I just watched part of an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate. It’s a show on the Food Network. The “stars” of the network come on and talk about the best things they ever ate (hence the name) around a theme. Tonight’s was ice cream. I don’t watch the show often because there is a lot of jerky camera movement and I tend to get motion sick, but it’s a fun show. I thought I’d try to write my own version of the best thing I ever ate tonight, mostly because it’s late and I’m not feeling very creative.
Let’s start with my favorite food: potato chips. I like all potato chips, but my favorite are Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat chips. They are potato-y and super crunchy and not too salty. I like to taste the potato more than the salt. And even though I’m sure they still aren’t actually good for you, the 40% reduced fat can’t hurt, right? For flavored chips I like Herr’s salt and pepper chips. Pepper is my very favorite spice. We buy those McCormick’s pepper grinders and the peppercorn medley is so good. I grind it on everything. Sometimes I just smell it, too, but don’t tell anyone.
How about pizza next. I don’t even have to think about this one. My favorite is the chicken cordon bleu pizza at the Windsor (VT) Pizza Chef. It has sliced up breaded chicken, ham, broccoli, onions and mushrooms. It is so good.
(Ok… I don’t think I’m going to make it to one thousand words… I’m running out of things to say all ready. Once you list the food, what else is there to say about it?)
Let’s try Chinese food next. I love Chinese food, but we don’t really have a great Chinese restaurant in my area. There was a fast food style one that I really liked, but it was sold. The food is still good, but the service is awful. The old owners used to remember people and their orders. They were fast and efficient. Now it’s slow and the last two times I tried it, they forgot a part of my order. So now I’m without a regular Chinese restaurant. But the best Chinese food I’ve ever had is at The Single Pebble in Burlington, Vermont. They have small, medium and large dishes and they bring the food as it’s ready. There are big lazy susans in the middle of the tables and you serve yourself family style. Probably my favorite thing on the menu is the Mock Eel. It sounds disgusting and doesn’t even look very appetizing, but it’s not real eel. It’s long strings of mushrooms cooked in a super salty something. It almost tastes like soy sauce, but I’m sure it’s more complicated than that. I cut out table salt a few years back and I’ve been sensitive to salt ever since, but I still love Mock Eel. My friend swears she can feel herself becoming dehydrated when she eats it.
Oh, I’ve got another one… the crab pretzels at the Olde Philadelphia Inn. (which, incidentally isn’t old, an inn or in Philadelphia. It’s in a restaurant and bar in a strip mall in Baltimore.) And what exactly is a crab pretzel, you ask? It’s a giant soft pretzel, covered in a warm cream cheese crab dip then topped with cheddar and broiled to melt the cheese. It is heaven! I’m sure other places in Baltimore make them, but I’ve only had them at the Olde Philadelphia Inn. Man, now I want a crab pretzel and no one in New England has heard of them, let alone makes them. I wish I could have one shipped to me. That would be the best thing ever!
Well, since we’re on seafood. One of my all time favorite foods (after potato chips) is seafood chowder and/or lobster bisque. It’s going to sound cocky, but the best seafood chowder is the one I make at home. It’s because I put a ton of seafood in it and only the seafood I like. I use a mild white fish, lots of shrimp, some crab, scallops and minced clams, because I like the clam taste but don’t like the texture. And I cut the potatoes up very small. I don’t like big chunks of potatoes in my chowder. My favorite lobster bisque is at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, Maine. Everything is good at Bob’s Clam Hut, really. It must be something about being in Maine.
(All right, about two hundred and fifty words to go… notice how I spelled out two hundred and fifty? That’s a trick I’ve learned. If you spell out numbers, it’s more words!)
How about bagels. I’m a firm believer that the bagel is the world’s perfect food. It’s chewy and soft. You can eat it any time of the day. You can have it sweet or not sweet. You can put just about anything on it. You can toast it or eat it untoasted. Perfect! My all time favorite bagel is the rosemary and olive oil bagel with bacon scallion cream cheese at Bruegger’s Bagels. There are Bruegger’s all over the country now but they originated in Burlington, Vermont where I went to college. That’s the closest one to where I live now too. I think I could eat the cream cheese with the spoon (But I haven’t. Really.) It’s got hunks of bacon and chopped scallions in it and it is so yummy. And the rosemary olive oil bagel is savory, but not too strong. So good!
And I couldn’t write about my favorite foods without mentioning Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce. It is seriously the best condiment on the planet. It’s spicy, but the heat doesn’t overpower the flavor. I put it on everything. And I just discovered that they now make a thicker version for dipping. Brilliant!
(Well, I made it to one thousand words, but I’ve made myself hungry… Midnight snack anyone?)