Where would you eat if you didn't have long to live?
August 15, 2019 6:13 AM   Subscribe

I don't know how I didn't predict the inevitable crying in advance, but I didn't and now I have a meeting to go to and my face is all puffy.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:41 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can't tell you how astoundingly fortunate I feel, that my answer is "dinner at home, with my family". A failure of imagination on my part, I guess.
posted by mhoye at 6:58 AM on August 15, 2019 [12 favorites]

Very moving article, thank you for posting it.

The author is a restaurant critic, so not surprising this was largely based around eating out. When I think of what my own answer to the question would be though, it gets me thinking about how many of my own current dietary choices are based around the hope of:
A) Creating a scenario where I do have a long time to live
B) Looking reasonably good while doing so

So much of what I eat now is based on denying some amount of pleasure for long term benefit (one of my adult stepsons moved back in with us a few months ago, I’m convinced his stay was short because dinners here are so sad). Take that off table and put a very finite window in place, I don’t know that there are specific meals at specific places I’m interested in so much as I’m going to stop denying myself everyday pleasures like a couple Twinkies or having homemade brownies and/or a pint of ice cream after dinner.
posted by The Gooch at 7:13 AM on August 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

I have always joked that if I had days to live, to just drop me in Hershey, PA.* Now that I have to mind my blood sugar, I would enjoy it even more I think. If you could enjoy anything with only days to live.

*I know that Hershey’s is not that great. So maybe say, Belgium instead.
posted by 41swans at 7:19 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't care if it's beyond cheesy, that song "Live like you were dying" means a lot to me and makes me cry. So did this article.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:31 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Pack the cooler with sandwiches, grab some boardwalk fries, and go sit on the beach with my family and friends and a good book. (Easier than making everyone fly to Rome with me.)
posted by sallybrown at 7:39 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

I remember when someone I knew had pancreatic cancer, and had beaten the odds and gone into remission. With pancreatic cancer, though, you know it won't last. He knew he wasn't going to get much more time, and he knew what it was that would kill him, barring an astounding accident. So he ate whatever he wanted, much to the alarm of his wife. They were older folks, and their whole married life, he had snuck around eating delicious bad-for-you food while his wife tried to get him to eat healthy.
Eventually, they were at his doctor's office one day, and I think she mentioned his diet to the doctor, who just looked at her and said "Nancy. He's not going to die of heart disease. Let him eat the damn butter."
She still fussed, but I think he spent a lot of time at the BBQ truck down the street after that.
posted by Adridne at 7:42 AM on August 15, 2019 [39 favorites]

Grameen Khana in Birmingham's Balti Triangle. I'd have naga lamb and mackerel bhuna with two naan. I'd also need them to restore the BYOB that they recently abandoned due to problems with the lager louts. If I was going to die that night I'd ask for the naga lamb to be extra hot since I wouldn't be around experience the "follow through" consequences.

I dream about his meal sometimes. If I won the lottery I'd hop on a plane and fly almost 4000 miles to do this the very next day. And I really hate flying.

[oh crap -it's permanently closed :( ]
posted by srboisvert at 7:48 AM on August 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

The last few years, my dad had seen a dietitian through his nephrology clinic and it's always been 'avoid saturated fats, don't eat so much processed lunch meat, etc, etc' When he started to really rapidly lose weight toward the end of his life, they switched their tune entirely to 'how many calories of extra butter do you think you can put on a piece of bread?'

Little did they know that my Dad had been spreading butter a quarter inch thick on his bread the whole time anyway.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:48 AM on August 15, 2019 [20 favorites]

Upon opening this article, I was offered another current headline in the sidebar, and I felt it was relevant in a weirdly poignant tragicomic sort of way:

Man dies after taco-eating contest in California
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:55 AM on August 15, 2019 [8 favorites]

One of the sadder parts of chemotherapy is that it can make food taste different (or not have a taste at all) to a lot of patients. So finding things you'd like to eat in that scenario would largely be a matter of what still tasted like the food you liked, which adds another layer of difficulty on top of things.
posted by xingcat at 7:55 AM on August 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

There are a few contenders. Depends where I am when the time comes, and whether I can make it back to Paris.

Hot Tomatoes Pizza in Williamstown, MA. Takeout, either for in the car, or on one of the picnic tables by the little river.

Schwartz'. Probably the actual last meal I'd want. Medium sandwich, fries, and Cott's cherry cola.

Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon. Spectacular setting, and a nice place to start my journey to the Hereafter. And the food is fantastic. I once had a fondant au chocolat so rich I forgot my own name.

But in the end, there can only be one choice: Chartier. The food isn't the best you can find in Paris, but the grubby fin-de-siecle setting seems appropriate. So many good times there over the years, it's an intensely personal space for me. It is always where I have my last meal in Paris, which, well, this would be. Plus, their baba au rhum is to die for...
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:00 AM on August 15, 2019 [9 favorites]

Watching my uber-healthy father die in his early 50s really drove home to me the importance of balance. I don't want to eat so much or so indulgently that I feel like crap every day of my life, but in his last days my dad did not want his customary oatmeal, two yogurts, and lean chicken with green beans. He wanted fried chicken, a blizzard, cold beer, a whiskey on ice, cherry pie, apple pie, all the pies. So I make sure my life has a fair amount of all those things.

I don't look as good as my dad did at my age, and I sure as fuck can't beat his marathon time. But if I get a weird cancer next year and have to bow out I won't be making up for lost time with the deliciousness of the world.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2019 [28 favorites]

Capt. Renault, on my first interrail holiday, at 16, I had saved up for lunch at Le Train Bleu during my short stopover there. I was a very young, quite dirty teenager with a knapsack, but they treated me like royalty. Since I've heard that good restaurants always spoil young gourmets, after all, it's the next generation of customers.
Also: since then I've never worried about eating out alone.
posted by mumimor at 8:05 AM on August 15, 2019 [18 favorites]

Nice article.

My list:


Enoteca Sociale
Pizzeria Defina
Cocktail Bar (cocktails, not food)


Musso & Frank
Salt's Cure


Chez Jay
The bar at the Fairmont Miramar when Artur is working
Carrot juice, extra ginger from the Cow's End


Elephanta Gin Bar (gin, not food)

OLIVA, Spain

Ca Fran
Pizzas Al Punt (probably the best pizza I've ever had)
posted by dobbs at 8:16 AM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I was just at Enoteca Sociale on Saturday! I hadn't been there since Grant Van Gameran moved on, so it's been awhile. It was pretty great.

Though, when I think about last month meals in Toronto, it's not necessarily the high end places I think of. I would want to eat about 12 plates of the crispy beef at Rol San and several dozen Doce Minho egg tarts. I would have put a cevap sandwich from Royal Meats BBQ on the list, but I feel like it's been getting less good as it gets tarted up fancy.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:25 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Steamed crabs on a paper-covered picnic table, a lemonade that's mostly shaved ice, and an Orioles game on the radio.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:26 AM on August 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

Back in time, to my mother's French Toast with Wild Grapes from Door County.
posted by symbioid at 8:29 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

Brisket smoked at home, crusty white bread, and beer so cold it almost hurts to drink it. After: banana pudding.
posted by jquinby at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Perhaps I am a callow soul, but I'd still go back to Hedone. I don't eat at expensive restaurants to collect them--I can't afford that, even if I thought that way!--but in the hopes of a transcendently delicious experience. My meal at Hedone a couple of years ago was amazing. I've never had a scallop like that. Maybe if I could graft in, say, EMP's customer service.

...and if I could somehow conjure Ichimura at Brushstroke from the mists of time, I'd do that, too. The uni was to die for.

But I'd also sit on my building's terrace with some friends, a hydroflask full of cocktails, and some Emmy Squared, so there's that.
posted by praemunire at 8:36 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

You know, it would mean I'd have to go back in time. I'd get a ham and turkey sub with lettuce, tomatoes, provolone, oregano, a dash of salt and pepper, a touch of mayo, and dressed with oil and vinegar from Cousins' Subs in Milwaukee, specifically the location at Oakland and Locust on a weekday sometime between 1:00 and 5:30 PM. The guy who made my sandwiches there when I was in high school was the best at making these. I haven't had a Cousins' sub in 35 years. And goodness, that bread.

Perhaps it's nostalgia, but while I've had plenty of good heros here in New York City, I miss and would want that one if I knew my sun was imminently setting.
posted by droplet at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

A roast goose with crispy, salty skin.
posted by mdoar at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

The first thing that comes to mind is to put a cap on some lingering nostalgia by going on an eating tour of southeast New England, where I spent a lot of summers as a kid; coffee milk, Newport Creamery, fried fish, pizza with linguiça.

And I've had the privilege of eating at some truly great restaurants, some of them undeservedly obscure, so I don't feel like I'd want to seek more out as a dying wish, although I understand and respect those people who do.

But on the "Fuck the consequences" aspect of knowing my time is closing imminently, I'd want to eat all the terrible stunt foods at a State Fair. That's something I've genuinely wanted to do and I'd finally have an excuse to go at it, no holds barred.
posted by ardgedee at 8:47 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

jacquilynne! I just had dinner at Rol San last month! The dumplings were amazing.
posted by 41swans at 8:50 AM on August 15, 2019

A plate of oysters from the Boathouse on Ulva in Scotland, beautiful and pulled from the sea just yards away. Followed by coffee ice cream from Berthillon in Paris, simply the best ice cream I have ever tasted.
posted by Gilgongo at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

From when I was living in NYC (see my login), brunch at the Westway on 9th, my usual weekend haunt.

That's also the place where I saw an elderly man eating with half a dozen friends. He had pancreatic cancer and didn't have long, and no-one sitting round could avoid hearing the conversation. When he tried to pay, the manager (who had also heard everything) swore at him, tore up the check and threatened to throw them all out.

And back in London... a burger and some decent beer at the Albion in Kingston.
posted by 43rdAnd9th at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'd be getting Miracle Max a MLT. I have more living to do, and a single meal isn't going to cut it.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:01 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

You sentimentalists with your home cooking are sweet but if I'm about to kick it I'm going to the mothafucking French Laundry or some shit.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:32 AM on August 15, 2019 [9 favorites]

Duck with honey and peppercorns at La Maison Fleurie in Limassol.

A breakfast burrito from the van at the Saturday morning market up the road.

Tartiflette, somewhere halfway up an Alp.

Dangerously hot chips, with a garnish of newspaper ink due to being wrapped in copies of the stain-prone Bristol Evening Post, eaten at The Buttery by the docks while eyeballing a seagull and watching the steam train pootle up and down.

The fish taco I had in 2015 from Otto's Tacos in New York while light-headed with heat and hunger. Not sure how to get hold of that taco again, having eaten it, but we'll figure something out.
posted by inire at 9:35 AM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

When my father was dying from cancer after many strokes, the hospital put him on a basically mushy food only diet, as he was a serious choking hazard. He couldn’t even drink water. Talking was a huge struggle. Some of his last words to me were “bbq chicken.” My brother jumped up to grab some from a store nearby. We didn’t let my dad have it. Sometimes I regret not allowing him this last pleasure and sometimes I’m glad I spared myself the horror of listening to my dad choke to death. We both knew the chicken wouldn’t have measured up to the one he would have made anyway.
posted by Pretty Good Talker at 9:44 AM on August 15, 2019 [7 favorites]

There are a lot of places that spring to mind, but honestly...getting baked and going to the Mandarin with a big group of friends and family wouldn't be a bad last meal.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:52 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

A meal at Oriole in Chicago, and a garbage plate from Nick Tahou's in Rochester.
posted by noneuclidean at 9:53 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Can I do all the things? Go back in time: endless mai tais and forgettable food at Golden Dragon, have another grease bomb at Tommys on Rampart, and all the grilled mustard burgers at the burger stand on the pier in Avalon Harbor.
Then I will fly into the future, eat wild boar ragu and drink my weight in Barolo, all that seafood in Venice I read about in Marcella Hazan, Le Train Bleu and all of France (all that MFK Fisher), Vietnam, New England seafood, Marseilles....venison in Canada, at that place that used to be a church?
Ending up cooking at home, I have an unlimited budget (and my kitchen is vastly better) and every one of my guests is happy to eat and drink anything, so we plan a menu where each course is somebody's favorite but I get to interpret it, and then I drown in a wading pool of Krug.
I better start saving up for that menu :D

OH and Yucas and Midnight Taco.
posted by twentyfeetof tacos at 10:11 AM on August 15, 2019 [5 favorites]

On the road between Cairo and the border crossing at Rafah there's an unmarked roadside stand where I once at breakfast before sunrise on the first night of Ramadan. Ful mudammas, a fried egg, fresh-baked pita, scalding hot sweet mint tea. It's the best meal I've ever had, aside from my safta's blintzes, which I guess I'd have to wait for.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:15 AM on August 15, 2019 [10 favorites]

I started typing out a list of my favorite places I'd like to go back to one more time, but by the time it reached 15 and I hadn't even gotten to the city where I lived for 20 years, I realized that this project is a little too overwhelming.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:29 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Steamed clams from some no-name seafood shack on the South Shore, with butter and fresh corn. Homemade blueberry pie with really good vanilla ice cream. Deep fried cheese curds from my brother's restaurant.

The Tamarind deep-fried cauliflower at Juhu Beach Club (which is now closed). The pork chop at The Wolf.

There was a venison stew at a bistro on the west coast of the South Island in New Zealand, which was by far the best thing I ate the whole time I was there...

Several of my favorite Bay Area restaurants have closed; I don't even know where to go to get moules frites now.
posted by suelac at 10:31 AM on August 15, 2019

I pay attention to expensive food providers, and as I think about the question I'm surprised how few fancy restaurants come to mind. The most prominent one is an oldschool steakhouse that I could probably simulate (more or less) if I was a better cook, and none of them are Alinea (no slight on Mr. Achatz). It appears to be more important for me to make it to one of the places that knows how to make hash browns properly.
posted by rhizome at 10:37 AM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I had a lunch of chicken with tarragon sauce at a little corner place when we were in Paris that had both of us mopping up the sauce with all the bread and pommes frites and I damn near picked up the plate ad licked it. 100% would fly right the fuck over there and march straight over to the Ile de France and find that place again. We've been trying to recreate that sauce for 14 years.
posted by corvikate at 10:41 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

getting baked and going to the Mandarin with a big group of friends and family wouldn't be a bad last meal.

Once in the Mandarin, I saw some kid walking to his table with a bowl of sprinkles. Not some sprinkles he had put in a bowl, no, the bowl the restaurant used to serve sprinkles from. The kid decided that was his meal. Just putting that suggestion out there.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:43 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

Mandarin needs a condiments bar so my colleague L can have mayo on things.

Apparently I need to get myself to Enoteca Sociale. But I like New Treasure better than Rol San. One of my best Toronto meals was at Buca, but it was partly the server that made it great. I think it'd have to be giant picnic in High Park with my friends (including the Toronto MeFi meetup crew for sure) with everyone bringing something they think is delicious.
posted by wellred at 10:47 AM on August 15, 2019

My wife and I do have an informal list of Hall of Fame Meals we've had over the years, which includes:

- nachos at a place I can't remember the name of in Sydney, Australia (seriously, the best nachos I've ever had in my life, and I think it was a chain restaurant)
- Les P'tites Indecises (where we both had our Paris Moment)
- the steak in herbed butter at Greta Solomon's here in Toronto
- Tempoe Doeloe in Amsterdam (the only Michelin-starred restaurant I've been to, and worth every penny, although it wasn't *that* expensive)
- the vegetarian taster's menu at Susur Lee's old restaurant in Toronto
- U Tří růží in Prague (especially the beer)
- the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet at Sjávarbarinn in Reykjavík
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:11 AM on August 15, 2019

I figure if I knew I was going to die, I'd be so sick that I probably couldn't take pleasure in large quantities, complex flavors, or even food that takes a whole lot of chewing. So I would completely regress to the junk food that my grandmother liked to give me.

I would take apart Swiss Cake Rolls and eat them chocolate-first and cream-next like a child. I'd eat powdered Donettes and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. I'd snack on Cheetos puffs -- you know, the ones that dissolve in your mouth. I'd be disgusting. But I would also look like a mummy anyway, so I might as well.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:21 AM on August 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

(Also, I think it's very sweet that Jay Rayner in particular has done this, since I associate him with really brutal reviews. I even have a book of them.)
posted by Countess Elena at 11:29 AM on August 15, 2019

Shore lunch, with my dad and brothers: fresh-caught walleye, cold Coke, maybe some Fritos.

A Rush Street Stuffed pizza from the Green Mill, offered to share with my sister, who would refuse.

Mom's homemade fudge for dessert, or maybe those caramels made with the recipe from the nuns at Visitation Convent.

Homemade pizza on the grill and a cold beer, sitting on the deck with my wife & kids.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:49 AM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

We've been trying to recreate that sauce for 14 years.
corvikate, have you tried adding one or two egg yolks and a bit of whole cream to the sauce, after taking it off the heat? If you haven't: I think you should have braised the chicken in white wine and perhaps a bit of chicken stock, and fresh tarragon, obvs. Take out the meat and whatever vegetables you might have in there. Give it a quick boil, and then remove it from the heat. Meanwhile, mix one tablespoon of cream with each egg yolk. How many you need depends on the size of your chicken. One for a small one, two for a big one, three for a giant. Whip the egg-cream mix into your braising liquid. Serve at once, on warm plates.
posted by mumimor at 12:17 PM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh, man. In the winter I would hope for the world to be buried under snow and I would go and hang out all day every day in the upstairs Annie's in either St. Paul or Minnemopealot, I forget, but it was the best. Ever. Place. To be in the winter. I would sit in a booth all day looking out from my warm, bright, cheery booth nest at the gray and white frozen world, and I would read whatever I wanted and order more burgers and fries and hot fudge sundaes with banana whenever I got peckish. At night I would go and watch horror movies and eat tubs of popcorn, and I'd smuggle my own melted butter in in a thermos. (It would at long last be safe for me to watch horror movies because no matter what they're serving up, if I'm dying already, it's officially not my circus, not my monkeys, so bring it on!) In the summer I would go to Hawaii and eat every fruit all day every day while floating in the Pacific or in swimming pools. And at night I would go and watch more horror movies and eat more tubs of popcorn. And when the end was nigh, I, too, would go to Hershey, PA.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:22 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh, yeah, the seafood in Venice: worth it. But I wouldn't want to die in Venice. It's been done.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:24 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love reading all of these!

I'd immediately hop on a plane and head back to Dubrovnik. I once spent a few afternoons there sitting by the sea in the sunshine, eating freshly caught calamari with lemon, drinking Favorit Pivo, and occasionally going for a swim.

It was honestly the happiest time of my life, and I would give anything to live it again.
posted by westface at 12:29 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

i'd go to san junipero for the cocktails
posted by lalochezia at 12:38 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thought about this for a bit....

I'd want one of the old school Kappy's Subs from Maitland from my childhood.

I'd want a Roast Pork Sandwich from Dinicks. An everything bagel with lox, whitefish and the works from Russ & Daughters. That fish sandwich I just had in June at Dune Brothers in Providence with a tall can of ice cold Gannestt.

Another slice of bad pizza (Campus Pizza) and cheap red wine (from the jug) sitting on the roof of my fraternity house in Cambridge. (Followed up with some Potstickers from the Royal East)

A culotte steak with all the fixings from Taylor's and some Korean BBQ from whatever joint has the best deal. Throw in a martini from Musso & Franks while we're at it.

The Octopus rice I had in Florianopolis. The Salt & Pepper squid that seemed to be everywhere in Melbourne. The lobster rolls my grandfather used to buy on the way from Boston to Jackson, NH. The Apple Pie ice cream my grandmother would buy at Smiling Hill Farms on the way back from Portland ME.

On the departed restaurant lists: another shot at the ricotta gnocchi from Angelini Caffe (and the egg gnochi from Ink). And the old lavosh flat breads from Crown City Brewing. And a slice of pizza with a pitcher of Bridgeport IPA.
posted by drewbage1847 at 1:03 PM on August 15, 2019

... oh. The fresh coconut shakes at Cape Phra Nang, in Krabi Province, Thailand. I would love to get another one of those.

And my mom's homemade mac-n-cheese. Mostly because she's been dead for six years, and stopped cooking almost as soon as my dad retired in 1993. I can make it myself, but I've never been able to get the top as crispy as she did.

And her oven-browned potatoes, which were nice and brown and crispy on the outside.
posted by suelac at 2:09 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

If time and space is no object, I will have being heard that the gabulask patties on Alpha Centauri C 3 (aka BeeDo's world) are pretty choice. Then I would use my food based time travel power to find the location in spacetime which can cure what ails me, followed by curing or re-lifing some people I know and lastly making some changes to the 1980 presidential election (can't go back further without risking never being born).

All y'all using this power just for a sandwich seems kind of shallow, honestly.
posted by BeeDo at 2:46 PM on August 15, 2019

Well, I have a few spots I'd want to hit up again before I kicked the bucket:

Joe's on Carmine
Truly Mediterranean in The Mission
Naomi Sushi in Menlo Park
Cafe Jacqueline
The French Laundry
Thunder Bar and Grill in Georgetown
Mon Ami Gabi in Vegas for brunch

and a big-ass potluck with all my friends...

(this list is personal, not intended as a critical review or anything)
posted by Chuffy at 3:07 PM on August 15, 2019

I'm pretty sure that I'd want a New Jersey Taylor Ham, egg and cheese on a hard roll. Actually I want one right now but I'm probably 300 miles from the nearest one.
posted by octothorpe at 3:19 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I could do a lot worse than sit at a good italian restaurant with friends. House Chianti, and for food just fresh crusty bread, still hot, with a good olive oil and finely powdered Parmesan cheese. I used to go to a place which did that, with endless refills of bread and oil and cheese, and christ, sometimes we rarely ordered food. Make it summer and a patio and beautiful people way out of your league walking by on the sidewalk, smelling slightly of sunscreen and scent and generous with their smiles.

Though thinking about this, I found myself thinking of "transformative" meals, where you have something done properly which maybe you've only ever experienced in a mediocre form, and you realize your whole life to that point had been a lie. It marks me as basic, but as a kid my mom used to give us "french toast"...it was some sort of toaster-friendly product. The first time I had "real" french toast was in a forgettable airport hotel, I was probably 10 or 11 or something. Big triangles of bread, egged and fried on the stove, served with soft butter and "real" maple syrup and, crucially, powdered sugar. Jeebus. I never had the toaster version again, how could you?

Honestly, these lists seem really light on gold-to-golden-brown colored breakfast foods.
posted by maxwelton at 3:55 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I definitely want a taylor ham egg n cheese sammie but on one of the bagels from the shop near my parents in Franklin. Sooooo good.

I also want some fancy place, French Laundry could do. And omakase at Sushi-sho in El Cerrito and a mr supermedusa cheeseburger and a tray of my friend Joe,s mac n cheese and all the waffles.

And for the second course...

Ooh ooh Bakesale Betty chicken sandwich...and and and...
posted by supermedusa at 3:59 PM on August 15, 2019

I would "beat" whatever I had by gorging myself to death in the world capital of carbohydrates, New York.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:30 PM on August 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Where would you eat if you didn't have long to live?

Definitely not attempting a drive-thru line at rush hour.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:47 PM on August 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

An incredibly rich Zinfandel with a perfectly cooked medium rare rib eye, a loaded baked potato and all of the fucking lobster. All of it! Oh, and some killer pan rolls with salted butter.

...followed by an absurd amount of movie theater popcorn with extra butter.*

*Due to being a hypothetical question, in this fantasy I am assuming I also have bottomless hunger but appear to not gain weight or feel worse, only benefit from the pleasure of enjoying these foods.
posted by floweredfish at 6:03 PM on August 15, 2019

maxwelton: To your mom's credit, if I had kids, I would keep that scam going as long as possible, then switch to making real french toast at home. It's not particularly difficult to make, but the toaster version would save precious time and attention that I as a harried parent would want to preserve until absolutely necessary. And really, kids will love whatever sugar bread comes out of the freezer anyway.

Anyway, I heartily support the practicality of simulated and knockoff treats for kids. Let them learn on their own and demand the real stuff!
posted by rhizome at 6:10 PM on August 15, 2019

I would also start with breakfast at the Tasty in Harvard Square with my friends Matt and the Texan, and Charlie cooking for us.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:21 PM on August 15, 2019

An italian hoagie on an amoroso roll. And now you all know to within about 100 miles where I'm from.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 6:29 PM on August 15, 2019

Ah, wenestvedt, time travelling to the Tasty in 1991 with my high school pals would be pretty nice.
posted by wellred at 5:42 AM on August 16, 2019

Re: "real" french toast - I remember kid-me being extremely confused the first time I tried non-frozen french toast. The cooked-at-home version looked and tasted so vastly different from the frozen version that I don't even think it makes sense to call them the same thing. Not to say that one is better or worse than the other. They're just as different as hash browns and baked potatoes to my taste buds.

I've only ever been close to one terminally-ill person, and she chose to live her life exactly as she would as if she weren't terminally ill. It was something that made an impression on me. I like to think if I were faced with the same situation I'd react similarly.
posted by ToddBurson at 5:49 AM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

In my house growing up, french toast was whole wheat bread dipped in egg (nothing else), fried in oil, served with Mrs. Butterworth maple-adjacent-syrup. I can remember the first time I ate the real thing. Yes, it felt like I'd been lied to my entire life. No, we didn't start eating it that way at home until I was old enough to make it my own danged self.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:40 AM on August 16, 2019

To pretty much any restaurant I can go to if I can go with an expensive young rental man who makes me feel smart and sexy.
posted by bendy at 8:38 PM on August 16, 2019

As I rapidly save on Google maps more of these Toronto spots I want to go to (the list is crossing into the 50s with less than 10 visited) I can't help but wish for a giant plate of my family's recipe for rolled crepes stuffed with cottage cheese drenched in real maple syrup.

The day I learn to make them is probably the same day I die of the inevitable heart attack that follows after eating all of them.
posted by ~Bert at 9:21 PM on August 16, 2019

Wherever my mom or husband are cooking.
posted by Catbunny at 1:46 PM on August 18, 2019

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