Now it's time to introduce you to my favorite foods. And now thinking about them, I'm having some serious cravings. Which one am I going to convince Mike to get me tonight? Haha. Honestly though, when we go out to eat we try to have a completely different type of food every time. We avoid chain restaurants like Applebees or TGIFridays at all costs, and very very rarely do you see us at Fast Food. There are just too many incredible styles of food out there to waste time eating at those places. Even when we cook, we make homemade versions of the styles of food we love. Like I said in an earlier post, I love eating ethnic food over American. There are just so many different tastes out there.
Sushi. I love it. I can't get enough of it. I used to refuse to eat it because like so many others, I believe sushi was just raw fish, and I hate fish. That's so far from the truth. I may hate fish, but I LOVE shellfish, so I sucked it up and gave it a chance. What a huge surprise! For the first few years I ate sushi, I didn't eat a single roll that contained any kind of fish. It's totally possible to avoid raw anything, so don't let that scare you off! Now I crave it. The thing is, I'm kind of a sushi snob. I only want to eat the best, and I've found that some places people love and recommend just don't cut it. Thankfully we've found incredible places just about everywhere we've been. Vegas has way too many to list. With all the places out there, if you're a restaurant, you have to be good to stay in business. If you're in Portland, Maine go to King of the Roll. It's top 3 of the sushi places we've ever been. In Norfolk, there were two places in downtown, and both were really good, and we used to alternate which one we went to. In Tampa we loved Yoko's. Albany had a place called Sake Cafe that not only had great sushi, but something called the Amazing Pancake. It truly was amazing. Then here in St. Louis we don't eat anywhere but at Sapporo. It's incredible and if you ever happen to find yourself there, get the Sapporo roll. Might be the best I've ever had.
Indian. Like sushi, I crave it. Usually I prefer to go for lunch to the buffet so I can eat a ton of different things. I haven't found anything Indian that I haven't loved. Seriously, if you haven't tried it, don't let the smells and colors scare you away. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just so different than what many people are used to. I was really nervous the first time I went because of that, but I gave it a try. Now I want it all the time.
Barbecue. Maybe that's not at all refined, but holy is it good. Back in NY good barbecue just doesn't exist. I always liked barbecue sauce, but I thought barbecue meant you grilled something and dipped it. Then I came to St. Louis. My mind was blown. There are so many different types of barbecue out there depending on what region you're in. My favorite is the Kansas City Style. Thick and sugary, it's just so good. Really though, as long as my barbecue is smoky and the sauce has a tiny bit of sweetness, I'm all in. Not to mention, how good are real baked beans (not the kind from the can in the grocery store) and garlic bread as sides? Healthy, not so much, but incredible. Also, outside of the general St. Louis area, this doesn't exist, but pork steaks. I used to hate pork, and then I ate a pork steak, slow cooked all day over a fire. And I received a recipe for homemade beans. That meal is a staple in this house. Funny story about pork steaks. When I first heard about them, I was confused. I thought steak was beef, not a cut. When Mike told me we were going to be having pork steaks for dinner I was so confused. "What is it? Pork and beef combined? That sounds horrible!" I couldn't have been more wrong.
Mexican. Not that Tex-Mex, fast food, chain restaurant crap, but real authentic Mexican. We live at Mi Lupita here in St. Louis in the summer. Seriously. We're there like every other week, and sometimes a couple weeks in a row. The owner has become a friend we're there so often. My favorite thing to eat is chicken fajitas, as basic as that is, but when done right, Mi Lupita has the best I've ever had, they're incredible. And I love that I can customize how much of everything I put in them. I also love chimichangas, tacos, flautas, mole.....okay, the list could go on. Truthfully I'm not sure I've tried anything that I don't think tastes good. I have my preferences, and it's hard for me to deviate from them, but it's all so good. And one other word sums up my love for Mexican. Guacamole. Enough said.
Thai. More specifically Pad Thai. Every different Thai place I've gone to has Pad Thai that tastes so different, and I love to taste all versions. They've ranged from being very brown and peanuty to bright orange and a little creamy. All of it incredible. While I'm not a huge fan of Thai curry specifically, I have really liked the other non-curry Thai dishes that I've tried.
Honorable Mention (because I can)
Peanut Butter. I know, after all that I just wrote about you're probably going, um what?! I don't care. I don't care if it makes me sound like a fat kid. I love peanut butter. If there is peanut butter in it, I'm eating it. It's my one real indulgence. Peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cake, peanut butter cups, peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter topping, pb&j sandwiches, crackers and peanut butter, peanut butter on bagels and english muffins, apples and peanut butter, peanut butter and banana sandwiches. I could go on and on, but I won't, because now I want something peanut buttery. Good thing there's leftover chicken in a spicy peanut sauce (made with peanut butter) in the fridge.
Whether you like the food I listed or not, if you agree with my tastes or not, I seriously recommend you get out there and try everything no matter how scary it seems. If I hadn't tried things I was nervous about trying, I wouldn't have listed a single one of the things I did above (minus the barbecue and peanut butter). Be adventurous and step outside your comfort zone. If you don't like something, fine. But maybe just maybe you'll discover something incredible that you never saw coming.....
Tomorrow is 4 books!