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-   -   What is the best food you ever found in unexpected places? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=804421)

Shagnasty 09-11-2016 07:35 PM

What is the best food you ever found in unexpected places?
 
I took my daughters to a very nice Cumberland Farms gas station today strictly for the food. It certainly isn't gourmet fare but it gets the job done for an unbelievably low price. We got a loaded hotdog for me with sauerkraut, two 32 ounce slurpies and two slices of cheese pizza for $4.67.

I am a connoisseur of gas station food around the U.S. Cumberland Farms is one of the most consistent winners but it isn't the best.

My #1 winner is some large truck stop in Oklahoma with an Indian casino inside of it. I honestly wish I knew how to locate it so that I could give it 5 stars but everything looked the same around there. We ordered three cheeseburgers and were told that we would have to wait because it would take 10 minutes to make them. I wondered what the holdup was because I was expecting just something pre-made hours ago under a lamp.

The cashier explained that they were special cheeseburgers and well-known because they used pickle juice to make them. I was thinking that was complete bullshit until we bit into them. They were among the best cheeseburgers that I have ever had in my entire life. Total cost = $6 and something cents for all of them.

What is your best unexpected food finds? Both value and quality are good answers.

kayT 09-11-2016 07:41 PM

The best falafel I've found here in Austin is at a place in the mall food court called Potato Club. I've gone to three middle eastern restaurants here in Austin and eaten horrible falafel (one place I didn't even eat it). I had noticed Potato Club had falafel as well as some other middle eastern food but I thought well how good could that be? Well it's very good. They even make a pretty plate. (The potatoes are pretty good too for the rare occasion when I'm not in the mood for falafel.)

Chefguy 09-11-2016 08:28 PM

Indian food in Uganda (unexpected for me, anyway).

French croissants in Bamako, Mali. It was a former French colony, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a French bakery still operating, especially considering that the local food was very iffy.

zoid 09-11-2016 08:33 PM

Recently stumbled across Butch's Red Mill in Milwaukee. For those of you who know Milwaukee it's run by the same Butch who used to run the now-closed Butch's Old Casino. The menu is tiny but the steaks are far better than they should be for the meager price.

MissTake 09-11-2016 09:00 PM

There is (was?) a pizza place in Oslo called Papa's that was fabulous. The crust was croissant-like. It was so different from American pizza, and so damn good.

In Nordeast Minneapolis, there's a small bar/ polka place called Mayslacks. They serve the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had. Garlicky, juicy, tender. Heaven. My mom and dad used to go there, too, back in the late 50's.

RealityChuck 09-11-2016 09:21 PM

Years ago, they set up a Korean restaurant in an old Wetson's fast food place. Somehow, they had remodeled it and got rid of the glass entry, but it looked liked a rundown/abandoned fast food place. The interior, however, had been nicely remodeled and the food was great. Alas, they closed down after a few months. I'm sure their dumpy exterior didn't help.

*Wetson's was a hamburger chain, which served the worst friend fries I have ever eaten, and the worst anyone could conceive of.

terentii 09-11-2016 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MissTake (Post 19622231)
In Nordeast Minneapolis, there's a small bar/ polka place called Mayslacks. They serve the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had. Garlicky, juicy, tender. Heaven. My mom and dad used to go there, too, back in the late 50's.

In SW Minneapolis, a bit north of Uptown I think, there was (maybe still is?) a place called The Leaning Tower of Pizza that served some of the best pizza I've ever had, topped with big chunks of homemade Italian sausage. I remember it well because I went there with my dad and brother after seeing Goldfinger in late 1964.

snfaulkner 09-11-2016 10:22 PM

Freakishly delicious Swedish meatballs in a crock pot at a divey strip club in the middle of the valley.

terentii 09-11-2016 10:29 PM

From an earlier thread:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...9#post18341049

The pizzeria was (very likely) identified on the next page.

nearwildheaven 09-11-2016 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 19622162)
Indian food in Uganda (unexpected for me, anyway).

Actually, Uganda has (or had, anyway) a very large Indian expatriate community. One of my college friends was of Indian descent but was born in Uganda, and came here with her parents as a refugee in the early 1970s. So no, not surprising to me although I've certainly never been there.

KRC 09-11-2016 10:56 PM

Damn good diner food at the Frosty Freeze in Salt Lick KY. Great burgers and chicken sandwiches and all manner of fruit shakes with real fruit. Best diner food evar.

KRC 09-11-2016 11:01 PM

There was another diner in Ravenna KY. The food wasn't the most outstanding I'd ever eaten, but about 15 years ago my dad and I got a decent meal for both of us for under ten dollars.

Robot Arm 09-11-2016 11:12 PM

I was passing through Sea-Tac Airport once and had time for a meal. I had fish & chips at Anthony's and the coleslaw had little pieces of fried ginger in it. I'm not usually a massive fan of coleslaw, but that stuff was tasty.

Sitnam 09-11-2016 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MissTake (Post 19622231)
In Nordeast Minneapolis, there's a small bar/ polka place called Mayslacks. They serve the best roast beef sandwich I have ever had. Garlicky, juicy, tender. Heaven. My mom and dad used to go there, too, back in the late 50's.

One of my favorite spots.

In St. Augustine, Florida there is a tiny Jamacian restaurant in a strip mall called Taste of Jamaica which is fantastic. I am an ardent fan of Jamaican cooking and this very low key place does it right.

Sangahyando 09-11-2016 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 19622162)
Indian food in Uganda (unexpected for me, anyway).

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 19622365)
Actually, Uganda has (or had, anyway) a very large Indian expatriate community. One of my college friends was of Indian descent but was born in Uganda, and came here with her parents as a refugee in the early 1970s. So no, not surprising to me although I've certainly never been there.

If I have things rightly (I've checked with Wiki): in 1972, Uganda's eccentric (to put it politely) ruler Idi Amin -- in office from 1971 to '79 -- expelled from Uganda, all the country's inhabitants of Indian ethnicity -- a decidedly ugly business. I'd be interested to learn, Chefguy -- did you encounter there, anyone Indian? -- now that Mr. Amin is no more, I wonder whether some Indians have returned to Uganda. Or was it local Africans, cooking in Indian style?

RivkahChaya 09-11-2016 11:59 PM

The pizza served at the snack bar at the Ellis Island museum and memorial is baked there, and is delicious. It is not the very best pizza in New York, but it is in the top 10.

As a general rule, there are no true bagels outside New York City; however, in Bloomington, IN, there is a coffee house called The Runcible Spoon that makes its own desserts, and they have bagels that are so damn close to New York, it's unbelievable. They are overpriced, but I'd get nostalgic, and buy them once in a while. My aunt makes her own bagels, but I swear there is something particular about New York, because she doesn't do anything different, but when she makes them in New York, they turn out much better than when she makes them in Indiana.

terentii 09-12-2016 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RivkahChaya (Post 19622482)
My aunt makes her own bagels, but I swear there is something particular about New York, because she doesn't do anything different, but when she makes them in New York, they turn out much better than when she makes them in Indiana.

I read somewhere it's the NYC water that makes all the difference. I can believe this, since one of the first things I noticed when I visited there in 1964 was that the tap water tasted different from every other place I'd been to (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia), and I still think so today.

panache45 09-12-2016 01:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19622486)
I read somewhere it's the NYC water that makes all the difference. I can believe this, since one of the first things I noticed when I visited there in 1964 was that the tap water tasted different from every other place I'd been to (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, West Virginia), and I still think so today.

Yes, the NYC water is great, but not as good as it used to be, due to growing amounts of pollution in the upstate reservoirs.



I was in the small French Riviera town of Menton, near the Italian border, and discovered a tiny shop that sold "kouignettes." I've had kouign amann (which are basically the same thing, but bigger), but these little ones were spectacular ... just the right balance of buttery and sweet. They came in different flavors, and I bought a couple of each ... and ate them 'til I was sick. I even brought some home for my cousins, who are pastry chefs, and the kouignettes got rave reviews.

pkbites 09-12-2016 04:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoid (Post 19622175)
Recently stumbled across Butch's Red Mill in Milwaukee. For those of you who know Milwaukee it's run by the same Butch who used to run the now-closed Butch's Old Casino. The menu is tiny but the steaks are far better than they should be for the meager price.

Yeah. I don't live too far from it but only went in there once. It's a lot better than it was under the previous owners. Butch also took over Stevens Steakhouse over in West Allis. But I miss Butch's Clock Restaurant.

My entry here is the Asian Slaw at Cafe Lulu in Milwaukee. First time I had it I thought it was just col slaw. But it's scrumptious and goes well with an order of their homemade chips.

Smapti 09-12-2016 04:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoid (Post 19622175)
Recently stumbled across Butch's Red Mill in Milwaukee. For those of you who know Milwaukee it's run by the same Butch who used to run the now-closed Butch's Old Casino. The menu is tiny but the steaks are far better than they should be for the meager price.

How the hell do they make money selling a 10 oz. filet for $18.95? I know cost of living is lower in the Midwest than in my neck of the woods, but I'd expect a meal like that to cost maybe three times that price.

Balthisar 09-12-2016 07:33 AM

Two come to mind for me.

The first was a ham and cheese sandwich at a highway rest stop in northern France. The ham and cheese were really, really good, but the real key was the baguette – not too airy, crispy but not too thick crust, and perfectly seasoned. When assembled this simple concoction was perhaps still the single, best sandwich I’ve eaten in my life.

The second one is a hamburger (actually “lamb-burger”, given the country) at the Marriott Hotel restaurant in Ahmedabad, India. It surprised me because (a) India, where presumably a hamburger is a rarity, and (b) hotel food isn’t usually very good (unless you go to the “fine dining” restaurant inside hotels). I’d been living in China at the time, and in my five years there I’ve never had a good hamburger, and so this wonderful, awesome, lamb-burger was even doubly delicious. If only beer has been legal, it would have been a perfect meal.

Chefguy 09-12-2016 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sangahyando (Post 19622469)
If I have things rightly (I've checked with Wiki): in 1972, Uganda's eccentric (to put it politely) ruler Idi Amin -- in office from 1971 to '79 -- expelled from Uganda, all the country's inhabitants of Indian ethnicity -- a decidedly ugly business. I'd be interested to learn, Chefguy -- did you encounter there, anyone Indian? -- now that Mr. Amin is no more, I wonder whether some Indians have returned to Uganda. Or was it local Africans, cooking in Indian style?

Amin threw out everyone who wasn't African, including the Indian and British folks. After he was deposed, the Indian families who had lived there for generations began returning to reclaim their property, much of which was the lucrative tea plantations. By the time we were posted there in 1997, life had returned to normal, or as normal as things can ever get in that part of the world.

nearwildheaven: To my chagrin, I was not aware of the large Indian population prior to our arrival, and was pleasantly surprised to find wonderful restaurants. I was impressed enough with the food to pursue learning to cook it myself. I guess the real oddity there was a superb Italian restaurant, run by a former WHO employee and his British wife.

pulykamell 09-12-2016 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Smapti (Post 19622627)
How the hell do they make money selling a 10 oz. filet for $18.95? I know cost of living is lower in the Midwest than in my neck of the woods, but I'd expect a meal like that to cost maybe three times that price.

$60 for a 10 oz filet meal? That's quite pricey. At a decent steakhouse, I'd expect it closer to $40. The popular one around in the suburbs south of me has a 12 oz for $32.95. (Edit: sorry, apparently it went up to $35.95 for 12 oz, and 26.95 for 8 oz.) At a non-steakhouse, you can definitely find them at the $20 price point. Here's one delicious 8-10oz Cajun filet at one of my favorite local joints for $18.99 last year.


If you shop right, you can find sales where filet goes down to about $12/lb. Typically, it is closer to $16-18/lb (that's what I paid for last on a trimmed choice tenderloin at Costco.) And that's for choice prices. Even select grade filet is quite tender, and I'm sure it can be found for even less, especially if you're a restaurant buying in bulk.

salinqmind 09-12-2016 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snfaulkner (Post 19622355)
Freakishly delicious Swedish meatballs in a crock pot at a divey strip club in the middle of the valley.

Ha! Food in a strip club - a crock pot! - always strikes me as hilarious. Instead of watching the hard-working ladies - "Holy cow, look at the udders on that one!" it's "Holy cow, what a great buffet, oooo, are those meatballs? Is there any swiss cheese on the cold cut platter?" And how can they eat while looking at rectums and vaginas? :p

....anyway, at the garage where I took my car, there was a gas station next door run by a really nice East Indian and he sold pizza from a glass case (I think he said his relatives made it but I don't know if that's allowed) that had the lightest, crunchiest crust. Just a little sauce and cheese on the wonderful crust. Never had any pizza like it since.

Amateur Barbarian 09-12-2016 09:35 AM

Best clam chowder I ever had was at a Lake Tahoe casino buffet. I've been all kinds of places famed for their chowdah (including all over Nwingland, here) and nothing has ever compared to that bowl.

Absolutely astounding savory crepes from a tiny mobile cart in a neighborhood above London. Our guide (a native and very slightly famous) whipped us around the city in a day and ended up there, in his neighborhood, for a crepe and a pint. Just outstanding.

Sangahyando 09-12-2016 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 19622882)
Amin threw out everyone who wasn't African, including the Indian and British folks. After he was deposed, the Indian families who had lived there for generations began returning to reclaim their property, much of which was the lucrative tea plantations. By the time we were posted there in 1997, life had returned to normal, or as normal as things can ever get in that part of the world.

Thanks. I recall there was a big ruckus at the timeof the expulsion of Uganda's Indians in. Many of them held British passports, so went to settle in the UK; which was resented by some illiberally-inclined Britons. I'd really hardly given any thought to this business, since then.

Uganda seems a pretty hapless place: it's uncommon, and thus nice, to hear anything positive concerning it -- in this case, the excellent Indian food !

Grither 09-12-2016 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 19622348)
In SW Minneapolis, a bit north of Uptown I think, there was (maybe still is?) a place called The Leaning Tower of Pizza that served some of the best pizza I've ever had, topped with big chunks of homemade Italian sausage. I remember it well because I went there with my dad and brother after seeing Goldfinger in late 1964.

It is, indeed, still there, and the pizza is still *amazing*

california jobcase 09-12-2016 11:57 AM

I used to work at a bowling alley here in S. GA. It was well known that our snack bar had the best hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings, and French fries in town, particularly when I was cooking. The prices were even with the fast food joints.

Wendell Wagner 09-12-2016 12:03 PM

R & R Taqueria, which is hidden behind a convenience store which is hidden behind a gas station, serves some of the best Mexican food in the Baltimore-Washington area:

http://www.rrtaqueria.com/

terentii 09-12-2016 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grither (Post 19623232)
It is, indeed, still there, and the pizza is still *amazing*

At Nicollet and Lake, before they redeveloped it in the '70s, there was another place next to the Vogue cinema called La Pizzeria, where the pizza was just as good and also had chunks of homemade Italian sausage. One of the soft drinks they served was Bubble-Up, which was like Seven-Up but gassier.

By the time I was in high school, we had to move to The Pizza Shack on Lake near Cedar. Also excellent, and more variety. Their spaghetti was (and as of January 2000, still is) wonderful.

Haunted Pasta 09-12-2016 12:36 PM

Beer totally counts as food.

So, where did you find the best beer you've ever had? Germany? The Czech Republic? Alamogordo, New Mexico? The Pacific Northw-

Wait, what? Back up a second, there.

Yes, the best beer I ever tasted was back in the late '90's, an offering from the Compass Rose, a small, short-lived brew pub in Alamogordo. (The desert southwest being known for its beer, of course.) It was their bock. Even with beer I really like, I find I can take a couple of swallows and then need to take a brief pause from the bitterness. This stuff I felt I could drink like it was chocolate milk- bock beer taste, somehow without triggering the bitterness reaction, and smooth as silk. It was only money and the need to occasionally breathe that kept me from drinking it straight down by the pitcherful.

I was amazed the place closed. (Their food was very good, too.) I remember it fondly and hope it only closed because the people running it moved to a bigger city and found bigger success. They certainly deserved it.

Kelevra 09-12-2016 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salinqmind (Post 19622944)
Ha! Food in a strip club - a crock pot! - always strikes me as hilarious. Instead of watching the hard-working ladies - "Holy cow, look at the udders on that one!" it's "Holy cow, what a great buffet, oooo, are those meatballs? Is there any swiss cheese on the cold cut platter?" And how can they eat while looking at rectums and vaginas? :p

I had a BLT at the Oasis Good Time Emporium (strip club) in Atlanta. I admit that having a naked girl bent over 3 feet away was a bit off-putting. Never ate at a strip club again.

My best unexpected meal was a place called Chicken Chicken in Grand Cayman. They served... wait for it... chicken! It had a Jamaican Jerk spice and was cooked on a rotisserie. My wife and I at there twice in the week we were on the island.

bump 09-12-2016 01:08 PM

I had some sublime Italian food in Budapest one night when my wife and I were looking for somewhere to eat and stumbled into this place. It was a bit more high-end than we were looking for, but absolutely stellar.

As in, my wife's been to Italy something like 4 times, including a study-abroad summer, and she claims that Budapest meal was the best Italian food she's ever had.

dracoi 09-12-2016 01:31 PM

The best pho in my area comes from a place in a run-down strip mall. It's so run-down, some of the businesses pressure wash their facades and some just let green slime grow unchecked. (This is the Pacific NW after all). The paint is some kind of bluish-gray; hard to tell because it's faded at different rates. The inside is little better - torn seat cushions, scuffed table surfaces, walls that could have used a fresh coat of paint ten years ago.

But the pho there... its just so good. It's the kind of good that ruins every other pho joint because they're just not doing it right. And it's about a dollar cheaper than everywhere, too.

zoid 09-12-2016 01:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 19622935)
$60 for a 10 oz filet meal? That's quite pricey. At a decent steakhouse, I'd expect it closer to $40. The popular one around in the suburbs south of me has a 12 oz for $32.95. (Edit: sorry, apparently it went up to $35.95 for 12 oz, and 26.95 for 8 oz.) At a non-steakhouse, you can definitely find them at the $20 price point. Here's one delicious 8-10oz Cajun filet at one of my favorite local joints for $18.99 last year.


If you shop right, you can find sales where filet goes down to about $12/lb. Typically, it is closer to $16-18/lb (that's what I paid for last on a trimmed choice tenderloin at Costco.) And that's for choice prices. Even select grade filet is quite tender, and I'm sure it can be found for even less, especially if you're a restaurant buying in bulk.

Check Caputo's; usually about $9/lb for a PISMO (whole tenderloin Peeled, Side Meat On)

Little Nemo 09-12-2016 01:57 PM

I can't say this was the best food I've ever encountered but this was something very good and unexpected.

I had driven down to northern New Jersey for a SDMB meet-up. I had said I was going to make some ice cream so when I got in the area, I stopped at a local supermarket to buy some milk and cream.

I found something in the store I've never seen anywhere else. I often see stores that have serve yourself buffet bars with things like salad makings, Asian food, chicken wings, and olives. But this store had a shrimp buffet bar; they had about ten different kinds of shrimp and you could dish up as much as you wanted and pay based on how much it weighed.

I love shrimp and I love ten different kinds of shrimp ten times as much. I loaded up a tray with all the choices they had and then I ate it all in the parking lot.

pinkfreud 09-12-2016 02:23 PM

Recently my mother was hospitalized for a hip replacement. The hospital is a smallish one in a suburb. While we were waiting during the surgery, my husband and I decided to have a meal in the hospital's cafeteria. The beef stroganoff was truly excellent, and two meals with drinks cost us less than seven dollars.

My mother has been out of the hospital for several weeks, but my husband and I are seriously considering going back to that cafeteria for lunch.

blondebear 09-12-2016 02:48 PM

Not quite what the OP was looking for, but I was at Whole Foods the other morning and was surprised to see biscuits and gravy in the hot food section. The gravy was a little thin, but the cheddar biscuits more than made up for it. Yum!

don't ask 09-12-2016 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chefguy (Post 19622162)
Indian food in Uganda (unexpected for me, anyway).

When I was a kid I learned to cook Indian food from my mother who was English. This was back in the 60s when you couldn't buy Indian sauces but had to make everything from scratch. I was quite a novelty back then when I started sharing homes with friends as most Aussies had no idea what a real curry was or how to make one. I assumed all English mothers cooked Indian food.

My mother in turn had learned to cook Indian from her family's cooks while her father was posted in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika after WWII. Apparently all the kitchen staff where always Indian.

Skywatcher 09-12-2016 02:50 PM

Pizza from three repurposed shipping conainers. The burger joint next door is owned by the same guy.

Some of the best restaurants are in what apparently had been someone's home at one point. This place had the best dill pickles I ever tasted! Been torn down to make way for a Walgreens, unfortunately.

Nice little diner here.

pulykamell 09-12-2016 03:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoid (Post 19623519)
Check Caputo's; usually about $9/lb for a PISMO (whole tenderloin Peeled, Side Meat On)

Sweet. My local Pete's had filet steaks at $9.99/lb (I swear I had never seen them there before). No grading was marked on them, so I'm assuming they were select but, like I said, with filet, they're all pretty tender.

Chefguy 09-12-2016 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by don't ask (Post 19623667)
When I was a kid I learned to cook Indian food from my mother who was English. This was back in the 60s when you couldn't buy Indian sauces but had to make everything from scratch. I was quite a novelty back then when I started sharing homes with friends as most Aussies had no idea what a real curry was or how to make one. I assumed all English mothers cooked Indian food.

My mother in turn had learned to cook Indian from her family's cooks while her father was posted in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika after WWII. Apparently all the kitchen staff where always Indian.

That would be very rare these days, as the Indian population are the richest people in the country. We've been referring to them as "Indian" for simplicity's sake, but they've been there for generations and consider themselves Ugandans with Indian ancestry.

Tara57 09-12-2016 05:04 PM

Very good barbecue out of a small restaurant inside a Shell Station
http://tipsypigbbq.com/

pkbites 09-13-2016 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blondebear (Post 19623664)
Not quite what the OP was looking for, but I was at Whole Foods the other morning and was surprised to see biscuits and gravy in the hot food section. The gravy was a little thin, but the cheddar biscuits more than made up for it. Yum!

The Whole Foods in Wauwatosa has a bar at the entrance (The Tosa Tavern) and they actually have a quite tasty Walleye snack basket with some deep fried tater tots that are out of this world.

Drinking and grocery shopping. It's a winning combination! :cool:

aruvqan 09-13-2016 04:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kelevra (Post 19623403)
I had a BLT at the Oasis Good Time Emporium (strip club) in Atlanta. I admit that having a naked girl bent over 3 feet away was a bit off-putting. Never ate at a strip club again.

My best unexpected meal was a place called Chicken Chicken in Grand Cayman. They served... wait for it... chicken! It had a Jamaican Jerk spice and was cooked on a rotisserie. My wife and I at there twice in the week we were on the island.

Back in the late 80s Wednesday night at the enlisted club at Fort Story Va Beach was quarter beer and 10 cent wing night. mrAru and I used to go and hang out for the wings and beer, strippers were just sort of an interesting distraction. I surprised the hell out of one of the strippers when she strutted out and spotted me at one of the tables. *shrug* I never got the reason for being upset that my husband was going out to see strippers with the guys in his division, I was the one that had his bank account and he came home to at night. [well, except when he was deployed]

Balthisar 09-13-2016 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haunted Pasta (Post 19623330)
So, where did you find the best beer you've ever had? Germany? The Czech Republic? Alamogordo, New Mexico? The Pacific Northw.

Belgium, the town of Ghent. I’m almost certain it was at a place called “Het Waterhuis a/d Bierkant,” but looking at their menu I can’t seem to find the beer. It was their own house beer, though.

I really enjoy Affligem when I can find it, though, which reminds me of the aforementioned beer.

pulykamell 09-13-2016 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pkbites (Post 19624764)
The Whole Foods in Wauwatosa has a bar at the entrance (The Tosa Tavern) and they actually have a quite tasty Walleye snack basket with some deep fried tater tots that are out of this world.

Drinking and grocery shopping. It's a winning combination! :cool:

You had me at "walleye snack basket." I've never had such a thing, but if it's what I imagine it to me (nuggets of deep-fried battered or breaded walleye) I am there!

RTFirefly 09-13-2016 11:01 AM

My MIL was in the hospital in Brandon, FL for two weeks recently. Across the main drag from the hospital was a place called Jimmy Hula's. One night before we headed back home to Maryland, I had two of the best fish tacos I've ever eaten - by far! - and a hell of a bargain at only $3.89 a pop.

pulykamell 09-13-2016 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Balthisar (Post 19622759)
Two come to mind for me.

The first was a ham and cheese sandwich at a highway rest stop in northern France. The ham and cheese were really, really good, but the real key was the baguette – not too airy, crispy but not too thick crust, and perfectly seasoned. When assembled this simple concoction was perhaps still the single, best sandwich I’ve eaten in my life.

The second one is a hamburger (actually “lamb-burger”, given the country) at the Marriott Hotel restaurant in Ahmedabad, India. It surprised me because (a) India, where presumably a hamburger is a rarity, and (b) hotel food isn’t usually very good (unless you go to the “fine dining” restaurant inside hotels). I’d been living in China at the time, and in my five years there I’ve never had a good hamburger, and so this wonderful, awesome, lamb-burger was even doubly delicious. If only beer has been legal, it would have been a perfect meal.

Actually, both your replies remind me: the first, I was at a hotel in Paris staying one night back in '96. Just some cheap place we found after being picked up by some bus in the train station. Anyhow, I woke up to just a boring continental style breakfast. Baguette. Butter. I'm not even sure there were cold cuts and cheese, but there must have been. I buttered the baguette and took a bite, just expecting calories and nothing else. Holy shit. I never knew bread and butter could taste SO good. I'm sure part of it must be my lowered expectations coupled with the romance of travel but, seriously, that was an epiphany for me. I'll never forget that baguette and butter as long as I live, and that's pretty much what started my journey to appreciating culinarily simple things.

The second was a vada pav in Mumbai. All the locals advised me against eating the street food and I managed to do so for a day. The next day, though, I couldn't resist. I wasn't going to have pani puri (as much as I love it) or anything involving fresh water, but I figured I couldn't go wrong with deep-fried potato cutlets served on a bread roll with some chutney and fried chili peppers on the side. Maybe I took a little risk with the chutney, but holy shit was I blown away by this dish that cost me maybe a quarter. It was just absolutely perfect: a fried potato slider with hot peppers and chutneys. Beautiful contrast of textures from the pillowy roll to the crispy deep fried potato to its mushy interior, with the starch flavored by the coriander/cilantro, tamarind, garlic, sweet and sour of the chutneys, accented by the crispness and heat of the fried chili pepper. Good god. It stands out as the best street food I've ever eaten.

JohnGalt 09-13-2016 03:42 PM

I had heard that the doughnuts at the summit shop on Pikes Peak were good, but I was surprised at how much better they tasted than I expected. Something to do with frying at above 14000 feet. If you want some, arrange it before a tour bus shows up, because it seems like everyone makes a beeline to order.


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