I like to start the new year by taking a look back at the best things I ate and best places I visited the year before. Today I am kicking things off by sharing a list of the very best things I tasted in 2017, and tomorrow I will share the list of best travel destinations.
Bocadillos and Patatas Bravas from Bo de B in Barcelona
When I travel, I love to try as many restaurants as possible. If a restaurant is truly exceptional, I will go multiple times during my trip. I ate a lot of patatas bravas in Spain, and Bo de B has the very best. The thing that makes them stand out is the combination of four sauces that get drizzled on top, some sauces are creamy, others are spicy, one is reduced balsamic vinegar. These same sauces get added on top of the bocadillos which are served on freshly baked bread with a choice of protein and plenty of vegetables.
The Kaymak and Fritters at Taj Mahal in Dubrovnik
Yes, a restaurant named after an Indian landmark in Croatia that serves Bosnian food makes the list. Kaymak is a cheese that is common in the Balkans, it is mild, soft, and creamy. It is like someone combined the mild flavor of cream cheese with the texture of ricotta. At Taj Mahal the kaymak is served with hot fritters and the cheese melts over the fritters in the most incredible way. The loved Taj Mahal so much that we ate their twice during our time in Dubrovnik.
The Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit in Charleston
I traveled from Portugal to Charleston to attend a conference, and was a little jet lagged, waking up at 7am, and hungry. This hunger led me to discover Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, the most delightful little bakery that serves breakfast sandwiches. I had the biscuit sandwich with bacon, egg, and cheese every morning. Callie’s also serves cheese grits in biscuit bowls which are definitely worth ordering.
The Chimichangas at Port Fonda in Kansas City
I am so obsessed with the chimichangas at Port Fonda that I figured out how to make them at home. You can get my recipe right here. These chimichangas are filled with chicken, black beans, and cheese, and topped with a poblano cream sauce. Kansas City might be known for barbecue, but the Mexican food at Port Fonda is reason enough to go Visit KC.
You know that I really love a restaurant when I chose to eat dinner there on my birthday. Roister is a sister restaurant to Alinea (the #1 restaurant in America) and their chicken three ways is perfection. Chicken thighs are fried, chicken breasts are poached, and braised chicken is used to make a chicken salad. The cheddar rillettes with fry bread are also worth ordering.
The Carbonara at Casa Apicii in New York City
This restaurant in an old townhouse is absolutely stunning and the pastas are wonderful. The carbonara is the best that I have ever tasted, and the restaurant is on the top of NYC restaurants to return to on my next trip.
Tea at the Merrion in Dublin
My sister and I love to have afternoon tea when we are traveling, and on our recent trip to Ireland we stayed at The Merrion, a charming hotel that occupies what used to be a row of four townhouses. Of course having afternoon tea was at the top of our itinerary. The scones and finger sandwiches were delicious but the most incredible part of the meal were the trio of desserts that were inspired by the hotels extensive art collection.
Duck Duck Goat in Chicago
I couldn’t pick just one thing because the entire meal was exceptional. My friends and I had the scallion pancakes, char siu ribs, char siu bao, and vegetable fried rice. My favorite part of the meal was the Beef Slap Noodles (pictured above).
The Peacemaker Benedict at Ruby Slipper in New Orleans
I rarely think that brunch is worth waiting an hour for, but the brunch at Ruby Slipper was 100% worth the wait. The restaurant has several different benedicts on the menu, and for a small upcharge you can order “the peacemaker” and try two of the benedicts. It’s genius! I had the Eggs Cochon, finely pulled pork on a biscuit with a poached egg and hollandaise and the Chicken St. Charles, fried chicken with a poached egg on a biscuit with pork tasso sauce. Both were delicious but the Eggs Cochon were perhaps the best variation of benedict I have tasted – and trust me, I am an expert on this.
The Croquettes at Casa Alberto in Madrid
When I was in Madrid with my Mom and sister, Kelly, we ordered croquettes even though my Mom doesn’t like them. She immediately changed her mind, and loved the ham and cheese croquettes so much that when she and Kelly returned to Madrid 10 days later they returned to Casa Alberto so they could order them again.
The Guinness Stew at Nancy’s Bar in Ardara, Ireland
Kelly and I loved our trip to Ireland. We started the trip with a couple nights at a castle in Donegal. While there we took a day trip to Slieve League, an area with large cliffs. The staff at our
hotel castle suggested going to Ardara and stopping in Nancy’s Bar. The bar has been run by the same family for generations, and their guinness stew was the perfect thing to warm us up on a chilly drizzly day.
Have you tried any of the things on this list? What were your best bites of 2017?my favorite link parties