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Memorable Dining Experiences.
Old 29th September 2019
Memorable Dining Experiences.

As the title suggests; I'll start with an iffy one:

London 90's. Girlfriend asks me out to dinner at a pop-up restaurant in the chef's house. We are the only diners and a table for two is set up front room window. Plastic flowers. Kitsch.

The chef enters; a large hairy, overtly-gay man who squeals, hugs my girlfriend like a bear and looks at me with relish. After introductions and seating, the chef disappears, some shouting from the kitchen, then a young man, known to me as a local felon, someone to avoid, enters the room. He is dressed in waiters clothes, without a tie, and a tea towel is folded over his arm.

The waiter looked at me with intent, left and returned with the mango juice starter. As he bent down to put the juice on the table, he moved his head close to my ear, so my girlfriend wouldn't hear, and whispered: "I couldn't do this for a living. I'd end up biting someone's ear off."

Then he turns to my girlfriend, smiles, winks and says: "Allright darling."

"Yes, thank you." she said. We never went back. The food was great though.
Old 29th September 2019
Here's one Arthur.

I went to supper with my then girlfriend (who happened to be from Wales) at a kind of upscale roadhouse. It was around Halloween.

We didn't know there would be a band playing. Mid-dinner the band was announced, and a black curtain rose up, exposing the stage, which I hadn't noticed. Everyone in the band was dressed like the killer in the movie Scream. Pretty cool. They took off the costumes a little while into the show, and it ended up the bass player was an old friend of mine. He came over and talked with us at the break. Saw him a couple days later- his comment was "cute girlfriend!".

Some years later I was on a date- I think it was an Italian girlfriend. We were in the Italian part of my town, going out for supper, and who do I see- the same friend who was playing at a nearby pub that evening. From then on I thought I'd better check in with the guy to make sure I knew where to take my dates.

Years later it ends up the guy played old folks homes for fun. He died of cancer last year, as did two of his sisters. Will never forget that night with the Scream costumes.
Old 29th September 2019
I went to a dinner with some people and to get right to the point, my friend came quite drunk. He knocked a glass of rum and coke over and it went all over his plate of food. He goes "it's still good, it's still good"...then picked his plate up in two hands, put the edge to his mouth and started slurping the spilled rum and coke down.

When he said "it's still good, it's still good" we thought he meant his food...
Old 29th September 2019
Gear Guru
Brent Hahn's Avatar

With my wife in a nice restaurant in Old Town Pasadena. The tables are too close together. Next to us, two guys on a first date, chatting, getting to know each other. One of them early 50's, German or maybe Swiss, has money. The other guy is late 20's and model-attractive.

I have no idea what we ate because I spent the whole meal trying not to look at them.

"And then I got the call from the police. The housekeeper had found my wife dead in the doorway of our bedroom, still in her nightgown."

"Oh my god -- that's awful! How did she die?"

"Nobody knows. I rushed right home from work, from the hospital -- apparently she had been dead for hours."

"What do you do at the hospital?"

Old 3rd October 2019
Thanks to everyone for the contributions

I was in Portugal, in the Algarve, on holiday with my family. For lunch we drive up to the mountains to a beautiful terrace restaurant overlooking a wooded lake. We sit at a large trestle table, the open-terrace is full of customers. Good buzz.

The waiter brings drinks, bread and olives, and takes our order. Just a good holiday time, hot weather.

I notice a large spider run up my leg and up into my shorts. I stand up and walk quietly and quickly to the bathroom and yank off the shorts. Nada. Take off shirt, so naked: no spider. I thought: I hope it didn't run up my arse, put on my clothes (after shaking and inverting them several times!), and walked back into the restaurant.

Suddenly the whole place was overrun with giant ants. Billions of them. People were screaming and running away. It was like a horror film. Apologetically, they closed the restaurant.

We never got to eat there. I hear the food is good. We never went back.
Old 5th October 2019
For around 20 years I worked every Christmas Day as a restaurant chef; it was a great day to work on (and good paycheck too!). In the 90's I worked in the City of London which shut down on Christmas Day; I lived in East London E7, near Green Street, the large Asian community, so we decided to eat out at the local 'curry house.'

The restaurant is triple-fronted and deep, room for a few hundred people and normally quiet when we visited but today, Christmas Day, it's 100% full of Asian people. I think it's a private function but the manager says that all the Asian customers come to the restaurant on Christmas day and we are welcome.

Anyway, we had a stunning meal, and as we departed everyone in the restaurant, customers and staff, stood up, cheered and applauded us...and we applauded them.

Good food is a foundation of civilization.
Old 7th October 2019
Here's another one I'd forgotten about from 1986.

Weird things seem to happen in small towns a lot. This is one....

Two friends and I had been in Vancouver and camped at Banff. We were driving home from Banff (around 3,500 km), stopping along the way to eat, get gas, lie on the beach, and drink beer. We did one 22 hour non-stop stretch, towing a trailer behind a Mercury Grand Marquis.

We stopped for gas and lunch at a place on the Trans-Canada highway near a small town called Schreiber, Ontario. Basically road house food.

All of a sudden we noticed someone was driving an ATV around and around the restaurant for quite some time. Someone came running out of the kitchen and yelled "Jakes back and he has a knife!!!!".

Whatever. Then we noticed they had all these records and tapes in the place by this guy named Cosimo Filane. Had never heard of him. We asked the waitress what it was about, and she said "he owns this place". Ends up he was a singer who saw himself as another Paul Anka. I've seen a couple TV shows about him over the years.

I'd have to say that was the weirdest dining experience for me.
Old 14th October 2019
Gear Guru
Derp's Avatar
I'm not much of a dining snob at all. Can't say I've ever been to a hundred-dollar a plate dinner but once in my life. I like food, but not enough to go chasing after once in a lifetime experiences. That being said, I love scraping the bottom looking for treasures. My current fave place is this random kitchen in the back of a local grocery store in the bad part of town. Obviously gets a zero for ambiance, but the food is freakin' spectacular Puerto Rican dining. My boss dragged me out there because he's big into the Zimmerman show, Bizarre Foods, and wanted to see me try morcilla, a Puerto Rican blood sausage. The food at this place is spectacular, and as horrifying as morcilla sounds, it's actually REALLY freaking good, and good for you with the high iron content.

As far as memorable dining experience, my wife and I had one this weekend. We went to a place called Yank Sing, a local Chinese buffet. Normally I avoid buffet like the plague, but I made an exception for her because she wanted to see if this place was haunted. Why? Because it was originally the site of the Killeen Luby's Massacre. So we mostly just ate terrible food and cracked jokes at the expense of the dead. I will say that the place felt pretty freakin' eerie, though. They'd obviously done a lot of remodeling since the massacre, but it still feels like something horrible happened there. So zero points for food, but a perfect score for ambiance.
Old 14th October 2019
Gear Guru
Brent Hahn's Avatar

Originally Posted by Derp View Post
... freakin' spectacular Puerto Rican dining.
Not sure where you live, but when I lived in NYC I wish I had experienced that.

There, seemed like only the Puerto Ricans and the Dominicans could tell the difference between the Puerto Ricans and the Dominicans. Or their food, for that matter. But each camp would have you believe that the other's food was atrocious.

I thought it was just fine. But what I really loved was the "Comidas Chinas y Criollas." Cuban-Chinese.
Old 4th December 2019
Lives for gear
PdotDdot's Avatar
Best Chinese food on the planet was a small restaurant in Chinatown in NYC called Tung Li Shun (not sure of the spelling). It moved to 45 Mott ST. and became the Hunan House. Sadly it closed down about 20 years ago. I would sell my soul to the devil for a few of their recipes. I know Chinese food and there is not a restaurant anywhere that came even close.

Another restaurant was Scordato's in Tucson AZ. Best Italian food I've ever eaten. Sadly it too has closed. Two of the sons have restaurants so perhaps there is a shot at getting a recipe.
Old 5th December 2019
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
Best Chinese food on the planet was a small restaurant in Chinatown in NYC called Tung Li Shun I know Chinese food and there is not a restaurant anywhere that came even close.
It kind of depends on how you define "Chinese" food. Traditional stuff, or North American? Any dish in particular bowl you over?

It's interesting that the North American stuff has been around for quite some time now. Since around the 1870s?
Old 5th December 2019
Lives for gear

besides twiddling knobs, i'm working for the blue helmets and the osce in areas of conflicts and war zones so i get to eat in places where you cannot be sure whether the restaurant, the personel or the food is really safe... - if you additionally have to be in the same room with warlords, no food tastes any good, regardless of culture or cuisine!

when i get home, usually the first thing i do is to have dinner out with my girl friend - luckily there's a great thai restaurant just around the block: nice place, very friendly folks (neighbours actually) and excellent food!
Old 5th December 2019
Lives for gear
PdotDdot's Avatar
Originally Posted by MikeInOttawa View Post
It kind of depends on how you define "Chinese" food. Traditional stuff, or North American? Any dish in particular bowl you over?

It's interesting that the North American stuff has been around for quite some time now. Since around the 1870s?
The Dumplings were in a universe all their own. I have no idea what they did but nothing has ever come close. Their Chicken in Orange flavor was perhaps my favorite dish. Spicy Baby Shrimp was another - so delicate yet overflowing with flavor. Somewhere I still have one of their menus. Every time I took people I would tell them this is the best food you are ever going to eat and over the years, not one person ever disagreed with that statement. I've eaten at a lot of good Chinese places and a lot of authentic Chinese food - even Fukien. Nothing has ever come even close to this place. Whoever did the recipes for this place was simply a genius. This was not North American Chinese.
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