Sunday, March 7, 2010

The best burger, ice cream and lamb

Aminah, of our group, enjoys a mushroom and tomato pizza at The Cow in Queenstown, NZ At my last job, at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, we did a pretty extensive roundup of the best ________ in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which you can see here. Topics included Best Old-School Deli Sandwich, Best Wine List and Best View.

A few times in New Zealand I found myself using superlatives to describe what we were eating. Granted, I'm on vacation in a stunning place, so maybe ice cream here just tastes better than the same ice cream would taste in New Haven on a gloomy, cold, rainy, miserable day ... God, how I don't want to go back.

Anyway, among these amazing eats here were:

1. BEST ICE CREAM -- Patagonia, a chocolate shop with 30 flavours of gelato-style ice cream. So good we went twice, and may return before leaving this afternoon. Once for banana-split, and another for mocha cream. And I usually consider ice cream cones to be a nonessential component, but in this case they were fantastic -- crispy, thin and sweet, like a cookie.

2. BEST LAMB -- This is a no-brainer, for New Zealand has famously good New Zealand lamb, but nevertheless my dinner at Chico's was stunning; lamb of a perfect color, with a peppery crust, and so tender it just disappeared in your mouth.

3. BEST BURGER -- Fergburger. Best burger I have ever, ever had. Perfect beef, brie, bun and aioli, but I think what sends it over the edge is the tomato relish, which I think is a locally popular condiment because it was made available during lunch at our canoe/jet boating trip yesterday. And I ate a whole lot of burgers for, as we did an NCAA-style tournament competition to find the best burger in the Metroplex.

4. BEST PIZZA, MAYBE -- Our mushroom and tomato pizza at The Cow was pretty awesome. Maybe not the best ever -- Hi, Imo's -- but awfully good. And it's the only place I took a photo. Stupid, stupid (hitting self).

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