A Baker's Dozen: The Favorite Places I've Eaten

I love to eat. Just look at me. It shows.

And over the years, I've eaten at some fine restaurants. So I thought I'd take just a few minutes to reflect and share my favorites out of all those great places and great meals.

1. Paesano's Pasta House, Oxford, Ohio. Not because it's run by friends, but because it's great eating. I've never been disappointed in a meal at Paesano's. I especially love their butternut squash ravioli, when it's available.

2. Lambert's, Springfield, Missouri. Home of the throwed rolls. There are only two of these restaurants in the world (the other is also in Missouri). The rolls and the free sides they bring to the table are unbelievably good.

3. The Glendale Gaslight Cafe, Cincinnati, Ohio. This tiny restaurant is located in historic Glendale, just a couple blocks north of the more famous Grand Finale. We like it as much as or more than that other fine restaurant.

4. The Parson's Table, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Actually, it's in Little River, but it's a memorable place to eat, and one I hope to return to.

5. Champagne brunch on The Queen Mary, Los Angeles, California. The lovely Robin and I were hosted here ten or so years ago by our friends Dave and Becky.

6. Inka Grill, Cusco, Peru. Our friends Don and Christie recommended this place, and they were right. It was excellent. The lovely Robin and I both tasted alpaca for the first time at this decidedly upscale Peruvian restaurant.

7. The Chart House, Cardiff, California. Back in the nineties, I made frequent trips to the area on business, and enjoyed several fine meals at the Chart House.

8. The Armenian Tavern, Jerusalem, Israel. I've had just one meal here, in 2005, but I hope to return. Armenian cuisine, they explain, is similar to Turkish. What do I know? It was good.

9. Sol de Mayo, Arequipa, Peru. We ate here in May 2009 with our friends Don and Christie, and loved the company, the food, the beautiful setting, and the traditional dancers.

10. Amor de Brazil, Cincinnati, Ohio. It closed abruptly last March, I hear, but we ate here with our friends Wayne and Cheryl a few months prior, and loved it. Lotsa meat. Mmmm.

11. The Golden Lamb, Lebanon, Ohio. The lovely Robin and I ate one of our first meals as a married couple at this historic inn and restaurant, and have returned many times since.

12. The Grand Finale, Cincinnati, Ohio. We last ate here with Aubrey and Kevin and our friends Jim and Diane. The lovely Robin always gets their puff pastry, one of their specialties.

13. The Precinct, Cincinnati, Ohio. I've only eaten there a couple times, and it's not cheap, but boy, is it good. Great steaks.

Of course, there are many others I could add. And will. Unfortunately, for my waistline (what waistline?). What about you? What are your favorites?