2015 was a busy year for the 2foodtrippers as we mixed food travel with our busy work schedules.
Big changes are about to happen, but more on that later. First, though, we want to focus on our top 10 list of culinary experiences for the year.
Top 10 List 2015
1. Plate of the Year – Sashimi at Raku in Las Vegas
We had so many great plates in 2015, including the ten we enjoyed during our anniversary dinner at Raku in Las Vegas.
Raku’s sashimi stands out in our memory as the most perfect plate of the year – an elegant array of melt-in-your-mouth raw fish. This is the finest, freshest sushi you will ever eat in a desert – or near the sea for that matter.
2. Best Breakfast – Russ & Daughters Cafe in New York City
Meal highlights were the Gaspe Nova sliced so thin you can see through it and the Super Heebster Special with its blend of lightly popping wasabi caviar over creamy salmon and whitefish salads.
3. Best Neapolitan Pizza – Brigantessa in Philadelphia
Our love affair with Neapolitan pizza started in Naples last year.
When we’re in Philadelphia, we are lucky to have several solid pizzerias to keep us going. Our favorite local pizzas are at Brigantessa. Chef Joe Ciccala’s salute to Southern Italy in South Philly features supple pies with the finest local and imported ingredients.
Bringantessa is now permanently closed.
4. Most Colorful Plate – Roca Moo in Barcelona
The food in Barcelona is exciting and colorful, much like the city’s architecture.
Delicate Mediterranean Cod at Barcelona’s Roca Moo was served with no less than five emulsions, making it memorable for both its vivid colors and provocative flavors.
5. Most Surprising Meal – Milktooth in Indianapolis
We never thought of Indianapolis as having a progressive food scene, which is why we were pleasantly surprised to find an array of sophisticated food served at the funky yet laid-back Milktooth in Indy’s Fletcher Place neighborhood. The prime eating spot at Milktooth is the bar, where eight stools face a long, open kitchen with a bird’s-eye view of the chefs at work.
Though the grilled cheese may be the most popular dish, other dishes shine like the sweet corn pancake topped with fried bologna, hard-boiled egg, yuzo kosho and seared foie. Indianapolis. Who knew?
6. Best Outdoor Dining – Bacchanal in New Orleans
Simple plates like whole grilled fish are served to diners while they enjoy traditional jazz in a romantic backyard space. As an added bonus, Bacchanal is a BYO with a cute wine store on the premises.
7. Best Salad – Seafood Palace in Lake Charles
Salads are seldom memorable. This is not the case with the shrimp salad at Seafood Palace.
Loaded with fresh Louisiana grilled shrimp, this salad stands out as one of our best plates of the year, with or without lettuce. The well-seasoned shrimp on this salad is so fresh that it tastes like the juicy crustaceans were just plucked from the nearby Gulf of Mexico
8. Best Bowl of Soup – Chicken Pho at Stock in Philadelphia
We have a thing for soup, and one of our favorite bowls is the pho at Fishtown’s Stock. This soup features lots of fresh herbs, deeply flavored broth and surprisingly moist slices of free-range Lancaster chicken.
9. Best Beverage – Coffee Everywhere
Our love affair with coffee started when we were dating and has continued into 2015. It’s the beverage that we seek whether we’re at home or traveling around the world.
We are so lucky to live in the golden age of coffee. The quality and availability of the product couldn’t be better, especially when baristas have the skill of fine artists.
10. Most Exciting Meal – Dirty French in New York City
Say what you want, but New York City is still a behemoth when it comes to innovative cuisine.
Our meal at Dirty French, a bistro in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, excited us on all levels starting with its stylish atmosphere and ending with its breathtaking international nod (and wink?) at Gallic cuisine.
Even the bread service featuring warm, soft flatbread and fromage blanc with rosemary was a knock-out.
Big News for 2016
We’re excited to see where the road takes us, and we will document the journey right here with loads of photos and stories.
Stay tuned and stay hungry!
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.