Tomato soup and bread

Frank Bruni, The New York Times’ restaurant critic, wrote on this on his blog today:

The most pleasurable meals aren’t about the rarity or quality of the food and the setting. They’re about the indulgence of eating when you didn’t intend to in a place you just trip across.

Truer words…

On a spring day in the Tuscan countryside — this story starts idyllically but you should soon realize it wasn’t — when I was trying to keep from vomiting what little was in my stomach as I sat in the middle of the backseat of a “large” European sedan between two other adults as we drove over roads with bumps that, in Iowa, are called hills.

Finally, we stopped in a little town whose name I will never know. There, desperate for something to eat, we went in to a wine bar where the proprietor was halfway through his lunch: a bottle of red wine.

We ordered lunch. It was simple. It was safe. Tomato soup and bread.

I have been trying to find food that lives up to that meal ever since.