Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Best Thing I've Ever Eaten

John here ...

My wife and I recently ate brunch at our absolute favorite spot - Lovin Oven - in Frenchtown, NJ. This restaurant is off the charts delicious and has an incredible local vibe. You can taste and smell the authenticity and it is the kind of place you could hang in for hours. But enough of my stellar review ...   

About two years ago I was watching the Food Network show - "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" - and the food being ogled over was a chocolate caramel sea salt tart

The Food Network personality discussing this ridiculously sweet looking dessert had me watching with my tongue hanging out. I had never seen anything look this good. And then when it was revealed that this beauty was from Lovin Oven, I almost fainted. You mean I can go like get this in under ten minutes by car? Holy crap'n crap.

Fast forward two years and I had yet to try it. Even after numerous trips eating at the Oven. Don't ask me why, there is no excuse.

But that all changed two weeks ago. After brunch my wife and I bought a slice and planned on sampling it as soon as we had room to eat again. That was about 38 seconds after we walked in the door at home. Out came the forks and we went to town.

Seriously, it was life changing. Decadent doesn't begin to explain it. The combo of caramel/sea salt/chocolate is always a win, but this was beyond that. It was magic and almost painfully good. Three bites in and I was done; it was that rich.

I think my wife and I talked about the tart for the next hour and that lead to the inevitable discussion of "what was the best thing we ever ate". This topic always pains me as it is an impossible exercise, especially if your memory has started to blur like mine has. I usually tend to blow it off and did this time as well ... until now.

Yes, welcome to my dissertation on "The Best Things I've Ever Eaten". I have broken it down into 4 categories:

Best appetizer
Best entree
Best dessert
Best drink

In line with my discussion on the Lovin Oven tart, today I will pontificate on my favorite dessert. And yes, there was something better than the chocolate sea salt dessert.

Back in 2000, my wife (and fellow foodie) took a ten day trip to San Francisco and Napa/Sonoma. The goal was to eat and drink ourselves (not necessarily in that order) to oblivion. And we did. Included in that eatapalooza was a trip to the "ultra difficult to get a reservation" French Laundry. It was the pinnacle of our trip. This is one of the top ten (at worst) restaurants in the country and yours truly was nervous about how to handle myself. I'll spare you the details, but just know there were close to ten courses and it was a three hour dinner. And the cast of Friends had been there the night before. I was that f'n cool.

And then to top it all off, this appeared for dessert: 

I can't even do it justice by trying to explain how fantastic it was. Read the recipe for Coffee and Doughnuts and you'll see what I am getting at. Imagine the best warm doughnut you ever had and then wrap that in another warm doughnut times three. Thrown in the "coffee" and it was death by deliciousness. Not only was it the best dessert I ever had, it was the best thing I've ever eaten. Pinky swear.  

Up next ... best appetizer I've ever eaten.

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