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Your Benchmarks?

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I was wondering what hounds hold to be their benchmarks when trying the same dish at different places.

For example, every Ice cream sundae I have ever eaten gets compared (somewhat unconsciously) to the Hot Chocolate Fudge Sundae I had at Nirula's in India.

Similarly, all steaks are up against the Porterohuse at Des Nivel in Buenos Aires (this changed a lot initially)

The dishes that have never been bested are:

- Chiken Tikka from the orginal Saleem Dhaba in New Delhi (even their new incarnation fails)
- String Hoppers from Hopper Hut in Toronto
- Thai Chicken that my mom makes
- The Vegetable Tower Pintxo from Pintxo in Montreal
- Mussels from a Moulierie in the old town of Nantes, France

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  1. I'm not as well traveled as you, but regardless of where I am eating, I compare all porterhouse steaks to Peter Luger.

    It's funny, because while I enjoy eating out and do so quite frequently, I will always compare almost every dish to my mother's. I have yet to have anything in a restaurant that she also made that didn't have me wondering why she wasn't the one in the kitchen. I know everyone praises Mom's cooking, but she was exceptional (so much so that others urged her to try a catering business. She declined, which was good for us.

    1. Generally speaking I usually rate everything based upon whether or not I could have made it better at home.

      The only specific dish I can think of is that I now compare all tuna dishes to the Yellowfin Tartar at Volt. I occasionally wake up in a raging sweat over that one.

      1. My benchmarks:

        - Carbonara from Lupa.
        - Porterhouse from Keens.
        - Cassoulet from Central Michel Richard.
        - Chinese style fried chicken from South China Garden.
        - Korean style fried chicken from Bon Chon.
        - Tapas from Casa Mono.
        - Mac and cheese from Patti La Belle (online recipe).
        - Buche de noel from Payard.
        - Chocolate cake from Soutine Bakery.
        - Macarons from La Maison du Chocolat.
        - Hot chocolate from Jacques Torres.