Best Restaurant Meals

I was trying to remember all the best meals I've eaten at various restaurants through the ages. I don't think I could hope to rank them discreetly, so I'm going to list them chronologically.

  1. [Texas Biergarten] - I don't know the name of this place because I was taken there as a child. It was a long drive out into the country of Central Texas, to a place in the middle of nowhere that was owned by a family. I had the best chicken fried steak of my life in that place.
  2. [Greek Ferry] - I was crossing from Brindisi to Corfu, and of all the places to have a great meal, I had one on this overnight ferry. Spaghetti and some kind of wine made by monks.
  3. Cafe Maddelena (Rome) - I had tortellini in a sort of tomato cream sauce, and I paid for my meal with a kiss. Really.
  4. Lala Rokh (Boston, MA) - Persian food. I don't even know what I ate, but I remember it was all fantastic.
  5. Gumbo Shop (New Orleans, LA) - This is a tourist stop, sure, but the locals also love it. I had catfish over a bed of seasoned spinach, and it was to die for. And of course they make wonderful bread pudding, too.
  6. Xcaret (Mexico) - I don't know which of the restaurants this was, but it was some of the best steak I've ever eaten. Plus, our server Guillermo was awesome.
  7. Spire (Boston, MA) - A fabulous meal, though the dessert—a sort of champagne parfait—was the real show stopper.
  8. Wall's (Savannah, GA) - Best barbecue, though almost impossible to find.
  9. Taranta (North End, Boston, MA) - A wonderful Italian meal, though what really made the night was the great wine (Planeta) that came with it.
  10. California Grill (Disney World, Orlando, FL) - The perfect blend of great food, great service, and a great view; our server even gave us a special hint so that we could go out and enjoy the fireworks without having to deal with the crowds.
  11. L'Andana (Burlington, MA) - More great Tuscan food and good wine.
  12. Tallulah on Thames (Newport, RI) - The best fresh butter and bread I've ever had, as well as great service in a charming setting.
  13. Acquerello (San Francisco, CA) - Wow. And then wow again. Some of the best service I've ever experienced, as well as some of the best food.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Pierre Maspero's (New Orleans, LA) - I go here every time I go back to New Orleans. Solid food that never fails.
  • Delta Grill (New York, NY) - Yummy homemade mac 'n' cheese and bread pudding.
  • Angelina Cafe (New York, NY) - Because they always treat me right.
  • Cafe George V (Paris) - I go here for the chocolate chaud.
  • Cafe Erato (Athens) - A beautiful courtyard hung with ivy and featuring canaries in gilded cages. Oh, and the food was good, too.
  • Thai Stick (Millbrae, CA) - Really good Thai food.
  • Pho & I (Boston, MA) - Best drunken noodles and pad thai.
  • Hula Hut (Austin, TX) - More for the atmosphere and experience than the food, however.
  • Voodoo BBQ (New Orleans, LA) - My favorite barbecue in NO.
  • Soho South Cafe (Savannah, GA) - More than "just a sandwich." Their motto is: "Where Food is an Art," and they mean it.

Hmm. From this list you'd think I like Italian/Tuscan food more than I really do. It's not the kind of thing that usually tops my list, but when I do go for this kind of cuisine, I aim high. I also really like Asian. And then steak and comfort foods.

The concentration of restaurants and meals in Boston and on the East Coast probably has much to do with the fact that I lived there so long. I'm sure I'll compile as impressive a list in California over time.

What I haven't included on these lists are the regular favorites that I have frequented and/or did frequent. Maybe I'll make up another list at a later time.

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