list Maryland Crabcakes in a Eastern Shore crab shack, and a burger she and her gal-pal had in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She claims they are both worth a trip, and I concur with real crab cakes.
I've had fancy meals all over NYC and Europe, but those are my best.
What about you?
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Texas barbecue in Dallas Texas. Lunch at La Famiglia Giorgio’s Ristorante In Boston’s North End.
Fried venison back strap with a side of cowboy beans (pintos with jalapeno slices) and fried potatoewith onionss , washed down with a Lone Star beer and some mescal (with the worm). I'm not kidding.
Dinner in Porto Nuevo, Mexico
Unlimited Porto Nuvevo lobster, beans, rice, tortillas.
And the best mexican beer.
An In an Out double double with a chocolate shake.
Enchiladas with gravy and refried beans at a Mexican restaurant in Mazatlán Mexico back in the early 70's.
The second best was a cheeseburger in 1968 on R&R in Sydney Australia after having eaten C rations and lrrp rations for about 11 months. It might have been kangaroo but it was still great.
Les Perraudin in Paris. Cuisine of Normandy, with a cheese and fruit plate for dessert, a white Galliac with dinner and a snifter of Calvados Domfrontais for after.
Beef empanadas in Sucre, Bolivia.
Street tacos in Tijuana after my buddy joked about the fact that there were no stray dogs and cats in Mexico.
The second best "meal" was not a meal but I really loved it. It was a trip to the Mexican pharmacy in Mazatlan after day 2 of 7 beautiful days in Mexico. A Canadian on vacation on hearing I had the pukes and shits informed me that they always began taking an antibiotic 2 days before arriving in Mexico. It took 24 hours before I could eat again but those antibiotics were the best thing I had to eat on that trip.
Fried chicken is the most-requested last meal of Americans sentenced to death. I’ll go with Chil-fil-A.
Boiled beef with vinaigrette sauce (with anchovies).
Bakaliaro with Skordalia
My mom’s turkey gravy w/homemade mashed potatoes. We had thought she only had the recipe in her head, but one fine day it turned up, so even though she’s no longer with us, we can still remember her while enjoying her gravy.
Venison medallions in a red wine reduction, in front of the fireplace at the Daniel Webster Inn in Sandwich, MA, after going outlet shopping with my mom (RIP). About 30 years ago now.
Crispy chicken wings slathered with hot sauce paired with a cold fizzy cola.
For our first date 40 years ago, DH chose Chez Panisse, the restaurant in Berkeley that made Alice Waters famous. I didn't know it then, but the restaurant on the main floor was the expensive dining room. He had reservations for upstairs at the part that was more like a french bistro. You could watch the kitchen and feel the heat from the fire. We had a calzone and a dish with capers on top. Don't really remember. Just remember how wonderful it was to be with him. Still is.
Of course any joint in the south of France will probably be ok.
Holy Moly ... so many great meals. Two stick out from honeymooning in France back in 1997.
First was in a little bistro on the Ile Saint Louis (appropriate since my girl's from Saint Louis). Very intimate and everything concocted from that day's market. Best roast chicken I've ever had ... stuffed with lemon, garlic and herbs, very classic. Bride had a first course that was a artichoke heart, topped with a porched egg, real mayonnaise and hollandaise. It was so rich but oddly light. Her main course was a poached fish that was divine. A fruit tatin and sauce was dessert.
But the highlight of the evening was the elegant, older Parisian couple who sat right next to us and took us under their wing. We talked late into the evening, closing the place down. They taught us much about French cuisine, wine, and even offered advice on keeping the romance going late into life. :-)
The second meal was another intimate bistro in Villeneuve-les-Avignon. We were staying Avignon several nights and decided to hike over to Villeneuve to look at the castle and archaeological sites. As the sun started to set, all the streets in the village square were shut down as the restaurants and bistros opened up and placed their tables in the streets. We got a table at a place right on the Rue Mont de Fort.
Lamb and ratatouille were spectacular, closed out by the best chocolate torte I've ever had. Bride had fish in parchment. All washed down with fantastic Cote de Rhone. Proprietor sat with us for about 20 minutes after the meal and found us a cab so we didn't have to walk all the way back to the center of Avignon.
I dig Indian buffets. The best one was in Hong Kong, the second best in Bangalore. The US has many very good buffets; each big city has at least one. I've had surprisingly bad Indian food in London. The worst buffets I encountered were in Albuquerque, NM and Bangkok, Thailand.
Spicy tandoori chicken in an Innsbruck basement cafe on my honeymoon; my new wife became an instant fan of Indian food. "Oh, please, sir," asked the obviously Indian proprietor, "may we speak English?"
A double dozen tasting flight of fresh oysters at Corpus Christi's Water Street Oyster Bar. Same wife, same enjoyment, 30 years later.
The oysters with sauignon blanc sound really good.
But 9 times out of 10 I want a brisket, steak, and tendon pho. I can eat it every week. And $10 will get you a bowl so big that you'll regret finishing it. It's THE best way to eat beef. Lots of Vietnamese noodle shops around here and they are all good.
The second choice is harder. Maybe good beef stroganoff with lots of fresh nutmeg. I wouldn't even bother ordering it from a restaurant; homemade only.
Had a cup of Shin Ramen (from Costco) the other day with left over cornbread with jalapenos in it. Told the wife it was the best thing I ever ate in my life, but might have been a little hyperbole there.
A Green chile cheeseburger from Whataburger is mighty good.
The first beef I ate after three years of misled vegetarianism was pretty special
Coquilles St Jacques at a tiny crowded restaurant built to look like the prow of a ship, at Rock Port, Mass., early- to mid-70s.
Lobsters on the pier, Bar Harbor, Maine. Same trip. The culls tasted just as good, at nearly 1/2 the price.
The best food I have had seems to correlate with camping. We once had a Thanksgiving dinner out in the desert of Utah - Arches area. Dutch oven turkey. The oven laid in a bed of coals, slowly roasting the turkey all day long. There was eight of us, so four Dutch ovens, each filled with something thanksgivingly delicious.
Dinner at Taillevent, Paris, 1995
Cassoulet/ Grenouille/ Cheese cart @ D'chez eux, Paris 1994
Since then, new life...
Pigeon with Morlais sauce @L'Astrance in Paris with a Richbourg burgundy followed by a good Cuban cigar.
The set menu at Osteria I Santi in Mercogliano Italy (should have a Michelin star by now but thankfully for our wallet it doesn't). And the full rack of lamb cooked over a mesquite fire by our goucho guides on our second night horseback riding through the Andes.
When I think back on the best meals I've ever enjoyed it's not the food I remember, it's the company. Thanksgiving dinner at a park in Florida during a family reunion, a burger at Denny's with a girl I was madly in love with.
Spaghetti alle Vongole at Terrazza Carducci in Padova, Italy
45 day aged Akaushi Wagyu Ribeye at Knife Steakhouse in Dallas, TX