I swear to God, [the rib] was so good that I dropped it and stared at it. My eyes were wide. I was looking at the rib like I just watched it punch my mother in the face, like I was angry at it for what it had done to me. In a sense, I was, but only because I equate pleasure with anger due to my damaged childhood. The bite of meat was already starting to melt in my mouth, the sauce mixing with fat and salt. Simply put, it was the most perfect bite of food I’ve ever taken.
I read this and just knew. Back in my younger, fatter, meat-eating days, I had one goal in life: to recreate my first Tony Luke's experience.
I must have been in middle school. We were just settling down to a warm winter's intolerable Philadelphia 76ers basketball game (intolerable not because of the fact that the Sixers were playing poorly, but because watching organized sports makes my eyeballs want to bleed).
With not much time before we had to hit the nosebleeds, we stopped by what looked like a rinky-dink shack under a bridge--Tony Luke's. My father and brother grabbed Philly cheesesteaks (or as "Philly cheesesteak" as my family gets, which is to say that they were simply beef and American cheese, topped with far more ketchup than any one bun can hold), and I opted for the Roast Pork with Sharp Provolone.
I'm not sure what did it for me. Was it my first-ever taste of sharp provolone cheese? Fresh, tender pork? A big old white bun full of fat? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I had my first-ever orgasm then and there. From that moment on, it was my goal to recreate that heavenly experience in my own kitchen.
Problem number one: I was thirteen years old, and without a source of income or outside food. Problem number two: we never had pork just plain-ol' lying around. I was stuck with Steakumms. The cheese situation was slightly--but barely--better. We usually had a block of extra-sharp cheddar cheese sitting in the refrigerator. It was close, but clearly not the same, I chopped up four-to-five Steakumms and melted upwards of a quarter pound of fatty, delicious cheese. They fried in their own fats and juices until the whole thing was one congealed patty of cheese and low-grade cowmeat.
Needless to say, I had no success in recreating that first Tony Luke's moment. In fact, the only success I had was in the weight-gain department. These experimental cheesesteaks brought me from a plump 260 pounds to a morbid 300, which in turn caused me to take control of my life and become an obsessive-compulsive, anorexic, vegetarian freak.
Thanks a lot, Tony Luke's.So I would like to ask the readership (which is, at this point, nonexistent): what is the absolute best meal you've ever had? Did you have a transcendent experience like Geth over at Hump Day Stories? Do you find yourself "chasing the dragon" to relive a certain food-type experience that will never come?