The Food Network has a new show called The Best Thing I Ever Ate (9 and 9:30 p.m. tonight), and it features the usual roster of the network's chefs and celebrity foodies running down the best things they've stuffed in their constantly yapping mouths. In the first show, "Totally Fried," Bobby Flay flogs his favorite french fries, Giada De Laurentiis does decadent donuts, and Duff from Ace of Cakes goes down on some fried shrimp heads. The second episode features the best barbecue as per Flay again (doesn't this guy ever take a breath?), Tyler Florence, and Ted Allen.
I'll be tuning in myself, at least because I know some of the places they'll be talking about. And it got me to thinking: We've all got memories of something so wickedly, fabulously, excruciatingly delicious that we wake up in the middle of the night with drool soaking our pillows and our stomachs growling like a pack of rabid wolverines. So why don't we, like, share. I'll go first, but feel free to pile on.
Seafood-stuffed softshell crab, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, New Orleans. Big Easy chefs are to deep-frying what Michelangelo was to painting church ceilings, and this infantile crustacean stuffed with what's basically a seafood mousseline is so unconscionably rich and unspeakably tasty you'll be fighting to chow down the last bite as the paramedics come to roll you away.
Fries with aioli, 915, Key West
Fried chicken, Fran's Chicken Haven, Boca Raton
Pork ribs (dry), Bar-B-Q Shop, Memphis. The best damn ribs in Memphis, which to some people is like saying the best damn ribs on the planet. How good are the Shop's ribs? Well, last time we were there we devoured an entire rack sitting in the car parked out front, then went back in for another to take on a picnic. Oh, yeah, we ate that one too.
Baby back ribs (wet), Foothill Café, Napa
Barbecued shrimp, Mr. B's, New Orleans.