Welcome to this year's dining awards! This last year was a great year for food. Some monumental flavors and textures were consumed. Some made by me, most made by others. Sadly, I am not much of a traveler. I hope to be someday when my time and pocketbook allow. So there aren't a great variety of locations here. Nevertheless, here is what blew my mind in 2011.
Butterscotch pudding from The Copper Onion in Salt Lake City, UT
Luckily, this one came in a generous portion. It was thick and rich and had the most delicate butterscotch flavor. I am usually a chocolate kind of gal when I go to restaurants, but this one made me a believer in the realms outside of chocolatedome.
Lobster roll from Arigato Sushi in Upland, CA
A normal California roll topped with giant portion of hot lobster. This bad boy was so good that we ordered two.
Fish n' chips from T. Phillips in Glendora, CA
This delicious dish was ordered after a long road trip to Southern California. I had spent the day eating mostly crap and then I had this. The fish was fresh, crisp and light and did well with a squeeze of lemon. The chips were light a fluffy inside. It was an absolute perfect fish n' chips. It was one of those times I out-ordered everyone at the table.
Chicken n' dumplings from Kalli Verbecky's house in Highland, UT
I am going to sound like such a jerk right now, just be advised. But it isn't often that someone else's food is completely epic. This was. The broth was homemade and so full of flavor. The dumplings were light and melted in my mouth. It was definitely the ultimate comfort food in 2011.
BEST CRAZY WIERD
Bloody mary sorbet at The Tree Room at Sundance Resort in Sundance, UT
This was amazing because I just couldn't figure out how someone even comes up with this in the first place. We were at dinner and the first thing brought to the table was a little chef teaser. In a little spoon was a small round ball garnished with a minescule celery leaf. At first, we thought it was some stewed cherry tomato or something. But it was a sorbet with all the flavors of a bloody mary. It was incredible. I could have eaten a whole bowl of it.
Killer nachos from Red Iguana in Salt Lake City, UT
Everyone knows I like real good Mexican food. And everyone also knows that Red Iguana does Mexican food like no one else in the area. So of course this year's Mexican favorite came from there. The killer nachos are exactly what they claim to be. Crisp tortilla chips covered in refried beans, cheese, jalapenos, shredded beef, chorizo and guacamole. And we also have enchilada sauce added as well. It is not only fantastic, but it is also affordable.
Pot roast from my house in Lehi, UT
This was a recent dish, one I hadn't intended on being so good. But I suppose it's the mistakes that taste the best. This meat was moist, fall-apart tender and even seemed to have a silky texture to it. It was easy to prepare and filled my house with such a rich, beefy smell. My sweet husband couldn't get over it.
Homemade oreos from Dippidee Bakery in American Fork, UT
This last summer, we ended so many days at Dippidee. I think I have tried everything they have in the case, but it's this cookie that I found to be my favorite. The cookie is dark brown, almost black. It is soft and thick. Two of those perfect cookies are sandwiched together with a light shortening frosting. The cookie is huge and luckily, half of it is still moist in the morning for breakfast.
Horchata from Red Iguana in Salt Lake City, UT
This is the perfect fire extinguisher to eat with spicy nachos. It is smooth and has a slight cinnamon flavor. It comes to the table ice ice ice cold and I go through too many glasses of it in one sitting. And I always get a cup of it to-go.
My happiest congratulations to the winners this year! This next year should be full of more great food. So until next year...