The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Favorites of 2012: A List of 42 Foods and Stuff

Happy New Year, everyone! 2013 is going to be awesome! Yeah!

...Oh, it's been 2013 for about five months, you say? The year is already a third over? Mmmmk [leans back and flumps into bed, slowly rolls into center of bed, curls knees up to chest, smothers lumpy self with comforter, does not move for five hours]

Yup, I'm slow. But I'm not dead. Yet. And so I shall chug along at the speed of a broken slug, as you've grown accustomed to. (THANKS FOR STICKING WITH ME, GUYS!!!)

If you're wondering what I've been up to during this period of blog abandonment, here's a lil' recap of the last month:

  • End of March: Visited Istanbul! It was awesome! You can see a few hundred photos on my Flickr page (I still have a few hundred more photos to edit). If I'm not a total failure, I might write about it in six months.
  • Beginning of April: Got sick immediately after returning to NYC. I spent the first week not being able to taste much of anything. I spent the second week regaining my sense of taste, but losing my appetite. Then my digestive system stopped working at full capacity. "Ima go take long nap. Sorry about the funny poops. Ok bye." I think that's what it said to me.
  • Mid-April: I entered "gross ball of sweat/phlegm/dizzyness" mode for a few days. At the end my poops upgraded from "nightmare" to "close enough to normal."
  • Late-mid April: Everything pretty much returned to normal aside from my lungs hurling out the occasional phlegm bomb and my inability to shake off a weird dream involving a huge pink marble toilet—I mean, like a pool-sized thing—featuring raw slabs of meat resting and/or smeared on the seat and dead pigs and various flesh slabs danging on hooks overhead.

You didn't need to know all that, but it's too late now.

Here's my probably incomplete list of my favorite foods from 2012, mostly in New York City, categorized by restaurants, individual dishes, and sweet things.


Tacos! Tacos Lengua cemita
Tacos and cemitas, give them to me.

El Tenampa: Thanks to El Tenampa, I rarely eat anywhere else in my neighborhood. I doubt any other place near me could beat El Tenampa's deliciousness-to-dollar ratio. For $6 I can have a two-taco dinner (plus as much guacamole, radishes, and cucumber as I want from their accompanying toppings bar), or if I'm in the mood for getting disgustingly full, I can get a meat-avocado-cheese-n-bean-laden cemita for $8. My favorite fillings are their lengua, cabeza, buche, and suadero, and the well toasted bread and blistered tortillas never disappoint. The only downside is that waits can get long for what's mostly a take-out spot. It's worth it the wait; just don't go if you're in a rush. (If you want someone to help you eat your tacos/cemitas, let me know. I'm like a three-minute walk away from there.) 706 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (map); 718-369-7508;‎

Soba dip Soba, yaaay Soba chefs

Cocoron: Cocoron is my favorite soba shop in the city by far. Hell, my favorite noodle shop. The noodles have that hearty, mildly chewy texture I love, the broths and dips have this great clean, pure flavor, and the toppings are...awesome. Yeeaaheloquentnotreally. The cute mascots on the menu don't hurt either. And soba is good all year round: If it's hot, get cold soba. If it's cold, get hot soba. My favorite is the chicken burdock dip soba because it comes with the double poultry whammy of chicken meatballs and chunks of chicken thigh, but every soba dish I've had there—whether hot or cold, dipped or souped—is great. Be prepared to wait if you're going for dinner. I think lunch time is less crowded. 61 Delancey St, New York, NY (map); 212-925-5220; Larger, 2nd location: 37 Kenmare St, New York, NY (map); 212-966-0800;

Hummus and lamb segar Awesome bread Complimentary tea
Hummus and lamb, bread, and tea. That's a good meal.

Bab al Yemen: If you like piles of hummus topped with spiced, tender lamb nubs and scooping it up with huge rounds of crisp-chewy flatbread and washing it all down with sweet, spiced tea, you will probably like Bab al Yemen. For more info, head over to this post. 413 Bay Ridge Avenue (69th St.), Brooklyn, NY 11209 (b/n 4th and 5th Aves.; map); 718-943-6961;

Massaman: Braised Goat Simmered Rice Noodles and Stir Fried Beans Fried pork and crispy oyster salad
Braised goat, rice noodles, and fried pork from Kinshop.

Kinshop: I first ate at Kinshop in 2010 for a Serious Eats review. And like many work-related meals I've eaten at great restaurants, I didn't get as much out of the meal as everyone else. I spend too much time taking photos and then voraciously eating whatever's left over to actually think about what I'm eating. And thus I forgot Kinshop existed for a few years. Only last year when I ate there for my birthday did I realize why my coworkers loved it so much. It's...really...good. It has...the tastes. Lots of em. (Yeah, that's all I've got, it's pathetic.) I've got to go back soon. 469 6th Avenue, New York NY 10011 (b/n 11th and 12th; map); 212-675-4295;

Table o food Brisket chunks Neon sign
Muh muh meat.

BrisketTown: Even though brisket is the main deal here, I'm a bigger fan of the super tender ribs. I love the brisket too, though—the fatty cuts that start melting on the butcher paper before you get 'em in your mouth. If the thought of a fat puddle in your mouth grosses you out, go for the lean cuts. For a more complete review, head to Serious Eats. 359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (map); 718-701-8909;

IMG_9209 copy IMG_9227 copy IMG_9181
...Yup, I'm full.

M. Wells Dinette: I ate at the reincarnated M. Wells for a Serious Eats review with Max and another friend, which is why we felt justified in ordering ten dishes for three people. This would be excessive at any restaurant. It's 500% more excessive at M. Wells, where the menu during our visit included escargot-topped bone marrow, French onion soup that was more melty cheese goo than soup, a brick-like slab of blood sausage, and a pile of Caesar salad generously topped with finely grated parmesan. Considering the caloric heft of the dishes (and, well, deliciousness), the prices are very reasonable. I don't know why I haven't been back yet. At MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101 (at 46th Avenue; map); 718-425-6917 (museum phone);

Fried chicken supper Brussels sprouts Bobwhite
Fried chicken. You are so good to me. mentally.

Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter: For great fried chicken and sides at a reasonable price, head to Bobwhite. I've only been once so I don't have a whole lot more to say about it, but I definitely want to go back and leave some room for dessert. 94 Avenue C, New York NY 10009 (map); 212-228-2972;‎

Open face beef cheek sandwich Perla Burger Orecchiette
Meat, meat, pasta.

Perla: I don't have much to recommend since I've only eaten here twice for lunch, but I really liked the beef cheek sandwich and the burger. Pastas were pretty good too, but I can't imagine ordering those instead of big ol' mounds of meat on bread. 24 Minetta Lane, New York, NY 10012 (map); 212-933-1824;

Hot fresh donuts Fried chicken (with sour cream and onion seasoning) Interior

Federal Donuts: Imagine a magical place that only specializes in two things: fried-to-order chicken and doughnuts. THIS MAGICAL PLACE IS REAL. IT IS CALLED FEDERAL DONUTS AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL. And it is in Philly, which is good—there ought to be a hundred-mile barrier between me and a place that churns out hot, fluffy doughnuts and juicy, well seasoned fried chicken all day. Skip the fancy doughnuts, which aren't fried to order, and go for the less fancy, cheaper doughnuts. 1219 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (map); 267-687-8258;‎

Uni Ikura Don Kaku-ni zen Seating area All-you-can-eat stuff
Rice bowls and eggs and things from Robataya NY.

Robayata NY: Kathy recommended Robayata NY to me as a place to fulfill an uni craving (read her review on Serious Eats). And it didn't disappoint: their lunch-only uni and ikura rice bowl is topped with a buttload of creamy sea urchin and bulbous fish eggs. Eating it was like being suffocated by the sea. If you find that prospect exciting, then this is for you. I'll admit I'm not enough of an uni and ikura lover to fully embrace the briny smothering, but I'd eat it again, in the right mood. The stewed pork and tonkatsu lunch specials are probably more up my alley. Other things that Robataya NY has going for it during lunch: a little all-you-can eat section in the back of the restaurant with vegetables, pickles, and hard boiled eggs; all-you-can-eat rice (not that I could finish the rice they give me, but it's nice to know); a calm, skylight-enhanced dining room; and reasonable prices. 231 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10003 (map); 212-979-9674;‎

Sankan-don Menu Donburiya
Rice and things from Donburiya.

Donburiya: I wouldn't go out of my way for Donburiya, but I love that there's a place where I can get shrimp tempura, pork katsu, egg, and rice in the same bowl. Or eel, tofu, and rice. Or tuna, sea urchin, salmon, salmon roe, and rice. I love eating family-style, but sometimes you just want a personal bowl of rice topped with multiple proteins. 137 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017 (map); 212-980-7909;

Individual Dishes

Pork gyro sandwich
Pork gyro sandwich from BZ Grill.

Pork gyro sandwich from BZ Grill: Holy muhfug, this is the best pile of pork I've eaten in a long time. A pita cone excessively filled with slices of moist, tender, crisp-'round-the-edges pork can be yours for under $7. You'll eat the whole thing and feel disgusting and happy. Adam Kuban wrote about this sandwich in 2010 and it took me two years to actually get there. Do not wait two years. Goooooo. 27-02 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria NY 11102 (27th Street; map); 718-932-7858;

So many arepas de choclo
Pile of arepas de choclo from the Arepa Lady.

Arepas de choclo from the Arepa Lady: I thought I liked the Arepa Lady's arepas con queso more than her arepas de choclo, but after eating too much of both one night (I had waited in line for 90 minutes; I was going to eat the shit out of those arepas), the choclo won. The arepas de choclo are slightly sweet corn pancakes, folded over and filled with cheese. Every bite explodes with corn souls. I don't know how she does it. Corn rarely taste so glorious. The arepas con queso are great too; they're just more cheese-splosion than corn-splosion. Roosevelt Ave and 79th St, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (map); open Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting May 1; check

Pork ramen from Chuko.

Pork bone ramen from Chuko: I've been to Chuko more than any other ramen shop in the last year mostly because it's right next to Eric's apartment. ...And because it's delicious. Pork bone (tonkotsu) ramen is a common special on their blackboard. The rich, milky broth coupled with a soft boiled egg and meltingly tender slices of fatty pork belly ensures you'll dissolve into a food coma by the end of the night. (This is why it's so great that Eric lives next door. We just go to his apartment and pass out on his couch while watching YouTube videos.) By default it comes with thin noodles, but if you ask for miso noodles you'll get the thicker, wavy noodles, which I prefer. 552 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (map); 718-576-6701;‎

Pumpkin pizza
Pumpkin pizza from Grandaisy Bakery.

Pumpkin pizza from Grandaisy Bakery: I was surprised by how much I liked this, which was a crapload. Note to self: go to Grandaisy Bakery more often. It's one of my favorite bakeries in the city, but I pretty much only go there when I want to feed out-of-towners pizza bianca. 176 West 72nd St, New York, NY 10023 (map); 212-334-9435; 250 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013 (map); 212-334-9435;

Tokyo fried chicken
Tokyo fried chicken from Yaya Tea Garden.

Tokyo fried chicken from Yaya Tea Garden: Refer to this post. I've eaten it a bunch more times since writing that post and it's varied in quality, but I still love it. 51 Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002 (map)

Mister Hotpot
Hot pot from Mister Hotpot.

Hot pot from Mister Hotpot: I only ate hot pot once last year. :C But it was especially good. Mister Hot Pot's non-spicy pork-tastic broth is better than their spicy broth, nice for weaklings like me who can't eat spicy food. Read Chichi's review for real descriptions beyond the lines of, "Uh it was good, yeah." 5306 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220 (map); 718-633-5197

Pastrami Reuben from Katz's.

Pastrami Reuben from Katz's Deli: Considering Katz's pastrami is the stuff of brain-dulling deliciousness on its own, adding sauerkraut, a few slices of Swiss, and Russian dressing seems unnecessary. And it is. And it tastes like the stuff of dreams. Beautiful meat-pile-in-a-sandwich dreams. Read more about the sandwich here. 205 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002 (map); 212-254-2246;‎

"Stuffed beef pasta fried fritters"
Meat-filled, rice noodle-wrapped crullers from Mei Li Wah.

"Stuffed beef pasta fried fritters" (or beef paste-filled, rice noodle-wrapped crullers) from Mei Li Wah: Rice noodle-wrapped crullers (youtiao) are one of my favorite dim sum dishes. This is like the deluxe version of that. Instead of just carb-on-carb action, it's carb-on-carb action with a core of meat. Ohhhhh yeaaah [bursts through a brick wall]. Read more about it here. 64 Bayard Street, New York NY 10013 (map); 212-966-7866;

Maison Kayser bread
Baguette from Maison Kayser.

Baguette from Maison Kayser: This is my favorite baguette in the city. That hearty, crackly crust! Those hearty...chewy...breadmeats! (I need to expand my vocabulary. I know.) I would happily eat a whole one on my own. 1294 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10021 (map); 212-744-3100;

Chicken parm hero
Chicken parm hero from Parm.

Chicken parm hero from Parm: Parm's prices are on the high end for parm sandwiches—especially when you can walk a few blocks to Parisi and get a satisfying two-meal sandwich for under $10—but I think they're worth it. A $12 sandwich every once in a while isn't going to break the bank. 248 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012 (map); 212-993-7189;‎

Hester Nights
Roast pork arepa from Patacon Pisao.

Roast pork arepa from Patacon Pisao: This gets some kind of trophy for sandwich awesomeness: crisp fried cornmeal patties stuffed with juicy shreds of roast pork, fried cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mayo. Let the drool flow. (I ate this at Hester Street Fair, not at the restaurant. I'm not sure if they'll be at the fair this year.) 85-22 Grand Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373 (map); 718-899-8922;

Chopped liver
Chopped liver sandwich from Mile End Sandwich.

Chopped liver sandwich from Mile End Sandwich: Dense liver mashed topped with crunchy gribenes, thick slices of pickled hard boiled egg, thin shavings of pickled onion, duck jus, and parsley salad. I am into that. Read more about it here. 53 Bond St, New York, NY 10012 (map); 212-529-2990;

Fried shrimp and nuts
Salad Jumbo Prawns with Walnut from Amazing 66.

Salad Jumbo Prawns with Walnut from Amazing 66: Take battered, deep fried shrimp, coat 'em in a sweet mayo-based sauce, top with sesame seed-sprinkled, candied walnuts, throw in some cherry tomatoes and melon cubes that have no reason to be there, encircle with broccoli, and...that's Salad Jumbo Prawns with Walnut. I find the sweet mayo-ed crispy shrimp thing surprisingly satisfying and worth the inevitable feelings of grossness. Buuut I I could be totally wrong—someone commented on Max's review that Amazing 66's version sucks. I'm no expert; gimme suggestions! 66 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013 (map); 212-334-0099

Doner from Mustafa's.

Chicken doner from Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap: This was my favorite bite in Berlin, and in my opinion it managed to live up to some crazy hype. ...Or maybe I was really hungry. But I still think it's one of the best sandwichy things I've ever eaten, especially for the sub-$4 price. Read more about it in this post. Mehringdamm 32, 10961 Berlin, Germany (map);

Pork chops

Pork chop birthday dinner in Norway: Last year I visited Kåre in Norway for my birthday. And I arrived...on my birthday. That night, Kåre whipped up pan-fried pork chops with caramelized onions and mushrooms and boiled potatoes on the side. He wanted to take me out for dinner (and he did the next night), but I preferred the homemade route. Kåre, there's no need for you to take me out to fancy dinners, as delicious as they may be; just make me pork chops. [sits back, waits for deluge of pork chops]

Taco party

Taco party in Norway: I brought two NYC foods with me when I visited Norway: loads of chocolate chip walnut cookies from Levain Bakery—they travel well and make good calorically-dense gifts—and a few packs of corn tortillas for TACO PARTY WITH FRIENDS. You can buy corn tortillas in Norway, but seeing as the majority of Mexican-ish ingredients in Norway bear the Old El Paso brand (uh huh), I was pretty sure my Brooklyn-born tortillas would be better. We filled 'em with homemade guacamole and salsa, potato hash, pork, corn, sour cream, and sliced radish, and then we filled ourselves with tacos, and then we all slumped over in Kåre's living room like bloated beanbags and lost the ability to communicate anything more complex than moans. It was a fantastic night.

Sweet Thangs

Brownie sundae oh dear yes
Brownie sundae from Ample Hills.

Brownie Sundae from Ample Hills: Best brownie sundae I've had in NYC. Hot, gooey, rich brownie + hot, gooey, rich fudge sauce + awesome ice cream melting into everything + hefty plop of thick whipped cream = HERE, TAKE THE KEY TO THE CITY, YOU'VE EARNED IT. 623 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (map); 347-240-3926;

Paris-Brest at Bosie Tea Parlor
Paris-Brest from Bosie Tea Parlor.

Paris-Brest from Bosie Tea Parlor: I'd never been enamored by a Paris-Brest—a ring-shaped choux-pastry filled with cream—until I tried the one from Bosie Tea Parlor. It tasted like caramel and toasted nuts from MAGICAL RAINBOW LAND as opposed to just regular caramel and toasted nuts from regular boring whatever land. The kind of flavors that turn my words to blubbering gibberish. 10 Morton Street, New York, NY 10014 (map); 212-352-9900;

Kouign amann
Kouign amann from Dominique Ansel.

Kouign amann from Dominique Ansel: Loads of butter and sugar get packed into a golden, nubbly, crisp-and-chewy, fist-sized nugget of caramelized laminated dough. Methinks the kouign-amann is one of the greatest forms of butter, sugar, and wheat. Dominique Ansel also makes an XL size, although you have to order it in advance. I see a potential birthday treat in my future. 189 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012 (map); 212-219-2773;‎

Buckeyes by Liddabit.

Buckeyes by Liddabit: I'd never eaten a buckeye before trying the freshly made ones at Liddabit's demo at the Brooklyn Kitchen. I'm pretty sure they can't get much better than these: thin, crisp chocolate shell coating a soft, light, not-too-sweet, peanuty center. I ate too many and felt gross after. I regret nothing. Get the recipe in Liddabit's candy cookbook or try this recipe Liz wrote back in 2010.

Two-scoop sundae with mashmallow goo and fudge
Sundae from Eddie's Sweet Shop.

Two-scoop marshmallow sundae from Eddie's Sweet Shop: In case the photo isn't enough to win you over, here's why I love this thing. 10529 Metropolitan Avenue, Flushing, NY 11375 (map) 718-520-8514; Eddie's on Facebook

Beurre & Sel
Cookies from Beurre & Sel.

Cookies from Beurre & Sel: Half the reason I love Beurre & Sel is because Dorie Greenspan is one of the sweetest humans on Earth. She will make you feel like a million bucks even though she is sunshine and rainbows incarnate and you are an inferior lump of mortal flesh. The other half is because their thick puck-like cookies are awesome. Mostly awesome. I don't love them all equally, but I recommend the sablé, chocolate chunker, blondie, and jammer. ALL THE JAMMERS. JAMMERS FOREVER. I really love those jammers. Essex Street Market: 120 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002 (map); 917-623-3239; La Marqueta: 1590 Park Ave‎, New York, NY 10029 (map);

Birthday chocolate bar Birthday chocolate bar Birthday chocolate bar
Chocolate bar from Eleven Madison Park.

Chocolate bar from Eleven Madison Park: Last year I brought Kåre to Eleven Madison Park for his birthday dinner. Extravagant? Yeeeaaah, a bit. (But I love the guy, so it's ok.) It was the most I'd ever spent on a meal. Disappointingly, I can't put it on my list of "favorite places I ate at in 2012." I knew about the menu changes before I went, but I was still curious enough to try it. I don't regret going—it's not like it was bad—I just don't have much to say about it...nor would I recommend it. (Saying that makes me feel like I was totally unworthy of eating that meal, but eeehh uhhh bluh. I'll note that I was a bit sick during the meal, which surely affected my sense of taste, but Kåre wasn't sick and he had the same feelings about the meal as I did. Bluuuuh.) On the other hand, the complimentary chocolate bar they gave to Kåre for his birthday was goddamn delicious, like the best salted caramel-enhanced Twix bar you'll ever eat. I suppose I'll never get to eat another one.

Portuguese egg tart
Portuguese egg tart from New Flushing Bakery.

Portuguese egg tarts from New Flushing Bakery: The egg custard tarts from New Flushing Bakery could've won my egg custard tart taste test...if the bakery were in Manhattan's Chinatown. The crusts are super flaky, the fillings creamy, eggy, and sweet. It's right by the Main Street subway station, meaning that my visits to Flushing usually end in me picking up an egg custard tart before getting on the train. (This is just one of many awesome things Max introduced me to. THANKS, MAX.) 135-45 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354 (map)

Yura On Madison
Sweets from Yura On Madison.

Banayama Pie and Plum Almond Tart Tart from Yura On Madison: I'm ashamed to say I've never been to Yura On Madison. I've tried their pies on various occasions and they're some of the best pies I've ever eaten. At last year's Serious Eats Pie and Wine Social, Yura brought banayama pies (banana and sweet potato) and plum almond tarts. Both amazing. I should've brought Tupperware with me. I could've made the magic last longer. MY LIFE COULD'VE HAD MEANING. 1292 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10128 (map); 212-860-1707;

Loukoumades from Telly's Taverna.

Loukoumades from Telly's Taverna: Why is Telly's such an easy choice for Greek food in a neighborhood saturated with Greek restaurants? Because they serve complimentary loukoumades—crisp, light, cinnamon-dusted, syrup-soaked balls of fried dough—at the end of the meal (except on Saturdays). Gee, do you choose the restaurant with free doughnuts, or the restaurant without free doughnuts? THERE IS ONLY ONE CHOICE. I'm not saying fried dough always tastes good when it's free, but these probably do taste better because they're free. I'd pay for them if I had to, though 28-13 23rd Avenue, New York NY 11105 (map); 718-728-9056;‎

Banana Walnut Bread Pudding
Banana walnut bread pudding from Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Banana walnut bread pudding from Blue Ribbon Bakery: Back in college, I called Blue Ribbon Bakery one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. ...And then I didn't eat there for five years. Blue Ribbon Bakery isn't super expensive, but many dishes are, say, $5 more than I'd want to spend on them, which acts as some sort of mental blockade for me and my cheap ass. Also, none of my friends ever suggest eating there. (I'd say that's the main reason, aside from me being cheap.) It took a visit from my cousin Julia, whom I hadn't seen in over a decade, to get me to Blue Ribbon. We shared the banana walnut bread pudding with banana caramel sauce. And it destroyed my brain, replacing it with rainbows shooting out of fluffy, smiling clouds getting tickled by glittery golden rays of sunlight. I don't remember what made it so good. I just remember thinking, "What the...this...good...more...take my money," but less in English and more in garbled brainfarts. I think I liked it even more than when I first ate it in 2006 (warning: my old posts are unedited and some kind of terrible, but maybe also endearing?...I don't know). It costs $14.75, but considering it's for at least two people, that's not so bad. 35 Downing Street, New York, NY 10014 (map; 212-337-0404;‎

Doughnuts Peter Pan Bakery Donut displays
Doughnuts from Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop.

Doughnuts from Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop: Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop is my favorite doughnut shop in the city—alas, a doughnut shop I go to almost never because I'm too lazy to go to Greenpoint. But I've considered waking up stupidly early just to go to Peter Pan and get fresh morning doughnuts. ...Considered it. I haven't actually done it yet. Um. I'll work on that this year. Their doughnuts are worth losing a few hours of sleep over. 727 Manhattan Avenue, New York, NY 11222 (map); 718-389-3676;

The Nog
The Nog from Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

The Nog from Sugar Sweet Sunshine: I'm not sure I will ever contribute something to this world as great as the smushing together of pumpkin cake, egg nog pudding, and whipped cream. Read more about it here. 126 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002 (map); 212-995-1960;‎

DONUTS DONUTS DONUTS Donuts! Doughnuts! Whatever!
Apple cider doughnuts from Penning's Orchard & Farm Market.

Apple cider doughnuts from Penning's Orchard & Farm Market: I've had many a disappointing cider doughnut in my life. These cinnamon sugar-sprinkled doughnuts, tender and fluffy on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside, did not fit in that category. I wasn't expecting much from Penning's Orchard & Farm Market, but after I shoved a doughnut in my mouth I was damn glad we bought a dozen of 'em. 161 State Rte 94 S, Warwick, NY 10990 (map); 845-986-1059;‎

Fruit jelly
Dorie Greenspan's citrus-berry terrine.

Homemade citrus-berry terrine: I ate this dessert twice last year, both times borne forth from Diana's kitchen. It's a recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table, basically a boatload of fruit—orange and grapefruit segments along with mixed berries (like ten servings of fruit, if I had to guess)—bound by lightly sweetened, gelatinized orange juice. It's as tasty and refreshing as it is beautiful (my photos is not the best indication of its beauty).

Not Food-Related (Did You Make It This Far?)

Don Hertzfeldt signing

While I'm talking 'bout good stuff from 2012, I may as well mention that time I briefly met Don Hertzfeldt after one of his screenings at the IFC Center. The man who so influenced my sense of humor over the last decade. The man who has filled me with that intoxicating combination of mirth and horror over and over in ways no one else can match. The man who showed me the full potential of a thoughtfully animated stick figure—that potential being it can show you THE UNIVERSE. The man who has given me endless joy in the phrases "MY SPOON IS TOO BIG," "MY ANUS IS BLEEDING," "SILLY HATS ONLY," and...oh man, so much more. So much more. (I shouldn't distill him into Rejected, though; the Everything will be OK/I Am So Proud of You/It's Such a Beautiful Day trilogy is suck-all-the-air-outta-my-lungs amazing. Which is super good on the scale of "Will This Kill Me By Suffocation?")

AND I GOT HIM TO DRAW ME A MANATEE. I was totally embarrassed at the time, but I was also powered by selfish fangirl mode, thinking, "ROBYN THIS IS YOUR CHANCE....YOUR ONLY CHANCE...TO GET A DON HERTZFELDT MANATEE. HE PROBABLY DOESN'T WANT TO DRAW A MANATEE. YOU'LL BE THAT ANNOYING GIRL WHO ASKED FOR A MANATEE DOODLE. ARRRGH OH WELL." Thank you for everything, Don. I'll stop now since my words can't do Don justice (also because I don't want to enter the realm of "sounding insane," although I fear I have already drunkenly stumbled across that bridge).


Sabrina / April 25, 2013 2:07 AM

The doner kebap I had in Berlin from Mustafa's was definitely the best thing I ate in Berlin (and possibly EUROPE IN GENERAL). Dear God I can still taste it a year later (not literally).

Love this post!

Lacey / April 25, 2013 11:18 AM

Figures that the one thing I saw and thought "oh man, I gotta try that" (other than, oh, all the desserts) was from Berlin >_< Ah well, I guess I'll just have to eat all the desserts to compensate!

susan in HK / April 25, 2013 11:47 AM

Robyn, you're back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray! I understand you now, instead of writing lots of little posts every couple of days, like most bloggers, you post one hellalong post every couple of months! :)

roboppy / April 26, 2013 3:13 AM

Sabrina: I CAN STILL TASTE IT, TOO! (But yeah, not literally. ...Sob.) Glad you liked the post!

Lacey: Mmmhm, eating all the desserts is the only way. The only waaaaay.

Susan: You're welcoming me back with a "hooray!" Aw thanks. :)

Nicholas / April 26, 2013 11:04 AM

Mei Li Wah! I haven't gone back since we went. The dreams of fried salad still haunt me (in a good way).

It's kinda weird how my perception of food prices is now. If I'm in Chinatown, $5 more than what I want to pay absolutely kills the urge to eat it. But if I go to like... Babbo or Del Posto, I kinda forget that I'm a cheapass until I get the credit card statement at the end of the month.

Gen L / April 28, 2013 12:08 AM

Sweet, sweet post. Even the savory bits. And I did make it to the end to see the manatee born from fangirlism :D

I am in the same boat as you for Blue Ribbon. I recommend it to a lot of people, but I don't go as often as it seems. The lack of reservations for parties less than 5 contributes to that.

esther / May 2, 2013 3:54 PM

This was an amazing post- thank you! i'm about to go eat like half of the things on your list. dizzam!

MY SPOON IS TOOO BIG! omg. i didn't know others knew about that awesomeness. but it totally makes sense. Don Hertzfeldt is AMAZING!

roboppy / May 3, 2013 1:26 AM

Nick: I'm the same way (I'd guess lots of people are). When something's cheap, I place so much more value on a dollar, but when something's expensive it's like, "Mmm $40? $50? K cool whatever." Also sucks that I place so little value on Chinese food even though it's like my fave food.

Gen L: Thanks for reading to the end! ;) I want to go back to Blue Ribbon, but just for bread pudding. ...And bread.

JenMarie: Thanks for sticking around! And I didn't know about the T-shirt kickstarter, thanks for the link! Sounds worthwhile. Also, I like squirrels.

esther: I hope my recs don't lead you astray! I expect a follow-up as you eat your way through the list. :) And I knew I couldn't be the only Don Hertzfeldt fan here, phew! I still remember when my brother first showed me Rejected back in high school. My mind was so blown. It was a turning point. Yes.

Sherm / May 4, 2013 1:26 PM

You are hilarious and endearing. Your photography is beautiful and your reviews are both accurate and completely unpretentious. POST MORE PLEASE.

Morten Båtbukt / May 12, 2013 7:44 PM

Um...yum! Your food year has been far better than mine, but I see we share similar tastes in some areas. I've come to believe everything is better as a sandwich (with an exception perhaps being some desserts), and I'm envious of all of yours from last year. Now I want a döner...or a gyro...or tacos...but I need to go to bed.

I suspect I shall dream of deliciousness in bread.

Vicky / May 12, 2013 11:32 PM

Wow! THis is the mother blog post of all blog posts - that is an awesome list! I love love love Cocoron. And I def need to venture out into the other boroughs more. SO many yummy things in Brooklyn to try!

Jin / May 14, 2013 8:39 AM

Ah dang it, I should have checked for updates before I went to New York this past weekend for my Brooklyn eating extravaganza. But Ample Hills! Salted crack caramel was amazing.

I was secretly geekily hoping for a sighting of Emotion Eric (does he work there or did I dream this?), but alas. Although I guess that would have been a weird and anticlimatic meeting of "EMOTION ERIC!!!!!!!!! I've been stalking you for years even though you haven't been updating the site for several years...uh...yeah."

roboppy / May 21, 2013 12:13 AM

Vicky: COCORON 4 EVER!!! And yes, come out to Brooklyn!

Jin: Yaay, so glad you go to go to Ample Hills! Indeed, Eric does work there (IT IS NOT A DREAM), but not all the time. He does general manager stuff, so he might be there like all day one day, but then not there...most other days. Or he'll be in and out cos he lives nearby. Man, I wish you could've run into him and then totally embarrassed him with your sighting.

Silvia / May 26, 2013 1:20 AM

Thank you!!! Stumbled here about 1-2 hours ago while searching for review of a Filipino restaurant. Want to keep reading your extensive (and mostly local NYC) food reviews. Only negative about finding you is now my brain tells me I am starving to death and have to eat (anything on your blog!) despite having a huge dinner. FYI I am a middle-aged Queens-ish/Brooklyn-ish ABC (a.k.a. banana). MISC.: Do you have an article on your blog somewhere how you take such fabulous (professional?!?) food porn photos and close-ups? I'd rather spend money on food that photo equipment, LOL, but would love a relatively cheap, DIY strategy and equipment recs for taking better pics when I go out to eat. (Note: I am almost a luddite compared to most, slow to notice replies etc.) THANKS!!!

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