Thursday, June 6, 2013

Food for Thought

For my dear friend, Amitie

You said you'd like me to write a post on my favorite place to eat.  I've actually been thinking about that since you requested it.  This is a hard subject for me to write on because I don't really have a favorite place to eat, at least not like most people think of it.  I don't have a complex appetite.  I'm a bit of a picky eater (though not as picky as some) and so I rarely travel to new places to eat unless they seem to specialize in things I know I like (or I anticipate I can find what I like on their menu).  But, because you asked for it, I'm going to try and give you an idea of my favorite place(s) to eat.

I should first note that my wife and I don't go out to eat very often.  Maybe we eat out once every other week.  Usually when we go out to eat it is with friends after church.  On occasions like a birthday, anniversary, or other special event we will go out to eat, but even then we usually go out to eat at a chain restaurant (Like Logan's our Outback, etc.).  The reason for this is because both of us are very budget conscious.  We don't like to spend a lot of money on a meal and usually we can find something we know we will like without spending a large amount of money.

With that being said, we do occasionally try a new place, like going to a local greasy spoon that we heard was good, or even trying an ethnic restaurant with friends.  But, the first thing we look at is usually whether we think the value of the food is worth what a place charges.  If you invited me to a black tie place I'd probably go for the sake of a friend, but I'd find myself constantly thinking "Wow, the prices here are crazy!"  So most of the places I would mention as "favorites," where we spend time, would be places that would be very pedestrian and common, not likely to impress anyone.

Growing up we both liked eat seafood from Carry Hilliards around Savannah, GA.  We like pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, pork chops, and all kinds of southern food.  Granted, neither of us is big on greens, squash, and salads, but at most southern restaurants we can find plenty of sides we like in place of those.  So I can't say we are big on all "southern" food, but we certainly like our chicken and fish fried, and our burgers juicy.

So, where do I like to eat?  For pizza we liked a place in Louisville, KY called Wick's (the downtown one, located near Baxter Ave.).  The first time a friend took us there we fell in love with it.  The toppings were plentiful and stacked so heavily they fell out when you picked a slice up.  The sauce was a perfect flavor and the deep dish style was perfect for the recipes they used.  We couldn't eat there too often, just because we'd both be as big as blimps, but when we did eat there we liked it every time.

For burgers I would have to say I like to go to Five Guys.  Yes, they are a chain, and there are a lot of them around, but I've never had a bad burger at any of them.  There really isn't much more to say about Five Guys.  Great burgers, great fries, peanuts are copious and a nice snack while waiting.

Oddly enough the best chicken sandwich I ever ate came from a Red Robin in Cincinnati.  The chicken was cut up as though it had been fried on the bone and then cut off and put on the bun.  It was so tender, flavorful and juicy.  I had that with one of their overflowing milkshakes.  That meal resonates as one of the best meals I've ever eaten out at a restaurant.

I tried to eat at a really posh place once.  I was a "Star Student" for my high school.  Because of that several of us were invited to meet the school board and eat at a really fancy place that had a dress code, served food on china, etc.  I can honestly say that I didn't care for much of anything they set before us.  I'm not big on sweet meat (no, I don't mean "sweetmeats" I mean sweet meat).  And I can't remember much else of what they set on the table, only that I drank a good bit of tea and only lightly touched some of the other stuff.

But, if you really want to know my favorite place to eat, it shouldn't surprise you.  My favorite place to eat is my own kitchen table.  My wife has become an amazing cook since we got married (or perhaps she cooks to my palate).  I love her fresh biscuits, any vegetable she cooks, and the way she has learned to use seasonings.  Her pork chops are delicious, she's learned to fry chicken so that we both love it, and I can't think of anything she cooks that I don't like.  Normally I don't like baked beans (yeah, I know it is a perennial favorite for a lot of people) but I even enjoy those when she cooks them.  On top of that we don't have to get dressed up, we don't have to go anywhere and wait on anyone else to get our food ready, and I can let my daughter run around and squeal and chatter to her heart's content.

I know it is trite, and I'm sure it isn't exactly what you were looking for, but it is true.  If given my preference, I'd rather stay at home with my wife and daughter, eat at the kitchen table and talk to my beloved than anything else.  I like to go out for a special occasion, so that we can both enjoy ourselves without having to worry about dishes or cleaning up, but I wouldn't call anywhere I go a "favorite" place.  My favorite place is at home, with my family, enjoying the cooking of my beautiful wife and munching on some cookies or something else she made for dessert.  it isn't fancy, but it makes me happy.

Your friends,

Theo and Anasi.