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Amazing, Awesome, and Incredible Food

Steve May 31, 2013 06:19 AM

Truly incredible. Not to be believed. I was amazed. Amazed and awed. I was filled with a sense of wonder. And veneration. Perhaps a feeling of dread also at what was to come of my life and the world around us.

Remember the first time you saw the Grand Canyon? Yeah, eating that mini-burger was all that and more.

No, scratch that. Awesome is not even a satisfactory way to describe the experience. It was super awesome.

  1. b
    beevod May 31, 2013 07:15 AM


    1. h
      Harters May 31, 2013 07:43 AM

      Meal at the Fat Duck, in 2010. Then the world's second best restaurant (if you give any credit to the San Pellegrino awards).


      1. c
        cleobeach May 31, 2013 07:58 AM

        It is hard to pick just one because I have very vivid food memories from different periods in my life.

        I guess I will go with the real chocolate mousse I had around 13yo.

        1. b
          Bkeats May 31, 2013 08:22 AM

          La Spezia. Arrived on a late afternoon train. Checked in and went to a resto nearby that was recommended by the staff. Ordered a grilled seafood dish and a pitcher of the local wine. I'm still haunted by the memory of the flavor of the seafood. I've never had anything come close. Not even at Le Bernardin or EMP.

          1. h
            HillJ May 31, 2013 08:23 AM

            the very first time I tried a triple creme cheese

            1 Reply
            1. re: HillJ
              Steve Green Jun 1, 2013 12:29 AM

              That's right up there for me as well. It was around 1974, at a small cheese shop in San Francisco. I asked for a nice sharp cheddar, and the cheesemonger said "sure, but try this first".

              The cheese was L'Explorateur (76% butterfat) and it's still one of my favorites. I've had some peaches and white nectarines that fall into that category as well.

            2. j
              jlhinwa May 31, 2013 08:33 AM

              Dungeness crab with butter and lemon. Still puts me in a state of rapture.

              1. Bob Martinez May 31, 2013 09:27 AM

                I chalk it up to the impoverished state of the average American's vocabulary. FWIW you see a lot more "awesomes" and "amazings" on Yelp than you do on CH.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Bob Martinez
                  Harters May 31, 2013 09:49 AM

                  That is probably because Yelpers think it is sufficient to describe food as "awesome", whereas Chowhounders are more likely to tell you that it "was perfectly cooked to medium rare but needed a tad more seasoning".

                  Mercifully, "awesome" has not generally entered the vocabulary of those of us who speak English English.

                  1. re: Harters
                    Bob Martinez May 31, 2013 10:15 AM

                    I didn't start traveling to the UK until my early 30s and it was a revelation to me. In the U.S. articulate people are looked upon with suspicion. God help you if you use a word that someone else doesn't know. People act as if you're trying to show them up.

                    In the UK you're *expected* to be articulate. It's the norm, not the exception. I found the whole experience liberating - it freed me up to use the words that fit best.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez
                      chowser Jun 13, 2013 04:31 PM

                      It depends on the crowd but I also think Americans are far more expressive, facially, and can get across the meaning. I say that as someone who's spent time with the deaf community and used sign language.

                    2. re: Harters
                      chowser Jun 13, 2013 04:30 PM

                      I think it was Queer Eyes for the Straight Guy where one of the hosts said you can tell a heterosexual woman by how often the word "awesome" was used. I rarely use it in everyday speaking but when I'm teaching a fitness class, it's a quick, easy word to get the idea across, without excessive verbiage while doing burpees.

                      1. re: chowser
                        pine time Jun 21, 2013 01:28 PM

                        I'm one who rebels against the overuse of "awesome." There are few things (maybe the Grand Canyon being one) which truly inspires "awe" in me. Cheaply made jewelry on QVC doesn't cut it (only bring it up 'cause a friend made me watch last night, and I had over my yearly quota of "awesome")

                      2. re: Harters
                        Vinnie Vidimangi Jul 5, 2013 07:38 PM

                        I thought that it meant that a guy was very well endowed.

                    3. PotatoHouse May 31, 2013 10:49 AM

                      The Carpaccio at the Angus Zone in Saint-Agapit Quebec.

                      1. Paprikaboy May 31, 2013 10:50 AM

                        Roganic (London) last year. Had to stop eating at one point due to sensory overload.
                        Burger I had yesterday in a London pub comes a close second

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Paprikaboy
                          Harters May 31, 2013 03:37 PM

                          If you enjoyed Roganic, PB, then going to have to come to the north west to try the mother ship.

                        2. iluvcookies May 31, 2013 10:59 AM

                          Steve, dear, you are missing the most important word. I will revise it a bit for you:

                          *Like*, truly incredible. Not to be, *like*, believed. I was *like*, amazed. Amazed and awed. I was filled with *like* a sense of like wonder. And veneration. Perhaps *like* dread also at what was to come of *like* my life and *like* the world around us.

                          Sigh.... I hear this all too often in conversations about food! I was sitting near two young ladies in a little cafe not too long ago, and they were describing their mac and cheese as *like* the most *like* best dish in *like* the city!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: iluvcookies
                            Bob Martinez May 31, 2013 11:11 AM

                            Too true.

                            1. re: iluvcookies
                              Bkeats May 31, 2013 11:15 AM

                              need to add a few kindas

                              As in kinda like

                              1. re: iluvcookies
                                ricepad Jun 13, 2013 12:07 PM

                                "ya know?"

                                1. re: ricepad
                                  lsmutko Jun 13, 2013 02:48 PM

                                  And at least two sentences need to start with "So I ..."

                                  1. re: lsmutko
                                    globocity Jun 17, 2013 02:54 PM

                                    This comes across as kind of pedantic. I can not imagine writing, "so I..." but verbalizing this does not seem egregious.
                                    Or I like have been in California too long soooo..."

                              2. lamb_da_calculus May 31, 2013 11:23 AM

                                This is one of those threads that makes me aware of what the mean age on Chowhound probably is.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: lamb_da_calculus
                                  BobB May 31, 2013 12:06 PM

                                  A few years old, but things probably haven't changed that much.

                                2. k
                                  kengk May 31, 2013 03:44 PM

                                  Sadly enough I have never had the pleasure of eating food that rose above the level of very delicious. Never had any amazing food, food that I wished to venerate or food that I would chose to die for.

                                  I have not given up hope yet.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: kengk
                                    Steve May 31, 2013 06:00 PM

                                    YES !!!! To Die For!!!! How could I have missed that one?

                                    Best. Hyperbole. Ever.

                                    I forgot.... because I just had an oatmeal cookie that was like crack.

                                    1. re: Steve
                                      LindaWhit Jun 1, 2013 05:40 AM

                                      I'm rather enjoying the two very different paths on which your thread veered:

                                      1. What the best thing a Hound ever tasted was and perhaps where it was had.

                                      2. Overused hyperbolic words used to excess in describing the taste of a dish.


                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        Steve Jun 1, 2013 06:14 AM

                                        I know, it's great!

                                        Sorry, I can't stop myself.

                                        1. re: Steve
                                          Harters Jun 1, 2013 06:22 AM

                                          "it's great"

                                          A pitiful example of hyperbole in comparision with your other offerings, Steve. I am, literally, astonished.

                                          1. re: Harters
                                            Steve Jun 1, 2013 07:00 AM

                                            Yeah, I guess the awesomers' wellspring of verbiage is based more on repetition than depth.

                                      2. re: Steve
                                        Chatsworth Jun 2, 2013 02:09 AM

                                        I literally died the first time I had sushi. Must have been the fugu.

                                        1. re: Chatsworth
                                          Firegoat Jun 2, 2013 08:22 AM

                                          I literally died the first time the flavor literally exploded in my mouth.

                                        2. re: Steve
                                          chowser Jun 13, 2013 04:25 PM

                                          Where? Share.

                                          1. re: chowser
                                            Steve Jun 13, 2013 06:35 PM

                                            On a street corner. I scored the oatmeal cookie from my connection. It really was like crack.

                                            1. re: Steve
                                              chowser Jun 13, 2013 06:41 PM

                                              I need your connections.

                                      3. r
                                        RosePearl Jun 1, 2013 12:20 AM

                                        The veal with crab and asparagus at my favorite Italian restaurant. It was delicious. Not "awesome." It was, after all, meat and seafood and veg. Not the face of God, though the wine was pretty damn good.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: RosePearl
                                          Steve Jun 1, 2013 06:54 AM

                                          Ok, the Face of God is a new one for me. I prefer the Breasts of Tiresias, but I doubt that will catch on with the 'awesomers.'

                                          1. re: Steve
                                            LindaWhit Jun 1, 2013 05:26 PM

                                            Silly. You must use Boobies of Tiresias for it to catch on.

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              Steve Jun 1, 2013 06:47 PM

                                              Linda, you're right.
                                              Linda, you're absolutely fan-TAS-tic!

                                              Thank you, that IS funny. OMG.

                                        2. cayjohan Jun 1, 2013 11:27 AM

                                          One of my pals has recently been bitten by the Gasm Bug. She's a baker, so I am frequently regaled with accounts of Piegasms! and Chocogasms! and Cakegasms! There was even a Merengue-gasm. (Mind you, I am a fan of meringues, but am of the opinion that the Merengue-gasm is, um, faked. Or maybe just at the level of pleasant hug...) I told her to avoid bakeries; she might scare other customers.

                                          The + gasm thing has gotten a little eye-roll inducing. Maybe more folks need a better honest-to-goodness reference point?

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: cayjohan
                                            Bkeats Jun 1, 2013 11:34 AM

                                            Maybe your friend hasn't had a real good original gasm to realize that no baked good came truly come close.

                                            1. re: Bkeats
                                              cayjohan Jun 1, 2013 12:04 PM


                                            2. re: cayjohan
                                              goodhealthgourmet Jun 1, 2013 12:12 PM

                                              She must have a great dance partner if she has merengue-gasms. I wonder if salsa does it for her too ;)

                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                cayjohan Jun 1, 2013 12:46 PM

                                                I love it! I don't often type these letters, but: LOL(ololo, etc...)! Apparently my spellcheck recognizes dance > confections! When I think about it, there's some support right there for a nascent thesis on the "why" of it all: her husband only does the polka. And her salsa of choice is Frito-lay. Gal needs to live a little!

                                                1. re: cayjohan
                                                  goodhealthgourmet Jun 1, 2013 02:06 PM

                                                  I'm glad you appreciated my joke :) I figured you would but humor doesn't always translate so well here...

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    cayjohan Jun 1, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                    My internal-translator goes to humor as a first search, honestly! And now I know the perfect pairing of music and treats for my pal's upcoming visit! Can't wait to tell her about this - she'll love it!

                                                  2. re: cayjohan
                                                    Vinnie Vidimangi Jul 5, 2013 07:42 PM

                                                    Does a Frito lay lead to gasms?
                                                    Hithertobefore I had thought that eating beans led to gasms.

                                                2. re: cayjohan
                                                  Kalivs Jun 13, 2013 07:49 PM

                                                  Well, if "cooking shows" produce food porn, then it makes sense that eating would be an orgasmic experience.
                                                  The first I ever ate real Belgium chocolate mousse my brain literally exploded. This explains my mental deficiencies to this day.

                                                  1. re: Kalivs
                                                    pine time Jun 21, 2013 01:29 PM


                                                3. a
                                                  acssss Jun 1, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                  I don't know, but I make this hot pepper dip (1 pound of habaneros, 1 head of garlic, 1 bunch of cilantro and olive oil) and everyone always starts with the oooohs and ahhhhs after they taste it. Oh, and they are speechless and cry sometimes - they must be feeling what you are describing!

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: acssss
                                                    cayjohan Jun 1, 2013 12:05 PM


                                                    1. re: cayjohan
                                                      acssss Jun 1, 2013 12:49 PM

                                                      oh, so that's what the ooohing was about... and here I thought my dip tasted so good

                                                      1. re: acssss
                                                        cayjohan Jun 1, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                        If ooohing is the ambient sound, I'd say you're spot on with your dish!

                                                  2. Gio Jun 1, 2013 12:15 PM


                                                    1. Delucacheesemonger Jun 1, 2013 12:29 PM

                                                      As a quick thought, first thing that came to mind was tom yum soup. In Thailand with tons of lemongrass, it was stand up and applaud. Still love it.

                                                      1. n
                                                        Nudibranch Jun 1, 2013 03:09 PM

                                                        A gorgeous freshly baked apple strudel.

                                                        In a normal location it would've been very god. But I had it in Namche Bazar, and that made it the awesomest awesome that ever awesomed.

                                                        1. b
                                                          BuildingMyBento Jun 13, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                          Kabayaki in Kyoto, July 2000- my first time trying unagi. It was at a beautiful restaurant (have no idea where it was/if it's still there) with small streams running through the interior, and eel, blissfully ignorant of their fate, swimming around immaculately placed (and maintained) tanks.

                                                          Discovering Manadonese cooking in Indonesia, early 2008- arguably the spiciest regional cuisine in the archipelago, and I couldn't get enough of it. Fish (ie, skipjack tuna), squid and fruit bat, liberally "outnumbered" by bird's eye chilies and tomatoes. There was a certain freshness that seemed greatly lacking in another rival - makanan Padang - for fieriest eats, but that also might have been disguised by the lime juice present in Manadonese sambal. Desserts are a treat too, but I could eat the savory plates everyday and all day.

                                                          Künefe, Turkey, January 2006- as pleasant as Istanbul (specifically, but all of Turkey counts too) is for wandering and eating, künefe is the one food that I'd go the extra distance for. Luckily, it's common in that country so that distance might just be crossing a street, but when not in the eastern Mediterranean, the going gets tough.


                                                          1. JoanN Jun 13, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                            Feeling seriously old here. When I first read the op, I assumed it to be about the deterioration of the meaning of superlatives. What is now “amazing” used to be really good. What is now “awesome” used to be excellent. Oh, well. I’ll just sneak off and go deposit my social security check.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: JoanN
                                                              globocity Jun 17, 2013 02:57 PM

                                                              Yeah language does that. Meanings evolve an' stuff.

                                                              Happened to "obsessed". Now it no longer refers to an extreme and unhealthy attraction but merely to liking something for the moment--usually due to a recent popularity.

                                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                                pine time Jun 21, 2013 01:31 PM

                                                                The other overuse that gets to me is "stunning." I'm seldom, if ever "stunned" by something. Good or nice is nowhere near stunning.

                                                                1. re: pine time
                                                                  PotatoHouse Jun 25, 2013 12:13 PM

                                                                  I actually ate lunch backstage at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes. I can tell you, that meal (or maybe it was my dinning companions) was ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!

                                                              2. chowser Jun 13, 2013 04:53 PM

                                                                This is why we need to go to newspeak and get rid of excessive adjectives. No more awesome, incredible, amazing. It was double plus good. It was triple plus ungood. Done. Numbers are definite, no attempted creativity needed.

                                                                1. Will Owen Jun 18, 2013 04:56 PM

                                                                  Those pig's feet we had in Chartres were marvellous, but my gastronomic life has been one damned epiphany after another, often under mundane circumstances. My first lamb chop, for instance, was in the cafeteria in the basement of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, and no less life-changing for that. My first real pizza, my first sushi - in both cases, my inner sense was that I'd discovered a vital food group my body had craved forever but only just now found. Tripe I'd had as an ingredient in canned Pepper Pot soup (Campbell's still has it, but hard to find and badly dumbed down), but to be served a gratin dish of it in the form of Tripes Provençal, at Café Europa on the Cours Mirabeau in Aix-En-Provence, was a whole 'nother universe of Innards Love. My first skate wing, roast goose, the young raccoon my mom braised the same way she did the other small game Dad brought home, my Grandma Kuntz's oatmeal-date bars, my first grits'n'eggs at 3 AM at a roadside diner in Nashville … all those defining moments in a mostly enjoyable long journey, superseded but never forgotten.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                                    Steve Jun 18, 2013 08:19 PM

                                                                    "often under mundane circumstances"

                                                                    Perhaps, like me, you derive enormous pleasure through humble rather than vainglorious efforts. Those monstrous gothic cathedrals in Europe leave me cold, but a small wooden church can have me welling up with tears.

                                                                  2. almond tree Jun 25, 2013 09:53 AM

                                                                    I am totally blown away by how this blogger Frankensteined the ultimate, ridiculous, perfect, amazing, awesome, insane coconut cake.
                                                                    She did not, however, mention whether it is to die for.

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      BuildingMyBento Jun 25, 2013 10:23 AM

                                                                      Walking into a Japanese convenience store for the first time. Then, on the same day, discovering a department store food hall. That summer of 2000 day was a bit overwhelming.

                                                                      Traveling somewhere that didn't just have hot dogs and pretzels on the street. Although as a NYer, I was a fan of those two choices, Jakarta, Istanbul, Bangkok, numerous Chinese cities, etc. are all in a completely different league.

                                                                      I still haven't learned to eschew ice when ordering a drink, but when that day comes...


                                                                      1. h
                                                                        Harters Jun 25, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                        Just been reading a post on another board (one where someone might advise you about your trip - if you get my drift).

                                                                        Person spends a week in this resort area. Mainly eats in chains or obviously downmarket crap places - all of which are AMAZING at worst and, at best, are mega-stellar AWESOME.

                                                                        Unfortunately it is a town that gets barely a mention on Chowhound so I may have to take luck on the AWESOME places.

                                                                        1. alliegator Jun 25, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                          It is funny how this thread is heading in two directions. So I'll say I had a meal at a place in Zurich that was amazingly cheese-gasmic and it made me way more excited than the Grand Canyon. The half and half fondue, and an assortment of dried meats from this place:
                                                                          The mangtor had a job interview there a few years back. Sadly, he would have needed to make a gazillion billion dollars yearly to make Switzerland life work.

                                                                          1. Bob Martinez Jun 27, 2013 11:21 AM


                                                                            1. f
                                                                              FriedClamFanatic Jun 27, 2013 11:28 AM

                                                                              Dessert at Gravetye Manor, near Gatwick, in the late 80's. Also was fun staying there

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                                                                Harters Jun 27, 2013 12:05 PM

                                                                                I fear you may have missed the humourous point of the thread, FCF.

                                                                                At least I hope so. I know the food at Gravetye and it's much too good to be named in this thread.

                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                  FriedClamFanatic Jun 27, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                  LOl.probably...........T-storms were closing in and I was reading fast

                                                                              2. i
                                                                                Isolda Jul 8, 2013 02:15 PM

                                                                                The first time I ever made a beurre blanc successfully. My first taste of grilled halloumi cheese. Clement Faugier sweet chestnut paste. Passion fruit. Guava paste.

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