I have been pretty depressed lately. With food, that is. The other night I tried the (new?) delivery service bitesquad.com from The Butcher Block. I had lamb and chicken on skwers and penne Bolognese. A little salad. As I was poking around the utterly disappointing penne I was overcome with a feeling of "just HOW can a place contrive to make such a simple "can't fail" type of dishes, FAIL? Well, it's simple: don't season, under-portion (the skewers), use ersatz cheese and some un-thought-out type of cream agent in the ghastly sauce. Salad that is all about how it looks versus how it tastes. OK OK maybe ordering pasta for delivery is a mistake anyhow. But if eating out were a State of the Union Speech, then "the stateof the Union is NOT strong."
This got me thinking again about where in Chowhound we state our favorite all-time restaurants. These choices cut across all borders of political correct underseasoning etc. and cut to the chase of salty fries cooked in goose grease etc. etc. at places which "make us happy - reliably, almost every doggone time we go." Places that feature in the sentence "We could try out the new Southern Italian place . . .or we could just go to [X].
So on mine is Brown's in Oxford UK. McSorley's in NYC (for leg of lamb sandwich), Black's Oyster Bar in Abbeville LA used to be on there (but was struck), as was Sherlock's Home.
I was wondering, instead of focusing on the best "this" or superior "that" whether TC Hounds might share places the find themselves frequenting, not necessarily because they do things the best (or might even be embarrassing to admit!) but because they purvey an afterglow of "feel good."
My TC choices would be:
Mancini's (for chewy sirloin and veteran "help")
The Dubliner (Guinness)
Mickey's Dining Car (breakfast)
Jimmy's (nordeast) Bar (Las Vegas shrimp cocktail)
Glockenspiel (two of the 3-ways herring and German black lager)
Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter (quiet patio herring)
. . . and that's about it in terms of places that leap to mind. Again, these are not necessarily the best at anything they do, but they are the best in terms of making Yours Truly stagger out feeling a little more pleased with the state of the Union/universe.
Would anyone care to contribute their top five or six GoTo places for overall "mood improvement" versus "belly fillment" or "check-out-the-hot-new" venues.? A friend swears by the Monte Carlo is another that I have heard great things about but not sampled in a full meal context. Basically, the places most frequently frequented not simply for the purposes of hunger assuagement.
I'd be most interested. Thanks a lot.