I was creating a list the other day of my favorite dishes and discovered something surprising. All of my favorites are relatively low cost dishes, which would seem to contradict the notion that the best food comes from fancy, high-priced restaurants and exquisitely trained chefs.
Now, a ground rule before I get on to my question: I am talking about dishes that require a recipe here. You may go crazy over a truffle or three year aged parmesan. However, those are ingredients, not dishes. What I am talking about is dishes such as shrimp creole, a Chicago hot dog, a brownie, a Caesar salad (made the traditional way), etc.
My question is why should we spend large amounts of money going to high end restaurants when there seems to be little correspondence between what we spend and how much pleasure a dish gives us?
Lest discussion of this topic become a paean to "down-home cooking" and superiority of the common man, let me also say that I think that French chefs are culinary geniuses and I seek out the experience of a high end French restaurant whenever I can find one and afford it. But the question is why, when my top ten contains none of this fancy food?