Friday, December 3, 2010


The meeting was somewhat different.  Ordinarily we have two reviews,  but this time there was time for only one.  Ken reviewed a non-fiction work entitled The Man Who Ate The World, by Jay Mayner.  Mayner is an English food critic (grossly overweight, Ken said) who decided he would search the world for the perfect dinner.  He went to restaurants literally all over the world, including Las Vegas, Moscow, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Abu Dhabi in Africa.  He ate at a lot of very expensive three star restaurants.   I won’t mention the conclusions to which he came, but it certainly was eye-opening.

What made this review run so long was all the commentary made by just about everyone around the table.  What constituted the ‘perfect’ meal?  Why didn't Mayner try San Francisco or New Orleans?  Why the insistence on very expensive 3-star restaurants?  We came to our own conclusions.  First and perhaps foremost is that there is little if any relationship between cost and the quality of the meal.  We also agreed that ‘perfect’ is a poor term to use in this context.  What one person enjoys the most may not be what another does.   And some very good meals may be discovered in some of the most out-of-the-way places.  Depends what you like.  And what you feel like at the time.  Or what you had for dinner last night.  (I’d like a cheeseburger with fries, please.)

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  1. So true "and what you feel like at the time." The finest sushi in the world isn't going to satisfy if you're in the mood for some spicy home-cooked enchiladas!

  2. Best dinner in the world: sitting down, at ten years old, with my parents and five siblings in a restaurant in Amish country, Pennsylvania, which had no menu. You sat, they brought food. And brought food. And brought food, till there was no more room on the table and they were having to put new dishes on the picnic benches we were sitting on. It was exquisite! Shoo-fly pie, to a kid, is heaven!

    Dad was worrying what on earth this was all going to cost him, since there was no way to know.

    It was something like $1.50 a person. (Granted, this was 41 years ago, but still!)