There’s a show on The Food Network called ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’. I think it runs somewhere between Sandra Lee making something weirdly boozy, and Alton Brown making chefs cook with both hands tied behind their backs. ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’ details the best plates, usually cheese topped or caramel dripping, of today’s celebrity chefs. It’s fun to live vicariously. You’ll need some snacks for viewing. Don’t go into this endeavor hungry.
Inspired by The Food Network and Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere, here’s my list of the good, the delicious, and the gooey.
Also… I’m tempted to cut this list very short and say that this mango and coconut dark chocolate bar I’m currently eating in bed is the best thing I have ever eaten.
• The best Maple Buttermilk Donuts from Top Pot in Seattle. The key in the thick layer of maple glaze over the dense but cake donut. They’re hard to share.
This Strawberry Black Pepper Donut, the ones I made in my own kitchen, might have been the best donuts I’ve ever had. That’s not a humble brag. They were really delicious.
• Coffee from Slate Coffee in Seattle. I’ll be the first to admit that I rolled my eyes at the deconstructed latte served in wine glasses with a shot of espresso, a warm shot of milk, and a small glass of the two together, but… it was perfect. And the wine glasses brought out the aroma of the espresso. And the grassiness of the milk really came through. I pulled up to this place blasting Kelly Clarkson from my rental car and got a HEALTHY amount of Seattle-resident dirty looks. Chill Seattle. Why so serious!?
• Oysters at Maison Premier in Brooklyn. Something about the seafood tower, crushed iced, briny petite oysters, fancy tropical drinks, and dreamy back patio that makes Maison Premier some of the best oysters I’ve ever enjoyed.
Louisiana oysters are so big and meaty, I’m still trying to build my relationship with them. So far I’m scared.
• Best roasted vegetable from Domenica in New Orleans. They make a whole head of cauliflower taste like butter. Tender, rich, and still somehow a vegetable.
I tried to recreate the recipe with this Whole Roasted Caulifower with Cheddar Beer Sauce.
Cheddar Beer Sauce hides, compliments, and celebrates a multitude of sins.
• Best cookie from Antoinette Baking Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This double chocolate cookie had guinness in it. Thank you, amen.
• Best chicken is found in ALL of Nashville, Tennessee. I spent a lot of this Spring running around the South and Nashville has the best chicken. This chicken from Husk was just barely topped by the amazing chicken at Rolf and Daughters. Also… Hattie B’s. You know I ate that hot chicken UP.
• Best Cuban-inspired cocktails at Cane & Table in New Orleans. And if you’re lucky, these ladies will sit on the patio next to you and grimace.
Let’s drink more cocktails out of whole pineapples. Also, let’s book our trip to Cuba asap.
• Best Sazerac at Cochon in New Orleans. I drank this after I burned big ol blisters into my hand in a kitchen accident. It really was the best remedy.
• We aren’t done talking about coffee because there’s just too many great cups in the world. The people at Peddler Coffee in Philadelphia roast their own beans, make beautiful pour-over cups, and the most velvety espresso.
I need to take a trip to Memphis sooner than later.
• Best picnic at Blackberry Farm, Tennessee. The setting is gorgeous, rolling hills, lush fields, amazing food, Their mustard-y potato salad and fennel + beet + strawberry salad add to the perfection.
• Best hotdog at Dat Dog in New Orleans. I know. I know.. I need to get down with NYC street dog and I need to eat any and every hotdog in Chicago, but these all pork hot dogs, with a sweet bun, too much mustard, and sauerkraut is THE BEST.
The fact that there are chili cheese fries makes the world an even better place.
• Best cannoli in the entire world at Termini Brother’s Bakery. Ricotta Chocolate Chip is the only way to go. And if you go to their original location and smile nicely, they’ll give you a paper hat to wear and a tour of their bakery kitchen. If you’re anything like me, it’s just a dream come true.
So! I know this has gotten your wheels turning! What’s your best bite this year? What was it and where did you find it… and when can I meet you there?