Category Archives: TONY’s 100 Best ’10

Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

This year the end of the list came fast and furious. I don’t know if it’s because we got overconfident in our skills or because this summer just flew by or it’s because Time Out seems to release the next list one week earlier each year. Whatever the reason was, my big plan for a closing party at Paulie Gee’s fell through.

I wanted to invite every person I ever knew in my life to be there for the celebration. But then I got word that the new Time Out list was being published and I still had yet to go to Paulie Gee’s for the Greenpointer. And inviting a Bar Mitzvah-worth of friends to a pizzeria in Greenpoint becomes really difficult with such short notice. I needed to send out invitations months in advance.

So I rushed myself to Paulie Gee’s early one Tuesday afternoon to make sure I got a bite of this pizza before it was too late. I’ve been to Paulie’s a few times and really love everything about the  place, the man, and his pizzas. His Cherry Jones made my own Top 100 from last year (and look for another coming this year), but somehow, I had never tried the Greenpointer.

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Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

When I was a kid, I was sort of scared of pork rinds. It’s huge in most cultures, including Southern cooking, but it was not something my parents ever gave me. And the thought of eating fried pork skin was never something that appealed to me.

In Latin American cooking, these fried nuggets of skin are called chicharrones, and they are hugely popular. My first experience was a gourmet one – at Blue Hill Stone Barns, where they don’t waste a single bit of the animal. The chicharrones were puffy, greaseless, and had a deep porky flavor that was as heavenly as any strip of bacon. If the restaurant weren’t technically out of the city limits, this dish would have made my own Top 100.

So I’ve been eager to try the version from Flying Pigs Farm, which is a small-scale livestock farm upstate, which again is not in New York City. However, this farm has a regular stall at the Union Square Greenmarket. And it was there where the writers of Time Out tasted the chicharrones and raved about them.

The problem has been that the farm only made these for a limited time and by the time we stopped by (just a few weeks after the list was published last year), they had stopped making them. I’ve checked in many times over the last few months and the farmers and employees have said they will most likely return, but no promises had been made. Most recently, somebody manning the booth told me they would make them again after the humidity was gone – most likely in November.

Well, I can’t wait that long. The new Time Out list is already out and I have to put this one to bed. So while I do plan on tasting their chicharrones when they finally return, I did a bit of research and decided to try some from a typical Mexican bodega.

I came across Mexico 2000 (which coincidentally is on TONY’s new 100 best list) when I was in Williamsburg and I was delighted to see this place had both a “secret” eating area in the back and bags of chicharrones for sale. I reached for a bag and the owner told me in broken English that he had freshly made chicharrones and led me to a big box with huge pieces of puffed fried orbs. I put a few in a bag and headed to the subway.

These were much greasier than the refined versions from Blue Hill (those were part of a very expensive tasting menu). They were crispy and fresh with quite a bit of saltiness and a bit of earthy gaminess. If these were smaller and I weren’t worried about the grease and heart attack, I could have probably eaten them like popcorn. But they were slightly initimidating and ultimately not my thing.

I still plan on getting a bag of the ones from Flying Pig Farms when (and if) they finally make them again. And I’ll be sure to update this review so stay tuned.

Would Flying Pigs Farm’s Chicharrones make my Top 100 of the year? Only time will tell since they are not yet available, the ones from Mexico 200 earn a 7 out of 10 from me.

MEXICO 2000 GROCERY
367 Broadway (between Hooper and Keap Street)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(718) 782-3797

Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

When I think of breakfast, I think of an early morning meal. This is part of the reason I rarely eat it, since I tend to sleep as late as possible. Brunch is different, since it lasts well into the afternoon. But, in my mind, breakfast should be finished by around 11 or 12, don’t you think?

So I was shocked to discover that Papacitos doesn’t even open for breakfast until 11am. Their breakfast is served from 11am-4pm. To me, that’s well in to the brunch arena, except this “breakfast” is only available Monday through Friday. On the weekends the food is called brunch and the menu is different, but the hours are the same. I could understand if this were a Breakfast All Day type of place (like a diner), but the meal is only served until 4pm. What happens when you have a craving for huevos rancheros at 7pm??

The Pork ‘n’ Eggs is only served at breakfast (which, to recap is Mon-Fri only, 11am-4pm) and because of the wacky serving hours, it made it difficult for us to obtain. When we finally made it to Greenpoint on a Friday afternoon, we began to understand that Papacitos doesn’t play by anybody’s rules except their own. It’s a surprisingly spacious restaurant (strange for New York City), decorated with blue paint (usually a no-no for restaurants), and serving Mexican street food in a diner-like setting.

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So you’ve all had a few days now to flip through the latest issue of Time Out and their annual 100 Best Dishes article. It’s a good one, which I’m already licking my chops in anticipation of conquering. To get a head start on me, check out their entire list here. This year they’re also offering prizes and rewards for eating and tweeting your way through it.

If you read your Time Out from cover to cover, you may have noticed an even more exciting article. I was featured (with photo and interview and all) as being one of the four people to eat my way through the list last year. Four people? Well, yes. One of those people was Sarah, my girlfriend, my partner-in-crime, and my tireless videographer. But the other two were friends who were just completing the list for their own gastronomic enjoyment. They were very sweet and while I may have felt threatened at first, it was fun to share our ups and downs and learn that their journey was littered with just as many hardships as ours.

The article goes on to list our choices for one of our favorite list items (I chose the Wilkinsons from Henry Public) and little tidbits on our journey. You still have a few more days to pick up a copy in case you want to plaster my pretty face all over your wall. And if you do decide to do that, please don’t tell me about it. I think that just might freak me out.

And if you haven’t yet watched me eat every single list item, you have to check out this video right now.


Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

When I was in college, I had a favorite neighborhood deli (Pittsburgh Deli Company) and I would usually get the same sandwich. It was called It’s a Bird’s Thing and it was a pile of smoked turkey and muenster cheese grilled on fresh challah bread. But the element that put it over the edge and the reason why I’m still thinking about it over 10 years later was the addition of Honeycup, a spicy, sweet mustard. I used to ask for an extra side of that with each order so I could schmear it on everything I ate in my college apartment. The condiment itself would have made my Top 100 if I was keeping tabs back then.

I learned later on that the Honeycup I so loved is actually a packaged mustard that you can buy in some grocery stores.

The reason I mention all this is because one of TONY’s list items is an artisanal, locally made mustard that reminds me of the mustard of my past. SchoolHouse Kitchen is a company that was founded in Brooklyn (where else?) in 2005. In addition to two varieties of mustards (I will soon be seeking out their Horseradish and Dill), they also produce chutneys, fruit spreads, and salad dressings.

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Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

Pie was almost a full blown food trend in New York City. Many people were predicting that pie was on its way to overtaking the cupcake in popularity. But those damned cupcakes won’t die and pie is still trying to work up some hype. No doubt that the leaders of the pie revolution in this city would have been Four & Twenty Blackbirds, the modest bakery in the industrial heavy neighborhood of Gowanus, Brooklyn. When you walk through the door, you’re transported to a pie shop in New England somewhere. If you couldn’t see the urban jungle through the windows, you’d really have to check your map.

It’s sort of amazing that it’s taken us this long to stop by for some pie. We had talked about picking one up for Christmas last year or for a random birthday party, but somehow we always got sidetracked. Time Out listed the salted caramel apple pie in their Top Ten. And they’re not the only ones who’ve been raving about this flavor combination. The pie is so popular that it’s one of the few varieties they now offer year round.

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