The Last Meal

In one of Anthony Bourdain’s books, he talks about how he and his chef friends used to meet at Blue Ribbon Sushi late at night, after their shifts were over, and the conversation would inevitably turn to the Death Row Meal: what they would choose for the very last meal of their life. For virtually everyone, the choice wasn’t some fancy dish from a five-star restaurant, but rather either sushi (go figure) or an old childhood favorite: their grandmother’s spaghetti and meatballs; their father’s chicken pot pie; a couple of slices of warm, buttered bread.

It’s that way for everyone, I think. When I think about what I’d want for my last meal, what’s always popped into my mind has been my mother’s spaghetti with meat sauce and homemade biscuits with lots of butter. But then, a couple of years ago, I had a meal that was so perfect, so delicious and hearty and comforting and exactly what I want to eat all the time that it immediately vaulted into the Death Row Meal position.

Sorry, mom.

The best sandwich in the entire world.

It’s this.

The steak sandwich at the Cold Spring Depot in Cold Spring, New York (check out a JITH segment I shot in the town here).

I don’t know what it is that they do to this sandwich – it’s really just a thick, chewy piece of steak with some caramelized onions on a soft bun, and I eat it with salt and ketchup because I’m highbrow like that – but I seriously can’t think of anything more delicious. I have driven to Cold Spring (which is a good hour away from us) specifically to eat this sandwich. More than once. One time I went and it wasn’t on the menu for whatever reason, and I literally begged the chef to make it for me anyway.

Family photo attempt outside the Cold Spring Depot

Family photo attempt outside the Cold Spring Depot

I would offer suggestions for how to make it at home for those of you not in proximity to Cold Spring (above, we’re standing outside the Depot), but the truth is that it’s nothing fancy – it’s just…perfect. Maybe one day I can convince the chef to let me into the kitchen to see what he’s doing to that steak. If I can make that happen, I’ll report back.

So now I’m curious, and hungry, and I’d like to talk about food: what’s your Death Row Meal? Tell me, tell me! 

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