I’ve devoured Time Out’s 100 Best dishes and now, once again, I’ve been inspired to create my own list. These are the 100 dishes I have continued to think about since tasting them at some point in 2011. Look for another five dishes every few days. These are in no particular order.
NUMBER 95: COLD BREW at CULTURE ESPRESSO
I really never used to drink coffee, but something has changed this year. I’ve always loved the flavor of coffee ice cream and sugary frozen coffee concoctions, but a hot cup of coffee was never my thing. It’s still not, but I will definitely drink hard core, full flavored coffee nowadays. As long as it’s iced.
Since I discovered cold brewed ice coffee last year, I’ve slowly become hooked. Cold brewing coffee is a special process that I don’t fully understand, but I do know it makes the coffee less acidic with richer, deeper flavors. Places like Culture Espresso in Midtown alternate the beans they use (my favorite is Intelligentsia) so the results will vary, but when it’s good here, it’s incredibly good with notes of high quality cocoa nibs. Price: $3/$4
|72 West 38th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue)
NUMBER 94: ICED COFFEE at THINK COFFEE
I’m still not a conventional coffee drinker – I usually get my coffee late in the day around 3pm or so. Granted, my work schedule is a little different than most people’s and I don’t go to sleep until almost 3am every night. So coffee’s got nothing on my late hours.
I stop at Think Coffee every day on my way to work and I have become rather addicted to their intensely flavored cold brewed iced coffee. Most recently, they were using a Dallis Brothers blend that tasted of vanilla and roasted nuts. It was sweet and rich without the addition of sugar or milk and I sucked down the thing like it was water. Price: $3.08 (for a medium)
|123 4th Avenue (between 12th Street and 13th Street)
|1 Bleecker Street (at Bowery)
|248 Mercer Street (between 3rd Street and 4th Street)
NUMBER 93: COLD BREWED COFFEE CONCENTRATE from KICKSTAND COFFEE
The danger really begins when I find a way to drink this cold brewed iced coffee at home. And now there are many ways I can. I may as well just inject an IV.
Kickstand is one of the companies that started offering a cold brewed coffee concentrate this year. I’ve only purchased this twice because of the higher price tag and the danger of full-on co-dependency. But when mixed with just a little water and ice, their rotating blends are as rich and chocolatey as any of the cold brewed coffees I’ve tasted out and about. You can buy it at speciality markets across the city, including Brooklyn Kitchen and Murray’s Cheese. Price: Varies
NUMBER 92: COFFEE DRINKS at THE RANDOLPH AT BROOME
The only place I’ve discovered in the city that’s doing truly artisanal, mixologist type coffee drinks is The Randolph at Broome. This unassuming little bar (it turns into a cocktail den at night) is producing some seriously fancy caffiene-laced concoctions.
We first got a taste of their genius with their milkshake-esque Summer Road (a blend of their current brew, malted powder, and Oaxacan chocolate). But I also loved the Holy Cow (curry and coconut milk) and the Fountainhead (sarsaparilla, orange peel, and star anise). The only downside is that they’re a bit pricey, so it’s not going to be an everyday thing. Price: $7
|THE RANDOLPH AT BROOME|
|349 Broome Street (between Bowery and Elizabeth Street)
NUMBER 91: NEW ORLEANS at BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE
There’s often a very long line at the Blue Bottle in Williamsburg. They have quality coffee and pastries in a modern museum-like setting. Of course, since I like my coffee cold, I was intrigued by their two iced coffee options.
The Kyoto is their Japanese style cold brewed and it’s a little too strong and bitter for even me. But their other option, the New Orleans is definitely one of the best things I’ve tasted all year.
It’s served with just a splash of milk and sugar (I normally don’t take either) and has a wonderful smoky, chicory flavor that keeps it from being too sweet. Yet it’s as easy to drink as chocolate milk and well worth the wait.
|160 Berry Street (between North 5th and North 6th Street)