Dining With Delia Jo: Best Things I Ate In 2017

Warning: If you're hungry, don't read this right now. Go grab yourself a snack (chips and queso, perhaps?)  and settle in for a spell, unless you're prepared to drive to the nearest restaurant on this list ASAP.

For 12 months I make notes in my phone during our daily hometown eats and travels, quietly compiling this list - my baby, featuring my favorite bites from the previous year.

This year's list includes lots from both Dallas (my old home) and Nashville (my new home), plus highlights from Vegas, Napa, Maine, and more. And in case you missed it, YES, I ate a ton of lobster on our journey through the Northeast.

The amount of calories consumed in the writing of this list, as always, shall not be named.

*Are there a lot of spicy dishes or things with cheese, fried foods, or seafood on this list? Absolutely. This is my list. I'll do what I want. ;) All photos shown are my own unless captioned otherwise. As always, if you share my photo, please give photo credit.)*

Happy eating... I mean reading. :)


1. Torchy's Green Chile Queso forever and always
(click to read my most popular blog of 2017- my queso master list)

2. Fried oysters, Dynamite-style Lobster Roll, Elvis dessert at Lovers Seafood & Market (all discontinued: sad face)
(click to read my first look when Lovers opened)

3. Quesadillas de Huitlacoche at Mi Dia From Scratch
(click to read my article in Plano Magazine)

4. Challah French Toast Sandwich at Coffee House Cafe

5.  Crescent City Charbroiled Oysters at TJ's Seafood Market & Grill

6. Marlin, Rattlesnake chorizo fritter,  Poblano Infladito (all from tasting menu) at Stephan Pyles Flora Street Cafe

7. Deviled eggs at Chelsea Corner (apparently no longer on the menu :( )
(Click to read my first look when they opened)

8. The Amy Chicken Biscuit and Evil Elvis Donut at Hypnotic donuts

9. Torches at Liberty Burger

10. Jalapeño & Cheddar drop biscuits and sausage gravy at Whiskey Cake (brunch menu)
(Click to read about WC's Happy Hour)

11. Brussels sprouts (and OBVI the honey bastard) at Cane Rosso
(click to read about brunch or their new location at The Star in Frisco)

12. Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Lobster Risotto, Foie gras creme brûlée (tasting menu), any scallops or steak he makes, Duck Leg Confit (legit - just let him create- he doesn't disappoint) at Gregory's Bistro

13. Sweet Corn Hoecakes, Whistle Britches Sandwich at Whistle Britches
(click to read about the new location coming to Plano in my article in Plano Magazine)

14. Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen (with Sapporo noodles) at Maru Ramen

15. Snow Crab (Kitchen Sink + Medium) at Shell Shack

16. Oysters, Bread with Foie Gras Butter, Shrimp Gazpacho, Bison, Cowboy Ribeye at SER Steak 

17. Pho with Steak at Pho apple 

18. NOLA Benedict and Fried Shrimp & Oyster Grits at Tricky Fish (brunch menu)
(click to read more about their brunch menu)

19.  Hot Cheetos OMG Elotes OMG Tacos

20. Everything at Niwa
(click to read all about Niwa)

21. Lobster Mac, Brisket Poutine, and cocktails at Bar Stellar
(the bar formerly known as Stellar Dallas)

22. Lobster Ramen at Ten Ramen

23. Oven Roasted Carmel Goat Cheese, Carmel's Signature Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster Fettuccine, at Carmel
(click to read my review)

24. Fried chicken + Clarence's Mac & Stuff, Fried Mac & Cheese Balls at Farm Byrd
(click to read my article in Plano Magazine)

25. Truffle Burrata at Dough
(click to read more about Dough)

26. Any cupcake or macaron at Sugar Ray's Bakeshop

27. Raw Oysters, Tuna Nachos at Sea Breeze Fish Market & Grill
(click to read about the awesome HH at Sea Breeze)

28. Roasted Portobello Mushroom Ravioli, Sliced Filet Mignon (small plate) at Fleming's

29. Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce at Antonio Ristorante (so much so I learned to make my own version of this dish)
(click to read about Antonio and their fabulous Tasting Tuesdays deal)

30. Beignets and Onion Soup Gratinee at Cadot

31. Teishoku at Yayoi
(click to read about Teishoku)

32. Biscuits and Gravy, Pulled Pork Benedict, Lobster Frittata at The Conservatory at Hotel Crescent Court
(click to read more about the delicious breakfast and lunch options)

33. Sashimi Omakase Special at Kabuki 

34. Green Chili Queso, Chorizo Fries, Elotes, Chorizo Breakfast Tacos at Crush Taco

35. Deep Dish Pizza at Taste of Chicago (call in before you come and order if you don't like to wait - takes a while to cook!)

36. Any crepe at Whisk Crepes Cafe
(read more about Whisk here)

37. Do It Murph-Style Burger at Off-Site Kitchen

38. Build your own cinnamon roll at Cinnaholic (my fave is with Peanut Butter Frosting and Strawberry Jam)

39. Avocado Super Brunch and Queso at Earls Legacy West (brunch menu)
(read more about Earls here)

40. Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Chicken with Jalapeno Dumplings at District 30 (heard they may be closed, major sad face :( )

(Photo courtesy of District 30)

41. Pancakes, Brisket Sandwich at CiboDivino
(read all about their brunch here)

42. Spicy Salmon Crunch Bowl at Poke Bop

43.  Papas Bravas, Chia Seed Pudding, Paella at City Hall Bistro at the Adolpus (brunch menu)

44. Filet Deux and Grilled Pear Salad at Mignon

45. Prohibition Chicken Hot Chili-fried Chicken, Hickory Grilled Trout, and don't miss the code-word access speakeasy
(click to read more about this concept)

46. Pomfret Tawa Roast and Green Chile Cilantro Naan at Peacock Elite
(click to read my review on this concept)

47. Biscuits N Groovy, Veggie Toast, Brunch Burger at Up Inspired Kitchen
(click to read my review on this concept)

48. Red Curry and Khao Soy Noodles from Thai Star

49. Cookies (esp. the PB Jam) and cupcakes from Charlie's Cookie Shop (he delivers these goodies, so order for yourself or send to a loved one)

50. Lobster and Crab Enchiladas at Mesa Grapevine
(click to read my review of Mesa Grapevine)

51. Deviled Eggs, Chicharrones, Jalapeno Cheese Sausage, ALABAMA WHITE SAUCE y'all at Smoky Rose
(click to read all about when I met Smoky Rose)

52.  Elotes corn on the cob and Not Your Mama's fried chicken (Sweet chili medium or spicy) at Chicken Moto
(click {or cluck} to read my review)

53.   Steak (special) and Neuske's Bacon-Wrapped Gulf Shrimp at Cool River 
(click here to read all about their new menu that rolled out this year)

(Photo courtesy of Cool River)

54. Red Velvet Crepe (no longer on menu) from Edith's French Bistro

55. Crispy Masa Oysters, Loaded Avocado from Sundown at Granada (spring and summer menu)
(Click to read about the fall and winter menu)

56. The Original Cheddar Fries from Snuffer's

57. Crawfish Beignets, Shrimp and Grits at Ida Claire

(to see even more favorite dishes from this area check out my latest edition of  Delia Jo's 100 best bites in DFW)


58. Smoked Catfish Beignets, Pumpkin Seed Risotto, Oysters and Caviar, Lamb Shoulder, Matt's Yeast Donuts (okay, pretty much anything) at Henley
(click to read more about Henley)

59.  Mussels, Ribeye Special, Paneer Vindaloo, Lamb Nachos, and Tandoori Chicken Poutine at Chauhan

60. Hot Chicken (of course) at Hattie B's

61. Sesame Golden Eggs from Tansuo

62. Avocado Toast (+ egg) at EiO and the Hive

63. Chicken Liver Waffle Cones at Bastion

64. Butterscotch Custard dessert and Sunflower Seed Risotto at the Catbird Seat

65. Turkish-spiced Mushroom Bisque and Grilled Aji Octopus at Etc.


66. Chicken Parm Sausage at Von Elrod's
(click to read all about the new spot's recent opening)

67. Wagyu Tataki at Virago

68.  Spinach and Mushroom Étouffée and Chile Cheese Étouffée with Crawfish at Yat's

69." El Pepe" Shrimp Quesadilla, Chicken and Sopapillas at Sopapilla's 

70. Burrito Chupacabra at Garcia's 

71.  Croque Madame Grilled Cheese at the Grilled Cheeserie

72. Coal Roasted Oysters, Diver Scallops, and Chocolate Cola Cake at Deacon's 

73. Philly Cheesesteak from Nadeen's Hermitage Haven
(click to read my article in Edible Nashville)

74. Spinach Everything Bagel + Dill Pickle Cream Cheese, Homemade Poptarts, PB Dream Cookies from Proper bagel

75. 100 Layer Donuts at Five Daughters Bakery

76.Tennessee Tonkotsu and Hot Chicken Buns at Otaku Ramen

77. Steak Tartare at Table 3

78. Nashville Hot Cripsy Pig Ears, Nicoletto's Pappardelle with Fairy Squash Cream, Gifford's Carbonara Pizza at Lockeland Table 

79. Ham Belly Pizza (add egg) at City House

80.  Lynne's Truffle Mac & Cheese + Hot Chicken, Southern Banana pudding at Nashville Underground
(click to read all about the very recently opened concept)

81. Truffle Risotto and Truffle Burrata at Tartufo


82. Boudin and Cracklins at Sausage Link Specialty Meats in Sulphur

83. Cajun Benedict at Favorites Southern Kitchen, Lake Charles

84. Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp, Wedge Salad, Tomahawk Ribeye, Scallops, Truffle Mac at Ember, Lake Charles

85.Chargrilled Oysters at Jack Daniel's Bar and Grill, Lake Charles


86. Queso Fundido, Lamb Pot Stickers, Papas Fritas at China Poblano

87.  Croque Madame at Bouchon

88. Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Dumplings, Tomato Tartare, Chile Relleno Empanadas, Mexican Street Corn Ravioli at Beauty & Essex

89.  Foie Gras, Rabbit Symphony, Chocolate Ball dessert at Le Cirque


90. Blueberry Bread Pudding at The Landings in Rockland, Maine

91 Lobster Roll at Bill's Original Kitchen in Kittery (now closed and I legit almost cried about it- one of the coolest concepts I've ever come across - literally a one-man restaurant)

92. Clam Chowder, Lobster Pizza, Lobster Roll, Fried Maine Cheese, Crab and Avocado Melt (okay EVERYTHING) at Robert's Maine Grille in Kittery

93. Sweet cold treats from Dorman's Dairy Dream in Thomaston


94.Tomato Soup (in puff pastry), Steak Tartare at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville

95.Tasting menu at La Toque

96. Cupcakes from Cupcakin' Bake Shop in Berkeley

97. Ham and Egg Croissant from Fournee Bakery


98. Peanut Butter and Jelly in Phyllo at Cotton Row in Huntsville


99. Lobster Mac and Cheese at Harry's Seafood Grill in Wilmington, DE.

New Hampshire

100. Lobster Bisque at Salt Kitchen and bar at Wentworth By the Sea resort

***Stay tuned for another post featuring the Dining With Delia Jo contributors' favorite bites of the year! Cheers to 2018, friends. May you continue to eat, drink, and be merry.