Sunday, April 10, 2011

Foodies We Are Not: The Beginning

Grief Leads to Overeating
The Best Thing I Ever Ate

It is January 2011 and we are grieving.

One of us – we’ll call her Ginger Orchid after her favorite cocktail – is grieving for an understandable reason: a bad break-up (“DUMPED! I was dumped!”).

The other – Vodka Stinger – is trying to figure out what to do with her Sunday afternoons now that the Broadway musical, A Little Night Music, starring the beloved Bernadette Peters, has closed.

(We all grieve over different things, okay?).

In an effort to distract ourselves from our respective emotional tumult, Vodka Stinger proposes an activity: go to every Manhattan restaurant featured on the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and eat the dish.
The Holy Land
We are not necessarily the core demographic of Food Network viewers. We barely know how to cook, though we have been trying to learn through the recipes of our mutual culinary icon, Bethenny Frankel (unfortunately, we tend to consume more of her Skinnygirl margaritas than her Skinnygirl dishes). Vodka Stinger subsists on a delicious diet of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Ginger Orchid on Swedish Fish and peanut butter, sometimes together.
Elixir of the Gods
Given that we live on opposite ends and sides of Manhattan, we have taken to meeting in a particular Times Square chain restaurant, indulging in their delightful appetizer and cocktail menu.  In fact, sometimes the cocktail menu is the only thing we see.  Terms like “charcuterie,” “mise en place,” and “amuse bouche” mystify us.  But undeterred by our culinary disability, we love to eat.  We might not know Michelin stars or James Beard awards, but we know where to find the most fruit-filled sangria and unlimited bread baskets.
Confessions of an Addict
Despite our foodie skills, or lack thereof, we are both obsessed with one Food Network program: The Best Thing I Ever Ate.  And so we decide, in an effort to cure both our grief-induced boredom and chain restaurant rut, to create a list of every Manhattan restaurant/dish featured on the show, go there, and eat it.  After an epic battle with Google maps, Vodka Stinger manages to post each restaurant with a descriptive caption onto one map of Manhattan for logistical planning purposes.

Three months later, we are still not culinary mavens, nor are we prodigies of photography.  But we do have neurotic personalities and an uncanny desire to finish what we start, even when it involves eating eel, rabbit, liverwurst, and chopped herring.  As our feeding frenzy turned into full-on obsession, we decided it was time to document.  With almost 30 dishes under our belts (literally), the first dish was blurring into the 15th, and we could hardly recall what we would recommend and what we would never pay for again.  So here it is, The Best and Worst Things We Ever Ate, and what to wash them down with.


  1. Absolutely the most tantalizing blog I have ever read-I can't wait to read the next one!!!!!!

    Also Obsessed With Food

  2. I love the idea of your blog (my best friend is obsessed with "Best Thing I Ever Ate") and I love food as well. Can't wait to read more of your blog and hope you girls can check my blog out as well :)

  3. Thanks, Jen!
    We're pretty excited about all the food we're eating. We desperately need to improve our cooking skills, so we'll have to try out some of your recipes!

  4. I'm SOOOOOOO glad I found this blog! I've also been trying to hit my own huge list of dishes from well as some from "No Reservations", "$40/Day", and "Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives" (#Don'tJudgeMe) for about 8 years. I'm in NYC for the first time as an adult and an overwhelmed by the options. With dozens of dishes from the show and a limited number of meals, I'm using your experiences to rule some places out. Thanks for the insight!