Best Meal Ever

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Mayhaw Man
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2003/10/29 13:19:26 (permalink)

Best Meal Ever

I have now somehow wasted enough time on Roadfood that I have hit 500 posts. In celebration of my having wasted a really large amount of time and keyboard springs, I would like to pose a question for a new topic.

What is the best meal you have ever eaten?

Best can be defined anyway you see fit. Best food, best company, best setting, best event, etc.

In my case it involves a meal that I had at Emeril's in New Orleans just after he opened the place. I had done a beer tasting for the staff and as a result a bunch of them came over to the brewery for a tour one Sunday afternoon and the tour ended up at my house and became a giant impromptu cookoff and drink fest (my "friend" was still operating his still at that point)and lasted until the very wee hours of the morning. Several of these people spent their first night in Abita Springs that night (on my porch in lawn chairs).

Several weeks later Mrs. Mayhaw and I made reservations and headed over to see what all of the hub bub was about. I had made no special arrangements and did not notify anyone that I was dining that evening. When we showed up we were greeted by himself and a bunch of the staff. We were put at a great table and the gorging started. The server, who was one of the revelers at my house, announced that the only choice we were to be given that evening was the choice of when to say "uncle". Other than that, we were in their VERY capable hands.

I cannot, no matter how hard I try, recount the individual items on this meal, as they were all being washed down with stunning amounts of swell cocktails and fine wine, but one of the highlights was dessert (which incidentally was brought to me AFTER I said uncle). It was a white chocolate bread pudding soufflee. Wow was it good. There were (I was later told) 16 small courses served over the evening. It was an incredibly genorous thing for them to do and I still mention it when I run into some of these people around town. People can have any opinion they want on his TV persona, but that E L is one classy guy in my book.

Now, even though they were doing all of this, I was till expecting a check. When I requested one I was told one was not to be forthcoming and that I had been their guest for the evening, as the party at my house had become some sort of legend among the staff.

I was not only touched, but I was also secretly thrilled, as I could not imagine what the tab would have been for this repast. We left an extremely genorous tip (probably the cost of a regular dinner for two with wine at that place) and thanked everyone profusely.

I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been in an accident with a butter truck. I had butter and garlic and armagnac coming out of my pores for days after that.

I still enjoy the place, even though there are many, many, places in New Orleans to eat that are comparable. It was a very nice thing for them to do, and the best part is that it was wholly unexpected. The suprise and kindness made this my "best" meal.
#1

14 Replies Related Threads

    hilldweller
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 13:46:57 (permalink)
    Congratulations for your 500 post double cheeseburger!



    Great story too!

    Dunno that I have a "best meal ever" story.

    Maybe you can invite me to your next party so I can have one!
    #2
    Mayhaw Man
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 13:52:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by hilldweller

    Congratulations for your 500 post double cheeseburger!



    Great story too!

    Dunno that I have a "best meal ever" story.

    Maybe you can invite me to your next party so I can have one!


    That's the best part, I didn't invite anyone to that one, they just kind of followed me home to my rural abode after the tour. I guess they wanted to see how the "po folks" lived. I have to admit that my "friend" got alot of mileage out of that moonshine thing.
    #3
    lleechef
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 14:06:41 (permalink)
    Mayhaw, again, another amusing tale. Congrats on hitting 500. This is a hard question for someone who spent their entire life in the food biz.....I've cooked and eaten a number of memorable meals but the best one.....OK, here goes.
    The year must have been 1980 or so. My French SO at the time (yes, the same one that liked to eat Maroilles in bed) and I left Paris for the weekend and drove to Alsace. Sunday morning we decided to climb the Ballon d'Alsace a local mountain. It must've been Nov. because it was colder than all get out. We got to the top, enjoyed the view and said let's get the heck outta here.
    Now it's just after noon. We get back into our Citroen CX Prestige and head down the road (nah, it was barely more than a dirt path) thoroughly starving.
    We passed through a hamlet and I spotted a cafe tucked back on a side street. It didn't even look open. We walked in and a rather large and red-cheeked woman greeted us saying that the only thing to eat was saeurkraut. Ok, says we, bring it on. And she did. First she brought us a soup that had copious amounts of butter and cream, chicken and vegetables. Polished that right off all the while drinking nicely chilled Gewvurstraminer. Then the saeurkraut arrived. There was easily enough for 6 people. It was a platter heaped with 'kraut, surrounded by boiled red potatoes and draped over the 'kraut was every piece of pig known to man. Ears and tail included. Smoked and fresh. Sausages galore. Well, needless to say, us two mountain climbers ate every speck. More wine, more mustard, please.
    For dessert she served us Poire Williams in coffee mugs. We waddled back to the car and drove all the way back to Paris without incident and both agreed it was the best meal we ever had. To this day I still think about that meal.
    One of the most memorable meals that I ever served was left-overs to then-President Francois Mitterand. Cold roast chicken, cold roast beef, cold leg 'o lamb, whipped up a little garlic mayo and there you go M. Pres.....lunch is served.
    #4
    Lone Star
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 16:57:02 (permalink)
    The most memorable almost-meal I ever had was when my father turned the entire table and service over in a restaurant in Rome. No anger management back then I guess!

    One of my most memorable meals was during an Easter sunrise service on the Arabian gulf. The blue, pink, and brilliant orange hues of the sky meeting the turquoise blue water and white, white sand was incredible.

    After sunrise, we sat at canopied tables on the beach and were served a full english breakfast.

    It was wonderful.
    #5
    Poverty Pete
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 18:36:30 (permalink)
    My best meal was in London. I was there with my very best friend. Let me tell you about my pal. We went on a week's vacation with totally different objectives. I wanted to investigate London's used book stores and go to the theatre. Joel wanted to lose himself in Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, and a toy train museum. We parted company one morning, and I went to Charing Cross Rd. and got lost in the piles of books. Around 6:00 I went back to the hotel room, and found my buddy in an absolute frenzy. He had spent, unbeknownst to me, his entire day standing on line at the ticket office to Les Miserables, and eventually, was able to obtain two single tickets for the evening's performance. The seats weren't together. One was in the nosebleed section, the other front and center. After standing in line all day, he gave me the good seat. Now, THAT's a friend!
    Oh, yeah, the meal? After the show, we found an Italian restaurant, where I had my first introduction to osso bucco, and also my first taste of Beaugelay Nuveau. I know I spelled it wrong.
    Great meal, better day!
    #6
    BigGlenn
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 19:05:22 (permalink)
    Best Meal Ever.....Easy choice for me, Home Cooked Southern Dinners at my Grandmothers House. Every thing else since just pales in comparison.
    #7
    lleechef
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 19:09:15 (permalink)
    Beaujolais Nouveau, s'il vous plait. Les Miz is my favorite!
    #8
    EdSails
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/29 19:55:34 (permalink)
    Best meal ever-----simple. Sitting on a boat in Little Scorpion Cove, Santa Cruz Island. First day of lobster season. My friends were bringing up lobsters and sheepshead----filetting the sheepshead on the swimstep-----and I was grilling the sheepshead and steaming the lobsters that they brought up. Cold bottles of beer and a view of nothing but ocean and deserted island-----good friends------doesn't get much better then that!
    #9
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/30 09:12:05 (permalink)
    Have been trying to think of what I'd consider my best meal ever.Thought of a great Argentine beef meal (individual steaks the size of family roasts with most delicious & different almond flavored dessert I've ever had) at a native non-tourist, non-English speaking restaurant in suburban Buenos Aires, this after a delightful open carriage ride through the city out to this place. Thought of my first ever steak at a Ruth's Chris - this after a several weeks spell of virtually 24/7 exceedingly frustrating & exhausting work and of just catching a bite of anything (mostly snacks at work) whenever could. Thought of first meal at The Palm in Washington and even of first smoked prime rib at Layne's here in Ark. Thought of a romantic dinner at Malmaison at St. Albans, out from St. Louis. All of these were indeed wonderful meals, but BigGlenn's post above brought me back to reality. My absolute best meals ever were great home cooked southern dinners (some all fresh vegetable, some roast, some fowl dinners) by my mother, my grandmother, an aunt, and other great Southern ladies and cooks, such as my friends Mrs. Lambert and Jackie. While those several meals initially mentioned were spectacularly different and delicious, for overall best, though, and what I'd want if I could have only one type meal the rest of my life would be those great Southern home cooked meals. Thanks BigGlenn; you are surely right on on this topic!
    #10
    Dipstick
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/30 10:09:21 (permalink)
    I would have to say that my best meal was about ten years ago when some friends and I went fishing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota. We had spent a full day paddling, portaging, setting up camp, and finally a little fishing. Needless to say we were exhausted and starving. We were lucky to catch three good sized walleye, so we cleaned them and got the fire going. Fried up the fillets in butter along with some sliced potatoes and corn. Along with some crusty homemade bread and a Red Hook while watching the sun set over the forest, it was a great experience!
    #11
    Liketoeat
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/30 12:16:27 (permalink)
    In listing meals which were under consideration for my "best ever" title, don't know how I failed to include any meal ever eaten at James at the Mill Restaurant at Johnson, AR, just north of Fayetteville. Everything there is so wonderful. However, title for very best would still have to go to "Southern Home Cooking" meals.
    #12
    spadoman
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/30 17:38:05 (permalink)
    I was thinking about this the other day as I was conversing with friends. The subject came up and someone pointed out that the best can only be to one individual at one certain time because of all the factors involved.
    Where you with people or a person you liked? Was the service good, or not if you were with someone you liked?
    Did you haver a taste for a certain dish and found it at this particular place?
    were you hungry?
    were you drunk? (or........)
    Anyway, a lot of factors are required. The answer would take quite a bit of story telling and thought.

    Congrats on you 500th post!
    #13
    peppertree
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/30 18:19:24 (permalink)
    It must be, every time I visit Connies Pizzaria in Brooklyn. It is heaven to me.
    #14
    Bushie
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    RE: Best Meal Ever 2003/10/30 20:01:20 (permalink)
    Congratulations, Mr. Mayhaw! Perhaps if we inform your employer of your new credentials, he'll give you a big raise!

    Best meal? Impossible. In 14+ years of extensive business travel, I had some incredible meals paid by the company. (FYI - I left that company over 2 years ago.)

    However, I'll relate a couple of meals that come to mind.

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    We used to have a "guy's weekend" every year at a buddy's place near Concan, TX. Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon each time. I remember one year that on Saturday, we managed to put together the following meal in an extremely inebriated state:

    Grilled steak, corn-on-the-cob, and onions, with pinto beans (prepared expertly by yours truly), tossed salad (homemade ranch dressing), and homemade corn tortillas made by one of the guys that we heated on the grill. The highlight of the meal, however, was prepared by our host.

    He fried a whole bunch of doves, then took the "drippings" and made a sauce with onions, added flour, and a whole bottle of Chardonnay, then baked it in the oven. I guess you could call it "smothered dove". It was rapturous.

    ------------
    Another one would be breakfast cooked by "Uncle Larry" at the annual family reunion of a good friend that I attend every year in Oklahoma. He is "chief cook" and director of the meal cooked over the campfire. It consists of fried potatoes, bacon, pork sausage, deer sausage, eggs (to order) and toast (I have been given the honor of doing the toast each year, made on a flat iron grill). These Okies top off their fried potatoes with cold pork n' beans; something I'm not really crazy about, but when in Okieland...

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    And then, there are the shore lunches with my grandfather when I was a kid...

    Those are the kind of meals I would consider "best".
    #15
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