A sister in the wankosphere has challenged me to scribe in spirit of her recent post. To wit, another blogger’s “Guide to the Globe: Things to eat before you die.” Oh, Sheena. Know ye of whom you challenge to such a task? The self-proclaimed, most-particular picky eater of my own acquaintance?
Thankfully, my taste buds have been recently awakened. My Dad & stepMom Judy sojourned with me over the summer, preparing most dinners for two months. I eat things once scoffed at, picked around on the plate, and avoided. Going to restaurants now requires more time, as I look beyond the appetizer section and can sit at the big kid’s table. Onions, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes: bring ‘em on! No shit. You laugh, but this is revolutionary stuff for one famous for ordering pizza, light on the sauce.
So, I’m not a foodie. Yet. Give me time. My must list pre-dates my taste revolution. I’ll have to leave off the obvious ones that others glom onto: fresh glazed off the conveyor belt from Krispy Kreme; Hostess HoHos, and more. But I do have some foodgasm musts:
1. Chicharron de Pollo from Roberto’s Little Havana in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Ask for extra mohito sauce to get the requisite garlic/lemon zing and to dip your fried yucca. End with Tres Leches cake and roll yourself home.
2. A grilled cheese sammich with crisp bacon on sourdough bread. Had my first at the Fog City Diner in San Francisco, sitting at the counter while Johnny Bench (Cincinnati Reds catcher & MLB hall of famer) and Ed O’Neill (Married with Children) dined in the booth behind me. Good with tomato as well.
3. Bacon. Glorious, wonderful bacon. Good with everything except chocolate. Prefer it fried, but often microwave it at home.
4. Garlic. Roasted and spread. Minced or chopped, and in everything (again, except chocolate). Garlic makes everything great and can forgive other weaknesses. Hope vampirism isn’t catching, cuz I’d be so screwed.
5. Chicken Piccata, done right. Meat beaten flat to less than a quarter inch thickness, lots of lemon and garlic.
6. A Chocolate Dipped Cone from Dairy Queen. A treat of my youth, rediscovered in adulthood. Zesto in Atlanta serves a gourmand version.
7. Brie and Fruit in Phyllo Pastry. Not only good in restaurants, Super Target’s own splendid Archer Farms brand in the frozen food section, with pears.
8. Potato Paradise: Shoe string fries (Houston’s), Freshly made potato chips with sesame ginger dressing (Village Tavern), The Swede's Mashed Potatoes (real butter, half and half, and secret spice), and Rosemary Garlic New Potatoes (chez moi, Judy’s recipe). After all, I haven’t met a potato I didn’t like.
9. Smoked gouda beer batter cheese fondue. Visit me, and in 10 minutes you’ll have warm heaven over crusty bread and granny smith apples. Yes, lots of garlic.
10. Olive Tapenade. First sampled in New Orleans with mushroom paté. Love it on bread, with veggies, or by the spoonful.
And I agree with Sheena: Dill pickles are among the highest on my “ew!”-o-meter – will send my grilled cheese sammiches back to the kitchen to decontaminate the damn plate and ding the server on the tip for not listening when I said NO PICKLE!