This tastes like my childhood.
I say this phrase often, but most recently to a friend while enjoying complimentary chips and dip at a local restaurant. In the midst of her laughter, she said, "the Chef in the movie Ratatouille said the same thing, but I don't even know what that means". Since I've never seen the movie I cannot verify the validity of that statement, but I told her that for me, it is the moment I take a bite of something and the aroma, texture or taste of the dish reminds me of a food from my childhood years.
Just think of the texture of a rice cake, the smell of bologna, or the sweet taste of a little huggie juice box, the flavors of those things are engraved in your brain, and for me, anything can trigger those memories. In the case of the chips and dip scenario, the tangy flavor, and tiny presence of onions reminded me of my days of eating french onion dip straight from the can. Lets be real, if the opportunity presents itself today, I'd still do it.
Now into my adulthood, a memorable and no fail childhood meal is the grilled cheese. In sickness and in health, with a bowl of tomato soup, I always ask my grandmother to make me one, cause nothing gets better than that sandwich, until now. At the beginning of my food journey, I found solace at Press 626 in Norfolk. A wine bar and restaurant with a happy hour consisting of half off glasses of wines, discounted small plates, and a relaxed atmosphere, they were everything I was looking for.
Looking at the menu, an obvious choice for my first order was their "Award Winning Grilled Cheese". Consider this a 2.0 version of your grandmas sandwich. It had the perfect balance of that gooey tv commercial pull apart cheese with Vermont Cheddar, swiss and pepper jack. The addition of goat cheese gave it a creamy and tangy kick in between two perfectly toasted pieces of sourdough bread. I added tomatoes and avocado but found that the avocado was unnecessary and got overpowered by the soft texture of the sandwich. With a side of fries and basil ketchup for dipping, my childhood self jumped out and I never looked back.
In my year of eating there, I've attempted to try something new and failed every time. What can I say, kids are stubborn.
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