What's the best meal you've ever had and what was the restaurant?
For those of us who travel for work a lot it would be slick to have a list of great places that might not be well known or get an endorsement for the one's at the top of Zagat's.
Peter Luger's Steakhouse 178 Broadway at Driggs Avenue Brooklyn, N.Y. 11211 Reservations: 718.387.7400 http://peterluger.com/
In Brooklyn, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, is the greatest steakhouse on the planet. Sure, the location looks like scene from The Warriors or The Equalizer, until you roll up on all the limos parked outside. It's only Porterhouse and you order by the number of people in your party. Steak for four/steak for six/steak for eight/etc., creamed spinich, hash brown potatoes and the onion and tomato salad. The beef is succulent, melt in your mouth and unlike any steak in the country. It's number one in NYC and that's saying something with Ben Benson's and Sparks in town (#2 & #3 in my book). Every trip there is heaven on earth and bring cash, they don't take credit cards.
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So far the best meal I ever bought was Grilled Salmon from Doyles at Circular Quay in Sydney. The location is amazing, we were on a window directly opposite the Opera House and looking up to the bridge. The food was incredible. I was talking like one of those pretentious TV food people, it was just that good.
I'm not sure of the best entree I've ever had, but I do know of the best appetizer I've ever had:
Pozole (traditional Mexican pork stew) at Zocalo in Brighton, MA.
Zocalo is the closest restaurant to my apartment too, which is very very nice. I had ordered as an appetizer, but the stew was so amazingly flavorful that I didn't want to eat my entree. My taste buds were completely burned out from the sensation. I brought my fajita plate home with me and ate it for dinner later that evening.
I've tried making pozole at home and it's been alright, but I can't get the intensity of flavor that Zocalo gets without it being too spicy or too salty.
Interesting tidbit: Pozole originates with pre-Columbian Mexican societies. It is believed that the original recipe called for human flesh. An Aztec queen allegedly served pozole to some conquistadors. When the Europeans discovered the secret ingredient, the meat source was changed to the next best thing: pig.
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My wife and I went to Emril's Delmonico Steak House in Las Vegas on our Honeymoon about four years ago. It was easily the best steak I have ever had. Couple that with some yummy garlic mashed 'taters and a 22yr. old bottle of Port...wonderful evening.
Rusty Shackleford is just the name he uses to order Pizza with.
My favorite restaurant right now is a burger place called Ricky's...they have amazing mussels and their burgers are made from ground steak. Best part: having the mussels, the burger, and a soda won't break the bank, and I appreciate that.
I've seen THREE movies so far this year: Because I Said So - (3*); Borat - (5*); Children Of Men - (4*)
I've always wanted to eat a porterhouse at Peter Luger's.
Right now, the reigning champ for me is Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. I've been to the Las Vegas location in Caesar's Palace twice. That smug doucebag sure knows how to cook. The blue corn duck appetizer is incredible. I'm Homer Simpson foaming at the mouth just thinking about it. I wish I were eating some right now...
A few days ago I took my friend out for his 30th birthday to Fogo De Chao here in Chicago. If you like meat, you will be a happy person here. It is meatvana.
A few recs by cuisine for Chicago for anyone who ever hits my fair city:
Pizza: Giordano's (deep-dish), Lou Malnati's (Thin-crust) Mexican: Topolobampo, Frontera Grill, and Adobe Grill Italian: Spiaggia (high-end), Caro Mio (affordable) Steak: Morton's (I prefer it to Gibson's. Others will argue.) Fogo De Chao Indian: Indian Garden Middle Eastern: Cafe Suron, Reza's Breakfast: Wishbone Hot Dogs: Wiener Circle, U.S. Cellular Field (seriously, the grilled kosher dogs are heavenly.) Haute Cuisine: Tru, Moto, Alinea (Trotter's has slipped some recently).
Also, for anyone in the Midwest who ever takes a trip up to Door County in Wisconsin, hit T. Ashwells for dinner. The food is amazing there.
This goes back about 20 years, but we still remember it as the best meal we have ever had. It was John Dominis in Honolulu Hawaii. I still think I remember what we had, I had the Mahi Mahi en Papillote (cooked in parchment paper with crab, shrimp, and lobster). She had the prawns, they were enormous. Every seafood meal I have had since then has paled in comparison. But, I keep looking.
There was a restaurant in Tulsa, OK called Amore's. I had the Seafood Fettucini Alfredo and it was FANTASTIC. My colleague also had the best cappuccino he's ever had. We made a point to go back there, only to see it had shut down. Boo!
Otherwise, The Spudder in Tulsa is a must-visit. Awesome steaks (pick the one you want!), and the blueberry cobbler is to die for. I think I just gained 5 pounds thinking about the food there!
The blue cheese crusted filet minon at Bistro Zinc in North Miami Beach, FL. Seriously, the best steak I've ever had. A great restaurant on it's other merits, too. For less extravagant fare, I'm also partial to the gyro combo at the Vernon Diner in Vernon, CT. Follow that up with a slice of their specialty cheesecake and you can't go wrong.
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