(Are you still there? Damn, this is an old thread!)
We agree. The pepperoni pizza at La Fiamma (Bellingham, WA) is the best I have ever had anywhere. My boy agrees, too. I think he only eats pepperoni pizza and milk. He even tried to eat one in Tivoli, in Copenhagen. Big mistake. Danes have NO concept of proper pizza. (On the subject, if'n y'all get homesick for 'Merican vittles in Copenhagen, DO NOT go to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tivoli. We also went hunting for a taco once. Failure. The Danes thought the red sauce was supposed to be French dressing. Guess they had only seen pictures? When we lived there years ago, the best we could do was a burger at Burger King once a month.)
Agree totally on the shrimp at Pasqual's Manale. Nice bar out front to eat ersters while waiting to be seated. Is it still there?
We had muffaletta at the Central Grocery once. Disappointed. We lived in Red Stick at the time. The best were from a little Swedish sandwich shop somewhere behind the big post office building (go figure). Really good ones from The Library tavern across the street from LSU, too. The cafeteria at the Exxon refinery made good ones, too. I bet that has been closed for 20 years now..
Favorite restaurant in Louisiana: A little Texaco gas station on River Road, south of Red Stick. I forget the name. Spillway crawfish (very large!) and the best bread pudding I ever had. The whisky sauce was smoking hot and so sweet youor teeth hurt. You could buy your tractor tires and dinner and put them on the same Texaco card.
For those who ain't been there, if you like to eat, you wil love Louisiana. Shrimp, oysters, crawfish, etc., etc. I am going to see if I can get a webcast of KBON from Eunice (www.KBON.com
) now. I am missing La a lot at the moment, mourning the late, great city of NO.
Yes, I try to recreate my favorite dishes at home. Damned hard to find Cajun food some places. (There IS going to be a Jambalaya cook-off at a pub down the street here in Downtown Calgary this coming week. I hope I am not up at Ft Mac that day.) I whipped up a very popular bread pudding with genuine whiskey sauce at Xmas.
Favorite Cajun restaurant in Canada: Da-De-Ohs on Whyte Ave in Edmonton, AB.
Good for jambalaya.
Favorite Cajun restaurant in Tennessee: The Crazy Cajun, between Kingsport and Johnson City. Great bread pudding.
Agree on Czech beer. Pilsner Urquel is my favorite bottled beer. It is ON TAP (!) at the Archer Ale House in Fairhaven (Bellingham), WA, however. The Archer is one of my all-time favorite watering holes. Another is the Ups-and-Downs, a British-style pub in Sarnia, Ontario.
Best steak: The best steak I ever had was reindeer at Hereferd Beefstow in Copenhagen.
Best barbecue: World-famous Peeble's in Auburndale, Florida. No question about it.
Best coffee: Believe it or not, the coffee out of the machine at the restaurant in IKEA is exceptional. Reminds me of the coffee in Denmark, which also was exceptional. I have never been able to come close on my own. Don't know what the secret is.
Best espresso: At the Blackwater Cafe in Sarnia, Ontario. Never found one in Seattle that didn't taste burned. They say that Seattle is not a coffee town; it is a milk town (lattes, etc.) Tony's in Bellingham is OK.
Seafood. Hard to say. Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, lived in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Denmark, have had some sweet, sweet fish over the years. Oysters: All-time favorite is Olympia oysters, neat. I hope they aren't extinct yet. My dad introduced them to me at the Olympia Oyster House about 45 years ago. (More recently had wonderful 'red oysters' on Whidbey Island. Big, meaty. Five to the pound, shelled, swear-to-god. Weighed them for a lark. Made terrific oyster stew. Sorry, that was at a backyard party, not a restaurant.) Geoduc at The Oyster House on Chuckanut Drive, south of Bellingham. (Maybe the experience was more memorable than the 'king clam', but it was a package.) Ah! VERY good oyster house in Seattle called The Brooklyn. Get an education in oysters there. We made a pilgrimmage there every year for years.
Mexican food: Don't go out for that much. Get it at home. When visiting Colorado, the family feeds us like kings with the authentic stuff. Tio Plutarcho grows his own peppers. It works out; I make him dyn-o-mite margaritas.
Sorry. I got carried away. I have been incommunicado for a couple of months and am catching up, too. Hi there, guys.