The Best Thing I Ever Ate
By Michele Lynn Seigfried
Have you ever watched the TV show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate? Most of the foods I eat are not quite so absurd – like the shrimp and alligator cheesecake that appeared on the show; but, I am quite the foodie. It’s no wonder my book characters are visiting different restaurants and tasting unique foods and wines in my books!
My husband and I try new restaurants throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania on a regular basis. We also travel for vacation yearly and love trying new foods in new locations. So, I thought I’d share with you some of my personal favorite foods from various locations.
Hawg Wings from Harry’s Blue Bell Taproom, Blue Bell, PA. These pork shanks, covered in a choice of sauces, were delectable! We ordered the traditional buffalo wing sauce. They were moist and flavorful. Better than buffalo wings!
Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich from Table 24, Rutland, VT. I realize that rotisserie chicken doesn’t sound spectacular. There was something about the flavors of the Monterey Jack cheese, arugula, and their smoked tomato mayo on an egg bun that meshed together to make the best chicken sandwich I ever tasted!
Boardwalk Pizza from Maruca’s Pizza, Seaside Heights, NJ. I work in a town of pizza kings – DeLorenzo’s, Papa’s and Massimo’s all from Robbinsville, NJ. But, this past summer, we ordered Maruca’s largest pie (big enough for five of us to share with leftovers) and it was out of this world. The trick is to order a fresh pizza and not get a reheated slice. The reheating doesn’t do justice for the flavors. I think they use different types of cheeses on their pizzas and there is a lot of sauce, hence the term “tomato pie” that Jersey is famous for. It is also a thin-crust pizza.
Chocolate from The Belgian Chocolate Box by Beatrix in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Only a block away from the cruise terminal, you haven’t had chocolate until you’ve tasted the truffles from this hidden gem. The guavaberry flavor is to die for, but I’m always partial to their peanut butter! Try the Grand Marnier, cognac and champagne flavors too!
Baked Brie from McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright, NJ. Sadly, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the Rum Runner—the place I got married. The good news is that there are a host of other McLoone’s locations and the Rum Runner is should reopen in their brand new building this year. Baked in a puff pastry and topped with a raspberry glaze, it is served warm with fruit slices. Heavenly!
Sliders from KC Prime, Lawrenceville, NJ. One of the best steakhouses in the area, KC Prime’s sliders are the best I’ve ever had! There are two kinds – Kobe beef or filet. The beef sliders are served on brioche and topped with fontina cheese, spicy ketchup, caramelized onions, and a large, crisp pickle slice. Their sliders with filet medallions are also served on brioche and they are topped with shitake mushrooms, bleu cheese, and baby arugula. Both are equally delicious.
Donuts from Eet Gud Bakery in Hamilton, NJ. It’s hard to pick a favorite donut from this bakery, they are all so fresh and tasty. Way better than any of the chain places. You have to get there early in the morning, because they sell out quickly. They’ve been in business in the same location for 82 years and I believe that is because their quality is amazing!
Mexican Food – Trudy’s, Austin, TX. This Tex-Mex restaurant has a large menu—both with food and drinks! I’m not saying I love this restaurant for the multitude of margarita choices (although that’s a plus in my book). It had fresh food, some unique menu options (like quail) and was the tastiest Mexican food I’ve tried.
Pancakes from Sugar and Spice, Mendon, VT. I always order “their own recipe” pancakes. Sometimes with fresh blueberries. Once they had a special with cranberries which were in-season and those were delightful! My husband likes their cinnamon and maple sugar variety. The pancakes are light and large! Expect to take home some leftovers. Everything is served with their own freshly made pure maple syrup. They charge extra if you want the fake stuff! If you ever visit there, don’t leave without trying their maple ice cream too. Vanilla with pure Vermont maple syrup. Well worth the extra calories!
Bread Pudding – Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. Not every restaurant makes a good bread pudding. Actually, good bread pudding is hard to find sometimes! It may be because once I tasted their New Orleans style bread pudding, I felt there were none other that compared! They serve it warm and top it with their own homemade crème anglaise. As my two-year-old daughter would say, “It’s yummy in my tummy!”
I hope if you are ever visiting any of these areas, you’ll give these foods a try! Thanks for having me here today! I’ve enjoyed remembering some of my favorite foods…I think I’m hungry now!