Monday, November 8, 2010

Best Food And Most Memorable Meals.......

The Mighty John Hancock Building Towers Over Chicago and Lake Michigan
Cindy and I were talking last night over dinner, and the question arose as to which meals we have had together were most memorable and which ones were the best in terms of most appetizing.

Those are very tough questions.  We have traveled so much, and had so many wonderful and memorable dinners, and so many truly great home-cooked meals, that it really is impossible to say any given one is THE BEST.

But, we decided to try to answer those questions individually and then compare our answers. goes!:

Signature Room, John Hancock Building, 95th Floor, Chicago
Signature Room---The Sky's the Limit!  What a View!
The Windy City Comes Ablaze at Nightfall
Before we were married, in October of 2001, Cindy and I traveled to Chicago.  I was working a trade show there.  One night I decided to splurge.  We had dinner at the fabulous Signature Room high atop the mighty John Hancock building.  Our table was on the north side of the dining room, with a window table view of Lake Michigan.  It was beautiful and romantic.  We also had a view of the city of Chicago, with lights ablaze as the sun went down. 
North Shore Drive From the Signature Room
It was magic.  I don't remember what we had to eat, but I do remember how delicious it was.  We were overpowered by the view, the intimacy, the romance.  It was an unforgettable evening.

Cindy's 2008 Surprise Birthday Party With 50 Friends
Cindy is Surprised!
For Cindy's birthday two years ago I planned a surprise party for her.  At the time, she was working as a beauty consultant for Estee Lauder.  I picked her up from work and brought her home on a Friday evening at 6:00. 

Part of Our Gathering
When we entered the home from our garage, our fifty friends were waiting with noise makers.  And make NOISE they did!  Cindy was shocked.  I had a huge chocolate Texas sheet cake with her name on it and a few candles. 

More of Our Friends
I arranged a catered dinner from the Corner Bakery.  There were overstuffed sandwiches of all kinds, assorted salads, and some of the best lemonade I ever drank.  Cake and ice cream rounded out the fare.  We had a blast.
The Three Stooges---L-R---Ray, Me, Wayne

Columbia Restaurant, Ybor City, Florida
Best Meal
My travels took us to Florida.  We stopped outside Tampa one night and I made reservations at the fabled Columbia Restaurant in nearby Ybor City.  The establishment was founded in 1905 and specializes in Cuban fare.  We were charmed by the interior furnishings and the friendliness of the waitstaff. 
Interior of the Columbia Restaurant
But that was nothing to the incredible food.  I don't recall what Cindy had to eat, but I sure do remember what I ate.  I started off with black beans and rice with chopped onions.  My God, I never had anything so delicious in my life.  In fact, I ordered two bowls of the stuff.  We washed our appetizers down with their fantastic sangria. 

My Paella Was Outrageous
I was in heaven---but I was totally blown away by the main course:  paella.  It was the best restaurant meal I have ever had, and so memorable because Cindy was with me.
My Cindy---What a Cook!
Cindy's Unforgettable King Ranch Casserole
Betcha' Can't Eat Just One Plate full
Shortly after we moved to the Lone Star State, we started to become "Texanized".  This means many things, but one of the important meanings is that we started to develop a passion for southwestern cooking.  Cindy is a very talented cook, and when she decided to try a new dish with a Texas flavor, I was all for it. 
Fresh From the Oven
Her version of King Ranch Casserole quickly assumed first place on my favorites list.  A perfect blend of chicken, cheese, assorted peppers, tomatoes, tortillas and more....

We have enjoyed this dish many times over the past few years, often with dinner guests.  Her presentation of this dinner always plays to rave reviews.

You may view Cindy's opinions of her favorites in the above categories at her blog.


  1. I love that you are able to place these memories down here! Isn't that was is so cool about blogs!

    That pealla dish looks out of this world and by your recount of was!

    Cindy's dish I know is your favorite - YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am now trying to think of my favorite meal I've ever eaten out - I need some time to think it over... :)

  2. You got me thinking about some of the best places I've ever eaten and I would have to say we had some great dinners on the cruises we have been on.
    And there was a great steak house in Hawaii named Doug's that was very good. :-)


  3. But hello, Clint!
    The best part of every dinner or meal is and will
    be your wife Cindy!!

  4. Monika---you are so right! What is good food and surroundings if you don't have the chance to share with a loved one?

    Best to you....