Eh, let’s skip politics today. Tell us about the most memorable meal you’ve ever had, and why.
Filed under GTP Stuff
OK, I’ll bite.
Suave, debonair, refined. Words seemingly not associated with me as a young man.
Applebees in 93.
Had an open-faced roast beef sandwich and fries.
On a first date, where I was nervous as hell.
Her most vivid memory of this meal: how many french fries I could stuff in my mouth at one time.
Thankfully, next month will be 24 years of marriage.
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I see what you did there. 😉
My dad was friends with one of the sportswriters for the Augusta Chronicle back in the 1980s. He was flying over to Birmingham on Billy Morris’s jet to cover the Georgia-Alabama game in 1984, and there was some extra room on board, so he invited my dad and me to come along.
For a 14-year-old sports nut and Georgia fan, it was an amazing experience in every way. It was (and still is) the only time I’ve flown on a private jet. I got to listen to the sportswriters tell stories about the Masters and Georgia football all the way there and back. The Dawgs won the game, of course.
One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me has always been the hot dog I had there at Legion Field. My dad and I both got one, and they served it in a little silver foil baggie, with sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and mustard on a soft steamed bun. It was tangy and meaty and sweet all at once, and a bit of a mess. I doubt my dad has any memory of it at all, but it is still the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten.
I actually used to wonder all the time about what they put on that hot dog to make it taste so good. When I was a kid I was convinced they had some kind of special hot dogs topping you could get only at Legion Field. Now I realize it was nothing but a regular old stadium hotdog, but it was special – and memorable – because it was part of one of the most special days of my childhood.
That is actually not the best meal I’ve ever had (I live in Charleston, for crying out loud), but when I think about the plane and the writers with their stories and the game, it is the most memorable.
11 Madison Park, last February. I’m not a frou frou kinda guy but I’m kind of a foodie. Anyway, 8 course meal (brunch!) at $485 per was hard to swallow but this was Valentines and the wives were happy. What made it memorable was an invitation to see the kitchen. The restaurant had been closed for a year to remodel and re-equip the kitchen. Holy cow, what an experience. Precision, harmony, chefs and support staff who loved their jobs. Memorable, for sure.
If you like that experience, get to Modena, IT.
I thought 11 Madison Park was great too. Wasn’t quite this place though.
Well, see that’s a problem. Heading to Italy next fall and there’s a difference of opinions. I’m saying Positano and my wife wants Tuscany. With only nine days, no good way to do both.
We did both on a two week trip. We ate at Albergacci Osteria in Tuscany. It was very good. In Positano, where we could easily spend an entire week, we had our most memorable meal in Italy at da Costantino Ristorante-Bar-Pizzria . Not a high end place by any means, in fact, the opposite. But it was wonderful. The difference was, in Tuscany, out in the countryside and among the vineyards I really felt like we were in Italy. You’re away from crowds and touristy spots. At least we were. In Positano, as beautiful as it is, you’re still right square in the middle of a bunch tourists and businesses that cater to tourists. Clearly, I was a tourist so that’s not all bad and I’m not complaining. It was great. But Tuscany did feel more authentically Italian to us.
I’m thinking a week in Positano could feel claustrophobic. It’s vertical. We’ve done Rome and Tuscany with one day trip to Amafi. Difference for us is Tuscany will include numerous shopping excursions while Amalfi would be relaxing. Maybe Como would be a nice alternative.
Como is great but it is a long way from Rome and the road is harrowing. Positano is extraordinary but there is a diminishing return once you have visited Amalfi. Tuscan hill towns plus a trip to Cinque Terre is very doable in 9 days. The ambience in CT is very Amalfi like but cheaper, more open and much more laid back. You might even consider a quick trip to Portofino with that itinerary. Portofino is every bit as upscale as Positano and maybe even more so but less expensive.
You will have many meals that will be among your most memorable.
if you go Tuscany and have a car, try to visit one of the many mountain towns. When the Roman empire fell, people abandoned cities and the fertile valleys to fortified villages in the hills. Thus each little village will have a palisade, watchtower, etc., large chapel and small houses. No grand mansions or cathedrals. Because they aren’t on the rail service there are not nearly as many tourists but they are worth exploring.
I went to Montalcino in Tuscany and it was magical. Ate at Osteria di Porta al Cassero and walked around town afterwards. No hotels and pre VRBO so no tourists other than those that drove there that evening to dine. A group of locals had small community orchestra practicing in the church and the music echoing the streets. What a life.
Visited Fiorenza 5 times and the surrounding countryside/mountain villages lived up to everything you have said. Their pride in their areas is great to see plus they invite you to be a part of it. We were invited to dine with one friend’s parents where we were served fried ham and greens to make this Southerner feel at home.
Northern Italy also has laid back and friendly locals. We were entertained by the executive of a steel plant outside Milano that had a history going back many years. He gave us a book with their photo history (that included Mussolini and Franco separate visits) while as his guests at a mountain chalet where we dined on some of the best fish dishes that I’ve ever eaten outside of Barcelona, Spain. His story of the Americans approaching Milan during WWII and his plant as a destination was fascinating. Mussolini had converted their plant from train locomotive manufacturing to ammunition manufacture which was then promptly converted to manufacture and shipment of 105mm shells within 24 hrs by the Americans.
These stories make dining memorable as well as the food.
My dad met my mom while stationed in Pisa. My uncle owns a restaurant in a nearby village that’s known for bistecca fiorentina. I would vote Tuscany, but I’m biased. Volterra, Montepulciano, San Gimignano…
My most memorable meal was at Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge at Disney World. We were sitting in the lounge waiting for our table for dinner when a server came through and told everyone to go to the back porch and look to the east. About 2 minutes later, a huge plume of fire came up and the Space Shuttle rose into a beautiful, cloudless sky.
By the way, the food is outstanding.
Disney World is one of my best meals as well. My son was 7 and my daughter was 4. We did Cinderella’s Royal Table in the castle. All the princesses were milling around and Ariel latched on to my son. She was flirting, telling him jokes, and ended up kissing him and leaving lipstick prints on his face. She spent as much time at our table as the rest of the room combined. My son was laughing so hard he couldn’t breathe.
The food was good, but I’m happy with anything halfway decent. It was the experience that I’ll always remember.
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That’s a great story because boys aren’t exactly the target market at CRT.
If you’re down there and need a good, off-the-beaten-path place inside the resort, go to Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Just outstanding and family friendly. If you time it right, you can step right outside and cast members are there with night vision goggles to watch the animals on the hotel’s savanna after dark.
Thanks for the tip. There’s a good chance we’ll be in Orlando this summer, so I’ll keep it in mind.
As far as fine dining:
It’s been a top three restaurant in the world for quite awhile and is #1 currently. Tried to recreate it at competitors in NYC and Chicago and Paris but nothing has really approached it. The pricing is no doubt absurd, but much like the 2500 I spent (on charity) to ride the buses with the team and go through the dawg walk, I have no regrets. None. We’re only here once, right?
At a much more reasonable price point Cochon in New Orleans is fantastic. I’ve hurt myself in there more than once.
The most memorable meals and the ones I’d most like to replicate were made by mom and/or my grandmother. Just basic southern home cooking. I miss them a lot.
For me, it was in Key West where my family and I had been out deep sea fishing. The captain told us to go to “Captain Runaground” and they would fix our fish for us. It was a tugboat that had washed aground during a storm and they turned it into a restaurant. They fixed our fresh-caught fish 3 different ways with all the fixin’s. We sat up top, outside in the beautiful February weather, looking out on the Ocean, drinking beer, eating our fish we had just caught. It was heaven.
Brutha, anytime you can hook @ cook within a couple hours, good times…..while you’re eating you almost relive how fun it was on the catch
I live for it, DIW!
Bone in rib eye at the Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace. My buddy and I had just won close to 10k in poker and decided to celebrate. Winning made it sweet, seeing Bobby Flay in the kitchen, sweeter.
Second best would be the wings in had right after the Rose Bowl, for obvious reasons. Garlic parmesan and beer. Divine.
This….. I’ve eaten at fancy restaurants all over the world,, but I’ll never forget my post Rose Bowl meal at a random hamburger joint in the heart of Pasadena. Coming after a beautiful 20 minute walk from the stadium, the experience is etched in my memory.
We hit a place on Colorado St called BarCelona, the victory meal was awesome. No idea what I ordered, possibly it was just several beers.
I don’t remember the name of the place where we ate, but it was a good meal with great friends following the best football game I’d ever seen live.
Man – same experience here. My group of friends from college and my wife made it back to Barney’s Beanery on Colorado and had some beers and wings or something. The food probably wasn’t anything special, but it just hit us all at one point that we had just attended the greatest Rose Bowl game that didn’t involve Vince Young.
New Year’s Eve several years ago. One of UGAs numerous Outback bowl appearances. Got a reservation at Bern’s in Tampa. The four of us roll up to the valet parking in an F250 four door pickup with Bulldog magnets and flags from end to end. Nothing in the lot but big BMWs, Mercedes, and Bentleys. I told the valet to have it detailed and I know how many miles are on it. Got a good laugh from all the doctors and their wives waiting on their cars. Bob Seger and George Steinbrenner were also there eating. Great steak and the tour of the kitchen and the wine cellar were incredible. You owe it to yourself to go there when in Tampa.
Came here to say this, ate there twice while Donnan had us on the Outback Bowl tour…
Great minds – I just talked about Bern’s below. Yes, it can be a bit of a snooty place, even though Tampa isn’t exactly known for its large swaths of highbrow types. Indeed the tours also are great, along with the dessert room upstairs.
A couple of us who were there that night have twice since then driven to Tampa, eaten dinner at Bern’s, and then driven home after eating. .
The décor in Bern’s resembles a 1950’s whore house but the food is great and I’ve rarely seen such a phenomenal wine list. You will spend the whole evening. You will spend a lot of money. You will receive a great deal of enjoyment.
agreed. Bern’s is top shelf when it comes to a steakhouse. The décor, as noted, is 50s/Vegas/brothel-ish, but the menu is first class.
Agree, Berns and the Columbian were the highlight of my Outback Bowl trip vs. Michigan State. Most memorable was The Big Texan in Amarillo, TX. Not because of the food, but because we got to see some guy polish off a 50 oz steak plus the sides in less than an hour. They put him up on a platform table in the middle of the restaurant and he got the whole meal free for accomplishing that feat. I almost got sick just watching him LOL.
50 oz. steak? That’s only about 3 pounds. I eat that much for dinner all the time!
Actually it’s 72 oz, which is an insane amount of meat in a single sitting. Our waitress told us the record for doing it was 18 minutes. She said a Cincinnati Reds baseball player rolled it up like a burrito and ate it in record time.
1968 San Diego CA. Navy boot camp. Christmas dinner. The cooks made a go at it, but it was bad. During the meal, guards bought the “correctional custody” detail through to eat. These were guys in serious trouble and we were forbidden to notice them or their treatment…which was really, really awful. (Correctional Custody is Navy terminology for Hell) When the detail came past my company’s table, one of our guys whispered, “Merry Christmas” to one of the prisoners. It scared the hell out of all of us, but the guards seemingly didn’t notice. An hour later, a couple of CC guards showed up at our barracks with our Company Commander. They pointed out the kid that had whispered “Merry Christmas” and led his young ass away for twenty four hours of Correctional Custody. The rest of us got a four hour “marching party” as a Christmas gift.
That was just wrong. Trainee abuse plain and simple. There are very few things worse than being screwed with during holidays away from home. Your CC should’ve grown a pair and told the guards to go pound sand.
Never pass up an opportunity to haze boots. Rah
Long time ago..things were a lot different in the mil.
You said most memorable not best. Pinto beans in a canteen cup from a large pot at the “guerrilla” camp we hit on the last day of Ranger school. Very little food and even less sleep in the ten days prior to that. I didn’t need Warren Zevon to tell me to enjoy every sandwich after that. RLTW!
Soup beans and corn bread fresh home from my 1st Iraq deployment, followed up by a glass of Mayfield milk and chips ahoy cookies. It was splendid.
“home from my 1st Iraq deployment”. I’m glad you made it home alive,Alpha Dawg. Go Dawgs!
A beef steak MRE and Ramen noodles a buddy had sent from Korea after weeks of “beef” (which i suspect was either camel or goat since I didn’t see a damn cow the entire time I was there) over “noodles” at the local chow hall.
Saw recently where a beach front joint in South Africa was named the world’s best. It’s too long of a drive from here, though.
Central in Lima, Peru. Just unbelievable, and Lima’s whole dining scene in Lima is really astounding. Got lucky enough to spend stretches of time there and was absolutely treated to some of the best food in the world (Central, Astrid y Gaston, and who knows how many others that blew me away.)
Jesus y’all are some elite mofos. Heh! Best meal was at mom’s house 7 years ago. Fried Steak, Mashed potatoes and gravy, Butter beans…..the works. Favorite meal growing up as a child. It was for my 43rd birthday. She had a a major stroke a week later followed by 3 more over the next six months. She was 78. I won’t get a chance to have that meal ever again. Sometimes the meal matters and sometimes the chef matters. It was both in this case.
Good post, Argondawg!
I just kinda figured a meal with Mom was defacto #1..
Few things go together better than Mashed potatoes and butterbeans.
Next time butterbeans end up on my plate, may I mail them to you?
If there isn’t any pork fat included I’ll pass.
Pork fat stays with me, sorry 🙂
Cardamom Hill in Atlanta was an Indian restaurant owned and operated by Asha Gomez. It’s now closed. It wasn’t the most expensive or fanciest meal I’ve ever had, but it’s still my most memorable. I’m sure some of that has to do with the fact it closed soon after my one and only visit and I still think about that meal to this day. Every course was incredible! And now typing this it makes me a little sad that’s it’s no longer in business.
Off the top of my head, Henry’s Acworth eating fried gator tail after the WLOCP this past year.
The French Laundry in Napa Valley was quite the experience, especially considering reservations were required months in advance for a mid-week seating. Perhaps I’m not quite the so-called foodie as others, but I felt it was a bit overrated given the panache and price.
Funny story – when we checked into the rather snooty inn up the street in Napa earlier that day, we noticed another couple checking in, and he had a case of beer with him, much to his wife’s embarrassment. The front desk took one look at him in shock and said, “in all our years operating this inn, you’re the first person we’ve ever seen bring beer in with them. And you brought in a CASE of it.” To this day we still laugh about it – some guy bringing in a case of beer to a high end inn in the heart of wine country.
Bern’s steakhouse in Tampa also continues to stick out as one of my favorite experiences, and you’ll literally spend an entire evening (3+ hours) there; especially if you hit up the dessert room upstairs afterwards, which I’d highly recommend doing. I used to live within walking distance of the restaurant, and I still shutter at the amount of money I’ve spent there.
There’s a place called Rutherford Grill in Napa valley that’s popular among the locals and serves great steaks. Not as hard to get into, either.
I can absolutely second this recommendation. I live about 50 miles from Rutherford, and it’s my go to place take visitors. No corkage! I can even say I don’t care that they put jalapenos in the cornbread, it’s damn good.
Two high end steak places I’ve been to are memorable for me. LG’s in Palm Springs was outstanding, but the best place I ever ate was the Chicago Firehouse. Couple of guys turned a shuttered 1905 CFD house into a high end steak place. Would have to be at McCormick Place for trade shows twice a year and made sure to eat there on every trip. Reopened in 2017 after a fire (no irony there).
Had the A5 Wagyu at Chops recently and it certainly topped my expectations. Not the snake river farms american wagyu, but the legit from japan wagyu.
We dont eat out much because I am more than capable in the kitchen, thanks to the internet you can get damn near any special ingredient shipped directly to your door, and it seems like every places wants dinner to take 2+ hours and I aint got time for that nonsense.
Which is another reason I liked Chops. Got something that I really can’t get and dinner was like right at an hour.
We had some wagyu brisket and Tri-tip shipped in for Christmas this year. 72 hours Sous Vide followed by a smoke and that brisket was like BUTTAH. We literally just stood around and ate it as it was carved. The sides were forgotten.
Back in the good ole days I would drive down to the airport and pick up cases of wagyu briskets for slightly more than you pay for a choice brisket at the butcher. Use a temp controller on a freezer to wet age them for 45-60 days and then smoke. That was good eatin.
Brunswick Stew at the Ole South BBQ in Valdosta is right up there..
Stripling’s over in Watkinsville has great stew made fresh every day.
Went to school with several of the Striplings (my classmate was Sidney Kay) in Warwick, Ga where they owned a small grocery that has bloomed into a great smoked sausage business. They are prime nice people.
Following the advice of Rick Steve’s guide books for Europe, we’ve found numerous little restaurants off the beaten paths where locals pack the place, menu is small and only written in the native language, and a prix fixe dinner offered. Too many to mention to pick just one…but I tried and fell in love with foie gras. (I know, I know…poor ducks.). This leads to one of our favorite restaurants in the U.S., Bardot’s in the Aria in Vegas. Their Sunday morning brunch is worth just an overnight trip.
My point is to urge everyone to take a trip to the European continent at least once in your lifetime, but travel like a native using a good guidebook and not like a tourist on a Disney cruise liner. The difference is vast, amazing and far more memorable.
Having been stationed for 21 out of my 30 years in Germany, have had quite a few great meals in Europe. Can never take the Schnitzel out of me and of course the best Bier on the planet.
Best meal is a toss up. When visiting one of my companies stationed in Vicenza, Italy we conducted a World War I Battlefield Terrain walk. The mayor of Asiago invited us for lunch at a small restaurant. We had a 2 hour, 5 course meal that was the best I ever had until about a year ago.
Near the town of Certaldo in Tuscany is a tiny village named Fiano. When I take small groups to Europe, I normally spend a week at a Villa/Apartment called La Poggiolaia. One kilometer away is an awesome restaurant, Casa Chianti run by Max and Pee Wee. Incredible meals in the Tuscan style. Pasta, but the Roast Pork, smoked onion, roasted potatoes and more is simply amazing. Throw in mama’s Cherry Cheesecake and you never want to leave Bella Italia
Last Saturday in a 2nd floor apartment overlooking the town square in Mainz, Germany. There was a parade passing in front of the building that lasted over an hour. I sauteed fresh North Sea scallops and made a salad of fresh greens bought at the open air market that morning. Mrs. Cowdog and I shared a couple of bottles of Reisling (Trocken of course) while cooking and eating, watching the parade out of the open windows. When the meal and wine were done we went to the pub next door and drank post parade beers with the locals.
Someone else posted here about taking a cook’s tour of the European continent. As someone who spends time there I agree 100%. FWIW, the Middle Rhine is not to be missed.
This is an easy question:
My Warrior’s Breakfast after completing the Crucible on Parris Island.
No food will ever taste better or be better than that. Over 20 years ago now. Shit. I’m old.
Anyone who makes it through Parris Island has both my respect and heartfelt thanks.
Thanks man. It was so long ago. Feels like two or three lifetimes ago, really. I was 18, had the world by the balls, and knew everything. I was a little shit and had no idea. Time is greatest humbling force known to man.
Word, after three months of bullshit you feel like a king at that meal.
My most memorable meal was also at PI, but just before the Crucible. Our Heavy had us on Thanksgiving Day and did a 60 second countdown for us to eat our Turkey, dressing, etc…good times.
Late 80s business trip to Cincinnati, and I had baby back ribs at Montgomery Inn in Blue Ash. I was so good I went back the next night and had the same thing again.
We had partner meetings in NYC at the Ritz Carlton Central Park South. The hotel had just been open about 2 months. The Ritz had hired Donald Trump’s personal chef from Trump Tower to run their kitchen. He served us halibut with truffle sauce, some insanely good salad combination, and a polenta with garlic. I could have eaten five portions. Unreal food.
I do polenta in sautéd garlic and onions. My kids can smell it from their house and show up uninvited. All good, though. Best meals are with loved ones.
You can’t go wrong with any anything that tastes of cornmeal.
Guess he got tired of serving well done steak with Ketchup on the side.
Perugia, Italy at a restaurant called “The Falcon” (Il Falchetto). At that time it was near the big cathedral but they’ve since moved so don’t yell at me if it’s not good anymore.
They had raviolini with a truffle cream sauce that is the best pasta I’ve had before or since. Plus the red wine, moscato, etc….
But what made the meal was the friends sharing it, one of whom died a few years later from CF.
Tenderloin @ the Bonz followed by Chicago and Dylan @ Chastain Park.
Easily the donut breakfast the first Sunday we were allowed to go to church while at Navy OCS. Our first two weeks we didn’t eat a single meal where gunny or chief wasn’t standing over us making meals a miserable experience at NS Newport. So when we were allowed to go to the chapel on base at the start of week 3, everyone (even those like myself who weren’t religious) went, because it was known among the OC’s that they served coffee and donuts, which we were not allowed to have either.
It was especially memorable because somebody ratted, and gunny made us pay for it that night. Totally worth it.
I had my manager at Bennigan’s on Alps over a barrel when he called me, a bartender, in for a lowly dish pit shift. I named my price, my leaving terms and an amount of gift certificates. He had to acquiesce. Bennigan’s was part of the S&A Corp. So, this girl and I went to the Steak & Ale on Broad. I’m still married to “this girl” to this day. Best shakedown I ever executed. I have no idea what we ate.
My kids went there and loved it.
My kids ate there and loved it. My son in law is a chef.
It’s on another culinary plane of existence.
The thing about great meals is that a lot of it has to do with how hungry you are at the time. Many of the above reflect that idea. When you’re really thirsty piss tastes great, (I’m assuming 🙂 ).
Three situations when we were on 25th anniversary trip in Europe. 1) After all day travel changing trains, hauling luggage, etc. and rolling into a hotel in London about 8 PM the hotel buffet – basically average cafeteria fare with a little more glitz was glorious. 2) Being really thirsty and dying for a Coke with ice in most of Europe, finding a McD’s and getting one. 3) Little hotel on the west coast of Ireland, getting there too late for regular service and the chef cooking us a spectacular meal anyway.
Needing it and then getting it = real pleasure, no matter what it is.
St Elmos in Indy or Sage in Tallahassee. Both upper Tier IMO.
You live around Tallahassee Dawg?
Used to. I’m Cleveland now.
Roger. I met a cat over there a couple of weeks ago who was sporting his MG 0331 shirt. I had already walked away before I thought about your handle on here.
St. Elmo’s shrimp cocktail will cure any breathing issues you have that day.
Georgia Sea Grill, Palmers on the square, and Southern Soul. St. Simons
Love Southern Soul … I wish we had that for BBQ at Sanford rather than that Alabama Dreamland.
Or anything local or at least from our State… McGarity should have been canned for that alone IMO. (Yes i know there is a tentative tie to the founder’s wife being an alumni)
Yep, Georgia is the largest peanut producer in the country, yet they sell peanuts from South Carolina. Yet another reason why McGarity should be fired.
Victoria and Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
Never done it because I don’t want to carry a jacket on a Disney vacation but have never heard a negative about the experience.
We ate at the Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios (back then Disney-MGM) on our 5th wedding anniversary. While my wife went to powder her nose as we waited on our food, I went to the gentleman playing the piano and asked him to play “Georgia on My Mind” after she came back. He started playing it soon after she came back … she knew it immediately … the first dance at our wedding reception.
Chinese meal in Germany with my future wife. She is Polish, and did not speak English at all at the time. We were struggling to communicate. I ordered Duck. She heard Dog. She asked me “Dog?” and with her accent I heard her confirm the word “Duck.” I answered yes and made a quacking motion with my hand, which she interpreted as a barking motion. Well, she liked me a lot I guess, because she ate the meal. I was wondering why she was being so timid about it though. Dropped her off at her sister’s, whom my wife was visiting there, and the sister was quite bewildered.
Mine was Twisted Taco (now closed) near Perimeter Mall on November 8, 2009. It was a blind date, and I met my wife.
Poss’s. Atlanta Highway. Steak on a sizzling platter. Great whether you were drunk or just hung over. Those are the meals I remember the most.
Raw fish (read sushi) I just caught out of the Sea of Cortez, Baja California (far, far, far from anything) with a Mexican fishing guide and my wife. The dude had soy sauce!
The tuna there run in herds, not schools.
How cool. We used to drive down to Hermosillo, truncates right and drive through the desert to the gulf and camp and fish! If you haven’t read the Log of the Sea of Cortez by Steinbeck do so. Also look for The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez: Baja California’s Golden Age, 1947-1977 : The Life and Writings of Ray Cannon. https://www.amazon.com/Unforgettable-Sea-Cortez-Californias-1947-1977/dp/0963218824
Posted a comment about Bern’s in Tampa above. Eating there is something you ought to do at least once in your life. Also like Charlie’s in Tampa. Not as fancy as Bern’s but some really wonderful side dishes to go with your steak.
However, my most memorable meal ever was at the Canoe Club on Lake Winola near Scranton, PA. They only serve food in the summer and they hire a chef right out of cooking school for the season. The chef moves on at the end of the summer so the next year they hire someone else. Every year a different menu. Had the best, most tender plate of veal ever. Ate on the deck overlooking the lake. Watching the sun go down. The best part of a meal for me is the company. Three of my cousins and my aunt who passed away several years ago at the age of 99. Only got to see these folks once or twice a year. Wonderful conversation. Beautiful setting. Great food. All the things that are important for a good meal.
Mine was likely at the Delphi Lodge in Ireland (County Galway). The setting for the lodge is incredibly beautiful. The food itself is great, and a nice wine selection. But the experience is really the kicker, as all guests are seated around a large table, so you’re going to have conversations with people you’ve never met. One of the nights the owner came to dinner, and there were some great stories. Drinks after in the sitting rooms are also a nice treat. https://delphilodge.ie/
The Library in Myrtle Beach SC. Steak Diane and Bananas Foster prepared tableside. Best meal without a doubt.
Stacy’s Old Faithful Bar in Gallatin Gateway, MT. I was in MT so every meal was good! This particular meal comes to mind because the steak was great and we had just rafted the Gallatin River! I’ve probably had better steaks but that’s the first meal I thought about.
Sunday brunch at the Peabody in Memphis around 1994. The food was meh. What made it memorable was I knocked over one of the gas heating lamps under a serving pan. Caught the table cloth on fire and made for some memorable language and reactions from the staff.
Best meal that I kind-of, sort-of, remember was at Brennan’s in New Orleans one Fat Tuesday years ago. We went in for breakfast, had a 3 course prix-fixe that ended up being about 3lbs of food once we were done, plus a couple of heavy cocktails, each. I had to go lie down back at the hotel for an hour before we could go and traipse around the French Quarter. I do not regret my gluttony, particularly the poached eggs/fried trout/creamed spinach entree.
The steak dinner we got at Oakland Army Base upon return in September, 1969.
OK, you win ….and thanks for your service.
Unfortunately it was the beginning of the withdrawal and they were not ready for the number of troops ETS’ing and we sat on and concrete floor in a warehouse for three days after the great meal! There were some really unhappy bush bunnies in that crowd.
I have had some fancy meals but simple is always the best. For me, the location is just as important as the food itself. There is nothing better in the world than sitting on a beach, dock, or bench in the Caribbean eating barbequed chicken, rice/beans, and salad with a few lagers (preferably around noon). Second place is any meal outdoor in wine country. Farms, fresh food, and wine go great together.
One of my most memorable meals was on the beach at Grand Cayman. There was a dude fishing in the surf. He had a couple of plastic tables and chairs, an open fire and a cooler full of beer. We drank beer while he caught, filleted and cooked the fish. It was wonderful.
I will throw in a meal at Commander’s Palace in NOLA. The food was excellent, but the show they put on in serving it was pretty awesome. Lots of great places to eat in NOLA, but I miss the Takee Outees all over the Quarter from the early 80s.
I’ve been to Commander’s and it was certainly one of the better meals I’ve had in my lifetime. Old school New Orleans.
I think Takee Outee was only good if it was after 2 a.m. and I was on my 17th beer or something equivalent. But under those circumstances, it was outstanding!
K-Pauls in 1982 was pretty awesome. It was community dining and they put a star on your cheek when you finished!
1- Any meal with my wife at Friends Bar and Grill in Valdosta or Jonah’s Restaurant in Thomasville. Great Food and beautiful companionship!
2-Steak, mashed potatoes, and butterbeans and cooked over an open fire on the trout stream in North Georgia with my Dad when I was about 10 years old, the night before trout fishing. Remember it like it was yesterday.
3-Any supper meal at LaPrads fish camp on Lake Burton in the 60’s. Fried chicken, fresh veggies, and homemade biscuits with butter and Sorghum syrup. Um. Um. Um. Yummy!
Sitting on a dock with my Dad on Spring Creek, Lake Blackshear. A pound of Mr. Harrell’s BBQ and a loaf of Sunbeam bread. Him drinking a Schlitz and me with a cane pole. Best meal ever. R.I.P.
Mr. Harrell’s bbq is the best. I would ride with my Dad from our lake house to pick it up – Cobb Ga., just off Hwy 280. He used to cater parties for my Mom here in Albany as well. Is he or family members still running the business?
We have a group of friends that are astronauts. One of closest friends in the group is Chinese American and knew the chef at a local non-descript Chinese restaurant. The chef would call Ed and say “I found some nice …. (fill in the blank, fish, vegetable, whatever)”. Ed would call up a bunch of us and we’d all gather at the closed restaurant for a meal prepared off menu/no price. Oh, and the chef was a product of China’s culinary institute so we would have gourmet meals with all the carved vegetables into animals and such at a podunk Chinese restaurant. The wonderful food and the fabulous conversation made it great. And since it was unpriced, we would all discuss what we thought it was worth and pitch in accordingly. (Don’t worry, we probably greatly overpaid in the chef’s mind, but not in ours.)
Sadly, that group has largely moved on and the restaurant closed. It would be nearly impossible to recreate that experience for us.
Pork Chop sammich, Willie’s Wee-Nee Wagon, Brunswick, GA.Only thing I’ve eaten that when I’m finished, I immediately want another one. Sadly, I’m too full and that doesn’t happen.
Ah yes. Pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch in Mt. Airy,NC is worth the stop.
You’re watching too, huh. Depressing. We may be speaking Sputnik in the very near future
-Anytime mama cooks hamburger steak & gravy w mashed taters or rice
-My bday last May, hangin’ with Chank & some good friends @ a Macon Waffle House a cpl hours after the Dickey show. Good times.
February 16th, 2012. My wife had just delivered our first child. I had some Doritos, cold coffee, and a cheese burger from Burger King. It was my first meal as a father. It was amazing. By the time I could convince my wife to let me hold our daughter so she could eat my food was cold. It didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was the amazing 8.9 lb baby that completely held me hostage in that moment. I still have a cold burger every time her birthday comes around, always will.
Huevos Rancheros @ Legends steakhouse in Deadwood, SD.
The breakfast was great, but it was mainly the wife, the time, the place…great memory.
May 1992, Scalini’s in Marietta. It was our wedding rehearsal dinner. My immediate family was local but my extended family is scattered nation wide, and I hadn’t seen many of them in several years due to college. My brides family is from Houma, La. there must have been 20 Cajuns in that place. It was such a great time, everybody meeting, partying, watching Cajuns try to behave and watching my family mingle with them.
Wife and I lived in Athens for a couple years after we married and our anniversary dinners were always at Harry’s. I’m pretty sure I haven’t really had much food that was better than we got at Harry’s in the early 90’s.
Mine would be some family taqueria close to the famous Mavericks surf spot near Half Moon Bay. It was lunch the day after flying from Savannah the day before. It was the first full day of our honeymoon, and I remember holding an ice cold Mexican Coke, looking at my wife, feeling the ring heavy and awkward on my hand, and just letting it all sink in.
I ate a meal that Larry Taylor cooked at the Beaufort Yacht Club one evening down in Beaufort. Thin sliced fried pork chops, butter beans, rice & gravy. I will never forget it. Not only is Larry one of the very best guys, but he is a cooking SOB!
No restaurant, period, could replicate his soul food.
The dinning room of Augusta National. Think of everything you have ever heard and everything you have ever imagined, then add Coach Royal, T. Boone Pickens, the Yates brothers stopping by to say hello. Dr Davidson, as in Davidson University sitting down to talk about quail hunting and then being invited to SC to hunt on the 25000 ac he had donated to the school, but he kept the hunting rights. Being an over night guest at Augusta had nothing to do with eating, but the entire experience was beyond what is imaginable. You would think that 250 multi-millionaires would be a large group of pompous ass-holes, but they were the nicest group of people you could ever meet..
Been there and done that, but to hear Phil Harison senior over supper talk about squirrel and quail hunting On The Property was phenomenal!
Oh yea, the food was incredible, but Mr. Harison’s stories were priceless!
Fact check me…his father had The Only Home ever built on property, behind the first green. Originally lots were to be sold, but thankfully that idea was trashed and the rest is history.
Oh, and to tee it up on the first tee and have Mr. Harison say, “fore please, R….M…now driving”….never, ever forget that moment!
And 209, there are 300 members, 10%, or 30 locals.
One of my most memorable meals was had while working at a Zaxby’s in Athens. I must have eaten a chicken finger that wasn’t fully cooked because I was hugging the porcelain for the next 24 hours. First time I ever got food poisoning, sadly it wasn’t the last.
120 comments in the ‘Pen, and we’re all getting along. Seems there are plenty of things we have in common that don’t divide us. Thanks, Senator, for a place to play.
1987 Hong Kong atop the Revolving 66, a 5 star hotel and restaurant on the bay. After a fine steak dinner I was served a Baked Alaska with a fine almond liqueur. That was the most amazing dessert ever to grace my taste buds. I will never forget it.
I think I gained 5 lbs just reading about some of these meals
I’m always late to the party on Wednesdays anymore. I have a hard time picking a most memorable meal, but all of the candidates are instances of either starting or re-establishing family traditions.
2004, Fayetteville, AR, Doe’s Eat Place. Good friends, great food (as good a steak as I’ve had) cold beer, and watched Florida get Croomed.
Got to eat at two different Michelin Star restaurants in Prague last time I was there. La Degustation and Field. Had the tasting menu at each. 10+ courses. Decadent. Got engaged to the love of my life in between the two meals that trip, so that was pretty memorable.
So, I’m in Los Angeles in 2000 for work. My coworker mentions that her uncle has invited us to dinner at the Palm Restaurant that evening and would I like to go? Of course!
So we arrive and find a gentleman resplendent in a fine suit, shocking white hair with a gorgeous blond on his arm. We have a wonderful meal and talk and I meet his two sons, who I find out are movie producers. Steak, baked potato, creamed spinach and a few drinks – just a wonderful meal and great time.
As we’re leaving the restaurant I happen to notice a caricature of him and his two sons right behind the hostess desk. When we get outside I ask my coworker who her uncle is? “Oh, he’s Julia Roberts agent” she casually answers. Picking my jaw up off the floor he comes over to us and asks if we would like to have drinks at the bar at the Four Seasons…um, yes!
At the Four Seasons I loosen up a little more and start asking him about his work, how he started, others he’s represented. I impressed him immensely when I told him that I played in a band that actually performed a song by one of his original clients, The Treniers.
That was meal and evening I won’t forget.
The French Laundry back in 04 I believe it was.
Locally Alfredos on Cheshire Bridge was the scene of many memorable evenings.
Loved Alfredo’s. Sorry it’s gone.
Yes, very sad it’s gone. However I did learn how to make the port wine reduction sauce that came with the filet mignon. Pure liquid gold.
Late to the show, but here is my story.
Many years ago a group of us were talking about the best food we had ever eaten. We mentioned this and that.
Our boss, said his best meal was when they were marching him and fellow prisoners from Auschwitz, to the West, to escape the oncoming Russians. A group of fighters came by and strafed and bombed a train near them. There were potatoes in one of the train cars, and although there was a strong possibility the guards would shoot them, they ran over and got some roasted potatoes. He said that was the best food he had ever eaten.
That shut down that conversation. Nothing else to say.
Very late to the show, with insomnia, and I doubt anyone reads this, but it’s a 3 way tie for me.
1a. Lunch at Ryan’s in Athens. The food was terrible, but I had just walked for my PhD from UGA. And my mom made the reservations, so I wasn’t about to complain about the food. I got hooded with my dad’s hood. He got his doctorate at UGA and had passed away about 3 months before I went through the line. Very bittersweet and very memorable.
1b. Thanksgiving lunch when I was a kid. I had 2 unmarried great-aunts who would cook this incredible spread. The turkey was always perfect. And they always got all the buckshot out, lol. I could have drunk the gravy by the pint, I still don’t know what they put in the mashed potatoes to make them that good, and yeast rolls from scratch, still the best yeast rolls I’ve ever had. Country cooking at its absolute finest. Those lasted through my teenage years, and I’m still glad I got to do the 5-helping teenage boy thing, because the food warranted going back that much. And they always cooked so much food, we never ran out.
1c. Interstate BBQ in Memphis. Best barbeque I’ve ever had, and it’s not even close. That’s the BBQ that made Elvis fat and killed him. Trust me, he went happy.
Senator, since we have a gift guide I would love to see a restaurant guide. Having just read everyone’s response I think we have several awesome recommendations. Of course that’s if you have nothing else going on.
Best 10 Restaurant Guide for Athens, GA in no particular order:
(not included are places like Little Italy, The Grill, or Taco Stand, which are perfect when you need greasy drunk / hangover food)
Five & Ten – Hugh Acheson’s Athens restaurant that’s so highly rated it may actually be a bit underrated at this point. Reservations needed. https://www.fiveandten.com
Mama’s Boy – You won’t find a better breakfast in the entire state. Dine in for a sit-down breakfast, but order breakfast biscuit sandwiches (including the chicken biscuit) to go to take back to your tailgate to eat before the grilling starts… don’t forget the jam! https://www.mamasboyathens.com
Five Bar – A hipstery gastro pub that actually isn’t as pretentious as it sounds. I loved the Uptown Shrimp appetizer, and the burger is very good. https://www.five-bar.com
The Grit – If you have a vegetarian in the family, or are one yourself, or even if you just maybe want to camp out to see if Mike Mills comes in for lunch, this place in The Bottleworks is pretty good. Best Mac & Cheese in the city, and the falafel is pretty tasty. https://www.thegrit.com
Weaver D’s – With the closing of both 5 Star Day locations a couple of years ago, it’s the best place in Athens for soul food. It’s… Automatic for the People. An Athens institution. http://weaverds.com
Cali-N-Tito’s – The BYOB spot for the best latin flavor in the city, right next to Butts-Mehre so you can grab a bite before or after you visit Herschel’s Heisman Trophy. Get the fish taco. https://www.facebook.com/Cali-N-Titos-120455551300008/
Last Resort – My personal favorite for heightened (fancified) southern cuisine. Great Sunday brunch to send you on your way out of town after a big Saturday. The fried green tomatoes are never a bad choice. Neither are the crab cakes. http://lastresortgrill.com
George’s Lowcountry Table – For the best in that coastal, cajun, Lowcountry food. https://www.georgeslowcountrytable.com/?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral
The Place – Get the shrimp and grits. Thank me later. https://www.facebook.com/theplaceath?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral
Home.Made – Southern food like your mama or grandmama used to make, but much better. https://www.homemadeathens.com/lunch-menu-1
"We have the recipe. We know what it takes, we sat back and watched those guys day in and day out put in the work, how they carried themselves on and off the field.” -- Kamari Lassiter, The Athletic, 8/26/22
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