I have recently been called a food snob. I've been called worse in my life, but a food snob? Moi?
Yes, I will admit, I am particular when it comes to restaurant food. Is that a crime? I know what perfectly prepared food looks and tastes like. I'm on to the tricks restaurants use to stretch their food dollars. I have been down the road of plate coverage and I have eaten my share of "bad" food. I can spot food that has been prepared with quality ingredients, passion and love as soon as it prances out the kitchen door. And I can spot a fake at first bite.
When the best husband in the world and I go out to eat, the restaurant, pub, grill, bistro or sidewalk vendor is carefully selected.
We can tell you (in our opinion) where the best burger joint is in a three state radius.
French Country? No problem. Just up the street at a little place called A Toute Heurre (At Any Time) that also happens to serve only locally grown or produced foods. It is packed every night.
Best hot dog in the state? Hot Dog Johnny's in (my kids still laugh at this) Butzville, NJ.
Burger? Wertz's, Home of the Wertz Burger - across from the old Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, PA.
Intimate dinner for two featuring the best tapas around? Apollo Grille, Bethlehem, PA.
Favorite Micro Brewery? Bethlehem Brew Works, Bethlehem PA.
Pizza - toss up between Emma's Brick Oven and Calabria's Sicilian Style right here in town.
Best Wine Bar in the state for food and wine value and sexy ambiance? The Wine Loft at the Piers in Long Branch, NJ.
New York City - wow - I'd run out of blog space. Bobby Flay's Bar American for great food, cocktails and service. Bouley for atmosphere, gourmet excellence and a lovely little lemon cake they send home with you. TriBeCa Grill for cocktails and rack of lamb. Gotham Grill for squab.
Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia - a once in a lifetime treat. The Chef's Choice 9 course with wine is to die for.
Cafe TuTu Tango in Orlando Florida for roasted pear salad and other tapas meant for sharing while watching professional Flamingo Dancers whirl past your table and local artists working on their most recent creation.
The Boat House in Bar Harbor that serves up steaming, fresh caught Maine Lobsters on hard wooden tables spread with newspapers and cold frosty mugs of beer.
Best Mexican food north of the border? Tinga in Westfield, NJ. A little place where you order your food standing at a counter and if you're lucky they bring it to you when it's ready.
The best meal of our life? In Bayeux France in a 11th. century manor house - the chef's choice. course after course of tiny bites of unbelievable flavor with perfectly paired French wines and Calvados made from neighboring orchards as an after dinner drink.
We love food, all kinds of food. But a food snob, me? No way.
The danger of being a food snob is well, just too dangerous. What would I miss out on? Pastrami and Swiss on fat sliced rye bread from a little corner deli? Funnel cake at a church bazaar, hot from the oil, still sizzling, dusted with powdered sugar? Ham , eggs and pancakes all puffed and golden at a silver diner located on a road to no where? A fresh Jersey peach picked right at the orchard, eaten immediately with juice running down your sleeves. It's too risky to be a food snob.
AND what about my all time guilty pleasure, eaten in secret, hiding in shame and embarrassment at my lack of will power- oh the childhood memories of ... Fluffernutters on white bread - "oh sweet mystery of life I think I've found you".
Salty JIF peanut butter with just the right amount of Marshmallow Fluff on way too fresh, soft white bread... would a bonafide food snob eat a Fluffernutter Sandwich? I think not.
See, it doesn't matter what the main ingredients are, the ethnic background, the price tag - or where it is cooked. What matters is the freshness and quality of the ingredients, prepared with passion and attention to detail; served with pride. So walk-up window, casual neighborhood diner, 5 star rated restaurant, doesn't matter - as long as all of the above is mixed in.
Food Snob? Moi? Never! Pass the Jif and Fluff please.
Fluffernutter Sandwich (serves one kid in you)
2 pieces white bread (crust on, because you will get curly hair if you eat your crusts)
2 tablespoons peanut butter of choice
2 tablespoons marshmallow fluff
Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread
Spread marshmallow on the other slice of bread
Moosh the two slices together.