2017 was a banner year for food. New cuisines stormed to the forefront of the scene and classic chefs hit home runs around the world.
Here at Uproxx, we write a lot about food and to do that we have to eat a whole hell of a lot of it. It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a roundup from the writing team reflecting on the best meals we’ve had this year. Some of these are simple delights which tick boxes on the bucket list. Some are life-altering dishes that forever change the way we eat and cook.
Either way, great food was eaten and we’re here to tell you all about it. Here are our favorite meals of 2017.
INDIAN TACO — STEVE BRAMUCCI
Okay, that’s not an Indian taco in the pic. If you want to talk about my favorite bite from 2017, it’s going to be the foie gras crème brûlée that I had at the Park Hyatt Aviara’s Masters of Food & Wine Culinary Event. The combo of salty and sweet, light yet unctuous… damn. I get misty eyed talking about that dish. Give me this as a starter for a hundred nights in a row and I will turn it down exactly zero of them. Structurally, texturally, balance-wise, flavor-wise — I think it was perfect.
Of course, anything with foie is generally at least a 9/10 and recasting desserts as savory dishes has been done. You want to talk thrilling? That came on a book tour stop in late September, after Zach Johnson wrote a piece on the founders of Tocabe. I just happened to be in Denver and asked the bookstore handler (not as high profile as it seems) to swing me by.
What I found was a Native American foodway, restored and Chipotle-ized. I ordered an Indian taco. It’s a dish I’ve had many times before, but this was assembled with traditionally spiced meats, regional veg, house-made salsas, and a touch of cheese. It was local and Native, with strong historical influences (even the frybread of the taco has a rich history).
If I had “I want to buy a franchise” money, this is the one I would pick, hands down.
Of course none of the cool backstory would matter if the food wasn’t great. It was. It was everything I’d hope for out of fast-casual: It seemed healthy enough to eat often, but indulgent enough to satiate me. The textures were interesting and the flavors were strong. More than any other meal I had in 2017, this one truly left me hyped on the state of food. -SB