Remembrance of meals past

Emily signed me up for StoryWorth, in which I get a question each week and answer it via a story or essay. At the end of the year the plan is to take all those stories and populate a book designed to pass along some thoughts and information to the next generations. It’s not difficult and I’m looking forward to seeing it all put together.

This week the question was “What have been some of your favorite restaurants through the years? How about now?”. I enjoyed recalling some of my favorite meals and restaurants so much, and it’s definitely relevant to a travel blog, that I decided to republish my answer here with a few pictures.

What have been some of your favorite restaurants through the years? How about now?

I guess we’ll call this Around the World in 80 Meals.

I’ve had the good fortune to eat at a lot of high-end, expensive restaurants in my life. Some were worth the price but many not. The list I’ve come up with correlates more to a memorable meal(s) than to price. Many restaurant meals, some at home.

In Cabo San Lucas, Manta, Los Tres Gallos and Edith’s. And the restaurant at the harbor where they turn our fresh catch into amazing sushi and sashimi.

In Hawaii, Street Burger in Kauai. Some of the best burgers and fries ever, a great setting, and a surprisingly good wine list. Go figure.

Our wedding meal at Castle Stuart in Scotland. The haggis was actually pretty tasty. And the 18-year-old scotch didn’t hurt.

In Madrid, Sobrino de Botin. The alleged oldest restaurant in the world with succulent roast pork. Also in Madrid, La Terraza del Casino, where we had a 14-course meal prepared by a chef specializing in molecular gastronomy. Was beautiful and so tasty. One of the only times I sat at a table for two hours willingly.

In Italy, Antica Bottega del Vino (Verona, great food/ambiance and maybe the biggest wine list in Europe), Osteria di Giovanni (Florence, classic huge Florentine bistecca). And many more I can’t remember.

In France, at Gerard Bertrand’s Chateau la Sauvageonne in the Pyrenees. Absolutely best lunch ever, hosted in their barn! Also in France (Tautavel), Le Petit Gris, where I ate roasted snails in butter and garlic for the first time.

And again in France, a classic duck cassoulet served inside the castle walls at a little place I can’t remember in Carcassone.

And again again in France, a simple but incredibly tasty duck confit with pomme frittes served at a bar in Perpignan. Completely redefined my thinking about french fries.

In Catania, Sicily, L’Horloge. Fantastic crostini and meat/cheese plates, great food and a superb Mt. Etna wine list.

In San Diego, Phil’s BBQ, Flemings, Stone Brewery, Urbn Pizza, Point Loma Fish Market, Nessie Burger, When in Rome (now closed), Cucina Urbana, Jake’s Del Mar…a very long list.

In Louisville, too many to count. The Post, Decca, Louvino, Mussel and Burger, The Holy Grale, Barn 8, Cuvee, Jack Fry’s, Wild Eggs, Con Huevos…the list just goes on.

Many memorable Thanksgiving dinners at our place with friends and family.

So I suppose you could call me a foodie. This is only a short list, the ones I can remember fairly quickly and easily. It’s been a good and filling life with regard to restaurants.

Making money

When your Republican friends start whining about the national debt, send them to this little note by Dave Winer. Dave lays it out clearly – the national debt simply isn’t the kind of problem you think it is. As the apex predator in the world’s economy, the US has a uniquely advantaged position that we’ve squandered over the last 20-30 years. From the article:

One of the biggest misperceptions about how money works, even among educated people, is that we have to pay for projects by raising taxes. The fact they’re missing is that the Federal Reserve creates money. So we don’t have to raise taxes to provide relief to victims of disasters.

When they say the debt is something our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, that’s not true either. We can pay the debt by printing money. If we owe you $100 who’s to say if we got that money by taxing Americans or simply by giving you new money we created for that purpose?

Money has to start somewhere, and unlike a household budget, the US government has an infinite supply of it. Basically the only country with the power to create new money that can be spent everywhere is the United States. 

The United States is unique because our dollar is the reserve currency for the world. So if say Egypt owes money to India, they pay them in dollars. If a small country is reserving some money for a future project, they store it in dollars. Our currency, unlike all others, is in demand all around the world. Which means we can give them dollars we just printed and they will send us goods that cost real money, because of course when we printed the money, it was real, simply because we printed it. 

If people really understood how we’ve squandered this advantage and allowed our social support system to decay, they’d be enraged. It’s completely and sadly ironic – the very same working-class people who identify as Republican are the ones who have been most harmed by this conservative gaslighting.