Monday, December 07, 2009
NON-Stolen* Top 10 of the 2000s : Dishes
I have eaten more than my share of food over the last 10 years, and fortunately a bit of it has been memorable. So here are the 10 best (or, more accurately) most my memorable dishes of the naughts. Please feel free to remind me of any I've forgotten.
10. 1/4 Sheep's Head - Exactly what it sounds like -- A few of the vendors on the Djemaa el Fna in Marrakech make this. They take the various fillings from a sheep's head (brains, glands, tongue, etc.), fry them up with some tasty spices, and voila! So, head to M'Barek, stall #118 and tell Mohammed I sent ya.
9. Steak Tartare - I had previously never had a steak tartare that was memorable -- most were just raw beef. But this was a bit spicy, with capers for a burst of flavor. Also, the fact I could eat it at midnight was a bonus.
8. Eggplant Parmesan - Imagine lasagna with a sauce from fresh tomatoes that would be delightful on its own over penne. Then replace the sheets of pasta in lasagna with slices of grilled eggplant. It's amazing. Don't believe me? Ask The Meach, she'll tell you.
7. Supreme Deep Dish Pizza - What sets Gino's East apart from the many other great deep dish pizza joints in Chicago are the tasty sauce and the cornmeal crust -- it balances the heavy toppings. And there are a LOT of toppings -- that's what makes it Chicago-style***!
6. Wasabi Crusted Salmon Roll - A big shout-out to Steve for turning me on to Piranha. I enjoyed sushi in Dallas but hadn't found a favorite til I went to Arlington. Oh. My. God. To be fair, this is sort of a token choice representing its tasty unnamed brethren.
5. Lemon Olive Chicken Tagine - Other than the many delights of the Djemaa el Fna, I had been a bit disappointed with food in Morocco until I tried this at Chez Chegrouni just off the square. I'm not a fan of olives, but this was a revelation. Tart, juicy, a perfect blend of flavors.
4. Ginger Beef - After a few days of bistro meals, even great ones, one needs a change from French cuisine. This unassuming joint (name withheld until I ask Scott to tell me again) had decent dumplings, but the spicy beef was unbelievable -- just a hint of ginger and the perfect amount of spice. The best chinese dish I've had outside Asia.
3. Grilled Squid Stuffed With Smoked Ham and Cheese - I'd had a long first day in lovely Ljubljana (I strongly recommend watching a city wake up while enjoying a capuccino in the main square), and I wasn't in the mood for the heavy cuisine associated with the former Yugoslavia. So I went with the risky choice of squid stuffed with local ham and cheese, sort of a Calamari Cordon Bleu. I never thought grilled squid from Taiwan could be bettered. I was wrong -- all they needed to do was fill it with yumminess.
2. Chicken Korma - The mellow flavors of nuts, curry and coconut are accompanied by golden raisins and juicy chicken breast in a dish LB and I enjoyed many times.
1. Roti Curry - While it's not a traditional Thai dish, Thai Garden's addition of chewy roti bread on the side is a perfect way to sop up the deliciousity.
Honorable mention to the garlic scallops at Maxim's, the falafel with eggplant at L'As du Fallafel in Paris, the crab curry at Rasa Samudra in London and many more. But not 2 tacos from the taco wagon, right, Seahawks Sean?
* This topic was actually my idea, and Steve stole** it from me!
** If by "stole" you mean took a lame idea and actually did something with it.
*** Also the fact that mobsters are profiting from your meal.