Metatalktail Hour: I could really go for... November 21, 2020 12:12 PM   Subscribe

It's the weekend, Mefites! It's cold where I am, and I could really go for a hot homemade cinnamon roll. Not that I'm going to make one or anything... Do you have a food daydream?

As always this is a conversation starter not limiter; let us know how things are with you this weekend! Just no politics please.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 12:12 PM (112 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I made bread this morning and I can't wait to try it. The muffins I made are incredible.
posted by kathrynm at 12:26 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


What kind of muffins are they?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:28 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


My food daydreams usually revolve around anything my grandmother baked in her kitchen, starting with her cinnamon rolls.

How to eat one of my grandmother's cinnamon rolls:

1. Eat while still warm from the oven, or warm up in the oven.
2. Carefully unroll the strip.
3. Slather the strip with butter. Mmm
4. Enjoy buttery cinnamon/molasses goodness.

Let's do the fresh biscuit daydream!

1. Grandma bakes biscuits that are golden on top, coated with a film of butter.
2. Try one while they're still hot.
3. Better try another one!
4. Grandma chases away.

Next we'll do breads...
posted by Fukiyama at 12:36 PM on November 21 [8 favorites]


All times are times when I could really go for a hot homemade cinnamon roll. Except possibly when I've just eaten a whole pan full of them all by myself, but that's never actually happened, so I couldn't say definitively.

What I could really go for right now is some of that probably not very authentic Chinese food I used to get on kind of special occasions in the Chicago suburbs where I grew up. I loved the shrimp with almonds and vegetables in oyster sauce, and especially the shrimp fried rice with scallions redolent of wok smoke and probably a whole bunch of MSG. I haven't had anything quite like it since I moved away, and I miss it.

(On the other hand: I always kind of liked those mini Hostess powdered sugar donuts, and I saw some at the store the other day and hadn't had any for years so thought I'd grab some - didn't Hostess go out of business? - but unsurprisingly, they weren't very good, and had sort of a play-doh undertone. So I guess I could go for a little package - maybe a half package - of what those little donuts USED to taste like, to me.)

(But mostly suburban Chinese food.)
posted by kristi at 12:38 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


And also: thank you for this thread, LobsterMitten! I'm enjoying the opportunity to think about cinnamon rolls, and I'm looking forward to everybody else's food daydreams.
posted by kristi at 12:40 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


kristi, Hostess did go out of business, but it got bought up by investors. I have been told though their products aren't quite the same.

I miss the days when my family would go on morning car trips to visit relatives and breakfast was stopping at the gas station for a box of Hostess donuts and chocolate milk.
posted by Fukiyama at 12:41 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


I really want to go out to lazy weekend morning Dim Sum with a bunch of friends and spend a long while eating tasty small plates. Some day, but not any time soon.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:50 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


rmd1023, I was just about to say dim sum with friends as well! Also, genuine Chicago Italian beef at Mr. Beef on Orleans, home of the Elegant Dining Room. Haven't been there in 20 years, probably never will be again, but I do still dream about it.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:56 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I am actually utterly satisfied after having an outstanding pumpkin tea cake/coffee cake from this great local bakery, so I’m not craving anything right now, but I will probably be craving that cake again tomorrow.
posted by obfuscation at 12:56 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


A Wawa Gobbler. There’s a sandwich place near me that makes what is effectively a fancy version of it, with sage cheese and hand-carved turkey and cranberry aioli...but it is not the same. I haven’t been near a Wawa at the right time of year to get a Gobbler in a very long time.
posted by okayokayigive at 1:22 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


THE DAYDREAMS/UNACHIEVABLES:

* a clambake the way my Grandpa did them every Labor Day.

* The carrot soup from Le Petit Chatelet, just across the Seine from Notre Dame and two doors down from Shakespeare and Company.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:23 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I could really go for street food. Any kind: tacos, shawarma, noodles, soup, kebabs, yams, dumplings, tamales, steam-buns, empanadas, iced deserts, cut fruit. . . even a hot dog cart would be exciting. I miss pointing at things at random and being surprised by what is inside. I miss sitting on the edge of a group of group of people and listening to them talk excitedly in a language I don't understand.

Yesterday evening, I made corned beef hash. It's a childhood favorite I typically eat every two years or so when I happen to be in an appropriate old-school US diner or hotel restaurant. I've never made it from scratch before. (Well, I didn't brine the beef.) It turned out surprisingly well. I may have gained back two or three of the pounds I've lost since March.
posted by eotvos at 1:23 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


OH CRAP I HIT POST BY ACCIDENT, carrying on:

* The clam chowder from Harriet's, who proudly won "Best Clam Chowder In New England" some years back.

* The "Floating Over The High Line" ice cream at that one branch of Ample Hills. A root-beer flavor ice cream with marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.

THE REALISTIC "WHAT I COULD GO FOR":

This was actually achieved - a moment ago I thought I could really use a cup of tea, cheese, and crackers, and have had that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I had a food daydream the other day and it was homemade ramen and after hemming and hawing for days I finally worked up the nerve to make it for the first time and it RULED SO HARD and now I CAN'T STOP MAKING IT.
posted by saladin at 1:30 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Pho from Pho Bang in Gretna, La.

Mi Hoanh Tanh with seafood and egg noodles from Pho Tau Bay (specifically when they used to be on the West Bank, I don’t like their new location by the Superdome nearly as much.)

Cumin Lamb and about 5 other dishes, including some kind of crispy noodle dish, from Huangpu Restaurant on Pembina Highway in South Winnipeg.

Handpulled sesame noodles from Shan Dong in Oakland. Also an order of dumplings.

There is a theme here. I have yet to find a really satisfying spot in central Ohio for noodles or dumplings, and while I have found reasonable pho I still dream of the New Orleans places.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 1:35 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


1. The absolutely amazing cioppino (seafood stew akin to bouillabaisse) I had one time in a wonderful restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco (Scoma's, maybe?).

2. A juicy medium-rare steak. Unfortunately the stove in my apartment has no fan/vent over it, so whenever I want to sear a steak I have to:
- temporarily take down a couple of smoke detectors
- open the sliding-glass door and mount a box fan in front of it blowing outward
- put up with a smokey apartment for a while anyway while the full-blast fan slowly clears it

...and with temps in the 40's I'm a little reluctant to go through that rigamarole.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:37 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Well, NOW I want my mom's cinnamon rolls. But for the past several weeks, I can only go a few hours without craving dim sum. I want to call friends, meet at a restaurant, go in and see their beautiful smiles, and sit in a noisy restaurant filled with cheerful people and have dim sum carts roll by and offer me delights. There's not even a dim sum-offering restaurant within 100 miles of me. (And just before I hit "post" I am seeing that I'm not the only one feeling this way.)
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 2:15 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Peaches off the tree
Good bread and cheese
posted by sciencegeek at 2:19 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I'm from San Diego, currently live in Michigan, and I haven't been able to go home in a year and a half. I would very much like a proper burrito.
posted by LionIndex at 2:40 PM on November 21 [9 favorites]


I don't even care what we eat: I just want to go to a restaurant with a bunch of people and hang out. I'm not picky. I just wanna share a good bottle of wine and order dessert and stay up past my bedtime.

Last weekend I drove to my father's house, and now I'm here until at least the new year. I'm glad I came, but it's also clear to me that I'm going to spend the next month-and-a-half being both my father's domestic drudge and his COVID babysitter. He has been doing a lot of socializing, mostly because he doesn't know how to cook for himself, and he's relying on friends and my brother's family to cook him dinner. (My brother's wife can't work from home, and her workplace isn't safe. My brother and sister-in-law would really like for my father to stop coming over, because they're worried they're going to give him COVID and kill him. My father thinks they're being hysterical. They're not being hysterical.) Since I'm putting the kibosh on the socializing, it's going to be my job to plan and cook all of his meals. My goal is to teach him how to make a couple of things before I leave here, because he is a grown adult, and he needs to be able to take care of his basic needs. I got him a slow cooker, and we're going to be making an array of "dump everything in the slow cooker at lunch time and then it will be ready by dinner" meals.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:03 PM on November 21 [10 favorites]


All the stone fruits I was too discombobulated to acquire this summer.

Brunch. I miss the grumpy hungover wait staffs, the impatient and patient fellow diners, the hopeful dogs parked illegally under tables, the fresh squeezed orange juice machine whirring and whirring, the roulette of poached egg quality because nobody wants to be up making poached eggs when they have hundreds to make and could be warm in bed instead of sweating at the pot of simmering water, the overheard gossip, the languorous transition into whatever kind of day you were expecting. I daydream about the perfectly dressed salad greens that come with the eggs Benedict at my favorite brunch place.

I brought our next door neighbor a cupcake with a lit candle in it for her birthday, and realized with a jolt how many birthday celebrations I have missed this year. How many shitty cakes I haven’t eaten slices of. I miss shitty birthday cake, which is a stand in for the company of people I care about celebrating milestones. And my own birthday cake was never a thing because my partner broke his ankle and it just was more effort than I could handle to be caretaking and working and being in therapy to make or even buy anything that wasn’t an absolute life necessity (or a baby surprise jacket, I’ve now knitted approximately 30 of them and I owe someone photos so they can choose one....)
posted by bilabial at 3:05 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


New York stuff. Bagels from Brooklyn, pizza, pastrami. ::sigh:: There are things like it here. Sort of like going from soy based meat products to real meat. Even after eating the soy for years and getting used to it. It's not the same at all.
posted by Splunge at 3:26 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


OH MAN, Chicago Italian beef.

There was a place in the suburbs called Feebs that had these really great completely soft thick-cut fries to go with the Italian beef sandwiches. I am usually not a fan of soft non-crispy fries but these were so great.

Thanks, Kat Allison - I'm enjoying thinking about Italian beef. Also those really great gyros they had all over the Chicago area. Wonder if the gyros are still as good as they used to be.
posted by kristi at 3:27 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Sesame chicken. You can't really get it in the UK. I've found maybe two places in the entire country that approximate it since I moved here. (One is in Newcastle, and the other is in Sheffield.)

It's not an "authentic" Chinese dish, and it's mostly a North American thing, but I really, really miss it. It's the first thing I eat whenever I go back. The last time I had the real, proper stuff was at a P.F. Chang's in Austin, Texas when I went there for a conference last summer.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:29 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I need to make a Costco run to pick up a prescription, and I’m waiting until just before the pharmacy closes – when traffic should be slow. I had also planned to stock up on wine while I’m there, but with all this talk of cinnamon rolls, I think I’ll detour through the bakery.
posted by kbar1 at 3:33 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I don't even care what we eat: I just want to go to a restaurant with a bunch of people and hang out. I'm not picky. I just wanna share a good bottle of wine and order dessert and stay up past my bedtime.

This. So much this.

I get takeout sometimes, but it's not nearly as nice without being able to eat at the restaurant. I mean, the food tastes fine as takeout, but I've come to realize how much of what I like about eating out is the out part. Sitting alone at the restaurant bar and people watching, or sitting at a table with friends and eating and laughing. Joking with servers and bartenders, and talking to total strangers.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:52 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


My mom's apple pie. I have the basic recipe, but she had decades of experience making it. We have tried to replicate it a few time since her death with little success.
My own clam chowder recipe. I have not had the drive to make it this year, I should probably just do it.
Shrimp Étouffée from the (closed) Wild Magnolia Cafe (Greensboro, NC).
Roasted Bone Marrow from Meat & Potatoes (Pittsburgh).
Tea, a croissant and several hours of lingering at ANY coffee shop.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:02 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Ok guys seriously make cinnamon rolls. I am the worlds most shit baker and everything I make comes out lopsided and weird and yet I can still manage these and they’re like crack. If you don’t want to make the full cream cheese icing you can just do icing sugar/milk icing and it’s still amazing. Plus your whole house smells like cinnamon and it’s the best thing ever in cold weather.

In Southern Hemisphere news I could really go for a gin and tonic.
posted by supercrayon at 4:20 PM on November 21 [11 favorites]


A plate of Pasta Diablo from Carlos O'Kelley's. Of course I'm chowing down on chips and salsa before it arrives, probably on a third helping since chips and salsa are complimentary. And then my meal arrives and the waitperson warns me to be careful because it's HOT. I take a moment to look at my plate of cheese, butter sauce, noodles, and chicken. And then I dig in. I like to start from the edge and work my way across the plate. It's a pretty rich dish, and I can feel my stomach start to churn as I fill up on spicy, buttery goodness.

Now, Pasta Diablo is quite a meal. It's a big plate and it's FULL of cheese, butter sauce, noodles, and chicken. Sometimes, I can eat it all right there. But sometimes, I stop about halfway across the plate and take the rest home for supper or lunch the next day. Because Pasta Diablo is like pizza, it's just as appetizing chilled as it is hot.
posted by Stuka at 4:32 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Oh man, cinnamon rolls! Thanks for the reminder - I've been meaning to make some vegan cinnamon rolls so my super allergic kiddo can try them. Next weekend, for sure.

Around this time of year I have strong sense-memories of my grandma's grape pie, made with grapes from her farm's vine. My sister has the recipe and makes one every few years (and is kind enough to share a slice) when concord grapes are in season but I've not yet mustered up the wherewithal to attempt one of my own.

The other thing I really, really want and may try to find a way to reverse-engineer are dishes from a dearly departed Italian place that closed down a few years back. We used to be on a mailing list to receive notifications when they were having pear ravioli (in cream sauce with pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes, omg) and their desserts were massive and lovely - I had a particular fondness for their chocolate mousse trio (scoops of dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate mousse(s?) in a shallow pool of raspberry puree. We ate there a few weeks before they closed for old times' sake and the waiter overheard us talking about how many bread puddings we could fit in the car/freezer and asked "Is this the last time you'll be dining with us?" and I nearly burst into tears.

(If anyone knows where good pear ravioli can be found in Chicago, please let me know!)
posted by sencha at 4:40 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I can confirm that Chicagoland still has lots of good places to get gyros. I haven't had gyros in a while, maybe I'll get them for lunch tomorrow.

I picked up a beer advent calendar from one of my favorite bars today, and while I was there, I got a crowler of a hazy IPA that sounded good. Since I have beer, I figured why not do pizza for dinner? So i have a margarita pizza and an appetizer of meatballs on the way from a local brick-oven pizza place.

I could really go for breakfast at a diner/greek restaurant. Eggs benedict, side of bacon, extra extra crispy hashbrowns. Pre-buttered toast that's just a little over-buttered in the middle. Never-ending coffee in an extra-thick ceramic mug.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:54 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


LobsterMitten: I have a pretty good savory zucchini muffin recipe that I riffed on this weekend. I did a Tex Mex version that has sauteed onions, peppers and corn seasoned with chili powder and cumin. I used taco cheese (the kind that has the taco seasoning in it) and more taco seasoning, chili powder and a touch of cayenne.

This is the bread I made. My dad and I both agree that there needs to be just a touch of cinnamon in the dough. I'm not a big bread baker and I think it turned out really well.

Tomorrow's dessert is going to be a chocolate spice cake with spiced cream cheese frosting.

I'm so glad I have people to bake for. Otherwise I'd be big as a house again.
posted by kathrynm at 4:59 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I could really go for breakfast at a diner/greek restaurant. Eggs benedict, side of bacon, extra extra crispy hashbrowns. Pre-buttered toast that's just a little over-buttered in the middle. Never-ending coffee in an extra-thick ceramic mug.

Not necessarily eggs benedict, but diner breakfast is #2 on my list.
posted by LionIndex at 5:11 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Bottled beer, bratwurst on the grill, sweet corn, and potato salad -- in my parents' back yard with my family.

Miss y'all. :7(
posted by wenestvedt at 5:17 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


Yeah, what I miss is not so much the food (although I do), but just being in a nice restaurant, asking for our favorite table, stopping to talk to people we know, sitting across from my handsome man, the warm lights, the sounds of cutlery and glassware and laughter, ordering another glass of wine, eating somebody else's cooking, being helped into my coat, maybe being a little unsteady on my feet but with a supreme sense of wellbeing as we make our way out into the night and back home . . .

We eat very, very well at home. We still can get almost everything we want. There is no deprivation. And I like cooking. But I used to love eating out so much. I have a vivid memory of being in a restaurant in February the day after the first big stock market drop, when everyone had heard of the virus but it hadn't yet touched us here. I looked around the room at the other diners and everything looked and sounded like a normal bustling night but there was such an undercurrent of foreboding. I wondered if it would be the last time I ate in a restaurant.

And it was.
posted by HotToddy at 5:32 PM on November 21 [6 favorites]


I used to raise turkeys, and butchering them on the day before Thanksgiving has left me with the deep and abiding urge to do very little on the big day itself. Last year, we made tacos and burritos for Thanksgiving. This year? TRUCK STOP INDIAN RESTAURANT FOOD. Went to the little Indian market today to stock up on naan and spices and vegetables, and I just cannot wait for all of us to sit down together and enjoy a meal without tons of prep and cleanup!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:45 PM on November 21 [8 favorites]


Oh, to savour the vegetarian biscuits and gravy at the Floret in the Seattle airport. My husband and I go there every time we fly into/out of or connect at Seattle. Usually we visit my aunt in the PNW for Thanksgiving, so Airport Floret often plays a role in our holiday. Obviously, no such luck this year. (Husband informs me there’s an actual Floret mothership in the city, but we’ve only been to the airside one so far.)

Here in Utah there used to be this restaurant called the Training Table that had somehow cracked the science of making cheese fries that were not soggy. They were served with “ultimate dipping sauce,” a spin on tradish “fry sauce” but with hickory sauce in place of the ketchup component. Training Table is gone now (dead of being run by a family who had no clue what they were doing, and having worked there as a teen, I wasn’t surprised), but I could really go for a half order of those silly cheese fries.

My Nana’s key lime pie would be nice as well. She died on Christmas in 2016. A few years before, she revealed that it was just the recipe on the back of the lime juice bottle. I’m still too humbled to attempt it.
posted by armeowda at 6:11 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


So i have a margarita pizza and an appetizer of meatballs on the way from a local brick-oven pizza place.

sigh. I called them 20 min after their ETA, and was told "your food's been ready for a while, there's just no driver. I don't know what's going on with Doordash." I ordered through their site, not via Doordash. ""Oh, well, can you just come and get it?" Nope (too drunk from drinking beer while waiting). To their credit, I got a speedy refund. I ordered from Domino's, which is normally super fast, since it's less than a mile away. It's been almost an hour and my pizza tracker has just now moved to 'bake'. Drunk, hungry and alone (I just kicked the bf out of my Covid bubble, cases are really awful here) is a crappy Sat night. At least he won't be the victim of any hangry crabbiness. /rant
posted by Sparky Buttons at 6:25 PM on November 21 [12 favorites]


I don't so much have cravings, as I have challenges. I really like to stretch myself cooking, and I have a decent range in skills, but I always want to learn more. The palette is the most curious of senses, if you let it be and don't fall into ruts.

So this week I'm trying to figure out two things: how to make a puffy pita, and how to make a salt-rising starter. My first pitas were pretty good, but didn't have a perfect pocket, so I'll try again next week. The salt-rising starter is going to take a lot of trying, but since it's a skill that would be valued in a dystopia, I'm going to keep trying and learning, just in case.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:27 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Sorry for your bad delivery experience, Sparky Buttons. I had a similar one last night so the hangriness and frustration are fresh in my mind. Must be something in the air this weekend...

In Southern Hemisphere news I could really go for a gin and tonic.

Yeah, I crave gin when it's hot out. Since I'm in the northern hemisphere those days are over for few months, but I did branch out a bit this summer and try some different gins - some lovely, some ehh and overpriced, but overall a fun experiment. At the end of it Bombay is still my go-to, and Hendricks's is nice but a bit pricey so it's only a Sometimes Food. I'd love to find one that's about halfway between those two, flavor-wise - basically a traditional London dry gin but a bit less juniper-forward. I like to keep my gin in the freezer for a refreshing cold summer beverage without having to water it down too much with melting ice. My favorites, depending on my mood, are either a proper martini with an olive, or 1/3 gin to 2/3 lemon-lime flavored seltzer water with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Now that it's cold, however, my primary libation is scotch (with occasional forays into good aged rum or añejo tequila) with just a splash or two of water.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:36 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Klas in Cicero was the absolute best place to be on a cold windy Sunday when you had been to the coal mine and the stinky U-boat in the museum. Tongue and dumplings and griping about Yalta or the Curzon line in several languages I never heard my father speak anywhere else. I just stared at the walls and listened to the old people who came from those places and thought the art was somehow reflective of their loss but puzzling too.

Thought about that dish at the market today. They had three that were not smoked and getting close to the sell date so I got all of them cheap and some rye flour and we have fresh sage and carrots so maybe I can get close to what I remember. I don't think anyone else in the house has ever had it untacoed before and it would make me happy in an odd way if the kids like it.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:03 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Hell, I forgot about the salmon Benedict at The Friendly Toast in Boston.

The way this red wine and I are getting on tonight, I’m definitely gonna wish I were eating it tomorrow morning.
posted by armeowda at 7:09 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


LEMON CAKE.

I saw a photo of a lemon cake on the Instagram feed of an Italian bakery that I follow and now it’s hijacked my brain for the last three days.
posted by bkpiano at 7:28 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I could really go for...

A burger joint burger. There are three such buger joints that currently share the top spot in weird ways.

In-N-Out Burger is the California team, better than most. If you're traveling and you find one then it's probably going to be good. Drive thru.

Habit Burger ... I have one nearby that's YUM and better than In-N-Out. Just more satisfying burger-wise and a much more varied 'grill/diner-like' menu. Curbside pickup.

Tommy's. Now the mundane isn't any better than the lower tiers of this burger thing. But get a double chili cheeseburger and chili cheese fries with onions and a fork because you're going to need it. It's messy, half-way through you're asking yourself "why?". But you finish, for the next day or so, you curse yourself for having eaten that abomination. Then... a few months later... you start to get this thought: "I could go for some Tommy's now." that keeps growing and growing. Drive thru.

+++

Now that I've spent the last week or so getting my car (which has sat for months for reasons) working again... Those hamburgers are calling pretty hard. Car is fourteen years old but only 26k miles. But Car's battery was original until last year, and Car has just now gotten a new set of tires. Car will probably last for a good while.

But (you knew there was a 'but'). Car has a flaw in that the rear hatch bit that you pull to lift... has a tendency to break off. Mine did, and I was brave enough to hack things back to together better than they were before. Go me! But for some bits of the reconstruction I used Instamorph plastic to build a bit. When I went out to get Car back in shape... It had been *so* hot this summer that my Instamorph had melted down the backside of my car. Now there's a small round doorbell button hanging from two wires waggling in the wind out Car's backend.

I could really go for a hamburger. Just not sure which.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:34 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I want a gigantic sundae like the ones we'd have on special occasions when I was a kid. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, fudge and caramel sauce, with a cherry and nuts on top. In an ice cream shop with red booths and glass globe lamps. And it's 1979.
posted by soakimbo at 7:58 PM on November 21 [4 favorites]


zengargoyle, you're making me really miss the burger stand that was a block away from my house. It was a classic Southern California burger shack, they made good fries and you could get a huge portion for a low price, and top it off with a large Orange Bang. It's gone now, alas; they're building an apartment building there.
posted by mogget at 8:11 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


There’s a local restaurant here called Joe Italiano’s Maplewood. There are 3 locations now so maybe it’s a small chain? It’s an upscale red sauce Italian food place. And they have a fantastic chicken parmigiana dinner. It comes with warm bread, a salad with tangy, vinegary dressing, and a hefty side of linguini. The portion is way too large but I eat it all anyway because I can. The house wines are just good enough. They do takeout but I live too far to get the food home while it’s still warm. This was the last in-a-restaurant meal I had in 2020. It was Wednesday, March 11th.

I seriously think of that meal once a week or so. It was so good. (Drool)
posted by kimberussell at 8:18 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


I just want Taco John's. I always want Taco John's.
posted by lauranesson at 8:22 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


zengargoyle, I think you have at least a three day burger project, and good exercise for your car.

Food is so hard right now. I can't cook the way I used to, I'm afraid of making dirty dishes because they're just too hard to do with my crapped out hands and I don't have help because of COVID, I spend way too much money and time trying to get food delivered only to find I won't eat it and then even more time giving it away to folks who won't let it go to waste.

Tonight I think I want Ethiopian food, specifically minchet abish, spicy collard greens and lamb tibs with injera. I hope I'd eat that, but it's impossible to get here anyway. Ditto on a proper gyro.

My last meal out with a friend was 8 March at a Nepali restaurant that has since closed. The food landscape we return to someday is going to be very different. I still hold hope to have dim sum with friends again -- that was our favorite. Might have to go every week for a while to make up for all of this year's shit.
posted by vers at 8:27 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


My dad made great cinnamon rolls. Sweet and super cinnamony. His trick was to make the dough the night before for a fridge rise, so he didn’t have to wake up too early to still have them for breakfast. It will truly remain a daydream, just passed 13 years without him.
posted by gryphonlover at 9:46 PM on November 21 [3 favorites]


I just made some pretty decent garlic knots, which helped me temporarily assuage my current bread cravings (until recently I could take or leave bread, so I'm perplexed but full of carbs and complacent at the moment). I used store-bought pizza dough this time, but now I'm inspired to try making them again with my own dough!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:20 PM on November 21 [2 favorites]


My maternal grandmother made bread, had this huge ceramic bowl to make it in. Hard times in Chicago, the depression, my mother and her sisters went door to door selling loaves of bread for three cents or a nickel, not sure exactly but not very much. So that bread was in my mothers life all of her life.

Could be any night or afternoon, maybe just coming in from work, the smell of that bread, the warmth in the kitchen. Cut thick slices, just after it cooled down to be able to be cut, but still plenty warm, close to hot. Peanut butter, laid on thick, and it'd melt into that bread, and butter on the other slice -- it was so damn good. No. Way. was I going to only eat one of those sandwiches, I've always been a big eater and not until my 40s did I ever have to worry about how much I ate, or what I ate -- the paternal genes helped with that -- so slamming a few almost hot bread peanut butter and butter sandwiches was The Right Thing To Do. Ham on that bread also really good, piled high, ddwith mustard on one side, butter on the other.

My mother loved to make that bread, loved the whole process, and loved to see us happy as we ate it. I've always liked that line of Gibran's, that work is love made visible -- that bread was love. When my parents moved to an assisted living place, I didn't want too much of their belongings, but I damn sure wanted the knife that we used all of those years to cut that bread, that thing is imbued with her love. (Her favorite color was green, I purchased her a really nice green glass heart for her birthday one year, it sat in the sunshine in her kitchen window for years, I asked her if I could have that also, a reminder of love given then held to, it's here in my condo, I see it every day.)

But that green glass heart is not the food I'd love to have right now. I'd love to walk into that house, the smell of that bread and the warmth from it cooking, that knife on the counter top, the peanut butter over here, the butter over there, and cut two thick slices and doll them up with peanut butter and butter, and while all was certainly not good in the world, this one small piece of it was about as good as it gets.

It's been decades now, or fiteen years at least, but the memory and the wanting of it is right on me.

Never again.

I miss that bread.

I miss my mother.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:49 PM on November 21 [23 favorites]


I'm not deprived of these things I dream of because of covid, but because of distance. Denmark has great food, but it is not great in having a selection of exotic, foreign cuisine (both high brow and low).

- satay and the rice wrapped in a banana leaf from the Newton Circus hawker center in Singapore together with a "Heaven and Earth" Jasmine green tea drink. Just sitting there in one of the best food courts in the world in a culture that just LOVES food. We were in singapore for work and after being in the drydocks all day this is where we came to relax and eat.
- puertorican tostada and cafe con leche. the squished soft toasted bread together with a solid shot of caffeine and sugar is a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. any diner in PR will have this along with the flow of varieties of spanish in the air and music on the radio but my favorite is Kasalta.
- Shake Shack double cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate malted milkshake (GOD I LOVE THIS BURGER)
- a hot porchetta sandwich from Salumi in Seattle. Hands-down the greatest sandwich I have ever eaten in my life. The last time I was there and watched as they made it, the guy noticed my (blatant) enthusiasm and put down the porchetta tongs, and took up a scoop instead. I am not ashamed to say that I had to wipe some drool from my lips.
- Take out chinese food (also chino cubano). Just eating out of the white containers and choosing between a ton of delicious things.
- the butter milkshake made for me as a dish pairing during a meal at Per Se in new york.
posted by alchemist at 11:28 PM on November 21 [5 favorites]


This question speaks to my id! I've had various cravings during COVID that have been semi-challenging to fulfil, either because of supply chain stuff or access or location.

#1 soft serve ice cream. This has been an ongoing craving this year and I still haven't managed to do anything about it. I'm too neurodiverse for the ice cream truck model to work for me (seriously, I'm supposed to know the moment I hear the music that I want ice cream, and have cash available, and actually manage to go outside and locate the truck before it drives off again?). It's just too many variables, too short a decision-making cycle for me as someone who's a real decision-lingerer, held in place by powerful inertia most of the time. And I never have cash. I want to go to a static place that serves this kind of ice cream, but there aren't any near where I live.

#2 good tofu-centric takeout. Normally we drive into the nearest city (which has a large Chinese student population and thus lots of good places to eat) to eat in or get takeout, but that's a no under the current lockdown. We live in a small place that only eight or so local restaurants deliver to, very few of which are consistently both good and reliable at finding our house, all of which are on the boring/traditional side for my tastes (with the exception of the village curry house, which is great but heavy). I'm a vegetarian with an adventurous palate; the kinds of kebab shops where the only vegetarian options are a sad veggie burger (the kind that's just a puck made from a paste of bland vegetables fried in breadcrumbs) and chips just don't cut it. I want falafel and halloumi wraps with all the salad and garlic sauce, I want Vietnamese food, Malaysian food, sushi, fusion. I chose exactly the wrong place to live with those desires in mind. Normally I would get my fix by going into London a few times a year or visiting friends in other cities and visiting local city more regularly for meals or takeout, but not in 2020.

#3 takeout pizza, both the extremely good thin Italian-style kind and, slightly more tragically, Papa John's. This one is all on me rather than on the pandemic. There's a village less than ten minutes' drive away with a pub that does the former, and a Papa John's just opened up in the nearest small town, and I still haven't managed to get the former in months or the latter at all. Again, this feels like the serious inertia that my life is a constant battle against in action again. There is literally nothing stopping me from getting pizza from either of these places (except my spouse's recent disdain for Papa J's since they discontinued his beloved honey mustard sauce; I know the Papa is a bad man, but nowhere else for miles around does vegan pepperoni). I can afford it. It would not be inconvenient. But there's no strong reason propelling me towards doing it either, except my own desires, which I was conveniently socialised to largely ignore and deprioritise, so I still haven't. Every week I crave pizza, every week I think "this could be the week I finally get takeout pizza!", every fortnight I buy supermarket pizza instead and make do.

I have always been like this and frankly it's fucking annoying. There's always a reason not to get pizza that's more compelling than my own desires, whether that's "we have plenty of food in the house that we really ought to eat instead" or "it'll be too cold and dark [or I'll be too high] to drive by then" (and, for the record, any amount of high is too high to drive for me, the "too" there was not meant to imply a threshold). I've never been any good at treating myself, and the echoes of the part of me that was so successful in sustaining a (now-thankfully-recovered-from) eating disorder for such a long time still do a very good job of convincing me sometimes that the idle desires of the body are best ignored. Seriously, this feels like one of the fundamental inner conflicts of my life, my tightwad superego holding my pizza-and-tits-out id firmly in place and soothingly telling us it's for the best, that it's for all of our benefit. Makes me want to go and eat a fucking pizza just to show that guy who's boss.

(alchemist, one of my strongest memories of visiting Denmark is that it's the place where wasabi doesn't taste of anything)
posted by terretu at 1:49 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Real watermelon. The watermelon-flavored kind. The big oblong kind with seeds in it, not those bland nigh-spherical ones. I don't think I've even seen a real watermelon in twenty years. Just those fake-ass seedless ones. I don't get picky about much else, foodwise, but seedless watermelon is just always a huge disappointment.

Red Lobster cheddar garlic biscuits. I could probably make them myself (I even have a fairly close recipe), but with nobody to share them, I would likely die of biscuits.

There's nothing stopping me from cookin' up a big batch of chicken wings, either, I suppose, but it still feels very much like community (or at least companion) food. I guess what I'm starting to miss is eating with people. Looks like that's going around.

I read about an experiment once where they put beavers in a space without any trees, and the beavers mimed the actions of dam-building. I'm starting to feel like that's me when I put on an old episode of like Mock the Week or something on youtube to eat in front of, so I can eat among sounds of people talking and laughing.

I think I'm done with burgers. I never need to eat another burger. I would probably have one at a picnic or someth, if someone offered me one, but I will likely never make or buy another hamburger. I wonder how long it would take me to crave one. I'm thinking about it now, and so many other things come to mind I'd rather have.

I think I'm turning into the kind of grownup I never imagined I would. I prefer bitter-tasting drinks, like grapefruit juice or black coffee, to sweet drinks, and I would rather have some steamed fish and steamed broccoli than like fried chicken or a hamburger or pizza.
I think maybe pizza can say goodbye, too. I get some frozen vegetarian pizzas from the store sometimes, but they're far enough from the giant heaps of cheesy bread you get when you go out, they're a whole different creature. Doesn't mean I don't still want some cheesy garlic biscuits, though. :)
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:54 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


This isn’t due to Covid but I cut out dairy, gluten, and red meat over the summer to help with health issues and I miss so many things! Dairy Milk chocolate and any kind of sausage roll. England is a lot further along than France with dietary restrictions so I also miss being able to easily shop for snacks like at home.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:38 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


This is small potatoes compared to everyone else - Korea hasn't really shutdown indoor dining so it is still possible to eat out. Anyway I was actually having chicken and a few somaeks last night with an old friend and we were discussing how every day after having that chicken we wake up and wish we had more.

Well my buddy smartly ordered a bird for takeout to keep in the fridge but I stupidly decided against it. Naturally I wake up this morning a bit hungover and dying for like 2 pieces of fried chicken. Within like a half hour of waking up I get a message from the friend telling me how awesome his takeout chicken is. Damnit. Yes, I could have just walked over there and gotten one today, but they open at 4pm or something and by that point in the day I had moved on to other things. I still want like 2 pieces of that chicken though.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:20 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I want a streaming bowl of seafood gumbo. That's what I want.

I did manage to make shrimp etoufee last week ( I even made my own roux, it was dark and glorious), but gumbo is a thing I only do in extremely large batches, and the amount of shopping and money it takes to scrounge together decent ingredients in the Chicago area is just not worth it right now. DMK fishbar (had/had? I don't even know) a decent bowl of gumbo but omg it was in the teeniest cup and needed cayenne . But perfect when I was in the area and was willing to throw over far too much for a tiny amount. That hasn't happened in well over a year.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:29 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Cinnamon rolls - Apparently, it's a thing to eat with Chili? And, apparently Iowans do this (amongst many others)? I lived in Iowa for about 6 years and never saw this. Of course, I never set foot into a Maid-Rite either, so I didn't exactly consume the culture... (and, yeah, that's all on me.)

Gin - Greg_Ace mentioned Hendrick's. Hendrick's is actually my go to at a bar/restaurant because (in my area) it is consistently priced just above a well gin. I rarely buy it for home as it a good chunk more expensive than other suitable gins (and all gins seem to be pricey, imo).

Food wise, I miss two people at a restaurant that I haven't had the chance to say good bye to. The food was excellent, but their service was over the top awesome. I would show up once every three months and they would have my drink (water, no straw) at my "assigned seating" at the bar before I sat down and greeted me by name. Pandemic has made that quarterly trip go away.

Other food wise, yeah... just going out to eat or drink. Having a third place again.

I am desperate for a date night with my spouse again. But, that's largely our kiddo being at that teen age where she no longer wants a sleepover with the grandparents and no longer wanting to do sleepovers with friends.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:51 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Golden curry tofu from Salad King in Toronto (yes, I should probably just post an ask about how to make it myself).
posted by janepanic at 5:53 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Literally just saw in my RSS: Puff Pastry Cinnamon Rolls.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:31 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


I bought the America’s Test Kitchen Bowls cookbook yesterday, and everything in it looked so delicious because I’ve been missing fancy salads from the skyway SO MUCH. I may be hundreds of dollars richer at this point due working from home and the lack of weekly Moroccan chicken salads, but I am definitely sad about it.
posted by Maarika at 6:54 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Having just flailed about attempting to make pumpkin pies from scratch, damn, I'd love to be in the states and eating my sister's pumpkin pie.

It's a long story, but the gist of it was that our uncle was, in nearly every way, the head of the greater family that he and his brothers (my dad, and a half uncle) had made. Even though my parents divorced when I was young, we were never not part of that family, and thanksgiving was the holy of hollies, the one time of the year when we would all gather in one place.* While he did the best he could, taking care of us, doling out money to my mom when times were tight, or to his younger brother when the business went bad, he was also pretty much a tyrant with a shitty temper, but a pretty damn good cook as well. When Thanksgiving came around, there would be trays of cold cuts out in the family room, with the tacit understanding that we were to stay out of the kitchen. That was his place, and he had his system, and couldn't stand others in his way.

Until one year, my sister made a couple pies some time in the fall before thanksgiving. He tasted the pies that she'd made, and said, all right, you're doing the pies from now on, and that was that. I don't think he made another pie again after that, and every year, my sister would make two pumpkin pies, an apple pie, and for some damn reason, a mincemeat pie. Her pies, her baking, it's all fantastic, and I miss it.

This week, I've been messaging back and forth, what do I do, how do I do this or that, I ended up with a lard based pie dough that looked perfect until I added the rest of the fat the recipe called for, then it looked like a slurry, and I was advised to just let that one go. I tried a butter crust, and in the recipe where it says to preheat the crust, the damn thing just sagged, and I ended up with pie filling up against the edge of the pan. I still had half a bowl of filling, so I dragged the lard version out of the fridge, parbaked it, then slopped some of the filling over the edge when putting it in the oven. Damn it. And it looks a little overdone. Gah. I just want my sister's pumpkin pie.

And a big damn bottle of New Glaurus' Serendipity apple/cranberry/cherry beer, possibly the best thing I've ever drunk in my life. It tastes like autumn in the midwest. To sit and sip at it is to think back on all the autumn days where the turning leaves made the forests seem on fire (before that became the terror we see every year), to remember a week or two past that, the giant piles of leaves we played in, then the smell of the leaves burning, the first day where you threw on a long sleeve shirt because it was chilly out. It's all of that, and sitting down to the table at the best thanksgiving, the one you want to be at because everyone at the table shares the warmth and love that brought them to be in the same room, around the same table.

A piece of my sister's pumpkin pie, and a glass of Serendipity, and family to share it with.

*writing this out, I realize it's been twenty-two years since the last thanksgiving where we were all together. I had just spent the fall term of my senior year of college away on a term in Asia, and the decision had been made: everyone would be there at thanksgiving to welcome me back. The whole family, including my mother and father who were under command to play nice, or be less actively shitty towards each other. There were twenty or more of us that year. The next year, I was living in China, and my youngest uncle and his family stayed in Michigan. By the time, a couple years ago, when I could finally take time off to go home for thanksgiving, and after all these years, be the one to cook for my family, my uncle and father had both passed away, and it was just seven of us around a much smaller table.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:16 AM on November 22 [9 favorites]


1990s era Steak N Shake
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:44 AM on November 22 [5 favorites]


We had a warm autumn, and killing frosts were late in coming this year; I don't know if it's a food dream but I only just hauled in the last of the tomatoes off the vine a couple days ago and now I have about 5 lbs of late-season tomatoes that I should process. Some will continue to ripen, while some others I will use to make green tomato ketchup. I would make chutney, but the Great Canning Jar Shortage of 2020 is not going to abate until next year it looks like, so I can't make anything that needs canning.

I've been running the wood stove on and off for a few weeks--more off than on, really, see above. Last year, my third winter heating with wood, I started doing more cooking on it, having discovered that one doesn't need any particularly special pots and pans to do so, as in the end it's just heat, and not particularly intense heat at that. I'm waiting for the period of winter when its consistently cold enough that one must load up a pretty good size load of wood before going to bed lest one wake up to a house that's 58 degrees, and rebuild the fire at o-dark-thirty and enjoy a slow wakeup while waiting for enough daylight to peak over the horizon to go out and feed the horses. Because this is the ideal time for making Cheeseburgers for Breakfast.
posted by drlith at 7:56 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Sesame chicken. You can't really get it in the UK. I've found maybe two places in the entire country that approximate it since I moved here. (One is in Newcastle, and the other is in Sheffield.)

Not just sesame chicken, but Mrs. Lin's sesame chicken from the little Chinese place, Sunrise, that we used to go to at least once a week. Mrs. Lin's food wasn't the same every time, but her sesame chicken ranged from very good to exquisite. The Lins retired 25 years ago, and moved to Texas to be near their grandchildren. The people who bought the restaurant didn't know how to make her sesame chicken, and the place closed down very quickly. It was torn down not long ago to build yet another building full of fancy apartments for Michigan State University students.

I still have a day every now and then when what I really, really want is Mrs. Lin's sesame chicken, and Mr. Lin kind of rolling his eyes at me as I ordered it yet again (or, rather, didn't need to order it because I never got anything else). We actually have a place near us that does a not-half-bad version and I think I'll get some soon, now that I've thought of it.
posted by Orlop at 9:37 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


I have a goal for St Andrew's day: proper Scots pies. I need to check if the local butcher will be open (Toronto's on lockdown) because they are Scottish and understand these things. It is not a lofty goal, and many people might wonder why I'd want a puck of greyish meat wrapped in linoleum-like pastry, but ethnicity will do that for ya.

Fantasy, unavailable food? Chicken and chips from The Unique in Govanhill. The Unique was run by an Italian family who might have just been old enough to be First Generation. They lightly fried then baked their chicken, and it was gloriously tender. To go into The Unique on a dark, wet Glasgow winter evening was a joy: the crowd, the food smells, the steamy light and the owners bantering in Italian-inflected Glaswegian made a welcoming place. The place has been closed for decades, and as befits its name, there will never be another like it.
posted by scruss at 9:52 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]


Reading through this thread I realized there's a salad dressing I want. It was from a tiny family run Lebanese Restaurant right off LSU campus in mid 2000, and they served it on actually a kind of sad iceberg salad, but the spiciness in the dressing made up for all the lacklusterness of the iceberg that made the bulk of the leafiness. I'm pretty sure it featured sumac, but also I think they incorporated something else to make it and I haven't had since . My brain compares it to all other salad dressings. Their pastries were also damn good, and the hummus was also delicious.

But really, I just want the salad dressing.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:19 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


This morning I was incredibly food productive, making banana baked oatmeal and refried beans in the slow cooker.

Yesterday I got a selection of veggies via an online farmers market -- their selections, so now I have a challenge with some of them being things I've never cooked with in my life. Parsnips. Celery root. A huge purple daikon radish. And a huge black radish! It's going to be a very veggie-forward couple of weeks.

Finally bought a chest freezer and so have been filling that with staples like tortillas, veggie burgers, breads, shredded cheeses, pesto, cooked rice, cooked beans, etc. Now I just need to figure out a good tracking system so things do not end up in there forgotten for years.

There's lots of things I could crave from my favorite restaurant, but I agree with those who miss the dining experience most of all.
posted by JanetLand at 10:26 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Almost forgot. Those dense bodega muffins the size of my head. One of those bran raisin muffins was enough fiber for a week. One of those in the morning with a cup of coffee... you knew what you'd be doing in an hour or so.
posted by Splunge at 10:42 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


We should rename this post "I could really go for some cinnamon roll recipes". :)
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:50 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


In the late 70s and probably well beyond, there was a restaurant in Cincinnati that made a French Garlic soup that I still crave. I've been making soup with spicy sausages, vegetables, sauerkraut and hot sauce. Kind of a Midwestern hot-n-sour soup.

Cinnamon rolls from a tube are horrible and comforting. It's the orange in the glaze, I finally realized.

Bought a smallish turkey; making the turkey, gravy, stuffing, and a pie for Thursday. It's a meal I really love, will deliver it to a friend, pick up some dishes, share desserts outdoors, then head home.
posted by theora55 at 11:19 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


I want a big home made chicken and mushroom pie.
Also a Sunday dinner with all the trimmings and especially the cauliflower cheese.
And a lemon cheesecake.
posted by quacks like a duck at 11:33 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]


I fall asleep thinking about foods I want to make and then in my waking hours I rarely want to devote the time to it. We have no delivery of anything here (groceries, take-out) so everything's a bit of a schlep. I have a few categories of stuff-I'd-like

- Fussy home food that takes a while and trashes the kitchen and takes a lot of ingredients I don't have (lasagna, either regular or spaghetti squash style; waffles; big roast-a-meat meals)
- Making food for other people or having it be made for me. I've been to one (masked, outdoors) potluck food thing with friends over the summertime and it was nice to get something to eat that wasn't a totally expected thing, to try a new taste and to offer something I'd made for people. My sister is a really good cook (I am fine but not great) and her food and just the way she combines and meal plans, are really wonderful and much more work than I'd go through for myself and I miss her food as well as just spending time with her generally
- The serendipity of eating out. I do a lot of walking to stay sane around here and it's nice to wave and talk to people from a distance, but it's very different from going to one of the local spots, looking at the menu to see what's new or on special, making a then-and-there food decision and then getting to nibble off of other people's plates, trying their beers, seeing other friends, catching up on local news. It's a small town here in a lot of ways and the local food and drink places (which are a little open but not in a way that they are available to me except for complex take-out) are one of the places to make community connections
- specific foods: a really good bacon cheeseburger or BLT, a local beer that I drink with other people (I have some "don't drink alone" rules that have felt somewhat restrictive), a huge plate of chicken wings, or just whatever's fun-looking on the menu at Persy's Place, which is the breakfast spot Jim and I go to, when I get eat breakfast indoors with Jim again.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:42 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


You know what I really miss, there's this Japanese strip mall in the midwestern city I live in and every Saturday before the pandemic, me and my two teen kids would go there for lunch, bakery, groceries, and toys. There's a bunch of Japanese shops there we'd frequent, but I miss the food the most. The amazing sushi, noodles, chicken karaage, nori, all kinds of fresh street food, and this awesome bakery in the French style, but with clearly Japanese products. That place used to offer these rolled, filled, fresh crepes with choices like blueberry, strawberry and banana with a drizzle of dark chocolate sauce and whipped cream, or smoked salmon on a lettuce leaf, with a smear of dill cream cheese, onion, and avocado. God they were beautiful and delicious. And there was this grocery store with pre-made things, and my son loved their pork cutlet curry, and my daughter would buy five salmon onigiri for the weekend. But my favorite was this Hawaiian/Japanese hybrid onigiri they offered that had a slice of fried spam, A thin layer of tamagoyaki, a dab of Kewpie mayo and a layer of sushi rice on both sides, all wrapped in nori. I know—spam— but seriously, I miss it so much. It was simple, but perfect, and fucking divine.

And while the food was good, it was the one time every week where the kids and I would get out of the house and go on a little trip together. It was about a 25 minute drive each way and we'd talk, listen to music and sing along. My kids would introduce me to their music, and share podcasts they were listening to. Occasionally I'd have to broker disagreements, but mostly it was just really fun. It was my favorite bonding time.

Now we're together and trapped. We still look for opportunities to just chat, but it's not the same. Those trips seem like sacred time now. I hope those stores survive and I hope we can go again, eventually. That's what I could really go for right now, to safely go get some spam onigiri with my kids. I could probably have it delivered but, that wasn't the point.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:06 PM on November 22 [8 favorites]


yeah, not so much a specific food but a dinner party with a bunch of friends. the kind where everyone is stuffed in the kitchen drinking wine and eating cheese while amazing food is being prepared and then sitting together (close together) to eat it and drink more wine and maybe play board games afterwards and make hot toddies. that was 90% of my social life before and its 100% gone.

also, time to get Mr Supermedusa on his next homemade pizza blitz. soooo good!!!
posted by supermedusa at 1:13 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


there is a bagel place by my parents house that makes very good bagels (northern NJ) and a killer taylor ham,egg,cheese bagel sam, which I cannot get in CA!!! would totally eat one of those right now.
posted by supermedusa at 1:19 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


This morning I had a powerful craving for diner hash browns, and Mr. eirias indulged me by ordering takeout from the local greasy spoon, and the hash browns were absolutely perfect, and I regret nothing.

Food memories on dusty shelves now, for reasons COVID and not... A big salad with homemade dressing in my mother-in-law's good bowl, with the big wooden tongs that look like monster feet, and wine and conversation. Parisian hot chocolate from the confectionery that burned down, the one where one of my favorite collaborations happened. Bread and fesenjan from the Persian place on campus, its chef now long retired. Sundried tomato and artichoke cream cheese from the co-op. Munariisipasteijat and pekanpähkinäviinerit from the grocery store near my apartment in Helsinki. Mamma Santa's pizza in Little Italy, in Cleveland -- its inexplicably savory, mouth-burning sauce, its perfectly-browned cheese. Those freezer pecan coffee cakes my dad used to buy, and the weird little chocolate chip cookies that came in too-large tubs. My family's chocolate pie.
posted by eirias at 1:37 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Terry and Jerry's, O-Sole Mio in Bay City Mi.
omg, almost convinced me to go to chef school. it closed in 2000. but my uncle knew both the owners for 45 years. Best table and Terry would join us. She was from Sicily and Jerry from Yugoslavia. both immigrants after ww2. never paid but left 50$ tip. my uncle even sang one night. I liked eating in the kitchen. Autograph collection was great. Tony Bennett. Dinah Shore, Mickey Rooney, Heston, Joey Bishop.
The ravioli was Così fottutamente buono.
amore.
posted by clavdivs at 1:38 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Turns out I didn’t have to crave that pumpkin cake because my husband gave me his slice! Win!

I really want some dumplings though.
posted by obfuscation at 2:04 PM on November 22


My maternal grandmother made a potato salad that I really miss. She used pickle juice to marinate the potatoes and put chopped hard boiled eggs and celery and sweet pickles in there. It may have had some mayonnaise-type product in it (though I grew up with only Miracle Whip in the house), but I can’t recall. The next time I can check my mom’s old recipe cards I’ll see if it’s in her archives.

As far as restaurant and takeout, I have a yearning for the poke bowl I used to get during lunch.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 2:08 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Tofu lettuce wraps, pot stickers, and Vietnamese Coffee, with sweetened condensed milk, from the Shanghai Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the company of my two best friends. Yup.
posted by Oyéah at 2:09 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


The great canning jar deficit, can be somewhat fixed by buying brands of pasta sauce that come in Atlas Jars, they have lid sizes that you can buy in the canning department.
posted by Oyéah at 2:17 PM on November 22 [4 favorites]


I want a vat of Diet Coke and a huge buttered popcorn, but what I really want is to go to the movies and see a movie I don't really care about and didn't plan to watch. Right now I watch things because I actively want to watch them, and make popcorn in the canner pot on the stove, but those are very different experiences from picking a movie solely because it fits into the time slot me and my friends all share.
posted by blnkfrnk at 3:08 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


And if you're looking for a cinnamon roll topping, powdered sugar and lemon juice is where it's at as far as I'm concerned. It's what I put on Hot Cross Buns and in my opinion, the tartness really makes the whole deal. But then I make a very hearty cinnamon roll with whole wheat, flax, oats, raisins, and walnuts, so it's possible I am missing the point of the cinnamon roll where others are concerned.
posted by blnkfrnk at 3:13 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


My completely-unreasonable food yearnings are from places that have closed:

A Habanero-caramel drinking chocolate and a Thai peanut butter cup from Alma Chocolates in Portland.

A chocolate chip cookie from a long-closed chocolate shop in Bellevue WA. It was unique in my experience. The dough was like a delicate buttery membrane that just barely held an enormous amount of chocolate chunks together. There are a couple of places in the general Seattle area that manage the enormous-amounts-of-chocolate part, but nobody seems to manage the thinness of the dough.
posted by creepygirl at 3:47 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Sushi. Just -- sushi. Yeah, I know I could (and should) go to my local and get some take-out, but the thought of the styrofoam clamshell and all that superfluous, wasteful fast-food packaging bums me out, so I don't.
posted by Rash at 4:15 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


And if you're looking for a cinnamon roll topping, powdered sugar and lemon juice is where it's at

My mother would use this to frost her brownies. Incredible.
posted by Rash at 4:18 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


I was walking in Central Park today when I suddenly remembered that champurrado is a thing that exists. It’s supposed to be rainy tomorrow—I might make some and take it on a walk to the park.

Living in NYC and being a pretty adventurous cook, I can satisfy just about every food craving I have except the strongest one—the desire to share a meal with others.
posted by mollymayhem at 4:32 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


Good croissants; agedashi tofu; really good ramen; scallion pancakes; General Tso's tofu; pad see ew; really good cheese.

Last weekend I made the mistake of driving to Des Moines for Japanese food. (Vegetarian, in case you're worried about the advisability of eating raw fish so far inland). It was definitely not what I'd hoped for once I spent an hour driving home. And that got me thinking about the time I was walking around New York with a friend, not finding anything to eat, until we stopped at an unimpressive little hole-in-the-wall Japanese place and got a miso-roasted eggplant that was SO sweet and so tender.

I really miss living where there's good vegetarian food. Even at the Taco Bell, they get confused when I say I want beans instead of meat, until finally I've given up.

I have decided to make croissants over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. They might be terrible, but I'm not going to get good croissants any other way, so it's worth the experiment, given enough free time, and assuming they don't run out of butter at Hy-Vee.
posted by Jeanne at 6:03 PM on November 22


I'd love to go to London and enjoy a cheeky halal Nando's.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 6:50 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


Is "cheeky" a requirement for halal, or just a compatible factor?
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:24 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


An illegal thing that can be acquired by knowing the right kind of guy (why are they always men? Is it some dumbass macho thing? Or just the efficiency of being physically intimidating?) and being willing to stand around awkwardly in an industrial neighborhood with a shitload of cash in your pocket. Yay lockdown, I guess.

...but beyond that, gobi manchurian, because while you can order it by the time it gets to you it’s no longer the right style of crispy and then it’s just another depressing reminder of how everything is terrible now.
posted by aramaic at 7:37 PM on November 22


Greg_Ace the Nando’s itself is cheeky, you “go for a cheeky Nando’s”.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:06 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


Honestly, a friend got me into meal delivery kits and, as it turns out, there are, seemingly, dozens of them, many with markedly inexpensive introductory offers, by which I mean as low as $5/meal. As a result, I've been "trying out" meal kits for the last couple of months, and it has seriously helped hit the adventuresome food and trip-to-a-restaurant spot. In fact, preparing the "kit" has become one of the most calming and enjoyable parts of my day. I highly recommend them if you're tired of cooking or looking for a change.
posted by Violet Blue at 10:35 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


So then Nando's serves cheek meat exclusively? I'm so confused...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:10 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]


I had a thankfully mild dose of Covid in April, and my sense of smell and taste have not yet recovered. It comes and goes, but at the moment everything smells of slightly rubbery burnt onions, especially anything with a burnt component, like coffee or toast. I keep trying things I know I like (corned beef hash last week), and it all tasted much the same. Mostly I just get texture and basic tastes (sweet, sour, salt, bitter, etc.) with no bloody flavour. I like food. I need to eat food to stop me from falling over. This sucks.

The only plus is that I have lost a little weight, although perhaps not as much as I could have, because dammit, I keep trying. Also, I can still taste Haribo gummy bears for some reason.
posted by Fuchsoid at 12:01 AM on November 23




A weird thing about Nandos is that until very recently, all of their US restaurants were in the Washington, D.C. area. (They've recently expanded to Chicago and its burbs.) Which is weird mostly because D.C. is like the inexpensive chicken restaurant capital of the U.S. All the other places need Nandos: D.C. is spoiled for choice when it comes to cheeky chicken.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:56 AM on November 23


I have been on and off craving what is generally known as a black-and-white cookie but in Boston (because we Massholes are ornery?) is called a half moon. There are places in Toronto that have them sometimes, so one day I will eat one again, just not right now. It should be frosting, though, not shiny fondant.
posted by wellred at 7:04 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


Oh dammit now I am craving a half-moon as well. I grew up around the corner from a great Jewish bakery that had tasty half-moon cookies and excellent bagels. And, yes, frosting all the way.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:26 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


I'm aware of the Nando's restaurant, and I know (or thought I did) what "cheeky" meant. The UrbanDictionary link provided by misteraitch helped (the Buzzfeed article less so, but was amusing anyway). Combining the concepts of "chain restaurant dining" and "impudence", though - that I'm still working on.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:39 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I have been on and off craving what is generally known as a black-and-white cookie

A month or two ago, I helped a (notable!) artist get a Wikipedia page up and running and in exchange they sent me some bagels and black and white cookies from NYC and I have to say I intended to share them but I did not wind up sharing them :P
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:58 AM on November 23 [4 favorites]


A really good chicken pot pie. Not available in Chile, and I don't have the energy to make one from scratch, including the actual pie crust.
posted by signal at 10:13 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I had a thankfully mild dose of Covid in April, and my sense of smell and taste have not yet recovered. It comes and goes, but at the moment everything smells of slightly rubbery burnt onions, especially anything with a burnt component, like coffee or toast. I keep trying things I know I like (corned beef hash last week), and it all tasted much the same. Mostly I just get texture and basic tastes (sweet, sour, salt, bitter, etc.) with no bloody flavour. I like food. I need to eat food to stop me from falling over. This sucks.

It does suck, yes. Aside from a few times I've risked it over the years (a Hershey's Kiss, a chocolate shake, apple cider) (but even had to stop those), I haven't had anything to eat or drink since March 15, 2007 when i had a surgery. Yes, it does suck.
posted by Fukiyama at 12:47 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


My birthday's coming up and I will usually request deep-dish pizza and once in a while I'll actually get it (deep-dish pizza places in Toronto seem to disappear without warning or close at weird times). Maybe I'll give a shot at making it over the weekend.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:31 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I want the same thing I have wanted ever since moving to DC: Al pastor tacos from Leo's taco truck.

(And while I am dreaming, a cure for lactose intolerance and ALL THE CHEESE)
posted by Space Kitty at 4:05 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


(I’m so sorry, Fukiyama. But glad you’re still here.)

I wasn’t going to post at all on this thread, because when I read through it I just ended up intensely desiring everyone else’s foodstuffs, but tonight I have a DISCOVERY to report.

I have discovered a drink.

The drink is: After you finish making cranberry sauce and have poured the sauce into the appropriate vessel, pour some water into the saucepan and slosh it around so all the cranberry sludge dissolves. Then boil and drink the result.

I had made my cranberry sauce with red wine, orange juice, ginger and some sugar, so I fished out the pieces of fresh ginger and put them back into the water to boil. I added a spoonful of honey to the final mug, but if you were feeling frisky I bet it would work great with rum or Amaretto or Cointreau. Hell, add vodka and lime juice and call it a Hot Cosmopolitan.

Anyway, it was pleasant to drink and also (bonus) left the saucepan clean. Cheers, all!
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:29 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I just learned of the existence of Swiss Chalet sauce flavored potato chips, and my mouth won’t stop watering.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:41 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I just learned of the existence of Swiss Chalet sauce flavored potato chips

My kid talked me into buying some on the weekend. I found them a little too tomato-y and not MSG-y enough, YMMV of course. But maybe Chalet sauce is different now or I've confused it with St. Hubert's sauce?
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:54 PM on November 23


I was really hungry for homemade soup tonight, so I made some. Lasagna soup. A big pot of it. Delicious.
posted by bookmammal at 5:59 PM on November 23


I was thinking that you mean hot cocoa flavored chips and wow was I judging anyone involved. (Swiss Chalet != Swiss Miss)
posted by janell at 6:00 PM on November 23


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