Tag Archives: Barbecue

Looking back on 2014, I present the most memorable and greatest dishes of my year.

I can’t believe 2014 is practically over. It was fun while it lasted. And this year I really got a great taste of some new, hot restaurants in addition to dishes from classic New York institutions that I should have visited a long time ago. Here are the top five dishes I tasted this year:

NUMBER 5: SEA URCHIN GUACAMOLE at ÉLAN

SADLY, ÉLAN IS NOW CLOSED.

Sea Urchin Guacamole at ÉLAN

Asian-influenced guacamole really sounds like a mash-up gone horribly wrong, but in the capable hands of veteran chef David Waltuck, it is simply marvelous. Waltuck returned to the city this year with élan and brought his refined French technique together with unexpected flavors. The sea urchin guacamole adds a briny, rich layer to avocados that most taco joints would only dream about. Greaseless and light taro chips make the perfect vessel for a creamy guacamole that is dotted with sweet soy sauce and bright wasabi, along with the piéce de résistance: tongues of luxurious sea urchin. Price: $19

ÉLAN
43 East 20th Street (between Park Avenue South and Broadway),
Flatiron District
(646) 682-7105
elannyc.com

NUMBER 4: GRILLED SHORT RIB at BETONY

SADLY, BETONY IS NOW CLOSED.

Grilled Short Rib at BETONY

My birthday dinner this year was a huge blowout at Betony, which has reinvigorated the Midtown dining scene. It’s both fancy and high-end, but without too much stuffiness and if you play your cards right, you could get out of the restaurant without taking out a second mortgage. The dish I’m raving about now is one that most critics praised last year. Chef Bryce Shuman sous vides then grills a giant fatty beef rib, so it has both a masterful tenderness and a smoky crisp exterior. As perfect as the meat was, it’s heightened by its accompaniments which includes the greatest smoked mashed potatoes I’ve ever tasted. I wish it was my birthday all year long. Price: $40

BETONY
41 West 57th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 465-2400
betony-nyc.com

NUMBER 3: ESPECIAL ADOBADA at LOS TACOS NO. 1

Adobada at LOS TACOS NO. 1

Forget kale salads or fried chicken, this was the year of Mexican food. There’s even now a bona fide high-end Mexican restaurant (Cosme) in New York selling NY strip tacos for $35. It’s supposed to be excellent, but for now, I’m going to stick with cheap and unfussy Mexican food. And this year, I discovered the best Mexican that Manhattan has to offer. Los Tacos No. 1 is nestled inside Chelsea Market. And here they are not only preparing impeccable tacos, but they are also deep frying a quesadilla. It’s called their Especial and can be stuffed with any filling, but I urge you to try the adobada (marinated pork and pineapple). Once you try this, you’ll have no interest in saving up for an expensive Mexican meal. This is all you need. Price: $5 ($6 with filling)

LOS TACOS NO. 1
75 Ninth Avenue (between West 15th and West 16th Street),
Inside Chelsea Market,
Meatpacking District
(212) 256-0343
lostacosno1.com

NUMBER 2: MILLE CRÊPES at LADY M CAKE BOUTIQUE

Milles Crêpes at LADY M CAKE BOUTIQUE

A cake boutique sounds ultra-fancy and intimidating, but don’t let it scare you away. Because Lady M is making one of the most interesting and mind-blowingly delicious treats in the entire city. The cake/crêpe hybrid known as a Mille Crépes means “thousand layers,” but all you really need are twenty. Each delicate layer of eggy pastry is cemented together with whipped cream and composed into a light, but decadent dessert with a perfect caramelized crown. If this is a cake boutique, I want to try everything on. In my belly. Price: $7.50

LADY M CAKE BOUTIQUE
36 West 40th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 452-2222
41 East 78th Street (between Madison and Park Avenue),
Upper East Side
(212) 452-2222
The Plaza Food Hall,
One West 59th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenue),
Midtown West
(212) 452-2222
ladym.com

NUMBER 1: BEEF RIB at HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE

Beef Rib at HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE

I’m such a barbecue snob. I often tweet out remarks about very popular barbecue joints in the city that just don’t live up to my standard. I can never say that about Hometown. This place makes the best I’ve tasted in New York. It’s worth the trek out in Red Hook to splurge on their gigantic beef rib. I’m normally a fan of pork ribs, but this mammoth features a blackened crust of peppercorns and spices protecting a neverending slab of buttery meat and sweet fat. It almost feels like a smoked meat marshmallow. And it’s my favorite dish of the year. Price: $25/pound

HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE
454 Van Brunt Street (at Reed Street),
Red Hook, Brooklyn
(347) 294-4644
hometownbarbque.com

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

HOMETOWN BAR-B-QUE, 454 Van Brunt Street (at Reed Street), Red Hook, BrooklynMy hope was to have a Halloween themed Dish of the Week today, but I haven’t had any scary (in a good way) dishes in a while. So instead, I want to write about my new favorite barbecue restaurant in the entire city. And the dish that really changed the game for me was a gigantic monster. And monsters are very appropriate for Halloween. You like how I did that?

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

MORGAN'S BBQ, 267 Flatbush Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

 

Some might call me a barbecue snob. And I suppose they’d be right. I just have very high expectations for barbecue, having spent time in parts of Tennessee, North Carolina, and the mecca of American barbecue, Texas. So when I tweeted out disappointments about some of last year’s hot new NYC barbecue joints, it’s from a desire for the smoked meat to be really good. I can’t explain why some major food critics gushed over some of these joints.

There was indeed some stellar barbecue this year (Briskettown, Fletcher’s), but the one that impressed me the most opened up quietly at the end of the year. Sure, Morgan’s BBQ was packed when we went in for some meat, but it hasn’t reached the over-the-top hype saturation as some of the other BBQ openings.


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.

There are very puzzling moments in my life where I contemplate becoming a vegetarian. Truthfully. But then I have a bite of some smoked brisket or grilled pork and I immediately come to my sense. These five dishes have kept me carnivorous this year.

NUMBER 25: FIVE SPICE PORK at MOO SHU GRILL

Five Spice Pork at MOO SHU GRILL

Street meat is a term most New Yorkers know well. It usually refers to griddled lamb or chicken minced up into little chunks. While the spices can make them taste delicious, this year a brand new truck brought a whole new flavor to street meat. Moo Shu Grill comes from experienced street meat experts who previously worked for Bian Dang and Korilla BBQ. This underrated truck offers up rice bowls and moo shu wrappers stuffed with their extraordinarily flavorful and moist proteins. I especially fell for the five-spice pork which is a blend of pork shoulder and belly marinated with a sweet and salty hoisin sauce and then caramelized to a beautiful char. Topped with a bright and smoky ginger aioli, it’s the beginning of the street meat renaissance. Price: $9

MOO SHU GRILL
Locations Vary
Twitter: @mooshugrill,
(212) 695-5995
mooshugrill.com

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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

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My search for the best hot dog in New York continues….

Is it me or is the Smoke Joint not just a reference to a place to hang out and eat BBQ? It’s been a long time since I indulged in the other sort of smoked joint I’m referring to, but my guess is the Fort Greene BBQ spot is a definite double entendre.

A hot dog with pulled pork might have been one of those things I thought up in college after one too many smoked joints. But it’s something this place serves every single day. And they’ve gotten a lot of press for it over the years.

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Category: Hot Dogs

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