People love lists. Top Tens, Best/Worst Dressed, 100 Best Movies of All Time –the lists never stop. Of course, most of the time the lists don’t actually…you know…mean much. Someone’s assistant just sits down and puts some stuff they like in whatever order they want, and then their editor sits back and revels in the buzz that boils up briefly and more often than not, fades fast.
Food-related lists can be self-serving (bow down to my EXPERT OPINION ON BACON!) but they can also help build some buzz for restaurants who need it and deserve it. The real problem with lists is the sheer frequency with which they appear. The fact that there are so many of them kind of sucks the meaning out of all of them.
But that whole fleeting nature of the meaning and impact of lists is fun - they provide a polaroid of an instant in time in our local food culture. To that end, here’s a quick survey of Brooklyn mentions in one week’s worth of ‘lists’ from the NY food media.
Fork In The Road (Village Voice) lists “NYC’s Greatest Chefs“ (seventeen of ‘em). While Batali’s probably doing just fine on the publicity front, maybe someone will venture out of Manhattan for a night at Fatty ‘Cue when they see Zak Pelaccio at #15, or a small plate at The Vanderbilt when they see Saul Bolton at #11.
Grub Street‘s throws down “Fall Flavor: 41 Things We’re Psyched to Eat (and Drink) This Season.” Several of our BK faves get shout-outs, including Nighthawk Cinema’s cocktails and popcorn, Chuko’s crazy smooth pork ramen, and deep fried bacon at Fatty ‘Cue. They also name-check a few new spots we have high hopes for, like Bourgeois Pig in Carroll Gardens, Pillar & Plough in Williamsburg, Hillside - the soon-to-open Vinegar Hill House spinoff, and Red Gravy in Brooklyn Heights (man, Saul Bolton is everywhere these days. Go Saul!)
Then Time Out New York drops their ’100 Best Dishes and Drinks 2011‘ list, and twenty nine Brooklyn sips and bites get the nod. Ready? See if you can burn through these in one breath:
The (drumroll)…Fried Chicken Sandwich at Van Horn Sandwich Shop, Chicken Parmesan at Best Pizza, The Whole Mishpucha at Mile End, Shaved Ice at Wooly’s Ice (DeKalb Market), Brooklyn Bootleg S’mores at Blue Bottle Coffee (Williamsburg), The Sundae of Broken Dreams at Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain (Carroll Gardens), Rib eye at Isa (Williamsburg), Absinthe Colada at Maison Premiere (Williamsburg), Grilled sardines at St. Anselm (Williamsburg), Blood-orange doughnut at Dough (Bed-Stuy), Tagliatelle at Brucie (Cobble Hill), Vegetarian taco at Tacos El Bronco (Sunset Park), Red Wattle pork chop at Roberta’s (Bushwick), Margherita pizza at Giuseppina’s (Sunset Park), Chicken-liver baguette at Post Office (Williamsburg), Crispy rock shrimp at Nights and Weekends (Greenpoint), Nitehawk Queso (nachos) at Nitehawk Cinema (Williamsburg), The lamb burger at James (Prospect Heights), The Hellboy at Paulie Gee’s (Greenpoint), The Reuben at Court Street Grocers (Carroll Gardens), All American (burger) with Cheese at Smashburger (Fort Greene), Montanara (fried) pizza at Forcella (Williamsburg), Key Lime Pie (frozen yogurt) at Culture (Park Slope), Ukoy (traditional Filipino fritters) at Purple Yam (Ditmas Park), Fried pig tails at The Brooklyn Star (Williamsburg), Flor de calabaza quesadilla at Mexico 2000 (Williamsburg), The Peter Shelsky (sandwich) at Shelsky’s Smoked Fish (Carroll Gardens), Barrier Brewing Company beers (you’ll find them on tap at the boroughs best beer bars), and Empire Mayonnaise Co.’s many creative varieties of mayo (Smorgasburg).
Whooooo! Head spinning yet?
And as Zagat‘s releases their new NYC restaurant edition, The Daily News reports that Brooklyn cleans up in the pizza division: Coney Island’s Totonno’s takes best pizza. Carroll Gardens’ Lucali comes in at #2, Midwood’s Di Fara gets #3, Roberta’s of Bushwick arrives at #5, and Franny’s in Prospect Heights? #8.
So there you have it – a random sample of Brooklyn food mentions in a week’s worth of ‘lists.’ And we’re pretty sure we didn’t even catch them all. Bottom line? These things are fun, but we don’t put too much stock in them. Unless they include people, places and things we like, in which case, you know, they’re awesome.
Then again, we are kinda hungry right now for some reason…