My Top 10 Food Memories of 2011
The last weeks of December always serve as an inflection point: We spend 1/4 of our time reflecting on the past year and 1/4 of our time resolving to make the next year a little better. The other half we spend getting fat and drunk. (After all, it's easier to lose five pounds and sober up after New Year's if you just drunkenly packed on 15 in the previous month.)
I'll save resolutions for next week. This week I'll do my best to examine why my jeans are so tight. Here are my top 10 food moments of the last year. Many of the memories had more to do with the circumstances of the day than what was actually on my plate. Food is funny like that.
NHS Tavern burger (pictured above)
I think maybe this food memory is so intense because I'd just gotten to Dallas and was feeling a little rudderless. Sitting at the bar alone at NHS Tavern, I had an absolutely transcendent burger. Since I've gone back, subsequent burgers haven't measured up to that original experience, but I think that may be one of those "caught in a moment" things. They still serve one of Dallas' finest.
Cane Rosso Pizza
When Dino Santonicola came to town, Jay Jerrier's pizzas went from good to great. The crust became more light and airy, and the flavor improved just a touch. I hope they stay that way as he expands.
Sour Cream Enchiladas at Herrera's
I don't know what to say about these things. That sauce is a total guilty pleasure; it might be laced with crack. But when I'm not eating to work and I'm not cooking (and I'm hardly ever cooking) I'm pounding on these till my plate is clean.
Spicy Fish Soup at Korea House
I'd never have ordered this soup unless I had seen another diner greedily slurp it up. But I was hungover. And then I wasn't.
100 shell fish at Old Ebbit Grill
Back in D.C., I'd just been handed my ass. After not getting a job I really wanted at the time, I decided to cope the only way I new how: oysters and champagne. After I crossed sixty I started enjoying other shellfish, switching back and forth between raw oysters and steamed clams. I made it all the way to 96. And I closed with four massive steamed shrimp. It was a big victory. And then I felt gross.