Best sup of coffee, tea, Coca-cola, pepsi or meal you've had (b/c of circumstances)

What is your best memory associated with a beverage or meal, but had little to do with the meal or beverage?

For example:

My best cup of tea was after flying 29 hours to Singapore. I was dehydrated and suffering from hangover-type symptoms so I ordered some chamomile tea and toast from room service. Sitting there, sipping my team while looking out the huge window down on this foreign city, watching the lazy morning drizzle and the city wake up, knowing I was going to explore it in a few hours was a wonderful experience.

My best cup of coffee was a lousy instant with coffee whitener and too much sugar, but it was late at night while I was in the field on an army exercise. It was cold and I was fire picket. I was hungry and that coffee just slid down my throat and coated my tummy. It warmed my hands while I held it, as I walked between silent tents and hooches, listening to the night sounds of the forest nearby.

My best coca-cola was one from the gas station near my childhood street. It was a sweltering hot day and we had driven in to get gas from the Co-op. My back and legs were sticky from the naugahyde seat and I longingly looked at the Coke machine and pushed the buttons. To my shock a Coke dropped out. The guy at the station said, “Some guy had put some money in but the machine didn’t give him one. It’s yours, kid.”
It was in the tall, skinny bottles that pop used to come in and ice-cold. I remember trying to gulp it, but I was so little that my top lip kept getting sucked in, so I had to drink it slowly.

What about you??

I don’t even like soda very much, but I will never forget the sensation of drinking that Coke after we climed our way out of the Hermit Trail in the Grand Canyon. We went from river to rim, a 4200 foot ascent in 8.5 miles, all carrying ~50lb packs. In July.

I was a scrawny little 15 year old, so the pack as about as big as I was.

When we were in the far north of India we went out, with another couple, to a restaurant we had heard was good. Now we’d all been in India for a couple of months already and had lowered expectations of fine dining, as a result. We were quite accustomed to sticking to the familiar, (in that we’d tried it before and it was passable), and likely edible. We were making safe choices off any menu we came across, having had some really awful experiences.

Three of us ordered the roast chicken dinner and my husband ordered the roast mutton meal, which caused the rest of us to raise an eyebrow but hey, it’s his stomach. Now chicken in India is often what we referred to as ‘racing chickens’, meaning, mostly gristle and bone not a lot of flesh, a circumstance we all just accepted.

So our three chicken dinners arrive first, no surprises, bony and tough but edible with some nasty fries and wilted salad like veggies. A few moments later out comes a roast mutton meal that was to die for. Roasted potatoes, gravy, beautiful meat, even mint freaking jelly! Stunned silence from us three. It was so good, after two bites, husband orders a second serving! We were all back the next night for the mutton and it was every bit as wonderful as it looked.

Also in India, when we reached Varnasi we stayed in a guest house that has mashed potatoes on the menu. We’d been across Asia, on the road for months, and had never seen mashed potatoes on a menu. Some Brits staying there had said, don’t miss the mashed potatoes, so we gave them a try. They were, quite simply, the best mashed potatoes ever! I have no idea what made them so wonderful, our lack of mashed potatoes for months or that they were beautifully prepared with a little onion, and creamy. We ate them breakfast, lunch and dinner for our entire time there. Hell, sometimes we’d come in, after an afternoon out, and just have some potatoes. My mouth is watering now just thinking of them, yum.

Best tea? I got two. When I first traveled Asia it was up the east coast of Malaysia, when we’d stop in markets to get tea it always came in a large glass, (like a cocktail shaker), with a load of sweet milk on the bottom. The idea was you could mix it as much as you cared too, based on how much milk/sweet you wanted. I was so used to making my tea by colour I could never resist stirring away to get the right colour, making the tea very sweet indeed. I didn’t care for it the first couple of times but came to adore it after not long. (The tea itself was usually made by an Indian and passed back and forth through a strainer like a bartender mixes a drink, several times before going into the glass.)

We have frequently taken a night train in Thailand, always, it seemed, finding ourselves very late at night waiting to make a connection in some train station. I soon learned off in a corner, somewhere is a tea/coffee vender. Lacking disposable cups it was served in a sweet milk tin, with the lid bent back in such a way as to form a handle, very clever. And yummy too. I wonder if this is still done today or the disposable cup has taken hold?

I also have a traveling in Asia story. We spent the day wandering about Bangkok and sweltering. We were staying in a nice hotel (the Royal Orchid Sheraton) as a complete splurge. Upon returning to our rooms, Mr.Q. suggested ordering ice cream sundaes from room service. The very prospect of having something cold and delicious delivered to my room just struck me as the height of luxury. It was an entirely delightful experience.

I developed gestational diabetes when pregnant with my daughter 6 years ago. After giving birth, I had only one food/drink request. It was something I could not have for the past 9 months…an ice cold Pepsi. My husband brought it to my bedside and it was the best damned drink I had ever had :slight_smile:

Along those lines, my best cup of coffee was on the Teton Crest Trail in the heart of the Grand Tetons National Park. My brothers and I were a full 2 days’ hike into the heart of the park, and had completed the more strenuous portion of the trip. We set up camp, and started a pot of coffee. Best beverage of my entire life.

Two days later, I would take the greatest shower of my life as well, and eat the greatest hamburger of all time.

I had been studying for the New York bar all summer and doing my best to avoid alcoholic beverages. The test took two days and after day one, I was tempted to treat myself to a beer but had to look over my materials for the multi-state portion on day 2. At the end of day 2, a friend and I drove to New Jersey to stay in a hotel so we could take the NJ test on day 3.

At the end of the 3rd day, we were wiped- physically, mentally, spiritually, everything. We had been studying so hard for 3 months, after 3 difficult years in law school, that we just rode in silence from the testing site to Hoboken where she dropped me off. I was walking through Hoboken to the PATH station back to Brooklyn on a beautiful July evening, the sun was setting, the weather was perfect, and my route took me past an outdoor bar. It was a weeknight but there were still plenty of people enjoying the night at tables set up on the sidewalk.

I walked over to a table and ordered a Guinness. I sat there drinking it, watching commuters filing past, enjoying the feeling of being done with studying, done with study groups, done with practice tests, timing myself, reading review books every night… just enjoying sitting there, drinking the best glass of beer I’ve ever had in my life. It was spectacular, as were the two that followed it.

Prison soup! Not bad-tasting but thin, a sort of broth with a few slices of carrot and onion huddled together at the bottom of the bowl out of lonliness and portions of a weiner hovering above them like black helicopters. 10 Swiss Francs this gruel cost me! But I was eating it at the hotel that sits halfway up the Matterhorn after having walked there from Zermatt so my expensive prison soup was absolutely perfect.

About 15 years ago, I had the chance to hike a very remote canyon in Southern Utah, Grand Gulch, with two archaeology professors. It is a primitive area, so once you leave the ranger station at the mouth of the canyon, you are on your own.

Once we got done with the water we packed in on day two, we had to make do with whatever we could find. We found a nice rock with a big indentation that held rainwater from the last rain, but first we had to strain the bugs and spiders out of it with a t-shirt, then we had to pump it through a filter to remove the bacteria. What we ended up with after a tremendous ammount of effort was a few pints of 70° water which is what we had to drink and cook with. We were in there for five days.

It was amazingly beautiful and the Anasazi ruins were spectacular and in theie natural state - no restoration had been done. I learned an incredible ammount as well with my two hiking companions, but the thing I still remember most vividly is after we came out of the canyon.

We drove to the nearest village and went to the only restaurant, which was a few picnic tables in a room attached to someones house, but the meal of Navajo tacos and diet coke! with ice! is still the most memorable of my life. The only thing that could have been better was if they had beer, but they don’t serve alcohol in that part of Utah.