Once in a lifetime meals

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Joined
Feb 15, 2020
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Internally reminiscing about possibly the greatest (and by that i mean largest) meal I've ever had.

For my wife's birthday a few years ago I made reservations at a Brazilian steakhouse. A very fancy all-you-can-eat restaurant in metro Detroit that serves a huge variety of meats and other dishes. The awesome part of the experience was the tableside service!

Many waiters would make their way around the dining room with every kind of grilled meat you can think of. Six different fine cuts of steak, pork, lots of different sausages, chicken, lamb, goat etc. Every diner received a little card that was red on one side and green on the other, to indicate "I've had enough" or "keep it comin!". There was also a regular self-service food bar with all kinds of accompaniments to the meats. Mashed potatoes, salad and the like, along with traditional Brazilian dishes.

Determined to get my moneys worth (it was about 75 USD per person with some drinks) I made it a point to try and eat at least one serving of each meat and I of course accepted more of my favorites. I know many of us here are familiar with traditional buffets 😁, but there was something so fulfilling (pun intended) about having endless food just brought to your table, it made you feel like gluttonous royalty!
There were a few times i forgot to turn my card over to red and waiters kept stopping by with more meat, I knew i was full but said what the hell and plopped some more down on my plate. I left the place being the most stuffed i have ever been and it was the only time I've ever had the meat sweats. I had to tilt my seat back a little further for the drive home just to take a little stress off my stomach

This was before the pandemic and back when I was still pretty thin. Now, with lets say an increased stomach capacity, I bet I could give that place a run for it's money!

I wanted to hear about others' most legendary restaurant meals. While still fun to hear about, a bunch of carry-out eaten at home is a little mundane.
What is the once in a lifetime meal you ate at a restaurant?
 

Tad

Dimensions' loiterer
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Sep 29, 2005
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The great white north, eh?
This one doesn't have excess, just great flavor and once-in-a-lifetime.

In my late teens my family lived near Paris, France, for a couple of years, and we took a lot of short trips in the region. This was well before the world-wide web, but we made good use of a French guide book that was full of little treasures of cheap places to stay, updated frequently to keep up with how often those sorts of places changed.

On one of our longer trips (my Father had taken a week's vacation), on the last night we were simply needing to stay somewhere in eastern Normandy, and we found a listing at about the right area: the town's last major event had been Joan of Arc being held there for a night while she was being marched to her execution, but there was an old country home from when wealthy English folk had such things in France, that had been turned into a small inn by a young couple, and it mentioned that the husband had trained at (some highly regarded culinary school. Cordon Bleu maybe? Not sure anymore). Sounded good enough, so we pulled off the highway and found the place.

It looked like it might be leaning slightly, and the outer walls were certainly overdue for some maintenance, but they had rooms and we'd stayed in less likely places before. My room was tiny and the bed looked like it hadn't left the room since the 1920s, but whatever, we went down to the restaurant. The wife of the couple running the place took us to a table -- they were only half full -- and chatted about the town for a few minutes, then left us with the menus. While we were figuring out what to order a couple of cats came over to visit (they seemed pretty certain that they were the ones really in charage of the place. Given the age of it, they were likely needed to keep rodents at bay?).

Then the husband of the couple (the chef) came over and talked to us about the options. Apparently the local specialty was lamb that had been grazed on the salty reeds of tidal islands just off the shore. I remember that a couple of us ordered that, and someone had a roast beef type of dish, and I forget about what the fourth dish was, but likely fish (my older brother was with us, taking a break between his university classes and working for the Summer). We chatted and visited with the cats some more, and then the food came. The presentation was decent, although it looked like the plates had come with the building and had been assembled from more than one set.

But then we started to eat. We were all torn between wanting others to taste our dish becuase it was so good, and wanting it all for ourselves, but in the end we traded food around quite a bit. It is hard to describe the flavours; a bit from the passage of time, but mostly because like with a great concert I was so consumed in enjoying the moment that I only retain vague impressions: wonder, delight, giddiness, a vague sense of melancholy because I realized I might never match this meal again. They may not have had much money for renovations, but they'd certainly not stinted on the quality of their ingredients, and I'd say that the chef was both well trained and with a great instinct for flavours. It was just a stunningly good meal, all the more so because of the unlikely setting.

I presume and hope that the chef later moved on to some Michelin starred restaurant where more people could enjoy his work. He was certainly far too good to stay there. But for a time he was there, and we came across him in the perfect way to be completely charmed by his food. Between the quality of the food and the overall experience, that was absolutely an an experience I don't expect to have the like of again.
 

Dr. Feelgood

intellectual nerd
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
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In 1996, my wife and I went to Buenos Aires to learn Argentine tango. We stayed in an inexpensive hotel with no restaurant, but we had a guidebook and enjoyed walking around the neighborhood trying out different places to eat. The guidebook recommended an Italian restaurant called Broccolino's, only a few blocks from our hotel, so we went there for dinner. I had linguine with morel sauce and was completely dazzled by it. I had never eaten morels before, and I have never since eaten anything half as good as that dinner.
 

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