Friday, January 9, 2015

Food Porn...Top 5 Life Dining Experience

My mother raised me to believe that if I had nothing good to say, then I should just say nothing. I recently dined at Casa Picasso here on Ambergris Caye...and this could be a very long blog!  If you figure I've generally eaten 3 meals a day for 35 years...then I've eaten roughly 38,325 meals.  This one is easily in my top .00013% (or top 5 for easier reference).  My friends Matt, Sara, and Karen were kind enough to invite me and even pay my tab - it was a most excellent surprise that Barb, Joe, Tacogirl (Laurie), and Paul were also able to join.

The menu, for me, was like what a nudie mag is to most men - I couldn't take my eyes off it.  My mouth watered from beginning to end.  I decided on the Chef's Tasting menu (a Thursday special); since it was also Chef Ben's Birthday and he was cooking a sampling of his personal favorites from could this possible be anything but excellent?! Didn't hurt that I was two Watermelon coolers (aka - the "Matt Hoys") in by the time the first course arrived.  I'm not usually a Vodka man, but you couldn't taste it at all - trust me, it was there...but you couldn't taste it behind the watermelon/ginger yumminess.
1st Course - Spicy Tuna Rolls

Course numero uno...not sure where it went?!  It was on the plate, then I blacked out...and it was gone.  I'm not huge on sushi, but I fancy the occasional roll; usually lean toward a Cali or Spider though.  This Tuna rivals even the best tuna that I've pulled out of the ocean and eaten right away.  The best part of this roll was a lack of rice. It had rice, but it wasn't 80% rice like so many other joints.  With the smaller amount of rice you could actually taste the tuna and veg...and savor the magical interaction of the soy and wasabi without having to fight through all that damn rice!  Best. Sushi. Ever.
2nd Course - Buffalo Fingers 
Up next - Buffalo Chicken Fingers..."move over buffalo wings" exactly!!!  I traded Matt a finger for some of his pancetta with bruschette (I'm sure I spelled neither of those correctly) - which was also was the taste of the cauliflower dish Sara let me try (it may have been my favorite of the night actually).  Anyway, back to my buffalo fingers.  I'm going to run out of ways to say that by the end of this entry.  Perfect amount of batter to chicken, spice of the sauce was a real nice follow up to the wasabi from the previous course.  I loved that the celery was cut very thin.  The blue cheese was there in a ramican...where it remained till the dish washer cleaned it cause NOTHING can make those fingers taste better; especially not molded cheese.
3rd Course - Bacon Jam, Mac & Cheese 

Next up...Bacon Jam, Mac, & Cheese.  I mean really - do I need to say anything else about this?  With 3 of us at the table getting the Tasting Menu everyone was able to sample this dish, that could have only been delivered straight from heaven on the wings of angels. In an effort to truly experience this dish the body literally shut down other senses; your eyes closed your hearing faded; you could no longer feel your fork on your fingers.  The world melted away...leaving your olfactory and taste buds completely alone with this dish, floating through an alternate plane of reality that I could have stayed in for an eternity.  But it ended...for now.

4th Course - Red Snapper Puttanesca
The next course was a snapper fish with some yummy stuff on top...I'm just not a big fish guy, or a big olive guy.  I was impressed with the flavor of the topping (even though I don't like Olives) so I'm sure if you like the fishes then you'd've loved this dish.  It was great - I'm just a meatitarian.
5th Course - Deep Dish Apple Pie 
Next up, and the course that brought this epic eating fiesta to its conclusion - Deep Dish Apply Pie...and yep, that's melted cheddar on top.  Apparently this is a 'northern states' and Canada thing, to put cheese on pie. Are they crazy? No, they are genius.  The most unfortunate thing at this point is that I'm out of wonderful things to say - its kinda like a rockus night of sex.  I'm thoroughly enjoying this course; but I'm mentally drained. It ravaged my taste buds in a most excellent way - but all I can do is enjoy...I've got nothing left to give...but that doesn't mean I enjoy it any less.

Chef Ben...I love you.  In a totally platonic, OMG where have you been all my life you food cooking super genius, type of way.  I've also just learned that apparently Casa Picasso will send and cover a cab to and from your place - wow.  So what are the excuses not to eat here - death...that is the only one. I was amazed at the reasonableness (pretty cheap for the quality but don't tell them!) of the food prices.  So much so that I'm pretty sure my brother and I are headed back tomorrow!

And now I have a huge remote for my aging eye balls.  Thanks gang!

Just so you know - I am wearing pants in this picture...just they're short pants.  I live in Belize! I don't even have long pants anymore.

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