My Favorite Meals of 2014

by - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

10. Shrimp and Rice at Toulous-Petit-We moved to Seattle in March annd have been on the lookout for favorite restaurants ever since. This Queen Anne Creole place has been the big winner for when we are feeling a little fancier. I heard of it at the hair salon, and they we just kind of fell into it on a lazy walk around Seattle Center. I am so glad- it is soo pretty, and it has delicious spicy food like this shrimp and rice. Anything topped in green onion has to be great!

9. The French Polynesian at The Butcher and the Baker- This tiny (really, it is like 3 communal tables) is my favorite spot in our neighborhood. They are known for their brunch, but I love their Polynesian sandwich, wihch is Pork, spicy mango relish, cheddar cheese, and pea shoots. They sound like weird combinations, but I have liked everything we have tried so far. We can't find a Hobee's here, but at least we found our sandwiches!

8. Giant Oregon Coast Clams-The clams I am talking about are in the background of the picture, because they were actually the Boy's order, and it was just another one of those moments that teaches if they point out something as local, just pick that thing, because his lunch beat the crap out of mine (luckily, he did share that deliciousness. I didn't even know you could fry clams that big, but you can, and they are delicious.

7. Stovetop S'mores at Nana's-We were going to have a bonfire for my cousin Natalie's graduation, but we ended up toasting our marshmallows on her stove. And it was awesome. Even better, Natalie told us about using Reese's cups, and then they sent Luke (9 years old at the time) and I to buy supplies. We got to have s'mores with all sorts of different chocolate, many of which are surprisingly good (people really loved the Reese's, but that's out of my wheelhouse). The experiment was super fun and delicious, plus we got to see just how many marshmallows Luke could fit in his mouth. A+ all around. 

6. Bun in the Oven baos from The Chairman- Loyal readers will remember that The Chairman's Coca Cola Pork sandwiches were my favorite thing from last year. We went to food trucks almost every Friday to sit on buckets and eat this sandwich, which took over my heart. The move cruelly separated us from the Chairman. I will write a whole blog about this, but this is the short version: This summer, I wrote them to say all one very prego lady wanted was this sandwich, and my poor husband's efforts to replicate it failed. A few (ok a bunch, but who am I to knock someone else's timeliness?) months later, we got a cooler in the mail with all of the pieces needed to make our sandwich, and we were finally reunited. Perfect event for the end of the year, and I can happily report their deliciousness had not been inflated with nostalgia. They really are the best sandwiches ever, so if you are ever in the Bay Area, go find The Chairman.

5. Scallops at Founding Farmers in Washington DC- The Boy's friend Jim McGee is always on the lookout for cool stuff too (he is one of those people who wants to introduce you to things, but I don't mind- if something is great, I want to be introduced). He took us to 2 great places in DC this year- the restaurant/ independent bookstore Busboys and Poets and this farm to table restaurant Founding Farmers. You know when you have a meal that is so good you just keep chasing it a long time after? These scallops were that good, so I ordered lots of them this year, but none came close to this first bunch one week into last year. Seared on the outside, soft on the inside, with risotto and peas (you can never go wrong with peas).

4.Chicken Pot Pie in Baltimore- We butted into Amanda and Brandon's freezer meals when we visited them and their 9 day old daughter Lexi in August. I am not even sorry, because this chicken pot pie blew my mind it was that good. I shouldn't be surprised as Princess Hess got her badass domestic diva goddessness from somewhere, but wow, that was some delicious pie.

3. Tillamook Ice Cream Breakfast- If it's ten AM, and you are eating cheese and ice cream, you must be nailing your major life transition. On our last day of roadtripping up to our new house, we stopped to take a tour of the Oregon factory, and became complete Tillamook converts. I love any museum that encourages you to bring your ice cream around with you. Even better if they don't shame you for eating ice cream first thing in the morning AND the ice cream is really freaking delicious. It reminded me of the Creamery at Penn State in the best way.

2. Bite of Seattle Lunch-In Seattle, they have a huge food fair mid-summer at Seattle Center, and the big event there is the Alley where you get a little taste from eight or nine different restaurants. We had some of the best and absolute worst food of the whole year on the same plate, and I loved it (even if they put gross dumplings on there- boo, dumplings). My favorite was the little fried chicken slider and an orange cupcake. The Boy loved the brisket with corn and blueberries from Miller's Guild (we went there later and were shocked how fancy it was- like fine dining for bears and lumberjacks or something).

1. Jazz Brunch Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict at Commander's Palace- Ahhh Commander's Palace; any time I feel imposter syndrome or unwelcome in a restaurant again in my life, I will think of you as one of the fanciest, most famous places I have ever eaten, and how freaking nice and friendly everyone is. We went to New Orleans to eat, and our trip could easily fill this whole list (everything was amazing- a pasta at John Besh's restaurant is probably 11th on this list), but the whole of this trip can be summed up in this one happy meal. A jazz trio played, there were stuffed birds on the wall, and I had Eggs Benedict with pulled pork and Southern bisquits. It was so so good, and the tomato salad rocked too. I loved the whole thing (though once again the Boy out-ordered me and got the most delicious thing- shrimp and grits). They also wrote congrats on the plate in honor of our babymoon, which was a pretty cute touch. I can say, at least for us, Commander's Palace really lived up to the hype, and I hope someday we can take BBG there with us!

I love this list because even years that I think of as being pretty tame and lacking adventure are really loaded with great stuff. Of everything I wrote down off the top of my head, I could only use half!  What is your favorite meal that you had in 2014?

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