Have you ever read a description of a dish, a restaurant or an ingredient and thought, ‘man, I’d love to try that?’ ”
Then 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die should be on your winter reading list. Just released, this tome by former New York Times restaurant critic and cookbook author Mimi Sheraton is a compilation of the best things she’s eaten from around the world. It’s an amazing bucket list of foods, restaurants, markets and dishes that will leave you drooling. There are plenty of things in the book that I’ve tried — some I’ve loved, some not so much — things I’d like to try and a few that I think I’ll pass on.
Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant is included in the listings for many Jewish favorites.
And there are some that you can get right here in Houston.
Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant is included in the listings for many Jewish favorites, including cheese blintzes, gefilte fish, golden yoich, holishkes, latkes, pastrami and corned beef, pickled green peppers, Romanian tenderloin, sable, smoked whitefish and kishke.
Also mentioned is a German dish called gulyassuppe, a type of goulash soup that sounds really good for a cold night and can be found, the book mentions, at Houston’s Rudi Lechner’s.
And there’s mention of D’Artagnan, a food purveyor that just opened a warehouse here, for being a source of Scottish hares as well as other delights.
There are some local dishes I would put on my bucket list like 60 Degrees Mastercrafted’s $200 Bistro Burger with truffles and foie gras or the blue crab and caviar nachos at Brennan’s of Houston. And I’m betting there will be some divine new dishes on the Underbelly menu when James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd returns from his vacation of eating his way through Vietnam.
I recently tried a new bite at Urban Eats on Washington Ave. The building boasts an upstairs bar and restaurant (featuring some very good sliders) and a downstairs gourmet market where I picked up some smoked sea salts and some capocollo, a cured pork product made with hot spices. It makes for a biting antipasto with fresh mozzarella.
“But I’d really like to spend a week in Paris during Christmas and eat everything in the little bistros. Also I want to dine at The French Laundry.”
While I was there executive chef Jason Grigar pondered the question of a food bucket list.
“Any good food made well and beautiful,” he said. “But I’d really like to spend a week in Paris during Christmas and eat everything in the little bistros. Also I want to dine at The French Laundry (chef Thomas Keller’s flagship California restaurant). And, I really want to go upstairs and dine at our restaurant as a customer.”
Opened only last December, it’s been pretty busy for the Urban Eats’ guys so it makes sense the chef hasn’t had that experience yet.
Owner and culinary director Levi Lucky Rollins also weighed in on the subject.
“I actually had a food bucket list of things I wanted to eat but I ate most of them when I was a corporate vice president and traveling," he recalled. "I had fresh Thai food in Bangkok that was amazing.”
As for any local dishes Rollins had nothing specific but does have two places on his wish list.
“I just haven’t had a chance to eat at The Pass & Provisions, I really want to do that soon. And I want to have dinner at Underbelly and meet Chris Shepherd. I went there once for lunch on the way to a meeting before we opened but all I had was soup.”
Looks like we’ll both have to hit up Underbelly when Shepherd returns from his culinary vacation.