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Palatable memories

I started thinking of some of the meals I have eaten. In the last 20 years, I have so amazing food memories. I started running through a quick list the other day with Paul. Most of these meals we have eaten together. I learned of food in college. One of the best jobs I ever had was at Sutton Place Gourmet on New Mexico Avenue. That store begat a chain and that chain has recently been sold and renamed Balducci’s. My most favorite sandwich of all time was thinly sliced Virginia Ham, Emmenthaler swiss, Pommerey mustard, shredded lettuce, sliced Gerkins on a twisted egg roll. That sandwich was later rivaled by what we call the “Honeymoon sandwich”. Just south of the Hearst Mansion in California¬† is a town called Cambria. There was a small deli there where we had a pepperoni, provolone, Genoa Salami, cheddar cheese stack on an Italian Hoagie roll with yellow mustard. It was broiled open faced so the cheeses would melt. There were amazing meals every day of our honeymoon. Pasta Carbonara. Salmon at a restaurant in Monterey called O’Flarehty’s. The side dish was broccoli with a roasted pecan sauce. In Charleston there were too many meals to recount. By far our favorite was The Stono Cafe and the Chicken Wadmalaw. He also made a Coconut Admonition cake that was heavenly. Close competition came from Vickery’s black bean cakes with balsalmic vinegar and sourcream. Or, Amelia’s across the street. Or the Baker’s Cafe on King Street. My favored¬† breakfast was Eggs Jacques. Downtown, the Market East Bistro had a roasted red pepper soup with lump crab meat that I have struggled to replicate. Cameron was less than a month old when we went to dinner there. He slept in his baby carrier and I ate warm pear bread pudding that was stunning and simple. In Aventura Mall there was once a restaurant called The Silver Spoon. They had a salad we loved. Roasted almonds, tomato wedges. Very near Mark Light Stadium at the University of Miami there was LB’s Eatery. The basket of zucchini chips was the best study food I could find. In Florence, Italy, I had by far the most memorable meal at a restaurant called Quattro Lioni. Ravioli stuffed with walnuts, ricotta and pears in a cream sauce. It was light and complex. Grappa for dessert and then Limoncello. Food anchors down points in my life. It marks time. The breaking of bread and the sharing of space with another person who savors the same things. That is a great pleasure.

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