Peter Meehan’s last meal


Peter Meehan, who has been writing “$25 and Under” for The New York Times since 2004, is freaking hilarious, and said more funny things than we could fit into this column. The
Times recently cut the column down to every other week, a move that baffled us. (Read more at

Have you had too much time to think about your last meal? I only thought about it for like an hour, but I still haven’t written my column for tomorrow . . . There are things I’d have to get out of the way the week before the actual meal, like lunch at Prune, a Katz’s pastrami sandwich, the eggplant sandwich at Frankie’s Spuntino, dinner at Ssäm Bar, and another visit to DiFara. The last time I was there, it wasn’t quite up to snuff, and I wouldn’t want to die thinking Dom had lost it.

When was that? December 26, a dumb day to go—you know Dom’s got a Valpolicella hangover. I made a list for the official meal.

OK, start at the top. Sashimi from Tsukiji market. I’ve never been there. There’s a lot on the list I’ve never had—things I don’t want to die without eating. Like, I would get the chance to raid a Korean housewife’s kimchi pantry. I’d like to look into her urn.

Wow. Not in any undignified way. I’d also have oysters at East Coast Grill in Cambridge, chicken skin yakitori—we could do that at Yakitori Totto or some clandestine businessman spot in Tokyo. I’d probably have some dog, preferably in Vietnam. You know, I’m dying—I’m probably going to hell anyway.

Go for it. Then porcini à la plancha at Ganbarra in San Sebastian, some really good jamón Jabugo, and I want to try the chicken-feet dish from the El Bulli cookbook —they’re flattened and fried like potato chips.

Yum. Then, Shanghai—I would rest eternally more easily if I knew where to get the best soup dumplings. I’d have the fried watercress salad at Sripraphai, the lamb ribs from Daisy May’s. Could we get Marcella Hazan to make me Bolognese?

Totally. Paula Wolfert would make a cassoulet. I’ve never been certain whether I like it; when you’re dying, it’s good to have your mind resolved. Then Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, that meat guy from the U.K., would make me a piece of meat, and he could lecture me and use phrases like “clapped-out ewe.” There’d be a tasting of raw sausage. Do you go for cheese at this point?

Why not? OK, maybe some warm madeleines, and something runny, like l’époisses, and some Parm—you know, a wheel to dig into, augmented by a farmstead selection by Anne Saxelby. I’d have some really good espresso from Portland or Seattle, a Frog Hollow peach, and then a bottle of 1977 d’Ychem—if they made it that year—and a bottle of sleeping pills.

Apparently, men are supposed to shoot themselves in the heads, and pills are for girls. Is decapitation good? A samurai could do it.

A sword does seem more opulent. Yeah, I’m going with sweet wine and sleeping pills.