Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

I'm definitely a Foodie. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's "a person keenly interested in food, esp. in eating or cooking" ( That doesn't mean I'll only eat fancy, expensive, trendy food, it means I don't care if it comes from a hole-in-the-wall dive or a fancy shmancy restaurant... if it's good, I'll eat it whether it's a hot dog or caviar or a caviar topped hot dog.

One of my new favorite shows to watch is "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network. Each show has its own theme from "sweet & salty" to "fried" to "chocolate." Every time I watch the show I sit there and try to think of the best thing I've ever eaten in that same category, but I'm always too distracted watching the show to really use my brain (isn't that what t.v. is for?).  So I thought that I would make my own list of the "best thing I ever ate" in a variety of categories.

Chocolate: Chocolate Lava Cake at Fleming's Steakhouse- I don't usually order chocolate desserts because they're a bit too rich and intense for me after a big meal. But, that didn't stop me from ordering the Chocolate Lava Cake at Fleming's. It was so moist and had the most intense chocolate flavor. Not to mention the molten chocolate center. That, paired with vanilla bean icecream and pistachios, don't even think about sharing. Oh and just in case you have a chocolate craving and need something fast... try these brownies. Sure you have to make them yourself, but top them with vanilla icecream and hot fudge and your head will float off into chocolate coma land.

Fried: Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll at Thaifoon- First of all, there are so many awesome things to eat at this place. From the Spicy Jeweled Beef with its amazing udon noodles to the banana eggrolls for dessert, I've never been disappointed here. But, my very favorite thing is their Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll. It's got the perfect amount of spiciness and the tempura gives it a little extra crunchiness... top that with some ginger and a touch of soy sauce and you've reached perfection. Of all the sushi rolls I've ever had, this is by far my favorite.

Salty: Fried Pickles at The Garden Restaurant- The first time I saw these on the menu I thought it sounded really weird and not all that appetizing. But then I thought, "Why would they put them on the menu if they were disgusting?" So, I ordered them. They come out in a parchment paper cone all fried in their pickle spear goodness. They taste delicious on their own, but add a little southwestern style or ranch dip on the side (which accompanies these) and you're set. I've had fried pickles elsewhere since then, but none are even close to the ones at the Garden Restaurant.

Meat: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich at Zero's Subs- The thought of this sandwich makes my heart ache just a little bit. Mainly because I'll probably never have one ever again. I first found this sandwich while living and working in Arizona during the winter of 2001. Zero's was on the lower level of the strip mall where I worked. You wouldn't think the best philly cheesesteak sandwich would be in a little strip mall deli, but that's where I found it. Their steak was always cooked perfectly and was so tender and flavorful. And the bread and cheese and peppers and onions were amazing. Every time I went back to Arizona after that winter I would make sure to stop in and get me one of these delicious sandwiches.That is until the day I came back and the store had closed. I was heartbroken. There are only a handful of these sub shops open in the U.S. and none of them anywhere near any forseen travel destination. I've tried so many Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches since then and none of them even come close to the ones I loved at Zero's. I think I'm going to cry.

Sweet: Banana Foster at La Caille- Banana desserts are always my favorite. They are light and just sweet enough and what's not to like about bananas? But the Banana Foster at La Caille is probably the best dessert I've ever had. Not only was it beautiful to look at when the waiter brought it out, but then he swirled a rum sauce over the top from a small silver pot and lit it on fire. It was awesome! It was the perfect blend of banana/rum/caramel sweetness and I've never been able to find a banana foster dessert anywhere else that's come close to this. And nobody ever lights it on fire. So so good.

Savory: Puntas de Filete de la Norteña at Red Iguana- "Top sirloin tips sautéed with bacon, jalapeños strips, onions and fresh tomatoes, served atop the almond mole. Refried beans and tortillas complete this much loved dish." Holy crap this stuff is so good. The almond mole alone is worth going for. I could seriously drink that stuff. And the sirloin tips they use are always really tender and delicious. Don't get me started on the homemade tortillas. Mmm... probably my most favorite meal anywhere.

Messy: Mushroom Burger at Big Jud's- Maybe it was because I was fishing all day and tired and hungry, but the Mushroom Burger at Big Jud's is the best burger I've ever had. You may be distracted when you first go there by their gigantic Big Jud burger (which is also delicious), but pull yourself away if you can and order the Mushroom Burger. This thing is loaded with sautéed mushrooms and swiss cheese and onions. You're sure to have mushrooms and who knows what else falling out of the burger at all times, but man is it good!

One of the ways I've found to find the best stuff a restaurant has to offer is to ask. Ask the waiter what the best thing is on the menu. You might not get a winner every time, but it sure helps to find those things you wouldn't normally have picked out. The rest is just trial and error. How are you ever going to find new things you like if you never try anything NEW? Be adventurous, be daring, and never discount anything until you TASTE IT!

So what's the best thing you ever ate?


Paul said...

Jud's is THE BEST! I've been off beef for a while now, but the burgers there (and the chicken burgers too) are the absolute best. I just wish they had better fries. Not that they're bad, mind you, but could be better.

Mmmmmmmmmm ... Jud's ... *drool*

It's Me said...

I love the sandwiches at a deli here called Dillys. They have one called a Doosy that is sliced chicken with a rasberry mustard on homemade toasted white bread. I LOVE it. They took it off the menu about a year ago...but they still make it for me when I go in. They also have a creamy chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles that is the best I've ever had.

I am so hungry after ready your post!

Karen said...

I don't think I could ever go to Big Jud's and order chicken (of course this is true for pretty much any eatery). Their regular burgers are just too delicious! But I do agree with you on the fries. If you guys ever come down here I'm taking you to Rooster's or Taggart's Grill. They've both got killer beer battered fries. Mmmm.

Corinne, I agree with you on the Dilly's. I can't remember what I've gotten there, but it's always really good! It think it was because of their bread...

Rachel said...

When I read this at week a week or two ago, I totally made a list of my favorite foods on a sticky post-it note and it's been there ever since, waiting for me to comment on your blog.

In making said list, I realized that most of my favorite foods are Mexican (or Mexicanish). I loved the triple pepper quesadillas that were sold at a little cafe in the business building at BYU; I obsess over the authentic pulled pork tortas at Los Panchos Panaderia; I adore the Chocolate mini chimis w/ ice cream at Garcia's.