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.

This is truly the year of the mash-up. Last night, most Jews in this country celebrated a once-in-a-lifetime mash-up of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with cranberry latkes and pecan pie rugelach. But people have been hybrid crazy this entire year. There was even a fried chicken spot called Hybird (now closed). Maybe it all started with that infamous cronut, but here are five other crossbreeds that are pure imagination and deliciousness.

NUMBER 55: ISRAELI SCOTCH EGG at EASTWOOD

Israeli Scotch Egg at EASTWOOD

A Scotch egg is a classic Scottish gutbomb that consists of a hardboiled egg wrapped in crumbled sausage and breadcrumbs. Bringing the cholesterol down just a touch, the vegetarian friendly version at Eastwood throws in a little Israeli flair. A crisp and sesame-laden falafel serves as the exterior and it opens up to reveal a perfectly cooked egg with a decadent yolky center. Garnished with Middle Eastern spices and served with a side of tahini, this is one Scotch egg that is truly kosher. Price: $3

EASTWOOD
200 Clinton Street (at East Broadway),
Lower East Side

(212) 233-0124

NUMBER 54: SMOKED SALMON MAZEMEN at DASSARA RAMEN

Smoked Salmon Mazemen at DASSARA RAMEN

Dassara is not the only ramen joint in town combining traditional Jewish flavors into their noodles. But it was the first one I discovered and it made total sense. They are in fact the only ones working with local appetizing shop Shelsky’s, who provides the hot kippered salmon and salmon roe for this unusual combination. Along with fried orbs of warm cream cheese and scallions, the broth-less mazemen features moist and springy noodles and lots of crave-worthy Japanese brunch flavors. Who knew there was such a thing? Price: $13 

DASSARA RAMEN
271 Smith Street (between Sackett and Degraw Street),
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn

(718) 643-0781
dassara.com

NUMBER 53: TACO CHIPS at THE CHIPPER TRUCK

Taco Chips at THE CHIPPER TRUCK

There’s really only one place to taste the Chipper Truck’s unique food. And that’s at the truck’s usual late night spot in Woodlawn, which is in a residental area of the Bronx. Their hours (midnight-5am) are not the hours I’m usually exploring the northern most borough. But luckily this year I got to try their hearty food at food events in two of the other outer boroughs at much more reasonable hours. The Vendy Award nominated truck serves up taco chips, influenced by the cultuers of husband and wife owners Alice (Irish) and Valentino (Mexican). Crinkle cuts potatoes are fried until crispy and then topped with cheddar cheese, ground beef, and a delicious mayonnaise-based sauce called pink sauce. This dish alone might get me up to the Bronx at midnight. In fact, that’s the only reason I can think of. Price: $6

THE CHIPPER TRUCK
Corner of 237th Street and Katonah Avenue,
Woodlawn, Bronx
(914) 356-9221
facebook.com/thechippertruck/info

NUMBER 52: CHICKEN CURRY at TRINI PAKI BOYS

Chicken Curry at TRINI PAKI BOYS

I’ve been visiting Trini Paki Boys ever since I started giving food cart tours with Turnstile Tours four years ago. It’s the perfect start to our tour because it’s probably the best example of today’s most iconic NY street food: chicken over rice. Owner Fatima Kahn is from Trinidad and her husband is from Pakistan. Along with eight children, they’ve also given the world an incredibly delicious and diverse international menu. Their Halal approved dishes are a combination of their two heritages – you get Middle Eastern meat with Caribbean sauces. The chicken curry is a mass of tender shredded seasoned chicken with the usual white and hot sauce, plus a sweet, tart, and spicy tamarind sauce. It’s usually every tour attendee’s favorite dish and for good reason. Price: $4/$5/$6

TRINI PAKI BOYS
SE Corner of 43rd Street and Sixth Avenue,
Midtown East

NUMBER 51: DOUGH’SSANT at CHIKALICIOUS DESSERT CLUB 

Dough'Ssaint at CHIKALICIOUS DESSERT CLUB

Probably the biggest piece of food news this year was the cronut and the ensuing hysteria. I actually got to taste Dominique Ansel’s now legendary mash-up of a croissant and doughnut without waiting in the crazy early morning line. And it was really good, no qestion. It tasted like a really rich, buttery doughnut. But I also got to try the version (called Dough’ssants) at Chikalicious Dessert Club and I have to say they’re even better. While the cronut tasted more like a decadent doughnut, this tasted more like a sweet croissant and had a light, airier texture and flavor. Their creme brulee specimen features burnt sugar on top and a piping of vanilla cream inside. And that’s just one of their many flavors offered every day. Plus you never have to wake up at 5am to wait in a massive line. Price: $4.50

CHIKALICIOUS DESSERT CLUB
203 East 10th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village

(212) 475-0929
chikalicious.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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