27 January 2014

Blog Challenge Day 14: Food!

Food.  It's a topic that I could ramble on about endless and often do.  Writing about my favourite ingredients or sharing recipes with photos would be far too easy.  Instead I will write about some of the very best and very worst meals I have ever eaten.

The Good
Hands down, no question, the most incredible food I have ever glutted myself on was at Animal Restaurant in Los Angeles.  Imagine the most perfect buttermilk biscuit lovingly  with the most perfect sausage gravy with the sort of foie gras dreams are made of perched atop.  Of all the epicurean delights I have enjoyed, sublime enjoyment doesn't do it any justice whatsoever.  (Yes, I know that foie gras is cruel.  I do feel kinda guilty and unethical... until I take that first bite.   I simply cannot resist when given the opportunity to eat perfectly prepared foie gras.  Sad, but true.)

I would choose this over sex.  Always.  I think my heart rate is slightly elevated from relishing the memory of it.  If you've never eaten anything that mesmerizing you are really missing out.

The Bad
This is another easy one.  Raw (it rather has to be) jellyfish salad at a hole in the wall restaurant on the north side of the Chinatown mall in Chicago.  I cannot for the life of me recall the name of it, but I think it may have been "Spring World" or something to that effect.  The food was supposed to be rustic, from some far flung province in China and was directly across from the Chinese medicinal shop (which is the most foul smelling store I have ever entered) where I bought my teas, spicy squid jerky, and ginger in it's various forms (raw, candied, and pickled).

The salad itself was simple and composed of thinly sliced jellyfish and raw cabbage sprinkled with sesame seeds.  I don't know why I was surprised that jellyfish tasted like water flavoured Jell-o.  Obviously you cannot cook something that is between 95-98% water and what else could you expect it to taste like??  It may not have been quite as ghastly on a hot summer day, but I could not resist trying something so unusual on a cold November day.

The Ugly
Choosing which unfortunate meal to write about took longer than I expected.  Through the course of chatting with Yvonne the perfect candidate presented itself.

It was a mummy!

Okay, not literally mummy.  But it looked like one, sans rotting bandages and protective talismans.  However, it was supposed to be a whole, roasted rabbit and the guilty establishment is The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills, CA.  The description on the menu sounded divine: Rabbit roasted with olives  & an extra virgin olive oil garlic tomato sauce.  Yum!  I bet the served that sucker on a platter instead of a plate.  They did!  Sadly it looked like no rabbit I'd ever seen, dead or alive.  It was overcooked and inedible.  So I ordered another mojito and ate more bread dipped in their deservedly famous Bagna Calda (garlic cloves, oven-roasted in extra virgin olive oil & butter with a hint of

I could easily write a dozen haikus (or limeracks) to express my distaste for this sad bunny mummy, but instead I made a collage!  You're welcome.

Honorable Mentions:
Dharma Garden, the freshest and most exquisite Thai food ever created. - Chicago, IL
Hot Doug's,  Dubbed the "Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium" it is overflowing with culinary magic.  You'll never thing of a sausage or hot dog the same way. - Chicago, IL
Zayna's Mediterranean,  I've been cooking and eating Middle Eastern food for over a decade; it is my comfort food.  Zayna's has the BEST falafel and walnut bakhlava I have ever eaten and their Arabic coffee is absolute perfection.  Also, they serve beer. - Tucson, AZ

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