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If you were on Death Row

and the warden told you you could have any meal you want (restaurant food, frozen food, home cooking, combination of whatever, etc...), as long as it was limited to four courses, what would you dine on for your last meal?

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  1. hot dogs
    skirt steak
    lamb kebab
    fresh corn

    I'm a simple man

    1 Reply
    1. re: abu applesauce

      liver & onions, preferably the Judges.
      ribs, preferably the Wardens.
      and a good pizza pie and some french fries.

      1. I'm cheating a bit here because the courses include a number of things, but:

        good smoked salmon with capers and red onion and maybe a little drizzle of good evoo and a squirt of lemon

        freshly made dip/chutney multi-ethnic platter - hummos, guacomole, pickled beets, fried eggplant, chana masala with tamarind chutney with warm freshly made pita or naan

        brisket (that melts in your mouth) with pan gravy and well-made frites with mayo and ketchup together

        warm cinnamony apple crumble with real vanilla ice cream

        1. blowfish sushi, you only live once, or so they say!

          2 Replies
          1. re: chef chicklet

            You bet - fugu with the liver and all. Cheat the hangman while having a foodie experience.

            1. re: cayjohan

              Thanks for reminding me the correct name!! But you got the drift!

          2. Little skinny French green beans, cooked just al dente, doused in butter.

            Skate with black butter and capers.

            Choucroute garni, with pommes de terre Alsacienne - that's boiled spuds doused in a sauce of chopped onions cooked in butter then blended with sour cream.

            ...and finally, breaking from the butter, a sticky toffee cake, drowned in whipped cream!

            With any luck at all, I'd have that heart attack before they came for me...

              1. re: frenetica

                Crab legs with butter
                Assorted sushi
                Brocolli with butter
                Bacon(odd but necessary...lol)

                1. re: frenetica


                  I think I will never think of my last meal again. That link really brought a lot home.

                  A lot of it poignant. Well, all of it was poignant, despite the convictions.

                  My favorite was for grace, love, truth, peace and freedom. We should all hunger for those things, I guess.

                  1. re: frenetica

                    I wonder what significance 2/23/90 held for Miguel Richardson??

                    1. re: Katie Nell

                      With 7 pink candles also on his list, maybe his daughter's birthday?

                    2. re: frenetica

                      Wow...that is an interesting site.

                      1. re: frenetica

                        There was a last meals site for convicts in Texas. The most popular last meal was scotch eggs.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica

                          That -is- the last meals for convicts in Texas site. What are you talking about?

                          In fact this whole thread is just morbid and upsetting. Way to go, Chowhound censors.

                          1. re: frenetica

                            funny comment seeing as you provided the link in the first place.

                              1. re: prunefeet

                                I posted the link to suggest that this "hypothetical" question had already been considered by some for whom the situation wasn't very hypothetical at all, and that it probably wasn't in the best taste. Unfortunately I failed to get this across the first time.

                            1. re: frenetica

                              That's funny because I work in restaurants and someone had posted a comment commending my manager for doing a good job in a hairy situation. It was pulled.

                              I'll have to go over the chowhound criterea.

                              Although this thread is really a "if you could have a four course meal and that was it" thread...not really focusing on the Death row aspect.

                              It could also read, if you stuck on a desert island and could only have four foods...

                              1. re: therealbigtasty

                                I think I prefer the desert island treatment of the theme. Made me think of Heston Blumenthal's "desert island dish" I read about in the Observer a few years ago: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmo...
                                That guy is so over the top!

                              2. re: frenetica

                                actually, that was cut and pasted from the official site which the texas dept. of corrections used to have. they took it down because of a public outcry.

                              3. re: monkeyrotica

                                It looked like fried chicken to me.

                                I saw that site quite a few years ago, it was too weird.

                            2. Thin-crust, Trenton-style pizza

                              Mushroom chicken casserole over rice (made with Campbell's condensed mushroom soup)with a side of cranberry sauce, which was the comfort food of my childhood. My best friend actually did request this when she was dying.

                              Filet mignon with mashed potatoes and haricot vert

                              A selection of gourmet chocolate truffles and goodies from Michel Cluizel and Godiva for dessert.

                              And all of this accompanied by a good bottle of pinot noir.

                              1. mojitos
                                broiled lobster
                                corn fritters with maple syrup
                                zuppa englese
                                pig out and bye bye

                                1. a mini-urasawa extravanga, loaded with Kobe beef, beluga, foie gras, and toro. washed down with the Masa experience.

                                  Followed by some Sketch ice cream and McConnell's as appetite cleansers. maybe a couple bites of a fig cake and choco pudding cake.

                                  Some beef ribs for Phillip's extra spicey sauce. oh, and why not some link while we're at it. followed by some brisket from Kreuz market and some ribs from clark's outpost.

                                  Some peking duck from china or sgv or vancouver bc's greatest chef. along with some dim sum and dumplings.

                                  now, back for some desserts, maybe a dessert that splits the difference between savory and sweet, maybe Ferran Adria's el bulli stuff.

                                  prawns and crab from Trishna.

                                  some noodles from the greatest hawker stall in Bangkok thailand, followed by some okra mangoes, magnosteens, and durian (maybe the warden will wither away just from the stink of the durian)

                                  a peter luger's porterhouse steak, and slabs of choc mousse cake followed by some of their schlag.

                                  buttermilk pie from a joint in SC, followed by a missippi hot chil tamale, a slab of coconut cream pie from apple pie along with a pumpkin slice, slice of cherry pie from the cherry hut, a chocolate croissant from patisserie claude.

                                  i could go on and on.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: kevin

                                    It's a little bit OT, but your last meal reminds me of it. There was this short story by Jaroslav Gashek (czech writer of early 20th century), in it a death row inmate orders a feast (something close to your list, I don't remember details I read the novel years ago, but same idea) for his last meal and then gets sick. They postpone the execution and treat him in a jail hospital for like a week and then execute the guy...

                                    1. re: welle

                                      There was also an episode (I think of CSI Miami) where the inmate requests peanut butter and jelly as his last meal; he was allergic to peanuts and died minutes before they were going to execute him.

                                  2. chicken tikka masala with Basmati & naan.

                                    a bacon cheeseburger with crispy matchstick fries, a side of dijon mayo of course!

                                    a crusty baguette, with good OO and balsamic, and a piece of raw-milk Quebec cheese.

                                    a bagel special- toasted Montreal bagel, scads of whipped cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion, tomato & capers.

                                    dessert not necessary. death by cheese.

                                    1. hmm, i have to agree with the inmates in that link..
                                      bacon has got to be in there somewhere
                                      freshly baked rye bread, still warm
                                      crab legs with butter
                                      shrimp with garlic butter sauce
                                      a good thick steak medium rare
                                      a wilted spinach salad
                                      pork chops in mushroom sauce
                                      dry ribs
                                      i would never be able to eat all this, but one bite of each would be good
                                      and for dessert
                                      turtles cheesecake
                                      smores ice cream

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: RiJaAr

                                        i wonder how i could fit all that into 4 courses?

                                      2. I'm not so sure I'd have an appetite...and I did notice a number of inmates on that link that did not eat.

                                        Death by Chocolate?

                                        1. Some of them ordered a LOT of food. I just hope they had enough time to digest it all before losing complete control of body functions while on the chair or the gurney.

                                          1. All-you-can-eat buffet.

                                            I would just eat and eat and never finish eating, so they could never technically pull the switch on me.

                                            1. My sister in law is Japanese, and her English so-so. We're all chowhounds in the extended family, though, and make a HUGE fuss over meals during family vacations. One year Tomoko made some pronoucement about our "final meal," the night before we go our separate ways, which has a happier connotation than the intial concept of this string. The requirement for a great "final meal" (which is now the name of the family tradition) is that it be absolutely delicious, and something all of us love.

                                              1. bbq pork ribs or pulled pork with potato salad, baked beans, and cornbread

                                                a darkly toasted sesame bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, and red onion.

                                                a fresh, crusty, and hot french loaf with good european salted butter. oh you could throw in some RIPE gamele ole or havarti cheese.

                                                a danish hotdog. a bun with a danish hotdog, ketchup, mustard, remoulade, fried onions, and danish style pickled cucumbers.

                                                oh and for dessert...oops, 5 courses, a giant bowl of the finest gelatos. hazelnut, mango, vanilla, mint/choc, saffron/pinenut, coconut, choc chip, oh any flavor really. ;)

                                                1. If I weren't watching my weight, I'd order a gallon of ice cream.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. What are the 4 slowest-cooking foods in the world?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                                                      Peter, There was a great cartoon on this published recently. It showed two guards standing outside an inmate's cell. (He was the oldest inmate on death row.) The guards noted he requested roast Unicorn for his last meal and avoided the death penality on a "technicality"...

                                                    2. Small caesar salad with anchovies to start.
                                                      Shrimp cocktail with 8 jumbo shrimp.
                                                      10 P.E.I. oysters on the half shell with all the garnishes.
                                                      Foie gras
                                                      A baguette basket with a large rammekin of real butter, slightly softened
                                                      A bowl of grits with butter, salt and pepper
                                                      2 2-lb Maine lobsters, drawn butter
                                                      Fresh cole slaw
                                                      A large order of McDonald's french fries, hot and salted
                                                      A liter of diet coke
                                                      A bottle of Johnny Walker Blue
                                                      A bucket of ice
                                                      A slice of New York cheesecake.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: onlytwomuses

                                                        Would you really want to drink diet coke on death row? Why not go for the bottle of regular coke? It's not like there would be any lasting repercussions...


                                                        1. re: Heatherb

                                                          some people prefer the taste of diet coke to regular coke

                                                      2. A banana with peanut butter
                                                        French fries with gravy
                                                        Homemade gnocchi with my mother in law's sauce
                                                        Brownie sundae

                                                        ...what a combination!

                                                        1. Oh my.
                                                          Roast duck (china town style)
                                                          Kimchee jigae with full panchan
                                                          Thick prime rib, rare with a side of escarole with lots of garlic
                                                          CHeesecake OR a perfect peach or mango

                                                          Wow, these items so do not go together. Who cares, what, I'm going to get indigestion? It would take me all day to ingest all this heavy stuff. What a way to go.

                                                          1. Here are a few of my favorite things:
                                                            Medium rare cheeseburger with extra onions and pickles
                                                            Chicken stir fry with brown rice
                                                            A plate of brie, cheddar and montrachet cheeses
                                                            Haricots verts with a touch of extra virgin olive oil
                                                            Florida honeybell oranges (if in season) and/or a dark chocolate cake
                                                            And to wash it all down, a can of Mr. Pibb.

                                                            1. What no alchohol? If I were going to crash in a plane I'd be hitting the mini bottle bar hard!

                                                              1. Gary Gilmore ordered a six pack of Coors.

                                                                I wrote a paper on him in junior high.

                                                                1. A couple of years ago I arranged media interviews for journalists with the warden in charge of Death Row for one of the States that executes a lot of people. This topic obviously came up.
                                                                  We found out there are limits. No cigarettes - smoke-free facility. No wine, beer or other alcohol.
                                                                  The food was limited to variations of the simple foods in the standard prison diet. The condemned weren't going to get interesting ethnic dishes, exotic cheeses, prime beef, lobsters or other expensive seafood, or just about any food worth living for.
                                                                  I had arranged for us to have lunch at the prison but the journalists revolted, preferring to grab snacks at a truck stop on the highway. When I saw the food, I easily agreed.

                                                                  1. I think I would have to start with a couple of bottles of grey goose vodka and a bottle of cranberry juice.....after finishing that off, who cares what they do to me.

                                                                    I personally found the choice of a bag of jolly ranchers for a final meal interesting.

                                                                    1. I would order Souvlaki or KFC :)

                                                                      1. In no particular order, one course would have to be Thai food.

                                                                        In particular, Pad Ki Mow with crispy duck, Pad See Ew with shrimp, chicken satay, fried dumplings and hot and sour soup.

                                                                        A second course would be every variety of doughnut from Doughnut Plant in Manhattan - Pumpkin, Peanut Butter and Banana, Vanilla Bean, Cranberry, Hazelnut, Chestnut, etc.

                                                                        A third course would have to include California Pizza Kitchen pizzas with those amazing sesame dumplings they have. I know, they're tacky and commercial, but I love them so much. Just so damn good. I don't care, I eat fancy and common food alike.

                                                                        The fourth course would have to be a no-price-limit omakase platter from Ushi Wakamaru on W Houston St in Manhattan. which would effectively satiate my sushi craving and provide for death by sushi before my meal ends. Hey, if not death by sex, then I'll take death by sushi. That fugu idea is a good one.

                                                                        1. After much deliberation I came up with my menu, though I'm cheating a bit. It's all over the place, but I think it could work as a meal.

                                                                          First Course: Alsatian Tarte Flambee

                                                                          Second Course: Shrimp Trio (Low-Country shrimp & grits; Kerala shrimp curry; Macanese chili shrimp)

                                                                          Third Course: Camphor tea smoked duck accompanied by baby bok choi with fresh garlic

                                                                          Dessert: Japanese grapefruit wine jelly with a dadar on the side (Indonesian/Malaysian bright green fluffy pancake, colored with pandan, stuffed with palm molasses & coconut).


                                                                          1. I'd want to go to tbe Venesian Inn in Tontitown and order a steak with their wonderful homemade spaghetti & house salad, festival o'chocolate for dessert, and then excuse myself saying I needed to visit the facility, and slip out the back door and into the wind...

                                                                            Then for my first meal after my last meal I'd find some Masamun curry and sticky rice.

                                                                            1. first course: oysters on the halfshell; ceviche. (with an extra-dry chopin vodka martini)
                                                                              second course: pan-seared foie gras (goose, not duck) (with a glass, aw hell, a bottle of chateau d'yqem).
                                                                              third course: ribeye (rare-med. rare) sprinkled with a teeny bit of sea-salt, served with steamed asparagus in bernaise sauce), and yorkshire pudding (with a bottle of chateau margaux 1982).
                                                                              dessert: iles flotantes (tiny meringue ``islands'' in a bowl of creme anglaise) (with a bottle of 1957 D'oliveira madeira).