For the fourth year in a row, I present the 100 most exciting dishes I’ve consumed during my food adventures around the five boroughs. Look for another five dishes every few days.

Just to show the world I’m not going totally soft with my declarations of love for cucumbers and avocado, here are five fatty, flavorful pork dishes that have made me a very happy man this year. Roasted, fried, minced up into a sausage, they’re full of porky goodness and make me realize why turning vegetarian is clearly not in my future.

NUMBER 95: MAPLE BACON STICK at LANDHAUS

Grilled Maple Bacon Stick at LANDHAUS

All summer long at Smorgasburg, the meat-obssessed folks at Landhaus have been doling out the goods. Their most famous dish puts a whole new perspective on everybody’s favorite pork product – bacon. Once they receive the thick smoked pork belly from a farm in Pennsylvania, its roasted in herbs and then grilled until crisp, drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled wih paprika. Eating amazingly tender bacon like this off of a stick makes you wonder why you’ve been wasting your calories with lesser preparations. Price: $3

LANDHAUS
Smorgasburg: (thru Nov. 24)
East River State Park, Williamsburg (Saturdays)
Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park (Sundays)
The Woods (Daily after 6pm),
48 South 4th Street (between Kent Avenue and Wythe Avenue),
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 710-5020
thelandhaus.com

NUMBER 94: PORK KAKUNI at SHABU TATSU

Pork Kakuni at SHABU-TATSU

I often dislike pork belly dishes at restaurants because I find the chewy fattiness a little off-putting. Leave it to a Japanese shabu-shabu restaurant to get it completely right. Here the fat and the meat become one with a sweet, caramelized exterior giving way to the most tender and meaty pork belly I’ve had in years. The meat pops even more when some of the provided hot mustard and sliced scallions find their way into a bite. Price: $7

SHABU TATSU
216 East 10th Street (between Second and First Avenue),
East Village

(212) 477-2972
shabutatsu.com

NUMBER 93: SPICED PORK CHOP at THE HARRISON

Spiced Pork Chop at THE HARRISON

This provocative presentation of a juicy, tender pork chop brings up the flavors of Jewish smoked meats. The Harrison’s newest chef Ari Bokovza takes the spiced components of pastrami and encrusts it on the brined meat. It makes for a crunchy texture and a rich intense flavor that tastes kosher but is assuredly not. Creamy cannelini beans and black kale round out the refined plate. Price: $27

THE HARRISON
355 Greenwich Street (at Harrison Street),
Tribeca

(212) 274-9310
theharrison.com

NUMBER 92: E-SAN THAI SOUR SAUSAGE at CHAO THAI TOO

E-San Sausage at CHAO THAI TOO

While not much to look at, the nuggets of pork sausage served at the well-regarded sequel to Chao Thai are surprising and complex. Loaded with spices, herbs, and plenty of garlic and ginger, the slightly fermented hunks of meat provide a bright explosion of flavors and textures. The raw ginger and cilantro accompanying the sausages lighten up the dish and add even more punch. Price: $8.50

CHAO THAI TOO
83-47 Dongan Avenue (between Broadway and Poyer Street),
Elmhurst, Queens/strong>
(718) 424-9888

NUMBER 91: CHAR SIU at FLETCHER’S BROOKLYN BARBECUE

Char Siu at FLETCHER'S

All of the new hip BBQ spots around the city are smoking things like brisket, sausage, and ribs. But Fletcher’s is the only one incorporating surprising flavors that you wouldn’t expect from your typical Texas smokehouse. This Gowanus spot serves an unexpected pork shoulder marinated in hoisin, ginger, and soy sauce and then smoked until melt-worthy. The skin is sweet and crispy while the meat is perfectly pink and intensely smoky. It’s as if China and Austin had a delicious pork baby. Price: $7 (per 1/4 pound)
FLETCHER’S BROOKLYN BARBECUE
433 3rd Avenue (between 7th and 8th Street),
Gowanus, Brooklyn

(347) 763-2680
fletcherbklyn.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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