I am little/lottle weird. So I like food, right? To make sure I don't forget about the food that rocks my world, I keep a list in my phone. It's called "BEST OF 2013". Here is my list. I just need to talk about food sometimes.
A donut that was a game changer. Red velvet donut from Station 13 in Lehi. Kalli brought me one when she came to pick up her kids from my house one day. I was never the same after that. It is the perfect amount of soft interior and crunchy exterior. It's not too sweet and doesn't have the chemically aftertaste that a lot of red velvet baked goods can have due to too much food coloring. The best part, Station 13 has a DRIVE THRU!!! And yes, I know the girls names there. Addie and Miranda. Tell them Whitney sent you.
The smoked ribs from R&R BBQ in Salt Lake City. My Jess put together a night where a bunch of ward friends went up to SLC for BBQ that she claimed was life-changing. She wasn't kidding. The smoked ribs were tender as hell. The sauce was sweet and tangy and I want to drink it. And bonus, the sides were still good. Most BBQ places have great meats, but the sides get ignored and they suffer. But the hushpuppies at R&R are bangin'.
During September, my Peterson fam had family pictures. My sister Megan's boyfriend Jim brought some wagyu ribeyes to have for dinner before pics. He brought them in a cooler on the airplane. Talk about blowing it out of the water to make a good impression on the girlfriend's family! Never have I had a steak that was that good. Tender, flavorful, juicy. Better than any restaurant wagyu I have ever had. I suppose some credit goes to my husband for grilling them to perfection.
For our 10th anniversary, Ethan and I went down to the bustling metropolis of Provo. We went to Velour and saw Tyrone Wells and ate dinner at Communal. Communal serves family-style, obviously with a name like Communal. We ordered the whipped Yukon gold potatoes and good hell So buttery, so smooth- without a lump to be found. I am fairly certain that there was equal parts potatoes and butter.
At the end of summer, when vegetables are so good it should be a felony, I made the most bitchin salad. Fresh Utah summer corn, heirloom cherry tomatoes and perfectly green, smooth avocados mixed with cilantro and my own honey chipotle dressing from my cookbook, "The Family Flavor". Such simple flavors and simple preparation. It was a truly perfect summer dish.
The Celestial Burger at Lucky 13 in SLC really was celestial. First, the burger patty was so fatty and juicy. That's the most important part. The bun was soft and not too bready. Then the bacon, grilled onions and BBQ sauce were piled on. Toppings mean absolutely nothing if the bun is crap and patty is dry. That is always the misconception about burgers. "Let's use a crap patty and bun and distract diners with lots of yummy toppings. They will never know the difference!" Not true. You can't fool this burger lovin'-gal.
In September, I went to Belgium to visit my sis. I ate like a queen the whole time, but a few things stood out. One was the smoked salmon and lemon-scented lentil salad at La Pain Quotidien. Besides the salmon and lentils, there was buttery lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and a creamy mustard dressing. Each component was fresh and perfect. It was one of those meals that leaves you feeling good and energized.
Also in Belgium, I had the most paramount Belgian liege waffles. I have had Belgian waffles here in the states before and it wasn't ever really my thing. Then I went to my sister's downtown farmer's market to her Belgian waffle vendor and then I totally understood. No need for toppings. Just the waffle with it's crisp exterior and soft interior. It's like a perfect glazed donut. You don't need anything on it. None of this Nutella, Biscoff, strawberry, whipped cream nonsense. While I was there, I think I ate like 6 of them.
The last amazing thing in Belgium was at Amadeus in Ghent. Our pals Sophie, Joke and Gary took us there for lunch. It was an all-you-can-stuff-your-face-with place that served Belgian-style spare ribs and these amazing baked potatoes with whipped curry butter. Oh those freaking potatoes. The butter was like nothing I have ever had. Light and packed full of curry flavor. It went so well with the fluffy potato. And the best part, they just keep bringing them to you. I easily had 3 of them.
For Christmas for the last few years, Ethan and I have forgone major Christmas gifts and have opted for an awesome Christmas date. Just a nice, long dinner at a great restaurant. This year, we went to Faustina in Salt Lake City. I had heard of Faustina from a few friends and even had to cancel a dinner with some friends there (sorry we went without you, Vanessa!). It was such a fantastic dinner. Every course was so well done. But my main dish was perfection. Lamp chops with rosemary demi glace, mashed potatoes, beet chips and sour cherry reduction. I almost don't have words for this one. Each element was perfectly executed. Please go there and get this dish.
Anyways! 2013 was a great year to be me and to eat food! I can't wait for 2014!