Gotta do the customary ‘look back’ post of 2011. So here it is.

Well whatdya know, it’s the end of the year. Time to dredge out my Best of 2011 list – remember the one I’d started compiling with uber enthusiasm back in January…lovingly massaged in new entries till about May…squished in a couple more over summer…and by the time mid-September rolled around, finally came to a slow screeching pathetic halt. Yeah, thaaat list.

But I hadn’t forgotten about the list, not for a minute. I promise that I’ve always thought about it after I written a post…more often than not after I’ve already published it…but I’ve thought about it nevertheless and it stands strong at where it stands today. If there have been no new entries since September, it’s not because of my crapfaced memory, but because the bar was hardass high (set by yours truly). Going back to the time I laid down my seemingly ludicrous but actually, admittedly awesome criteria, this is what went down back in January:

…‘best’ is not a term that I’ll throw on any random fritter that crosses my path and happens to taste ‘yummy.’  Best is a title only conferred on those foods that result in

(a) a EUREKA! moment = they make me stop mid-way between a sentence or a thought when I take the first bite, and go, OMG/GASP/some incoherent version thereof of OMG or GASP.

(b) HYPNOSIS = they leave me significantly enchanted for the rest of the meal…all I’d be thinking about is, ‘how the heck did whoever make this, make this? And can they make bottomless mounds of it so that I can endlessly cram my face with it?’

(c) PROLONGED HIGH PULSE RATE = they leave me all jittery with excitement like an overcaffeinated junkie, just waiting to tell someone, anyone, about what I just ate.

inafryingpan, Jan 19, 2011.

So this is where the list stands people:

Sundry eats from Boulevard Cafe, Sugarbox [sadly I hear the white chocolate oreo truffle is no longer in production. whose not-so-brilliant idea was that?], Choco’a, Mango Tree, Aapa Kadai, Eric’s, Shikidim, Singapore Deli, Sabah Lebanon, Shiraz, and Daily. In some cases, it was everything that made it to my table that bowled me over…and in other cases, it was just a few, or even just one specific thing that hit the spot. I’m not rehashing what it was for each of those places here, I’ve labored over an entire post for every one of them – so be a sweet muffin and…READ IT.

I’ve also shoved up a slideshow […the horrors of being a consultant. I’d be paralyzed without my slides – the essential tool to saying so much when you have nothing much to say at all.]

Hit your left and right arrow keys to circle through this baby.

[SlideDeck id=’4919′ width=’100%’ height=’620px’]

2011 has been a crazy year of food, fun, frolick and all the other f-words thrown in…and 2012 will ring in with a big fat bang in…

…in February.

Before you jump to conclusions, no, I’m not slacking off in the first month of the year. It’s just that January is sorta gonna be this amazing month when my sister gets married and my food blog gets…GASP…shoved on the back burner and will simmer away silently until the water boils away and the bottom of the pan becomes kinda nasty and black and corroded and so lonely without my incessant rambling.

God I love drama.

But January is gonna be great, even though my blog will miss being scribbled all over for a bit. In the meantime, what I’d LOVE is for everyone to dish out a little bit of fryingpan love right back at me…tell me your favorite hole-in-the-wall hidden eats anywhere in the UAE, in a comment, on my facebook page, over twitter, in an email…over anything BUT the phone because social media has robbed me of the ability to have a human untyped spontaneous conversation that exceeds 140 characters.

Party it up people – turn up the music, surround yourself with your favourite peeps, and whatever you do, make sure it’s downright yummy cause you know you deserve it.

Rock on in 2012.

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

12 thoughts on “Gotta do the customary ‘look back’ post of 2011. So here it is.

  1. Sliceofmylyfe says:

    I loved reading your post. Each post was such a huge dose of fun, laughter and deliciousness. I learnt a lot from coming to space and spending time here.
    Here’s wishing the Frying Pan girl all the best for the New year. Many more food adventures to the lovely lady.

  2. @shebanx says:

    i see the 3-chair Fatayers haven’t made the cut !! :p … your blog’s always been endlessly entertaining.

  3. Edwina says:

    Arva, do you actually know how awesome you are. You are an inspiration. How about we do a FIA trek to one of your hole in the wall places in 2012? Happy New Year. Can wait to share some foodie love….

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @Sliceofmylyfe – Thanks muffin lady, you’re blog is equally entertaining – here’s to many more awesome posts, blog connections, and MUFFINS (hells yeah) in 2012!
      …and glad you liked the slide show ;)

      @shebanx – The fatayers didn’t per se, but Bob the Slug represented that post under ’The Most Artistic’ :) Thanks boy, special thanks for accompanying me on my food excursions!

      @chefTom – Thank you! Can’t wait to do dim sum in 2012 ;)

      @Edwina – *BLUUSSSSHHHH* Your words mean so much, thank you. Inspiration works both ways, and I have been inspired by your writing this year too. I would love to do an FiA trek together in 2012 – always looking for foodie company, so let’s make it happen this year!

  4. Sally says:

    I love Edwina’s idea. Happy, happy New Year to you oh frying pan. Waiting in eager anticipation for February :)

  5. Shabunam says:

    Pooh , I am so disappointed that the Oreo truffles are no lnger there :( , I really want that one . Good round up Arwa and a very happy new year o you :D .

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @Sally – Wow, took me so long to reply…but Feb is here, time to start prowling for food in the city again! :D

      @Shabunam – you know, may be worth checking in with them again…maybe it was a seasonal thing or they decided to resurrect the flavour for the good of mankind….happy new year to you too!

      @NoNonyMouse – thanks, and many more posts to come soon!

  6. Saleem says:

    Keep writing you have to make up the lost time and I guess you can write a few articles about the Nawabi Food that was served during the wedding

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @Saleem – thanks dad! You know, sadly enough, I barely tasted the food at the wedding…all that running around and actually doing some work for a change was kinda, overwhelming :/ We need to REDO the wedding without any guests or events…like a wedding recap with only the food…so you, mom and I can actually TASTE the food! ;)

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