The one with the cheese and meat juice oozing out.
The one without the crust, the one with most sauce.
The crispy, caramelized one. The one hardest to share.
As a child I used to sneak into the kitchen and skim the caramelized layers of cheese and sausage off the top of my mother´s potato gratin. With friends I ate the toppings off pizza, leaving the crust and doughy base behind. When offered a bite of someone´s sandwich I wait until both edges of the thing have been nibbled off and attack the soft exposed center where the fillings dangle out like the steamy entrails of freshly felled prey. When sharing fries I go exclusively for the thin, extra crunchy ones and ignore the beefier wedges altogether. Or I go for the one with most condiments or spices sprinkled on. I´ve always been particular about which bite of which dish I want, if not the whole thing. And the more I travel the more I find this concept applies to trying food in new regions.
When I go to the Dominican Republic, for example, I don´t just look for the “best seafood restaurant¨ because I don´t want mussels in white wine sauce on a touristy boardwalk with a guy playing an accordion and another peddling me packets of tissue paper. I care about how to track down That Best Bite of the DR. And it´s the same everywhere else. I seek out the bite that makes me feel part of a place, no matter how much of a tourist I may look like while eating it. That bite of chicharrón with icy cold Presidente beer in some roadside stall under the afternoon sun or that late-night bite of a local favorite sandwich with a morir soñando milkshake after a tad too much rum. That choripan in Argentina, that completo with guac in Chile, that frikandel in Amsterdam, that ıslak burger in Istanbul. That bite of toasted pain d’épices with butter on Christmas morning in France. That bite of cheek meat at a village pig slaughter in Hungary. That place, that bite I´ll remember as the best of my trip there.
That Best Bite.
Bunyols de Vent
Russian salad in DC
Fresh stuff by NOLA
Patacó in the town of Alforja
Green gnocchi with cheese sauce
An assortment of cheeses at a brilliant restaurant in Uruguay
Tortelli All’affumicata at Da Leo in Lucca
Mexican tacos on the streets of Tijuana
Chicken on bed of corn at La Cagette in Bordeaux
Chilling in San Gimignano
Ethiopian cuisine in washington dc
Muffaletta sandwich in Washington DC
Chef Humm’s NY-NY Tasting at Eleven Madison Park
Innards on a stick in a street food market in Hong Kong
One of the whole trinity of Argentine asado: costilleras
Being me in Mexico
Street food in Mong Kok
Lamb roasted on metal cross
Ćevapčiči with Ajvar
Handmade Mexican tortillas at a Pueblan home in DC
Pljeskavica and Šopska salata
Bojangles fried chicken in North Carolina
Midye Dolma, mussels stuffed with seasoned rice. Sold as streetfood.
Durian in Hong Kong
Wine Service at Bodegas Nieto Senetiner
Green apple dessert at Logis de la Cadene
A corndog at a fair in North Carolina
Egg 5 ways in butternut squash soup at Logis de la Cadene
Lángos fried dough
Salmorejo at La Parisien in Cádiz
Lentils stew with chorizo in Buenos Aires
Dim sum in Hong Kong
A pinguino of red wine in Buenos Aires
Lahmacun, flatbread with spicy minced meat.
Typical asador outside River Plate stadium
Yaniqueque near the beach
Morcilla black sausage
Homemade foie gras prepared in salt
Ethiopian cuisine in washington dc
Pasteis de nata and coffee in Lisbon
Lobster in Rockport on the North Shore
Lentil and couscous salad with eggplant, tomato and goat cheese at La Cagette in Bordeaux
Cafe gourmand at Logis de la Cadene
Slicing up Roman pizza
Tortellini al brodo at Osteria Broccaindosso in Bologna
Headcheese (tete de veau) in Paris
Quail with raisins
Fertilized duck embryo in Hong Kong
Fruit in Siena
Caragols (snails) in the town of Porrera in Priorat
Pizza with Swiss chard, potato and mozzarella
Cheek is the best part 🙂
Crayfish in DC
Frituras, fried salami and plantains for breakfast
Sea Urchin at Mercado Central de Abastos in Cádiz
She even makes a few lewd and hilarious double entendre’s that the boy doesn’t seem to be old enough to understand.