Friday, December 04, 2009

Stolen Top 10 of the 2000s : Restaurants

Since I am again stealing King Wally's post idea, I will again steal part of his intro:

I like to eat.

I love to eat, actually. And drink. I could easily have made this a top 20, and it was especially hard, as many of my favorites from the noughts have slipped from memory after 4 years in the dorf. No faves from Houston remain, and there's still no space to include a Galveston seafood joint or anywhere from Prague, Ljubljana, Bologna or any of a handful of other great meals I've had in Europe. Not to mention the 1/4 sheep's head I ate in Marrakech or the pigeon meat pastry I had immediately afterwards.

Of my top 10, 3 are one-timers and a 4th only had 2 visits. But I was all over the others like the GOP on a conservative black politician.

10. Drogheria della Rosa - My parents claim this was the best meal of their lives, and it was great. From the prosecco to the pasta to the amazing steaks in a balsamic reduction, this was a phenomenal meal. Unfortunately, 2009 was my only year in Europe without a night in Bologna.

9. Jack Stack BBQ - Can BBQ beans justify an 8 hour van ride (each way) with a bunch of dudes? Don't ask Charlie, because it was his birthday and he chose the crappy tacos instead. But, yes, they are. Get your ass to Kansas City and try to argue.

8. Pappas Bros Steakhouse - A great choice to celebrate, say, a promotion. One of the best steaks of my life and phenomenally tasty desserts.

7. Rasa Samudra - Indian (Keralan, apparently) seafood? Oh, yes. The curry whole crab is a revelation and the chutney* sampler made me like mango chutney. No small feat, that. And a beet-spinach curry? Soooo tasty, yet pinker than a commie on May Day. I'll be returning on my next London visit.

6. Ristorante Antica Taverna - Great food all 4 times I've been here in Rome, including the best eggplant parmesan of my life.

5. Clay Pit - My standard in Addison, and still a great place to eat. Sure, it's not authentic, but even some of my friends** of subcontinental descent have grudgingly admitted to liking it. It's not the same without Jo there, but still tasty.

4. Di Napoli - The best thin-crust pizza of my life (Gino's in chicago is my fave deep dish) is also the only 'dorf restaurant on the list. The Donna Carolina, topped with grilled eggplant, rucola and goat cheese, is a semi-religious experience. Also try their home-spiced olive oil.

3. Pasand's - I know it's "Pasand" but I call it "Pasand's" so you can bite me. Their lunch buffet was the cause of many a listless Friday afternoon, and I still miss

2. Thai Garden - The Roti Curry was long a must-have, and their Pad Kee Mao was great. However, online reviews imply the quality has dropped, but this was a monthly (or more often!) stop when I lived in Addison.

1. La Michoacana - With the death of my fave taco joints in Irving and along NW highway, this has become a key portion of any trip home. For $1.25 I get a taco filled with delicious barbacoa, nopalitos or other fillings. The other Wemyss should hate this place, as it always recharges my batteries enough to allow me to survive another 6 months or more in the mexican wasteland that is The Dorf. Sure, there's no atmosphere -- it's a grocery store. But I gotta have my cheap tacos.

Honorable Mentions - Truluck's (great soup, seafood, but not quite list-worthy), Kirin Court (great dim sum, angry hostess, good times!), North Main BBQ (Meat Coma!), the BBQ place on North St in Nacogdoches (Freeman's?), Aneka Rasa's amazing Indonesian in Amsterdam, Brussels' In't Spinnekopke, the 24 hr steak tartare at Au Pied de Cochon and many others. Including the amazing po boy from a gas station in Baton Rouge in 2001 -- worth dealing with a semi-insane teammate!

* I could, in fact, really taste the chutney.
** We'll call her N. Waliany. No, too obvious. Let's call her Naz W.

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