Now that I’ve eaten my way through somebody else’s list (Time Out New York), I’m ready to compile my own 100 spectacular things I’ve tasted in 2012. Look for another five dishes every few days.

NUMBER 100: IRON MAN M.O.B. at MAIMONIDE OF BROOKLYN

I’m not exactly sure why I start (or end, considering this is actually Number 100) each year’s list with a healthy plate of greens. But it’s become a tradition (at least in my mind) so I’ve decided to dedicate all five of these dishes to some tasty green-hued dishes.

At this colorful artistic vegetarian restaurant they serve an original pizza-like dish called  M.O.B.’s. Shaped like the arches of the Brooklyn Bridge, the doughy vessels come with an array of healthful toppings, like this hearty and tasty combination of sharp horseradish aioli topped with garlicky kale, meaty shiitakes, and a garnish of fresh parsley. It’s not a pizza, not a salad, but some pleasantly healthy middle ground. Price: $10

MAIMONIDE OF BROOKLYN
525 Atlantic Avenue (between 3rd Avenue and 4th Avenue),
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
(718) 797-2555
mob-usa.com

NUMBER 99: KALE QUINOA SALAD at THE SQUEEZE TRUCK

The combination of kale and quinoa are about as stereotypically healthy as you can get. This small version from The Squeeze Truck, a newish food truck in Union Square, doesn’t hold back on flavor either.

Tossed with a creamy (but cream-less) hazelnut parsley pesto, the kale isn’t nearly as rough as usual and bits of dried cranberry bring a sweetness to a usually bitter plate of greens. The quinoa hiding underneath gives the salad an extra texture and ensures that you’ll be full and healthy. Price: $6

THE SQUEEZE TRUCK
Locations Vary
Follow on Twitter: @TheSqueeze Truck,
(646) 351-6545
thesqueezejuice.com

NUMBER 98: CUCUMBER MINT SODA at NORTHERN SPY FOOD COMPANY

SADLY, NORTHERN SPY FOOD CO. IS NOW CLOSED.

Most people focus on the pickled eggs or the kale salad at Northern Spy Food Co. And while those are good, it was this unexpected house made soda that made me take notice at this locavore East Village haunt.

Just one of many seasonal varieties they offer here, this combination of cucumber and mint give the sparkly drink a cooling refreshing bite with sweet lingering herbal notes. Perfect for reminiscing over the quickly disappearing warm weather. Price: $4

NORTHERN SPY FOOD COMPANY
511 East 12th Street (between Avenue A and Avenue B),
East Village
(212) 228-5100
northernspyfoodco.com

NUMBER 98: SPINACH GRATIN at ST. ANSELM

St. Anselm has shown once again they do it better than most of the steakhouses in the city and for half the price. I’ve already sung the praises of the incredible steaks, but now let’s examine one spectacular side dish.

A crock of bubbling cheese, spinach, and cream arrives lying somewhere between a spinach dip and a creamed spinach. Cheesy and buttery, but also earthy and leafy, this is the perfect vegetable accompaniment to any of St. Anselm’s grilled meats. You’ll never look at that liquidy creamed spinach the same way again. Price: $8

ST. ANSELM
355 Metropolitan Avenue (between 4th Street and Havemeyer Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 384-5054

NUMBER 96: CELERY SORBET at IL LABORATORIO DEL GELATO

Everything at this mad scientist ice cream factory tastes exactly as advertised. You shouldn’t think that would be a groundbreaking concept, but unfortunately in the age of artificial flavors and syrups, it’s something to celebrate.

So is the fact that they’re able to make the unexpected flavor of celery both authentic and delicious. Who knew the watery earthy vegetable could work so well as a cooling sorbet? But it does. With a hint of sweetness and lots of clean celery notes, this is one frozen dessert that can surprisingly help with your vegetable intake. Price: $3.25 – $5.75

IL LABORATORIO DEL GELATO
95 Orchard Street (between Broome and Delancey Street)
Lower East Side
(212) 343-9922
laboratoriodelgelato.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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