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Old 10-22-2007, 12:08 AM   #1
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So what are your "amazing" food experiences?

Most unusual, most memorable, most extravegant, whatever.

I'll start.

My work has taken me to a number of places around the world which, of course, has led to some interesting meals. A couple that come to mind:

Had fire roasted whole goat in the desert outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Was magnificent, felt like I was in a National Geographic magazine. Somewhere between lamb and pork. Didn't like SA but glad to say I have been there.

Had an amazing meal in a restaurant in an ancient castle (thousands of years!!) on a hill overlooking Ankara, Turkey. Was with a bunch of Turkish politicos. Main course was a braised lamb over an eggplant puree, accompanied by a ton of raki (hiccup). Also accompanied by some really fine Cuban cigars.

My last anniversary, spousal unit and I went to Seattle's take on the French Laundry. Place called Rover's. 13 course Grand Gustation. Totally over the top. Was a mortgage payment (most expensive meal I have ever paid for..$600) , but well worth it.

These are the first three that come to mind. There are others.

What are your amazing food experiences?

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Old 10-22-2007, 11:41 AM   #2
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Well, amazing to some is blah to another, but mine is memorable none-the-less.

I was a graduating middle schooler, many, many, many, years ago. For "my" graduation my mother decided we would have lobster. I had never tried it but wasn't picky. We drove to the importer, a shack on PCH in Huntington Beach that sold live Maine lobsters. They had three rows of tanks that were roughly knee high and the lobsters were just running around, oblivious to their upcoming fate. We picked out three. My mother brought out the saddest looking pot (that I now have in my shed because it doesn't fit in my cupboards) and then turned the lobsters on their backs and put the little 3 pounders asleep. The most memorable part, I ate the whole thing. My mom had my dad get me a 3 pounder just like them thinking I wouldn't eat it all. She was wrong.

And, yeah, some will say that doesn't qualify as amazing, but if I'm remembering it 30 years later, I think it's pretty amazing.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:44 AM   #3
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Hmmmmmmm......does Burger King count?

Lets see, the first time I had Escargot and Bananas Foster. The Escargot was excellent, and served in the shell with a rich butter sauce. Incredible and weird at the same time. Then the dinner was finished with a table side preparation of Bananas Foster which was very cool....especially considering my fascination with fire!

Other than that, theres the first time I deep fried a turkey. The nervousness, the uncertainty, the near disaster with having too much oil in the pot so that it nearly boiled over! BUT, the turkey turned out great. IMO, its the best way to cook a turkey....the meat is simply incredible.

Then there are the childhood memories of the big cookouts with my grandfather running a huge homemade fire pit fired by large oak and hickory logs (no wimpy charcoal for him!). He would load that thing with meat on one side, and large pots for boiling crabs, shrimp, and crawfish on the other. Incredible.

And finally, all the off shore camping trips I used to do with my Dad. Hed take us about 10 miles off the coast to little deserted islands where we would camp overnight and cook our food in open fire pits. Some of he best grilled fish and crab I have ever had was on those beaches.
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:14 PM   #4
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Hi qmax I have heard about the goat bbq and even more outlandish stuff (camel bbq) from family in SA. I think it must be an experience to remember. Here are some of mine, I would not call them extravagant but they were unique and I will cherish them for a long time to come:

India: A place called Vishala in Ahmedabad where they have created an old village type theme. You sit on a jute bed and eat under the stars in a thali (plate). Simple fresh food and an experience that cannot be beat.

Eygpt: Eat in an authentic Shwarma joint in Mohedeseen locale. It was great local food that you can't exactly get outside of Cairo. Also went to the Khan e Khalil market and ate at a popular restaurant there. The best kababs and falafel ever. The food on the Oberoi Philae (a Nile cruise ship) was also truly authentic and spectacular. The chef would take us inside the kitchen and we got to eat fresh eygptian flat bread and falafel as they were making it.

Austria: Loved eating at the little authentic restaurants dotted along the highways. The coffee and pastries (especially the apfelstrudle) which are so fundamental to that culture was great every time.

Amsterdam: Really great dutch pancakes. Tried them for breakfast. They were huge and talk about different toppings from apple to strawberries to pineapple. The pancakes were super thin and almost like a crepe. So good.

Paris: Food is good there period but I love the simple sucre crepe sold by the road stalls. I was there in December and it was chilly and to eat that warm crepe (steam still coming out) as you stroll through the beautiful locales of Paris was an experience I will remember for some time to come.

Hawaiin Luau: I don't eat pork so cannot enjoy the kalua pig but the other stuff was great and the experience for us was unforgettable.

Been to London and eaten good food (especially curry)there as well but the ones above stand out more.
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Old 10-22-2007, 01:16 PM   #5
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Hi qmax I have heard about the goat bbq and even more outlandish stuff (camel bbq) from family in SA. I think it must be an experience to remember. Here are some of mine, I would not call them extravagant but they were unique and I will cherish them for a long time to come:

India: A place called Vishala in Ahmedabad where they have created an old village type theme. You sit on a jute bed and eat under the stars in a thali (plate). Simple fresh food and an experience that cannot be beat.

Eygpt: Eat in an authentic Shwarma joint in Mohedeseen locale. It was great local food that you can't exactly get outside of Cairo. Also went to the Khan e Khalil market and ate at a popular restaurant there. The best kababs and falafel ever. The food on the Oberoi Philae (a Nile cruise ship) was also truly authentic and spectacular. The chef would take us inside the kitchen and we got to eat fresh eygptian flat bread and falafel as they were making it.

Austria: Loved eating at the little authentic restaurants dotted along the highways. The coffee and pastries (especially the apfelstrudle) which are so fundamental to that culture was great every time.

Amsterdam: Really great dutch pancakes. Tried them for breakfast. They were huge and talk about different toppings from apple to strawberries to pineapple. The pancakes were super thin and almost like a crepe. So good.

Paris: Food is good there period but I love the simple sucre crepe sold by the road stalls. I was there in December and it was chilly and to eat that warm crepe (steam still coming out) as you stroll through the beautiful locales of Paris was an experience I will remember for some time to come.

Hawaiin Luau: I don't eat pork so cannot enjoy the kalua pig but the other stuff was great and the experience for us was unforgettable.

Been to London and eaten good food (especially curry)there as well but the ones above stand out more.

All, thanks for sharing.


You have me pretty jazzed on the India experience. I am currently engaged in a business venture there. So far though I have made to Mumbai for a total of 24 hours. This coming from Seattle.

Spousal unit and I have Paris on the agenda this coming spring.

London might have some of the best Indian food there is. Place I went to there had made a couple of mentions in Bon Appetit. Bombay Brasserie, right by Glouscester Road station. Utterly delicious, but not cheap.

Ever get to Harrod's food court? Foody heaven!

Follow up anecdote to the goat story. My party was being escorted to the Royal Saudi Air Force headquarters in Riyadh. Parked in front was a small, Toyota-esqe pickup. Had about a half dozen or so of the little goats you find in the Mid-East, with a cargo net over them. Our escort says "Hmmm..someone must be having a dinner party tonight."
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Old 10-22-2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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Well, amazing to some is blah to another, but mine is memorable none-the-less.

I was a graduating middle schooler, many, many, many, years ago. For "my" graduation my mother decided we would have lobster. I had never tried it but wasn't picky. We drove to the importer, a shack on PCH in Huntington Beach that sold live Maine lobsters. They had three rows of tanks that were roughly knee high and the lobsters were just running around, oblivious to their upcoming fate. We picked out three. My mother brought out the saddest looking pot (that I now have in my shed because it doesn't fit in my cupboards) and then turned the lobsters on their backs and put the little 3 pounders asleep. The most memorable part, I ate the whole thing. My mom had my dad get me a 3 pounder just like them thinking I wouldn't eat it all. She was wrong.

And, yeah, some will say that doesn't qualify as amazing, but if I'm remembering it 30 years later, I think it's pretty amazing.
If you remember it 30 years, that would qualify as amazing in my book. (especially if lobster are involved).

BTW - Huntington Beach, CA? or is there a Huntington Beach in Maine?
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Old 10-22-2007, 01:55 PM   #7
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Hi qmax, yes the Harrod's food halls are great. They are always crowded and bustling with people and the cheeses, fresh breads, pastries and chocolates are very good.

I like curry in U.K. but still it's not even remotely close to the real deal in India. The next time you make it to Mumbai and are staying for more than 24 hours send me a PT and I will recommend a few places.

I go there every year on business as well and the food is the best part
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:26 PM   #8
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Crabs

One of my most amazing food experiences occured 30 plus years ago in Homer Alaska. My family went camping all across the country in our VW camper. We put up our tent somewhere in Homer, I was pretty young then, so my memories are not so clear. What I do remember is that we rented a net for $5.00 a day and we sat by the water and literall hauled in crabs.,pounds and pounds of them. Then with our campfire ever burning, and the pot of water boiling, we boiled crabs morning , and noon, and evening....Nothing fancy or gourmet, but it will always be my fondest food memory!
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:42 PM   #9
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Mine is having fondue with my family as a kid on New Year's Day. It was a tradition that lasted for several years, and I always look back on those meals with warmness. I think the most memorable one was when we had a caramel fondue for dessert. YUM!
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Old 10-22-2007, 03:09 PM   #10
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If you remember it 30 years, that would qualify as amazing in my book. (especially if lobster are involved).

BTW - Huntington Beach, CA? or is there a Huntington Beach in Maine?
Huntington Beach, CA, that's why I remember it. I even remember the smell of the lobster tanks.
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