As it was noted earlier, I like to eat. And now that I\’ve enumerated my favorite restaurants of the oughts, today I list the best dishes I had. I suggest you not read this until after you\’ve eaten. Otherwise you may go crazy. I almost did just writing it.
10. Chilequiles @ Cuquita\’s (Dallas) – I dare anyone to present me a better dish after a night of drinking. Eggs, chorizo and cheese are all natures little brooms that sweep the bad stuff out of your liver. At least that\’s what I would tell myself. Combine with a queso flameado and you\’ll be good as new.
9. Coconut Cream Pie @ Capital Grille (Washington DC) – After having consumed some bread, an appetizer and an entire porterhouse with sides, I dug into this fabulous concoctions of coconut and cream and more coconut on a coconut macaroon crust. And, although I felt very much like Mr. Creosote, I would have gladly had another.
8. Gingerbread Pancake Ice Cream @ Amy\’s Ice Cream (Austin) – Amy\’s has the best ice cream in the all of the alpha quadrant. And, even though I\’m not a big fan of chocolate, I usually get their Belgian Chocolate. But I was recently presented with their holiday special gingerbread pancake ice cream, and I was an immediate convert.
7. Cuban Sandwich @ Jimmy\’s (Dallas) – There are a lot of good sangwiches to be had at Jimmy\’s, but the Cuban is the best. It\’s not only the best sandwich at Jimmy\’s, it\’s the best Cuban anywhere. I\’ve tried other Cuban hoping for just a glimpse of the greatest of Jimmy\’s. Nothing is even close.
6. Tarte Tatin @ La Teriasse (Paris) – After a long day of walking down the Champs-Élysées, feasting on cured meats in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and then more walking around said Eiffel Tower, Vanessa and I were overcome with a powerful hunger for dessert. We randomly found La Teriasse and ordered crêpes and a tarte tatin. Call me shallow, but that fine slice of apple pie is my main motivation for returning to Paris.
5. Duck Three Ways @ Cock & Bull (Dallas) – This was literally stumbled upon during Jason\’s bachelor party pub crawl. What were the three ways, you ask: duck confit, foie gras and Pâté de foie gras – each preparation better than the next. And, as a side note, their Red Bull Burger is the best in Dallas and maybe anywhere.
4. Pumpkin Ravioli @ Bruschetta\’s (Pittsburgh) – My first meal in Pittsburgh was easily my best. This is no slight to all of the places we went on our grub crawl, but these little pockets of happiness were amazing. The savory pumpkin filled each peppered pasta ravioli and topped with caramelized onions and pumpkin seeds. Excuse me, I\’m going to need a moment.
3. Mussels @ Green Room (Dallas) – I think I\’ve mentioned enough about these that further comment is unnecessary. But the Green Room can\’t get back fast enough.
2. Vanilla Bean Skewered Foie Gras @ The Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas) – If we weren\’t meant to force feed waterfowl in small cages until their livers almost explode, then why did God make them so tasty. A vanilla bean skewering a plump lightly seared goose liver pretty much describes it completely. Except that it was extra tasty since it was comped by The Mansion\’s Executive Sous Chef. Hmmm, maybe free should make it #1.
1. Kobe Steak @ York Street (Dallas) – Imagine the most intensely beefy piece of beef you could possibly imagine. Now have it dissolve in your mouth like gossamer cotton candy and leaving you with a powerful need for a cigarette. Now triple that and you come close to the Kobe Steak I had at York Street. Their menu is always changing , so there is maybe a 1% chance of it ever being on the menu on one of my very infrequent visits to York Street. I guess it will be like that passionate weekend with that girl down the shore that you never see again. Christ, I need to stop watching old 80s movies.
Honorable Mentions go out to Truluck\’s Carrot Cake, hamachi ceviche at Piranha and the Duck Confit at Toulouse.