Twenty-twelve: a whole year as a full-time MBA student. Four countries visited (China, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru). One Inca Trail hiked. One Summer internship in New York. Three top toasts.
1. Bacon Waffles - Good Enough to Eat (New York City)
Bacon and waffles surely isn't a novel concept, and certainly GETE is not the first restaurant to discover the brilliance of putting juicy chunks of Applewood Smoked Bacon directly INTO the waffle. However, theirs is the first, and continues to be the best, I've tasted. Add some strawberry butter and real maple syrup, and you're in for a breakfast treat, every time. It's become my Upper West Side brunch go-to.
Sometimes the experience and the setting is as important as the quality of the food itself. On this day during our idyllic vacation in Colombia's Baru Islands (about an hour's boat ride from Cartagena), we were served fresh-caught fried fish, local smashed plantains, and a light salad. On the beach. Under the palm trees. Surely, everything tastes about 10929182 times better in such a setting. However, this was one I would still enjoy at a restaurant in the states. If they could make it this well.
3. Thai - Flex Mussels (New York City)
As a person who didn't start appreciating oysters and mussels until a few years ago, this place quickly became my favorite spot for dinner with friends or a date. Wonderful ambiance, eighteen or so different mussel pot preparations, delectable fries, and craveable doughnut desserts - all at a price that won't break the bank. And, it's not impossible to get a reservation if you just plan a few days in advance. Fancy that. This picture is terrible, so you'll just have to take my word for it and try it yourself! :)