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.