FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What’s the Most Incredible Thing You’ve Ever Eaten?

Happy Friday my sweet little cinnamon buns!!!

I hope you’re hungry and excited for this week’s Friday Open Thread ’cause we’re gonna talk all about food! Specifically the most delicious, mind blowing, unforgettable, mouthgasmic thing you’ve ever eaten. I’m already drooling just thinking about it. Those of you that have read my column Femme Brûlée here on Autostraddle know that I spend a lot of time thinking about food, and the only thing I love more than creating new recipes is eating them. Food is one of my favorite experiences in life. It brings people together, carries history and culture, and if you’re really lucky brings out the “happy food dance” that everyone has inside them. You know the one, when something is just so perfectly delectable in every way and the minute it hits your tongue you can’t help but close your eyes, make a guttural noise or sigh of enjoyment, and wiggle side to side or nod your head in happiness and approval. When my food elicits that response in someone I know I’ve hit the culinary jackpot, and that’s what I want to hear about today. The dishes that have caused you to close your eyes and let the experience of taste wash over you. The foods that you could eat incessantly and never get tired of, or that one thing that you had at that one place that one time that makes you long for the day that you can go back and eat it again.

The food I long for is from a restaurant that has closed down since I discovered it so I’ll never get to have it again which is heartbreaking to me but also makes the memory of the meal that much more special. It was at Jolie’s, a farm to table southern restaurant in a suburb of New Orleans, LA. I was on a road trip with my best friend and our atlas of all things suggested we stop there, so we did and it was hands down the best decision we’ve ever made. We had impossibly soft buttermilk biscuits with hand churned herb butter, rabbit stew dolloped with perfectly circular flaky dumplings, fried green tomatoes that crackled and glittered when we bit into them and literally brought a tear to my eye, the creamiest baked mac and cheese I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, and shrimp & grits with the biggest, juiciest perfectly cajun seasoned shrimp piled on a pillow of fluffy warm grits. We. Threw. DOWN. And then, last but so far from least you’d need a map to get there, was their peach cobbler with homemade brown butter praline ice cream on top. BROWN BUTTER PRALINE ICE CREAM melting over the most perfect ratio of crust to caramelized syrupy peaches that were exactly in season and bursting with juice. This is the dessert, and meal that I dream of. If you ask me what I want on my death bed, it’s this. I don’t care that the restaurant is closed, I will hunt down the chef and FIND A WAY. We ate so much that eventually our conversation consisted solely of grunts and moans that would’ve sounded very strange out of context. We also had to nap in the car in the parking lot afterwards cause we were both too full and happy and sleepy to drive. Favorite meal, favorite memory. Food is just magic.

So, tell me your magic food moments! Maybe you’ve found the best croissant in your city, or your partner makes the best meatballs and people wait for their arrival at parties toothpicks in hand. Maybe it’s a brand of ice cream that has a power over you causing you to tiptoe to the freezer at 3 am for snack time or something simple like peanut butter on Ritz crackers like your grandma used to make to curb your childhood hanger. Whatever it is, I want to know about. How it tastes, smells, sounds. How it makes you feel, and what memories are attached. Let’s make this the most delicious Friday Open Thread this site has ever seen!

Now, who want’s to go first?!


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Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 99 articles for us.

37 Comments

  1. That meal sounds AMAZING Renice!

    The chicken burger and sweet potato fries at a local burger place are one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It’s not fast food, it’s proper burgers and everything is homemade so proper chicken, perfectly seasoned and beautiful fries. They were the first time I ever had sweet potato fries and I’ve never had better. Sadly I only went there a few times and they’ve closed recently. I would also hunt down the chef for a last meal, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    Also at the top of the list are the Malteser cake and toad in the hole I make. Is that bragging that they’re some of the best things I’ve ever eaten? I don’t care, they are anyway and I have to give credit to the people who created those recipes. The Malteser cake is not really cake in a sponge sense but it’s one of the most amazing chocolate creations ever, is ridiculously easy to make and will make anyone’s face light up when they know I’ve made it for them. It’s heaven. I’ve tried making it with different brands and flavours of chocolate but good old Cadbury Dairy Milk is unbeatable.

    The toad in the hole has bacon wrapped around the sausages and is cooked with red onions, sage, rosemary, thyme and mustard in the batter that makes it sheer perfection. I usually make it with honey-roasted parsnips and carrots and roast potatoes. It’s a lot of work to get it timed exactly but it’s so worth it for how wonderful it tastes and it’s another thing that goes down well with friends and family.

    Now I’m hungry and want to make all of these things!

  2. I don’t think I could pick one dish or one meal. I did have a fabulous steak at Haywood Park Hotel in Asheville. There are so many good places I’ve eaten. But I am a pastry chef and some of the favorites that I make are croissants, Bavarian Cream with caramel baskets, any and all custard, and I love peach cobbler. But the one thing I will get up in the middle of the night for is ice cream. Whether I make it or buy Blue Bell.

    Asking me to choose my favorite food I ever ate is like asking me to choose which one of my dogs is my favorite.

  3. Oh man, this is a tough question. I’ll probably change my mind in 10 minutes, but, right now, off the top of my head, it’s probably the salted caramel custard I had Maialina Pizzeria in Moscow, ID. My then-fiancee-now-wife would go there for special occasions back when we lived in the area, and I’ve never had anything quite like it. It had a smooth, velvety consistency, sweet and almost tangy flavor that managed to not be overpowering, and just *enough* salt to really give the palate a good contrast. I don’t even know if they still serve it- this was several years ago- but if they do, I definitely recommend it.

    In other news: My life is going pretty well right now! I passed my qualifying exams for my PhD, I’m feeling increasingly confident in my work, I’m performing in a burlesque show this weekend, and my wife got accepted to start on her second bachelor’s degree. Hopefully this will last.

    (Oh, also, while I’m here- about two months ago or so, I submitted an article to y’all, but never heard back. Did it get eaten somewhere along the way, or is there just a sizable backlog? Thanks!)

  4. I still think all the time about the sesame bagel with pastrami smoked salmon, scallion cream cheese, and capers that I got from Russ and Daughters in NYC two years ago. It was such a perfect combination of flavors but I did have to apologize for stinking up the Amtrak compartment.

    The other one is probably Kenka in (again) NYC, which singlehandedly kick-started my obsession with Japanese food. The pork katsu was fried so crisp, the meat was juicy, everything just worked so well. Plus it was also just a great dinner with a friend, which always helps me remember a meal.

  5. In a holiday filled with amaaaazing food (seriously we had like a full on Chef’s table dining experience) one of the standouts was surprisingly from a Wolfgang Puck Express.

    Here’s the bacon wrapped meatloaf in all its glory. Crispy onion strings, a totally perfect meatloaf, amazing mash and a beautiful sauce. Honestly such a surprise for such a quick casual place.

  6. Ok so one time I had to have surgery on my small intestine to remove a blockage, meaning I hadn’t been able to really eat solid food for months. Flash forward to about 2 weeks after my surgery, and someone brings me some hospital coffee and one of those vanilla ice cream cups with the wooden spoon. The sun was coming up, my pain was receding, and long story short I thought I invented the affogato 😅

  7. It’s so hard to choose one! So many good pizzas, that one pear tart, simply perfect baguettes! But if I had to name only one, the onion rings I made about 2 years ago were perfection! I make them at least once a year as a delicious onion feast, usually in Walla Walla onion season. Sometimes I make them an extra time at other times of the year. The experience of making them definitely contributed to making this the best meal, I felt incredibly confident about myself and my life plans at that time, I was deeply in crush with someone but before any of the reality or difficult feelings started, and my favorite spring flowers were blooming everywhere! I battered them all up and coated them in panko breadcrumbs and waited for the oven to do it’s magic. Then I had two trays of perfect, crispy, juicy onion rings all to myself. I ate as many as I could and was so satisfied and happy! I ate the rest over the next day or two. That moment of dancing around my kitchen with fresh out of the oven onion rings though! <3 <3 <3 Idk what can beat that <3

  8. I’m kinda famous for my “happy food dance” but I didn’t know it was a thing so Thank You Reniece I’m so glad I’m not alone !

    My mind is constantly reliving one wonderful food experience above all others, which is eating fresh Lichee. I was in a very public place so I couldn’t dance or swoon or especially moan aloud like I really wanted to.

    Peeling the shell half-way, then holding the half-peeled fruit between my lips, gently biting down so the fruit popped into my mouth, they using my tongue to penetrate the sweet, pungent, pulpy flesh and dislodge the perfectly smooth pit… best oral sex ever.

  9. Back when I lived in DC, one of my friends worked at Zaytinya. One night, we went there on his day off with another friend, and the three of us decided to splurge the Chef’s Experience. I have never eaten so much amazing food in my life. The highlights were the seared halloumi cheese with dates, oranges, mint, and pomegranate, the shish taouk, the lamb kleftico with dill sauce, and the Turkish chocolate coffee cake. I didn’t know these friends super well, but we had a lovely conversation and bonded over the food. And then my friend who worked there surprised us by picking up the check, which was just so ridiculously generous and sweet.

    Anyway, if you’re ever in DC, you must go. They also do amazing cocktails!

  10. Touch choice here. I was a professional cook for ten years and I worked in some fancier restaurants, so I’ve tried a LOT of different things. I remember a braised wild boar dish fondly, but there were also dishes involving duck (one of my favorite foods). Although it’s production method is terrible, I can see why foie gras became a delicacy as it is very tasty, and spreading roasted bone marrow on toasted bread is fantastically delicious. I’ll probably stick to the time the chef at the restaurant brought in some black truffles for the special New Year’s Eve menu. Once he had as much as he needed, he sliced up the rest of the truffle and called the kitchen staff together to try one slice each saying this was probably as close as we would get to truffles throughout our careers no matter how long they lasted.

  11. I’ve eaten a lot of amazing things. Like, a lot. I’m a huge foodie and if it involves food, I’m here for it. So when I read your question, my first thought was “How am i supposed to decide? There are *so* many”

    And then I read the word mouthgasm and the answer became clear. I ate it about three and a half years ago, in a tiny restaurant in Malmö, Sweden called Bullen. Chances are I’ll never, ever go there again or eat it again. But this dish will forever remain in my memory. It was very thickly cut bacon, broiled I think, with a sauce that was heavenly. I don’t remember any other specific details aside from how amazing and incredible it tasted (a very clear mouthgasm), and how I’ve wanted to go to Malmö again ever since just to eat it again.

  12. Oh damn this might end up being multiple posts thru out the day.

    Best chocolate cake I ever had was in some lodge somewhere between Louisiana and Virginia I was barely 13 years old and my mom refused to let me finish that wondrous piece of cake “it’s too rich” she said, “maybe for you” I unwisely fired back etc.
    If I hadn’t been such a brat about her motherly concern that I’d eat myself sick if we might of taken that piece cake with us instead of leaving it behind cuz see my mom had this rule…conflict over an item gets the item taken away >_>

    I’m fairly certain with my grown up pastry knowledge the outside of the cake was coated in ganache, one of the layers was a mousse but the cake-cake part I’m not sure but while it was NOT light it certainly wasn’t as heavy as a brownie.
    There was a sauce or syrup that was drizzled on the outside that provided a contrast to the ganache in taste and texture but was also likely a design element I just remember how it felt in my mouth more than how it looked.
    I don’t think it was caramel.

    As I was typing this I think I came to a realisation about my mom’s rule that was originally a peacekeeping attempt by an only child on a pair of nearly Irish twins but eventually spread to other stuff might have had a negative impact on my attachment behavior and how I deal with interpersonal conflict.
    Why couldn’t I just wax poetic about cake? Brain why do we have realise deep stuff when we’re trying to have some harmless fluff?

  13. One of my favorite meals was in this high-end restaurant in the old town section of San Juan, Puerto Rico called Marmalade(if I remember the name correctly). It’s this like 4 plate meal that consists of foods from around the world(no mofongos sadly) and it was exquisite. I had the plate package that included Carribien spiced duck confit, and a dessert that included ice cream topping. Forget what the rest of the meal was as I had one too many of their tasty Ginny Hendrix(made with Hendrix gin), which had fresh cucumbers and herbs mix into it. The chef also came out to thank us for eating there. Really just excellent. More recently I’ve been going to hidden gen ramen restaurants around the county and have found some really interesting places with great convo with my best friend.

    How’s everyone’s week going? I spent part of last weekend with my best friend celebrating our birthday. We didn’t get the sleazy motel room we wanted with the heart-shaped tub, so we had to go to another sleazy motel with roman tub. It was a nice tub, but as a bit slippery compared to the heart-shaped tub, especially when celebrating and being queer. At night went to a queer party in matching outfits, met up with a dude(man of color who I think said is bi?) there who bought us drinks and paid for the uber back(we got car sick too). Got kicked out the motel at 5am for having an extra person in the room(not even sure how they found out), and then was told to sleep in my car. The at 7am was asked to leave. We all thought dude was getting kicked out but it was all of us, why she went to dude’s place. I went to Cuties coffee(can always count on this place) instead and had a nice time as always. Were suppose to meet up later for a group dinner for her birthday night, but long night got the best of us.

    On my actual birthday, my mother got me a whole food branded oreo cookie cake. It was really good and overdosed on sugar that day, which I am still feeling today. lol I think this weekend I may just go to the great outdoors as the skies are clear and it’s late spring weather now. I need to recover with nature.

    Us in our matching outfits and lipstick(her’s on her cup). Not sure how to share instagram pics.

    View this post on Instagram

    Our birthday suits.

    A post shared by el zot dio (@nakedscientist) on

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

  14. Oooh, all the food in this thread looks/sounds amazing.
    I’ve had a pretty weird relationship with food for most of my life so for me Memorable Meals are rarely about the food and usually about the experience – the friends I was with, where I was, etc.
    So with that in mind, my Most Incredible Food Experience was in Rouen, France this past summer when I decided that, as an adult, I could have cake and tea and ice cream for lunch and nobody could judge me. So I sat down in a tearoom and had a lovely rose-lychee cake and a cup of rose petal black tea, and then while wandering around the town I had a cup of salted caramel ice cream. And it was quite honestly one of the top ten days of my life.

    Two close runners-up: a pita crammed full of various vegetables, hummus, tahini, and falafel eaten while walking around Tel Aviv with my best bro; and a paper cone of french fries with a fantastic garlic sauce that I absolutely *devoured* while wandering, somewhat drunk, through London.

  15. Like Ari, for me food is about the experience. It’s the memory of a six course Thanksgiving dinner prepared by my friend Yolanna at a mountain retreat in North Carolina, the simple baguette and brie from the patisserie near our flat in the Bastille neighborhood of Paris, and the jerk chicken with house-made ginger beer at Turtle Bay in Manchester, UK. Nothing lavish (except for Yolanna’s dinner–she’s amazing), but all noteworthy eating and traveling experiences.

  16. The most delicious steak I ever had was at Sunday family dinner, I cannot recall the exact cut but it had marinated in lime and was spiced with sazon that I mixed myself. Every bite was a foodgasm and for a side roasted baby potatoes salted with coarse sea salt.
    Somedays I really miss Worcestershire sauce, but it was not that day.

    But most incredible beef I’ve ever had was at the dearly departed Cocina Mizado, it wasn’t a kebob but the beef grilled on sticks. The sauce that was drizzled on and part of the plating design I know was chimichurri but what it was marinated in prior to being grilled I’ll never know. There was a sweetness to it but not sugary or citrusy, what ever it was it complemented the chimichurri like a dream.

  17. With “Legacies” having been released on Netflix I’ve started to ponder something. The more I dwell on it, the more I think that Penelope is REALLY bad for Josie. I believe that Penelope is incredibly toxic, and we give her pass on it (unlike characters like Landon) because she’s a queer female. She broke up with Josie (which we don’t know the particulars on), but then tries to emotionally and mentally manipulate Josie into getting back with her. Some of her actions may seem rather nice on the surface, but once I dig down on them aren’t really that great. She got Josie elected the witch representative on the Honor Council, but did she ever actually ask her if that’s what she wanted?

  18. I’m currently eating Trader Joe’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies, which are quite delicious. They’re Oreo style – hazelnut cookies with chocolate-hazelnut (ie. Nutella) filling. A serving is only 2 cookies, so I’m trying not to eat the entire box in one sitting. In my defense, Passover is next week, and I have to finish all my chametz (bread products).

  19. Oh my gosh this is such a hard question.
    There’s a dumpling bar nearby that does the most amazing chicken and prawn wonton in chilli paste – there’s a lot of great Asian food here but these are definitely a standout.
    Like others, my best food memories are usually about the whole experience though. Like how when I was in Reykjavik I found an authentic Icelandic bakery that made the most amazing Scandinavian pastries; and I was having such a shitty time with my toxic roommate and somehow that combo of granola and dates and pastry and sugar made things feel a little better.
    Or maybe when I was in Canada I had apple caramel pancakes at the diner; and when pairing them with the deep, philosophical conversation with my friend who embraced all of my intersecting identities (and I hers), was just so amazing.

  20. Best meal I have ever had was in Sorrento, Italy. Random little restaurant that I don’t know the name of served fresh mozzarella with a plate full of dips, sauces, pestos, crackers and breads. I ate and drank table wine and ice-cold limoncello with a bunch of strangers and it was amazing. I have never tasted any food as perfect as that mozzarella.

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