Top 10 food experiences

Faust Wine Cellar, Budapest

If you’ve read any of the posts on this blog, I’m sure you’ve figured out that we enjoy food. A LOT. We love buying food, cooking food, and most of all we love eating.

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Crawfish in New Orleans
dining al fresco on Montmartre

One of the best things about travel is experiencing a place through the food, whether it’s Paris or Morocco, Boston, Maine or California. Why eat what you can have at home when you can try something that’s only — or most famously — from the place you’re visiting? Not only does this usually ensure you a better meal, it helps you understand the culture of where you are. Even better, when we get home, we can relive those travel memories by recreating the meals and flavors we’ve had on our travels.

Kozybar, Marrakech

Although we love eating in nice restaurants (who doesn’t?), we rarely go for very high-end places when we travel. To date, we’ve only been to one Michelin-starred restaurant, in San Francisco. It was fantastic, but doing that all the time is certainly not budget-friendly, nor does it connect you with the culture of a country or city in the same way that eating at a casual bistro or pub does. Even street food can sometimes be just right for the place and the moment.

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Jet’s bar, Belize City airport

Now, we could certainly list the ten “best” restaurants we’ve been to, but that’s for another post. Below are the Top 10 (so far) food experiences that have defined a particular trip…a feeling, a moment, a sip of wine. They are the memories that make us want to revisit a place, or have a certain meal again. In no particular order:

  1. Lunch outside at Restaurant George, on the roof of the Pompidou in Paris
  2. The Amarillo burger at Casino el Camino in Austin, Texas: a spicy and mind-blowingly good burger in a very funky bar with a great jukebox
  3. Boar sausage sandwiches at the open-air Borough Market, South Bank, London a great breakfast before exploring the interesting South Bank, including the Tate Modern museum.
  4. A bag of boiled crawfish from Acme Oyster, New Orleans, sitting at the Oyster bar watching the shockers at work.
  5. Saucisson et fromage baguettes outside in Montmartre during the Fête des Vendanges, an annual wine festival in Paris
  6. Lunch on the rooftop terrace at Kozybar in Marrakech, as three different mosques simultaneously began their call to prayer
  7. Plate after plate of cicchetti, along with quite a few tiny glasses of the house wine, from Cantina Do Mori in Venice
  8. Steamed hot dogs with hot sauce and Belikin in plastic cups at Jet’s bar, Belize City airport (and getting a big hug from Jet, a larger than life character!)
  9. 10-bottle Hungarian wine & cheese tasting at Faust Wine Cellar, deep underground near Buda Castle in Budapest, with our friends and hosts Claudia & Justin.
  10. The garlickygambas al ajillo tapa at Casa del Abuelo in Madrid, where every dish on the menu is some type of shrimp preparation.

There are many other things we could have listed, especially here in and around Boston. But those are really some of our favorite special memories.

Do you have any great food memories? Tell me about them in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Top 10 food experiences

  1. My favorite sit-down meal was a tasting menu my ex-wife and I had at Emeril’s seafood restaurant in Las Vegas. We were on one of the first flights post 9/11 and Vegas was empty, so we walked up for dinner and every course was a delight.

    My favorite improvised meal was walking through the area of Shinjuku (in Tokyo) known as Piss Alley, which is where all the Japanese salarymen go to eat and get drunk as they wait for their train home. I was with my 6’5 friend Dan who speaks fluent Japanese. We just walked around drinking and eating whatever was being grilled on the hibachis. Most of the time we knew what it was (lots of chicken skin, gizzards, hearts and meat) but sometimes the best we got was “it came from a chicken.” It all tasted pretty good after a few beers.

    1. I’ve heard Emeril’s LV is fantastic, but never made it there. I can imagine he’d do a really nice tasting menu.

      Love the Tokyo experience! We will have to add that to our list.

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