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 60: PORK ARISTA SANDWICH at EATALY
Pork has never gone out of style – except maybe with the Jews and Muslims (for them, it was never in style). But those of us willing to eat in sin know the decadent delight in the flavor of fatty, salty pig. It’s pretty irresistible, which might be why so many religions find it reprehensible.
The Italians have certainly embraced the swine and nowhere is that more evident than at Eataly’s rotisserie, where the roasted meat sandwiches change daily. Every Monday they offer the Pork Arista (which was also named one of Village Voice’s top dishes this year). The soft and peppery roasted pork needs no mustard or vegetables – just a buttery baguette to sop up all the flavor. This is only available for lunch, so pass the crowds and follow your nose (not your religion). Price: $11.80/$13.80
|ROSTICCERIA AT EATALY|
|200 Fifth Avenue (between 23rd and 24th Street),
NUMBER 59: PORK CHOP at THE GOOD FORK
Due to the massive damage from Hurricane Sandy, this Red Hook favorite is still closed and trying to recover . The Good Fork was a neighborhood spot creating American comfort food with a Korean twist. And it was a place worth traveling to from Manhattan.
I was lucky enough to try their pork chop, which comes and goes seasonally. The Berkshire chop was tender inside with a mustardy glaze and a smoky char. A sweet persimmon compote bled into the doughy creamy spaetzle for a bomb of flavor and richness. You can help them raise money to re-open by donating here. Price: $24
|THE GOOD FORK|
|391 Van Brunt Street (between Van Dyke and Coffey Street),
Red Hook, Brooklyn
NUMBER 58: TACOS AL PASTOR at TACO MIX
Mexicans have known for quite some time that sweet pineapple and spicy grilled pork go together flawlessly. Al Pastor has always been my favorite filling for tacos, cemitas, and huraches. And I think I may have found my favorite version north of the border.
Time Out brought me up to Taco Mix during my quest to eat my way through their 100 Best list. It’s an unassuming little East Harlem spot that shaves the spit-grilled pork to order (a nod to its original Middle Eastern roots). The tortilla holds a meaty and flavorful combo of pork, pineapple, onions, and cilantro. It’s totally worth the trip uptown (a shorter commute than to Mexico). Price: $2
|234 East 116th Street (between Third and Second Avenue)
NUMBER 57: FRIED PIG TAILS at THE BROOKLYN STAR
Another unusual pork dish I discovered from Time Out’s list were these little fried nubs of pig tail. I’ve had large meaty stewed ox-tail before, but these nuggets could be my new favorite bar snack.
Resembling buffalo wings, the tails are surprisingly full of crisp and fatty meat that’s just waiting to be picked away from the bone. The sweet and garlicky tomato sauce added a nice finger-lickin’ experience and the blackened fried corn cobs stood in for carrots and celery. Price: $12
|THE BROOKLYN STAR|
|593 Lorimer Street (at Conselyea Street),
NUMBER 56: QUAIL EGGS ON SAUSAGE AND TOASTED MANTOU SLICES at BIANG!
|41-10 Main Street (between 41st Avenue and 41st Road),