Thursday, March 28, 2013

Memorable Meals

I was thinking about this topic the other day.  I have really had some amazing privileges in my blessed life.  I've had the ability to travel and visit some of the world's great cities.  With great cities, typically comes great food.  I think I've had enough TRULY SPECTACULAR meals to create a top ten list.  Again, these are in no particular order and in some cases I can not remember the names of the unfortunately I am of little help...but can try to describe how to locate them.

1) Paris, France:  During an international wedding celebration I remember eating at a small French restaurant in the area of The Pantheon.
I remember walking by the back side of this building and the restaurant was somewhere along the right hand side.  Of particular note...the escargot and salmon.  BEST I HAVE EVER HAD!

2) Taos, New Mexico: No idea what the name of this Italian restaurant is...but I know it was December 1994 and it was the first time I ever had gnocchi!

3) Florence, Italy: 
So I have eaten at this restaurant during both my visits to Florence.  My boyfriend was mistaken for an international soccer star so we were treated quite well.  (And his head grew ever larger than it already was.)  I digress.  No clue what the name of this restaurant is, either.  But...if you stand facing the front doors...turn towards your left and walk towards that row of buildings.  See the yellow slivered building in the middle of the two larger white buildings?  It is in the basement.  EAT THERE!  Order whatever. It's all delicious!

4) Paris, France:
While studying abroad in 1996 my parents and paternal grandmother visited me.  We spent a few days in Paris.  I was SICK AS A DOG and slept through most of the trip.  However, I did manage to make it downstairs at The Hotel Lutetia for Thanksgiving Dinner which consisted of turkey breast smothered in a frothy chestnut gravy.  Also beyond words...salt cod in tomato pots.  

5) Vineyard, Tuscany:
I once participated in a day long excursion to a small, rather unknown, vineyard in Tuscany.  It was family owned and the tour guides were incredibly accommodating and kind.  Now, a "wine tasting" in Italy differs GREATLY from a "wine tasting" in the United States.  In Italy, you do not get a "taste" get a "glass" of ALL reds, whites and sparklings!  In order to absorb the wine we were given basket upon basket of soft pretzel bread with anise seeds baked in.  As a special surprise, atypical of the excursion, the neighbor down the road provided us with two huge casserole dishes filled with pasta.  The penne was lightly coated in a hearty marinara tossed with sausage and boiled eggs....yes, BOILED EGGS.  Molto buono!  

6) Charleston, South Carolina: Poogan's Porch
A few summers ago, we ate our way through the south!  Mission: find the best fried green tomatoes!  
Photo Source Unknown
By far, my favorite tomatoes were found at Poogan's Porch in Charleston, South Carolina.  These tasted very traditional (as if a little Mexican girl from the Rio Grande Valley would know) comparatively speaking.  They didn't get fancy with them or drizzle them with "this" or toss "that" into the breading.  These were simple and the sauce was tangy.  You can't see me but I am making a "blissful" face at the memory of these juicy gems!  My daddy's friend chicken and macaroni wasn't too bad, either!

7) Cozumel, Mexico (On the beach):
Hands down...the BEST guacamole I have ever had.  Their avocados were like buttery magic.  Add a hint of lime, cilantro...and a Pacifico-dressed-and I was almost able to forget my shit boyfriend who had pushed EVERY button I own on that trip...AND the terrifying iguanas lurking about. 

8) Santa Fe, New Mexico: 
Holy Mother of Tapas!  This restaurant is about the size of my bedroom.  Grab a reservation and prepare to be within arms length of your neighbor.  Try the boquerones, flat iron steak with cabrales blue cheese and caramelized onions, croquetas de bacalao and patatas bravas!  I recommend a cava...but I like sparkly!  This is a can't miss when you are in Santa Fe.  I see the chef has opened another eatery.  Excited to try it on my net trip!

9) Taylor, Texas:
Oh sweet, smoked nostalgia!  Minutes from Georgetown, Texas (the home of my alma mater) is Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, Texas...home of the Taylor Ducks!  Many a lunch was spent in this historic building piling up on brisket...and the finest potato salad this side of the Mississippi!  I am always down for a quick trip down memory lane!

10) Rome, Italy:
I have no clue what the name of this restaurant is or where one might even begin to locate it...but it was perfection from start to finish.  It was one of those five course situations where you rolled out with your pants fully unbuttoned AND unzipped.  This was not a was an experience.  The waiter was just a hair shy of insane but he made for great entertainment.  The dish that sticks out to me is a pasta dish prepared at the table.  The cheese sauce was created in front of our eyes.  I can still taste the pasta dish.  Truly a meal I will never forget.  The company, unfortunately, was less than ideal.  But hey...I can put that behind me...but the pasta memory will live forever!

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