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Jim
06-07-2011, 07:01 PM
I was thinking of some of the great meals that I have had in the past. Some elaborate feasts and some very humble, but honest efforts.

Of course the food plays into it, but company, location, ambiance and service all play a role for me in those most memorable meals.

So what makes a meal great for you?

apicius9
06-07-2011, 07:09 PM
I remember great dishes, great locations, great single bites, great wine pairings, but I remember only one great meal that was not determined by the company of friends or family I was with.

Stefan

mano
06-07-2011, 07:12 PM
I've been fortunate to have had countless great meals. They're everything you said plus food, wine and company that have love and soul.

If I really think about it the company and ambiance make the meal great. The food and wine are necessary but insufficient on their own.

WildBoar
06-07-2011, 07:22 PM
Most of the best meals I have had were when I went in with no/ low expectations, and was completely blown away by the food. Some were relatively inexpensive, and some were quite costly. All had at least a decent level of service. The settings varied from plain to fancy, indoor and outdoor. Most were here in the US, but a couple were in Italy. There usually was a wife involved, and it was usually one of mine :lol2:

Jay
06-07-2011, 09:26 PM
The company.

Eamon Burke
06-07-2011, 10:34 PM
It's the food, for me. I have grown to dislike eating with anyone other than my wife because I just don't know anyone that cares enough about their food to pay real attention to it. They take 2 bites, decide their opinion, then talk about something while scarfing the balance down. I guess it's just because I've been working in food service, but when I eat, I am focusing first on what I am eating.

Food that has been shown complete consideration is what I like. It doesn't have to be fine dining, it just needs to be what it is on purpose, start to finish.

But as for a GREAT meal...well, hunger is the best sauce. I suggest that before you have a special feast, you go on a short fast(like all day beforehand) or an austere diet for a week.

ajhuff
06-07-2011, 10:51 PM
How good the bite was.

-AJ

SpikeC
06-07-2011, 11:51 PM
Well, first it should be free...................

ajhuff
06-08-2011, 12:26 AM
I meant to say how good the LAST bite was!

-AJ

JohnnyChance
06-08-2011, 01:02 AM
It's the food, for me. I have grown to dislike eating with anyone other than my wife because I just don't know anyone that cares enough about their food to pay real attention to it. They take 2 bites, decide their opinion, then talk about something while scarfing the balance down. I guess it's just because I've been working in food service, but when I eat, I am focusing first on what I am eating.

Food that has been shown complete consideration is what I like. It doesn't have to be fine dining, it just needs to be what it is on purpose, start to finish.

But as for a GREAT meal...well, hunger is the best sauce. I suggest that before you have a special feast, you go on a short fast(like all day beforehand) or an austere diet for a week.

I agree with pretty much all of this.

Yeah, the company and atmosphere and service matter I guess, but I think having those things great help mediocre food seem great. I have plenty of those meals, and the entire experience is what I look back on fondly, not each dish we had.

It doesn't have to be high end or expensive food. I think perfect execution of every dish and component is what leads to a great meal.

Amon-Rukh
06-08-2011, 01:16 AM
I think that both the food and the company/mood/ambiance have to be on for a meal to be considered great. If something is off, it distracts from the overall experience and the meal stops being great. Great is when everything comes together in precisely the way it should be.

MadMel
06-08-2011, 03:32 AM
For me, it's always about the quality of the food. I like good, fresh, unpretentious food.. Doesn't have to be freaking expensive, fine dining or beautifully plated, although I'd expect to get what I paid for in terms of both quality of the food and service. If I step into a fine dining place and pay that amount of $$, the level of service definitely comes into play.. Otherwise, as long as the food is good, I'd care less about anything else..

swarfrat
06-08-2011, 04:28 PM
Most of the great meals of my life involved trail mix, blue skies and high mountains.



sr

SpikeC
06-08-2011, 05:39 PM
This reminds me of an MRE eaten at the top of Steens Mountain in southern Oregon one summer. That was indeed a great meal.

oivind_dahle
06-08-2011, 05:46 PM
Best meal ever:

Rome, summer, warm, evening, balcony, the most beautiful girl Ive ever met, me and her, know her for 10 days. It was magic.
No clue what we ate and drank :)