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I got to thinking tonight about the best food I had last year and started making a list. Here it is:

  • Best Steak: Bone-In Ribeye at Hyde Park Steakhouse in Columbus, OH — Pictured above, this was one of those steaks where you take one bite, and it’s over. I knew that moment there wouldn’t be a better steak all year—and maybe ever. It was that good. I had a couple other steaks at high-end restaurants throughout the year but none held a candle to this one.
  • Best BBQ: Brisket at Martin’s BBQ in Nashville, TN — Amy Jordan and Dr. Rainer share a birthday in July. To celebrate, our team in the office ordered in some barbecue from Martin’s. I had previously eaten Martin’s and it was good, but I had never tried their brisket. It was a game changer.
  • Best Side: Lobster Mac & Cheese at Hyde Park Steakhouse in Columbus, OH — Sarah and Art Rainer were supposed to share this with me. Not sure I let them though.
  • Best Cake: Warm Carrot Cake at J. Alexander’s in Nashville, TN — This may be the best cake I’ve ever had, hands down. When it first came, I thought I would bring back half of it for my coworkers back at the office. Then I took the first bite, and that changed my mind immediately. I ate it all then confessed to them my transgression when I returned.
  • Best Sandwich: Grilled Pimento Cheese at Barlines in Nashville, TN — Gotta come clean about this one…it wasn’t even my sandwich. I was having a business lunch with Ronnie Floyd and Ronnie Parrot. Dr. Floyd ate half and didn’t want the other half of his sandwich. He offered it to me and I figured I’d have just a bite because it really looked good. After one bite, I didn’t care. It was outstanding.
  • Best Burger: The Belmont Burger at The Pub in Nashville, TN — This burger has a spicy cheese sauce and onion strings and comes on a pretzel bun. It’s simple but amazing. There are places with great burgers in Nashville, and I think this burger is right up there with them. If I could only have one, this would be my choice.
  • Best Breakfast Item: Pancake Balls at Katalina’s in Columbus, OH — It’s really rare to hit a place twice in one business trip. Especially for me at breakfast because I rarely eat breakfast. But I had heard about these and they lived up to every bit of the hype. It was my first meal in Columbus as well as my last.
  • Best Food I Cooked: Prime Rib for Christmas Dinner — The pic doesn’t really do it justice. And the pic is amazing.
  • Best Pie: Chess Pie – I made this one on Boxing Day after Arsenal got waxed by Southampton. I was mad at the result of the game, so I went and #AngryBaked. The resulting pie was simple and delicious.
  • Best Meal: Mother’s in New Orleans — I took a quick 24-hour trip to New Orleans with Dr. Rainer early in 2015. We were staying 2 blocks from Mother’s, right on the Mississippi River. We got in about 30 minutes before they closed. I threw my stuff in my room and braved the rain to make it to Mother’s before they closed. It was worth the water-logged shoes and jeans. It was a taste of the homeland.

What were your food highlights of 2015?

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