Having just survived eight days of an all-vegetarian retreat — I may never eat field greens again! — it got me to thinking of the best meals (and, yes, drinks!) I’ve ever enjoyed.
The food we ate wasn’t bad at all, and in fact beautifully presented, healthy, full of vitamins. The cheese/fennel scones were perfect little pillows; the berry crumble lovely; the crispy green beans just the right color and texture…
Here are some of my favorite meals:
In a port-side cafe in Concarneau, Brittany, cold, fresh oysters, a baguette with sweet butter, tiny hot sausages and a crisp glass of Muscadet.
Street-vendor food in Bangkok.
My late granny’s Christmas goose.
My mom’s hamburger smash — ground meat, salt, pepper, carrots, potatoes — all mixed up in a frying pan.
The sweetie’s blueberry pancakes with, of course, real maple syrup.
A spectacular fish soup I ate on a frigidly cold winter’s day in Old Montreal — in 1987! It was that good.
The peach crumble with sour cream at Stash Cafe, also in Old Montreal.
On my first visit to England, when I was 12, eating clotted cream right from the bottle.
Some hellaciously good barbecue in Fort Worth.
At a rooftop party in Paris on New Year’s Eve, fistfuls of fresh oysters shucked right in front of us.
At Los Almendros, in Merida, a fish dish so good we went back the next night and ate it again.
The tiny perfect sweet mussels our friend Celia made for us for dinner when she lived in Paris, served on her rooftop.
The stew my Dad and I made in Ireland from mussels we picked ourselves from Galway Bay.
My friend Mary’s Brooklyn roof-top open-air feasts, with a bottomless tureen of lethal/delicious caipirinhas.
Hot, fresh churros with a melting chocolate center, bought from a Mexico City roadside stand our driver Gerardo took us to.
The spaghetti carbonara, eaten at the bar, at Morandi in New York City.
My first pisco sour, at Carlin, in Lima.
At Casa de Piedra, a long-gone and lovely hotel in Cuernavaca, my first and unforgettable taste of sweet chestnut paste. Not to mention their enormous, salty home-made potato chips. (Here’s a link to a replacement every bit as lovely and charming, Casa Colonial.)
How about you?