Why yes, it is that time of year where I get to relive my
gluttony favorite meals from my travels of the year. I sure got around in 2013, so my favorite eats are certainly varied. And I’ve gotten worse about how many pictures I take of my meals, meaning they are much more frequent. To those who have had a meal with me this year, I say “sorry not sorry.” So with that, I give you my favorite eats of 2013.
Shrimp Purloo, Queen Anne’s Revenge, Charleston, South Carolina
I had so many dishes that were delicious at my first Charleston Wine + Food Festival, but this dish, shrimp purloo, which is like a gumbo type dish with a tomato base, was almost too pretty to eat. Unfortunately, this restaurant closed a few months after my visit, so I won’t be able to come back for more!
Bowl of Noodles, Two Boroughs Larder, Charleston, South Carolina
This neighborhood favorite opened around the corner from my old house after I had already moved away, but on a visit back I made a special trip to see what all the fuss was about. The rainy day called for just one dish: the bowl-o-noodle, made of pork confit, a soft boiled egg, pork broth and house made noodles. They set me back $10 for what could have easily been two meals. The restaurant is open until 10 pm and is a notorious post-work spot for the many hospitality employees of the city.
Georgia Peach French Toast, Mama’s Boy, Athens, Georgia
Speaking of dishes almost too pretty to eat, a trip to Athens, the state’s biggest university town, calls for a proper Southern brunch at Mama’s Boy. As if French Toast wasn’t decadent enough, add in the perfectly tart local peaches for a brunch that will get you through the entire day. The restaurant is also strategically located for visiting the famous REM “Murmur” Trestle.
Lowcountry Boil, King and Prince Resort, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia
A quintessential coastal Southern dish is the Lowcountry Boil (or Frogmore Stew), which is made up of boiled seafood, typically shrimp, with corn, sausage and red potatoes. I got to enjoy this meal during my stay at the King and Prince, St. Simon’s best hotel, with views of the sun setting over the Atlantic. Be warned that this meal will sure get messy, as you’re cracking your shrimp and crab and drenching them with lemon and butter.
Arroz con pollo, Islas Canarias Restaurant, Miami, Florida
I was on a hunt for authentic Cuban cuisine, which is how I found myself to be the only gringa having lunch at this Miami institution. An order of “ACP” seemed like a no-brainer, but I had no idea I would be served a heaping portion of rice, half a chicken, a side of plantains and a basket of bread, all for $7.50.
Buttermilk Pie, The Yesterday Cafe, Greensboro, Georgia
I don’t typically have a sweet tooth, but my trip to Greensboro warranted a piece of their famous Buttermilk Pie, which was served at Carrie Underwood’s wedding. I couldn’t tell you what was in the dessert other than buttermilk and sugar, but it was delicious. They even sent me my own pie a few weeks later!
Grits Bowl, Halcyon Restaurant, Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte was the first stop on my epic #Tweet2Toronto journey. While I had only ever driven through, this trip showed me just how much the Queen City has to offer. My lunch at Halcyon proved that, as I had a grits bowl, complete with Geechee Boy grits, collard greens, sautéed shrimp and local cheddar cheese.
Half Smoke, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington DC
On my third trip to our nation’s capital, also on the #Tweet2Toronto trip, I finally made it out to this Washington DC icon, Ben’s Chili Bowl. I ordered Bill Cosby’s favorite, the half smoke, a grilled hot dog smothered in chili. It certainly wasn’t my healthiest meal of the year, but it was tasty. There’s something exciting about dining at a presidential favorite!
Butter tart, St. Lawrence Market, Toronto, Canada
On my “Beer Makes History Better” tour with Urban Adventures, which I highly recommend, the Canadians in the group couldn’t believe I’d never had a butter tart. It sounded odd to me. What is in it other than butter? But I needn’t have worried, as butter and sugar are what make the best desserts.
Poutine, La Banquise, Montreal, Canada
I had tried poutine a few days earlier at Lou Dawg’s in Toronto, topped with barbecued pork, but there’s no place quite like La Banquise in Montreal. Complete with “squeaky” cheese curds, which you have to eat to understand, this is the real deal. Accept no imitations. While they do have some funky variations, I recommend the original if it’s your first poutine experience.
Shoyu Ramen, Sapporo Restaurant, New York City, New York
While in New York City on a work trip, I was craving noodles. While I could have headed to some of the best noodle shops in town, I ended up at Sapporo, a restaurant right near Times Square, which was very good considering its proximity to the tourist trap. You can choose from many different varieties, including miso ramen, shoyu ramen and shio ramen.
Boudin sausage, Tony’s Seafood, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
My trip to Baton Rouge revolved entirely around food, so it’s very hard to pick just one dish as my favorite eat. I loved the Cajun potatoes at Louie’s Cafe and pretty much everything I ate at the Fete Rouge festival, but I loved my first boudin experience at Tony’s Seafood. The concept is ominous, as it’s meat, rice and spices filled in sausage casing, but it’s absolutely delicious and a must-try in Louisiana.
Fish sandwich, Golden Horn, Istanbul, Turkey
I ate so many good things in Turkey that I wrote a separate post about it, but if there’s one dish that sums up Istanbul for me, it’s the fish sandwich. You’ll find locals and tourists sitting side by side on tiny stools at the Golden Horn, chowing down on these fish sandwiches with thick, crusty bread, grilled fish, lettuce and onions.