I never thought when starting this challenge I would enjoy myself so much and also get so fat from it. We started off the year with an average Irish breakfast and ended it with an amazing Israeli breakfast. I had a goal of reaching 75 countries and we surpassed that by eating from 84.
I learned that I like some foods more than I like others that I have never tried before. In Japan I tried octopus for the first time (which I loved). I came to realize that maybe I am not the biggest fan of Burmese food or maybe I should never try making curry again from scratch.
We brought along so many guests to join us in this eclectic adventure. Dave Ravikoff joined us first to a tiny Honduran restaurant where I came to realize that I loved horchata. Christina Hernandez wrote an awesome post about our Kenyan meal where we learned hot really is HOT. Melissa Williams treated us (which is most important) to a fantastic Greek dinner, where we had the WORST service. Paige Knappenberger wrote a great post about our trip to Iran for Moby Dick’s, where I learned it was no standard “fast food” joint. Malvi Ganoza joined us for a gas station sandwich for Uruguay and an amazing meal at a new local Panamanian restaurant.
Both parent units even joined us for a country cuisine. Bridget’s parents joined us for Cuban food while were in Florida. My parents were up in DC and had an interesting Russian meal with us.
The Kolskys joined us for fantastic fried chicken that was Korean. Abby and Jake showed us a great restaurant outside of DC for Bolivian food.
Michael and Mary DeVito went out of their way and joined us for Ethiopian, Laotian, Egyptian, even treated us to a dessert for American food. Half the party also joined us Paraguayan & Swiss cuisine.
Bridget and I had a lot of ups and downs on our adventure. As we look back we don’t regret anything we tried to cook or eat. Many foods that we ate surprised us, good and bad. A few were awful but a majority were fantastic. Here are our favorites and worst categories.
BEST BREAKFAST/BRUNCH: Matt: Argentina (Rural Society) Bridget: France (Le Diplomate) BEST DESSERT: Matt: Philippines- Purple Yam Ice Cream (Purple Patch) Bridget: South Africa- Malva (Homemade) BEST FOOD TRUCK: Matt: Puerto Rico (Borinquen Lunch Box) Bridget: Puerto Rico (Borinquen Lunch Box) BEST APPETIZER: Matt: Georgia Khachapuri (Compass Rose) Bridget: Georgia Khachapuri (Compass Rose)
BEST ENTREE: Matt: Brazil- All Da Meats (Fogo de Chao) Bridget: Philippines (Purple Patch) BEST DRINK: Matt: Honduras- Horchata (El Catrachito) Bridget: Czech Republic- Czech 75 (Bistro Bohem) WEIRDEST FOOD EATEN: Matt: Taiwan- Shaved Ice Mountain (Taipei Cafe) Bridget: Taiwan- Shaved Ice Mountain (Taipei Cafe)
BEST HOME COOKED MEAL: Matt: Denmark Bridget: Ecuador WORST HOME COOKED MEAL: Matt: Burma Bridget: Burma WORST EXPERIENCE NOT HOMEMADE: Matt: Greece (Kellari) Bridget: Belgium (Belgian Cafe)
BEST EXPERIENCE NOT HOMEMADE: Matt: Mexico (Hidden Spot) Bridget: Mexico (Hidden Spot)
RESTAURANT WE WOULD GO BACK TO FIRST IN 2016: Matt: Cambodia (Maketto) Bridget: Georgia (Compass Rose) MOST UNDERRATED COUNTRY: Matt: Pakistan (Cusbah) Bridget: Afghanistan (Local 16)
BEST COUNTRY: Matt: Philippines (Purple Patch) Bridget: Mexico (Hidden Spot)
This was a fun challenge and we learned a lot. Not only did I learn to eat different foods, I learned about different cultures. Also I got really fat. 84 country cuisines and we move on to 2016 with new adventures and losing weight.