taylorshocks

The Best of NY — Personal Food Awards

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm

PIZZA….  INNOVATIVE VARIATION OF AT LEAST

Balaboosta’s Grilled Pizza with Carrot Purée, Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese & Cilantro

Um…. I dream about this dish weekly. I’m not a huge regular pizza fan, whatsoever, if anything I’ll opt for the White Pizza with Broccoli. I’m veering off course, the point that I’m trying to make is that, Balaboosta’s Grilled Pizza is ANYTHING but ordinary. The variation of flavors and textures just makes this pizza literally unforgettable. To think that a pizza which incorporates no traditional fixings of a pizza can be SO ridiculously good is mind-boggling to some. The carrot purée as the base adds such texture in addition to a heartier alternative to marinara sauce. The goat cheese paired with the caramelized almost sweet onions is insane on the palate as well. As long as Balaboosta keeps offering this appetizer, the longer I will continue to salivate about it. Just sayin’.

 CORN

Cafe Habana’s Signature Corn

If someone were to have asked me, do you remember the best corn on the cob you’ve ever had? I’d probably have laughed in their face… that is until I stopped at Cafe Habana for brunch a couple of weeks back. I have since been researching this signature Cuban delicacy and came to find in a great cookbook I own, written by Miami’s top chef, Michelle Bernstein, that the dish is somewhat of a Cuban staple. With Ancho Chile Butter, Queso Fresco dousing the corn on the cob, I literally can’t stop thinking about this corn. I need to go back sooner than I should to order it again….


FRENCH ONION SOUP

Tie between Les Halles and Five Napkin Burger

There is nothing like French Onion soup. Nothing. I think no matter how warm or how cold it is outside, I am always in the mood for a bowl of French Onion. Maybe it’s the texture combination of the soaked bread with the harder cheese crisping on the rim of the bowl with the sautéed and softened onions. YUM. I love two restaurants in the city for their French Onion – one more traditional and one less so. Five Napkin, known for their burgers, beers and sushi rolls, offers an amazing soup — up to my liking. Les Halles, a Midtown East French hang out, is known for their dish which I can’t say fails to live up the hype whatsoever.  

 SWEET TREAT

Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Cream Pie

My boyfriend has a sweet tooth … or more like he likes to dabble in the “fat kid diet” every now and again. He forced me to wait with him in the never-ending line to get into Magnolia Bakery. While I’m not one to wait for ANYTHING, even a free bottle of great wine, I complied. I’m more than glad I did. The Banana Cream Pie was served in a cup with a spoon and to say it was the most enjoyable dessert I’ve had in years, is true. WOW. Go now even if you have to wait…  a while.  

GREEK DISH

Kefi’s Baked Shrimp and Orzo Dish

My mom and I love to eat shrimp… and we love feta…. and tomatoes…and orzo. Ok we love a lot of Greek inspired dishes. Point of the matter is that I have a favorite place at home called Athenian Garden, that makes this to-die-for Shrimp Orzo Bake. I didn’t think, however, that in my wildest dream I’d find a replica dish even better here in Manhattan. For a VERY REASONABLE cost, you can get such an amazing shrimp, feta, tomatoes, orzo bake at Kefi. Add a glass of Chardonnay or Pinot and you won’t regret the trip to the Upper West Side, I promise you this in advance. 

MARGARITAS 

Rosa Mexicano’s Famous Pomegranate Margarita

  I don’t know just how many times I’ve blogged about Rosa Mexicano since I began this blog in 2008. It has been an integral part of my dining life since I was a tot. No other margarita holds a candle to Rosa’s famous “Pomegranate Margarita”. Even I feel the immediate effects (and regrets) after ONE drink. Insane things begin to happen when you finish off more than two – take for instance, you becoming the restaurant’s coat checker for the half hour insisting that it’s your job position. Let me not elaborate any further on this anecdotal story.  

HANGOVER OMELET

Jane’s Shrimp Ranchero

I love innovative dishes, something as simplistic as a omelete that you can whip into an unforgettable breakfast is noteworthy in my book. I’ve had Jane’s Shrimp Ranchero breakfast dish countless times and yet? I still can’t get enough. It offers a heartier protein than just eggs, by incorporating shrimp and it also has amazing texture with great salsa and perfectly done avocado.  

 

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