Tuesday, October 15, 2013


The whelk deviled eggs
The Gastro-Geniuses, Master Mixologists, and Consummate Carnivores over at GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY (GQ) have gorged themselves across the good ol' USA to find what they consider to be the  best-of-the=best-of-the-best in epicurean excellence, and gift us with The 50 BEST THINGS To EAT And DRINK RIGHT NOW!!!

Check out the DECADENT DINERS DOZEN, and get the Full Flavored 411 at GQ.


No. 1 (above)
Green-Goddess Deviled Eggs
The Whelk, Westport, CT
This has been the breakout year for deviled eggs, forgotten except in southern and midwestern kitchens. I ate them across the country, but none came close to this complex and captivating variation: yolks mashed and mixed with a homemade green-goddess dressing (creamy, tangy, and once as beloved as ranch), then stuffed into egg-white halves. The dish gets better. The eggs are topped with two elements similar in texture but opposite in character—crunchy, sweet pickled onions and crunchy, sweet baconlike guanciale. Or you can have your deviled eggs with fried oysters on top. Both are right.
Alan Richman

Butcher and bees
No. 2
Chinese Pork-Belly Sandwich
Butcher & Bee, Charleston, SC
Hopefully you're perky enough to stay up late, because most nights Butcher & Bee doesn't open for dinner till 11 p.m. Chef Stuart Tracy prepares everything from scratch, including the roll. Inside goes the following: pork belly, spicy sesame- dressed coleslaw, hoisin sauce, crushed peanuts, and cucumber slices. The sandwich, which Tracy calls "crappy Asian-fusion food," stays crunchy despite so many sweet, soft elements, making it a miracle of flavor, texture, and imagination.
Alan Richman

Sunchoke soup
No. 3
Sunchoke Soup with Potato, Lobster, and White-Truffle Foam
Goosefoot, Chicago
Sometimes oft-maligned truffle oil does indispensable work, adding a taste of extraordinary but unconscionably expensive Italian white truffles, which go for about $3,000 per pound. With the oil, chef Chris Nugent's gorgeously composed soup is a modest but luscious masterpiece. Maybe you won't tremble in bliss quite as hard as you would if thirty grams of fresh, pungent, pig-snout-sourced white truffles were shaved over your soup, but you'll still tremble.
Alan Richman

Clam chowder
No. 4
Clam Chowder
at Ox, Portland, OR
''A roasted marrow bone sits inside the bowl. You scrape the marrow in, then mix it around—it's outrageously good."
Gabriel Rucker Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Milos milokopi
No. 5
Milokopi Baked Whole in Sea Salt
at Milos, Las Vegas
''I've seen this dish a million times, but only at Milos is it perfect. So moist. My favorite part is the belly, the most underrated section of fish."
Scott Conant Scarpetta, N.Y.C. and other locations

The rebel within
The Rebel Within
Craftsman & Wolves, San Francisco
The Rebel Within is a muffin that's not only spiked with green onions, Asiago cheese, sausage, and crème fraîche but also hides a pristine soft-boiled egg inside. This is a dark-magic McMuffin, and in a happier world, every hotel breakfast bar would be stocked with them.

Thee slut
Thee Slut
Egg Slut, L.A.
The best egg packaging of 2013 goes to L.A. food truck Egg Slut. Chef Alvin Cailan ladles a cloud of potato puree into a palm-sized Mason jar, then piles on a silky coddled egg, fresh chives, and gray sea salt for a Venice-meets-Brooklyn parfait.

Briskettown taco
Brisket Taco
Briskettown, Brooklyn
Forget the usual grease grenades of potato, egg, and chorizo. BrisketTown serves up flour tortillas filled with brisket as soft and delicate as the soft, delicate scrambled eggs, buttressed by red-onion relish and a neon squiggle of hot sauce. It's as light, almost pretty, as a breakfast taco can be.

Beet home fries
No. 9
Beet Home Fries
East Side King, Austin
The ruby-fleshed fried beets at Paul Qui's Asian-comfort-food fusion joint are like patatas bravas—if patatas bravas packed a juicier punch. Piled next to a chile-flecked Kewpie mayo, these nuggets of natural sugar deliver the tangy-salty-sweet notes that you want backing up every meal.

Fried artichoke la vara
No. 10
Fried Artichoke with Anchovy Aioli
La Vara, Brooklyn
They arrive in a small clay dish, eight or so per order, the aioli spooned on in unfussy dollops. You need every element in every bite: a bit of that garlicky anchovy sauce, a meaty chunk of artichoke heart, and best of all, those frizzled petals that flutter free, charred and crispy, just waiting to be forked into a last mouthful by someone. And that someone should be you.

Crispy hominy
No. 11
Crispy Hominy
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Miami
To most non-southerners, hominy—corn kernels that have been rendered doubly big and doubly delicious—is a foreign concept. Michael's Genuine Food & Drink improves on the idea by taking that beautifully fluffed-up corn, frying it, then topping it with a chile-spice mix and a squeeze of lime. This is how bar snacks become entire meals.

Franklin barbeque
No. 18
Barbecue Worth a Two-Hour Wait
Franklin Barbecue, Austin
Time. That's the secret to Aaron Franklin's success. His brisket cooks lower (275 degrees) and slower (nineteen hours) than almost anyone else's. Franklin's place opens to the public at 11 a.m., and that smoky slab of beef—everything he cooks, really—will be gone by about two. Smartly, you lined up around ten. When you're up, order the brisket and Franklin's house-smoked porter, which is crisp enough to cut through the fat. You'll be starving, but now it's your turn to take your time.


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