I turn 50 today! I can tell you are thinking, “gee, I thought you were much older.”
Thanks a lot!
Since I have not yet been everywhere, tried everything, and have much more exploring (research!) to do, I cannot honestly provide a 50 best list of anything.
However, here is a sort of auto-bio list of 50 memorable food items, dishes, and drinks I have had. These are memorable to me and may not (or might) appear on any other list. Some of the places have closed or I may not remember names.
Most are from my travels in the past 20 years. I spent my first 28 years or so eating for the sake of eating. Not really a foodie, I did not start having fun with food and drink and appreciating non-chain food about 20 years ago. I have been fortunate to have my dining tips (and other travel tips) featured in USA Today and I invented a cocktail. Although I have my favorites, I have only scratched the surface of what this world has to offer.
50 Memorable Food and Drinks
In totally random order:
- Valencia oranges and paella in Valencia, Spain
- pork spare ribs in Mt. Dora, Florida (and from Twin Anchors in Chicago, Illinois)
- carnitas from El Migueleño in Seaside, California
- chocolate peanut butter cookie dough ice cream from Cherry Hill in Lunenburg, Massachusetts
- pitcher of mojitos from Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine in Pembroke Pines, Florida
- brisket from Central Texan BBQ in Castroville, California (now closed)
- clam chowder in sourdough bread bowl from Vivolos in Pacific Grove, California (and from Ivar’s in Seattle, Washington—enjoyed on Bremerton ferry at night)
- fish tacos in Half Moon Bay, California (and from The Big Owl in Graysonville, Maryland)
- double chili cheeseburger, fries, and Ho-Hos from Original Tommy’s (must be Rampart & Beverly location)
- pizza in Tupper Lake, New York (best NY style pizza I have had) and this from Venice, Italy
- crab stuffed halibut from Double Musky in Girdwood, Alaska
- eclairs in Emerald Isle, North Carolina (and from Donut Friar in Gatlinburg, Tennessee)
- beignets from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans
- donuts from The Donut Hole in Lakeway, Texas (best donuts I have had)
- lobster roll from Jackie’s in Leominster, Massachusetts
- carne asada at a picnic in Southern California (homemade picnic food is the best!)
- filet mignon from Old San Francisco Steakhouse in Austin, Texas
- Mexican chocolate ice cream in Monterey, California
- fish and chips in Monterey, California and Penzance, England and many other places
- omelet from First Watch in Monterey, California
- baked lobster, chocolate soufflé from Chez Marc in Manassas Park, Virginia
- tacos from Tacqueria Albertos in McMinnville, Tennessee (and from many places in San Pedro, Anaheim, and southern California)
- cinnamon roll from Sweet Jill’s Bakery in Seal Beach, California
- spaghetti and meatball sauce in Worcester, Massachusetts
- blueberry pancakes in mid to late September in Maine
- conch fritters from a shack in Florida Keys
- chicken vindaloo in Oxford, England and Glasgow, Scotland and Victoria, Canada.
- $3 bottles of red wine in Lagos, Portugal
- fresh pineapple in Hawaii
- bbq pork sandwich from James Brown in Avon Park, Florida
- rotisserie chicken, roasted peppers in Florence, Italy
- my brother’s Little Caesars pizza, circa 1990 (no other chain pizza compares)
- shrimp and grits from Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina
- fresh peach cobbler from BBQ joints
- key lime freeze from Mrs. Macs in Key Largo, Florida
- chocolate peanut butter pie in Augusta, Georgia
- Navajo taco on some small desert road in Arizona
- Native American Thanksgiving dinner in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- limeade from Rosa’s in Tucson
- salmon, champ from Smuggler’s Inn in Bushmills, Northern Ireland
- Cuban rice, black beans, and Ropa Vieja from Latin American Cafe in Key Biscayne, Florida
- currywurst in Orscholz, Germany (might be only item on list I do not care to try again)
- chicken tagine in Marrakech, Morocco
- fruit smoothie from Casablanca, Morocco
- garlic fries from Gilroy, California
- fresh sourdough bread from San Francisco
- tamales from Mississippi
- fresh garlic rolls, pepperoni pizza from Marcello’s in North Miami, Florida
- watermelon from Georgia
- beer from Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany (and from Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh).
Are you hungry now? Do you have a favorite item on my list?
P.S. My birthday twin, Mary-Louise Parker, also turns 50 today. If you see her, tell her Happy Birthday!
I spent my 40th birthday on a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean. Any guesses where I am spending my 50th birthday?
21 thoughts on “50 Memorable Food and Drinks”
#12 & #48 I can personally attest should not be missed if given the chance. Interesting coincidence, in the 1970’s a couple of enterprising travelers, after much success with their Pasquale’s Pizza in Gatlinburg, happened to let it be known that their mentor had been Marcello’s of Miami! Small world. Keep it up, great list.
Wow, really? So cool to hear that. Thank you.
Received the following response in a Facebook message:
My time in Germany created a great love of jäger schnitzel but not sauerkraut so I would add a trip to the little stands called schnell imbiss which had great fries and a large pretzel with German mustard. Add paulaner bier and you feel a little closer to heaven. Pretty standard German fare but it is awesome!!
Ok now I’m hungry! I went to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans too and waited in line for beignets which were totally worth it. Proper NYC pizza is fantastic too. This is a great list. Happy 50th 🙂
Happy birthday to you! That is certainly a list I would love to eat through.
Thank you, Bianca. You betcha.
What a great list of food. It makes me want to try each one of them. I love the fruit smoothie from Casablanca, Morocco especially.
Thanks, Carmen. Indeed, that smoothie was superb.
It did make me hungry! The one I would really like to try – fresh pineapple in Hawaii! I love pineapple! That sounds amazing. Happy 50th!!!
Food is an amazing connection to the places you travel – and especially when you try to recreate them afterwards in the comfort of your own home.
Re-creating them at home DOES sounds nice.
Right well if I wasn’t hungry enough before I’m just about dying now! Pretty much everyhting on that list sounds delicious! right now I would love some sourdough bread and that Casablanca Fruit Smoothie-yum! Also- Happy (belated) birthday to both you and your twin- wishing you another 50 yrs of delicious food and adventures!
So much good food. I’m impressed with your list! My personal favorites on it are the beignets from Cafe du Monde and the sourdough from San Francisco. Can you tell I love my carbs? 🙂
Bread is definitely a trigger spot.
Crab stuffed halibut sounds amazing!
Unbelievable dish. Fresh crab and fresh halibut from the Alaska waters really made it outstanding.
*drool* so much delicious food and drink! You certainly have experienced a wide variety of different meals – I only wish that I was half as adventurous when it comes to eating. That Pizza with Egg on looks bizarre haha!
Thank you, Paul. Funny that I do not feel all that adventurous about eating sometimes. All relative, I suppose.
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