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2022 in Food

Clearly I overcompensated this year
Published onDec 28, 2022
2022 in Food

Ironically this starts in 2021 with the KFG brunch during the fall. I did not know I could like steak and I did not know the Ceaser dressing from stores is a complete lie. The meals we shared reinvigorated my enjoyment of food.

2022 started with shit meals throughout Madrid and Barcelona. Seriously Spain, what is this? It’s not a tortilla and it’s not good. The first time I ever had potatoes that soft encased in bread though, making it very memorable. Impressive was the mass and lack of flavor. Let the Americas have tortillas and call this what it is: peasant casserole.

from a google search

The potatas bravas throughout Spain were inconsistent. To my palate, the tapas was hit or miss as well. The exception being of Azimuth at the Almanac. From the menu, I would suggest hummus, Iberico ham, smoked fish, tataki, and empanadas. The MAD airport is probably my favorite airport next to IST aesthetically. The experience wasn’t even hampered by sweating and jogging to the right gate. When in MAD make sure you know the right gate or you must go all the way back to the security point to get to other sections. After losing Bekk many times as he darted forth to find the correct gate we were on our way with just enough time to spare found Mas Q Menos. This was the best meal in Spain for me. Anytime you are in MAD go there and order lomo de cerdo with crystal bread. Eat it like a glutton who just discovered a sandwich formed by croissants, Iberico ham, and cheese were the real rings of power.

Paris was mostly average as well. On the first night in Paris we had Urfa kabab, a prelude to our own trip to Urfa, with some nice strangers at Urfa Durm. They showed us around Paris and made us feel at home in the city. The rest of Paris was average but we did have a nice dinner at Bouillon Chartier. The staff was the most impressive part. I enjoyed the duck though.

Walking the Medina’s open markets a scent took us from our random walk into what could best be described as a stone garage that could use some TLC. The cooks served the best baked chicken I have ever had. They had managed to flatten out the thigh and leg quarters giving the entire skin an even sear(I need a tagine). I will never forget sniffing the food out, turning to look at Bekk, and smiling. Beginning to think I was more prejudiced towards Europeans than reasonable I felt vindicated in my earlier complaints from the rush of flavors. I have to remember much of the last 800 years was shaped by spices.

In Amsterdam Bekk’s mac and cheese was a great cap the ridiculous amounts of weed we were smoking. I am grateful we had a nice time inside our Airbnb in Amsterdam. It was the first time I accepted I must work on myself as a habit.

Smoking hookah in Sanliurfa, we shaded under canopies of fabrics and the ramparts of Urfa Kalesi near Balıklıgöl . I recall the smell of kebab, not liking Ayran, the sound of fountains’, calls to prayer, the Akbash/Kangal shepherd dogs roaming freely(huge fucking dogs), and the poor lady and child who sat behind us for meals we would pay for but did not offer in time because the waiter kicked them out. Top three regret of 2022 for sure. Keep cash on you. I will add the meal we picked up from Konak on our first night. The roasted chicken we had after visiting Goblekitepe was top tier. Savirmino(where we got the chicken from) on the way from Goblekitepe was a big highlight because everyone was so nice and the roasted chicken was phenomenal.

google street photo of chicken swharma place in Urfa

google street photo

Just after that, I saw a woman in full hijab begging and children flocking to me for cash. One was missing both forearms and had clear burn marks. It was strange walking the street with a baked chicken viewing this dystopian scene. Though I remeber the children’s smiles a bit more.

In Istanbul Tahin and Handmade Burger Co. were favorites. Tahin, a Lebanese spot does veggies very well and was a better version of honest greens. Handmade Burger Co was sniffed out before a gathering put on by the lovely Dusa. I never believed in burger joints until then.

Thailand is pretty high on the food tier list for me because you can find the best food you ever had randomly. Ko Tao was a highlight for me. The Factory Cafe we worked from served a bunch of fruit smoothies and veggies. I will recommend pretty much anything on their menu. There is also this amazing Chinese spot just around the corner.

More interesting is the 7-Elevens’

I am never dulled by the market penetration of international corpos. There is a 7-11 just across the street from The Factory. The other is 2 miles south traveling down the same road. It was there someone’s 13 year-old child, disturbed from studying, gave me the best fried chicken I ever had. Big shout out to little homes and I hope his grades are good.

looking at the entrance to a 7/11 on the island of Ko Tao, we see to the right street food vendor. they might serve the best chicken in the world

from google maps

Gene and Judes, Jim’s Original, in Chicago. If you know you know. Damali and I just chilled on a working vacation and had food the majority of the time.

Gene's and Jude's. Famous Chicago hot dog place

we all posted up in the parking lot until the line went down

I took a road trip from Macon, GA to Cannon Beach, OR and back this year. That trip makes up most of my memorable eating experiences closing out 2022.

I’ll run the hits:

Triplets Food Mart off 61 in BR. They and the 7-Eleven folks in Thailand have got it down. I think they are vying for the best fried chicken in the world. I’d recommend driving the black belt and the Natchez trace for some good Americana as well.

Sabas in New Orleans. A meal with all the folks from KFG eating Tapas. I had real hummus for the first time and it was awesome. Also really good conversations about the future of America. More than that, I found my spiritual city. Drive out late at night to watch the waves break over the levees off Lakeshore drive.

Voodoo donuts were ordered by my aunt Jo in Vancouver, Washington. A friendscation occurred for a week during the road trip. We had all met up in Vancouver for a week of friendship. My aunt Jo just so happened to be in the area, well living in the area. I say just happened because if you choose any random decade she could have been in Baton Rouge, Boston, Los Angeles, etc. On the last day before driving folks to the airport we stopped by my aunt’s due to Airbnb checkout restrictions and were greeted by the lovely donuts.

Pizza A’ Fetta on Cannon beach. It was just some solid pizza. A seagull postured me for pizza and candy but I did not budge. Being alone started to feel less lonely for me this year around here.

Nothing to do with seagulls.

Josephson’s Smokehouse in Astoria is where I had the best Lox I have known to date. Nearly transcendent.

Urban Kitchen in Bozeman was a respite after being stranded 20 mins north of the city on a mountain for an hour or so.

Big shout out to the two rangers who helped me out.

Lastly, a big shout-out to all the meals Damali enjoyed. It is challenging to find meals she enjoys and is always a treat when she likes something I made.

Let’s end this by starting a personal mantra, possibly tradition.

My favorite recipe this year would have to be this simple salad:

  • 2 cups of mixed greens

  • sprits of lemon

  • whatever finishing oil you have

  • red onion

  • kosher salt

  • freshly ground pepper

  • feta crumbles

  • diced beets(optional)

  • blueberries(optional)

  • almonds(optional)

  • tangerines(optional)

Peace

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