Monday, January 02, 2023

Best of 2022

I suppose it's not surprising that we didn't do a "best of" post for 2020 or 2021. Not that we didn't eat well those years--we did. We were just in a totally different groove, and blogging wasn't part of it. But we're back in the swing of things here at Minxeats--at least I am, not sure when Mr Minx will start adding his twenty-five cents (inflation!) to the blog. In any case, this post represents my thoughts on the best foods we consumed this year, both at home and in restaurants. Here's a TL;DR if you're not up to scrolling to the bottom: many of the items seem to be sandwiches or pizza. 

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. This post contains many images of food. You may find yourself drooling uncontrollably. Minxeats takes no responsibility for your actions after viewing.


pollo catalana @La Barra  
My BFF Andree and I went to New York in January to spend some quality time together. One of the best things we ate was a dish of chicken and plums, aka pollo Catalana, at La Barra, a restaurant within Jose Andres' Little Spain in the Hudson Yards complex. 


roasted cauliflower with babaganoush and other stuff.
Roasted cauliflower is a regular in the Minx household and I try to make a different version every time. This was my favorite, which involved a Stonewall Kitchens feta spread. Find the recipe here.


salmon @La Calle
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: La Calle makes the best salmon in Baltimore. It's always moist, with crispy skin, and perfect seasoning. I think I ate it twice in 2022, which is not nearly enough times.

pork belly @Kung Fu 12
The Shanghai braised pork belly at Kung Fu 12 in Towson is so rich and luscious, with the perfect ratio of fat to meat. If you're not a fan of fatty foods, or somewhat gelatinous textures, you may not go for this, but that kind of food is right up my alley. 

loaded yuca fries @La Food Marketa
Another dish I ate at least twice in 2022 was the loaded yuca fries at La Food Marketa. Crispy planks of fried yuca are mounded with a pile of shredded beef short rib, drenched in queso, and topped with a fried egg. $13. Cheap and delicious, and one of my all-time fave restaurant dishes.

bone marrow crab dip @True Chesapeake
Another dish we ate multiple times in 2022 (at least thrice) is the outrageous bone marrow and blue crab dip at True Chesapeake Oyster Company. It comes with just enough grilled crusty bread on which to spread the rich and decadent delight. 

motzi bread @Dutch Courage
I'm not a fan of smoked salmon, but Dutch Courage's tartine of salmon mousse with horseradish cream on locally baked bread from Motzi sounded pretty good. And tasted even better. The bread was incredible and I think I might make a real pig of myself if I ever got my hands on a whole loaf.

June was a good month for eating! Especially pizza-eating.
pizza with smoked baby scallops, pancetta, pesto @Cosima
This is one of my all-time favorite pies, and if it's on the menu at Cosima, I order it. Normally I go there with a group and have to share my pie, but this time it was just me and my friend Kim. I ordered the capesante pizza as my entree and loved every bite of it.

kupati with rice @Tbiliso 
I stumbled upon Tbiliso, a Georgian restaurant, while poking around Google Maps. We tried several items on our first visit (and need to go back and try more), and this sausage dish was my favorite. 

morcilla with eggs @Spanish Diner
I know blood sausage isn't everybody's thing, but I grew up eating kiszka, a Polish blood sausage. I was in the mood for a simple lunch after slogging around the Fancy Food Show so stopped into Spanish Diner at Hudson Yards for an order of fried eggs with crusty bread and these lovely patties of morcilla. So good, especially with sangria and a flan chaser.

jambalaya pizza @Earth, Wood, & Fire
Another of my favorite pies is the Jambalaya pizza at Earth, Wood, & Fire, jam packed with andouille, chicken, shrimp, and jalapenos. It's spicy, but not too, and tastes remarkably like its namesake rice dish.

Everything pizza @Squire's
Squire's has always been one of my favorite places for pizza, and theirs is not quite like others in town. The crust is drier and firmer, and the sauce is sweet and herby. I love it piled with all the meats and mushrooms, aka the "everything" but without the green pepper (which ruins it, IMHO).

patty melt @Nautilus Diner
Back in the day, all burgers at Friendly's were patty melts. I couldn't understand why they didn't have buns, only bread. Today, the patty melt--a burger on griddled rye with sauteed onions and preferably swiss cheese, 1000 island on the side--is one of my all-time faves. I hadn't tried Nautilus' version and am generally not impressed with most of their burgers, but I was in the mood and we were there.... And it was excellent, with just the right amount of greasy lusciousness. 

beef milanesa torta @R&R Taqueria Honeygo
Another one of my favorite sandwiches is the torta at R&R Taqueria, which I normally order with a breaded beef cutlet (Milanesa). It's also full of veggies, beans, and cheese. Far too big for one person, this sandwich is perfect for sharing. 

roasted cauliflower, meatballs, muhammara @home
I''ve been lazy in the kitchen this year, relying on stuff from the freezer (homemade soups and chilis) or leftover takeout. Sometimes I get creative, and this dish of meatballs and cauliflower with various Mediterranean sauces and seasonings was pretty darn delish.

sriracha lime dumplings and seafood pancake @Random Access
Another trip to New York meant another food fest. I had wanted to try Random Access, a new Thai restaurant in "my" K-Town neighborhood, but somehow couldn't squeeze it in on prior trips. This time, I feasted on these tangy, spicy, creamy, juicy, cilantro-y dumplings and a pancake/omelette thingy topped with various seafoods and more cilantro. All the bold flavors made my mouth happy.

mortadella sandwich @All'Antico Vinaio
Legendary Florentine sandwich shop All'Antico Vinaio has two outposts in Manhattan that serve up monstrously large sandwiches of Italian cold cuts on a focaccia-like bread. My La Paradiso, which included pistachio cream and pistachios as well as a kind of fresh mozzarella known as stracciatella, on a pile of thinly sliced mortadella, was easily enough for a small family. I admit I ate the whole thing.

lobster roll @Charly's
My friend Cyrus Keefer is currently the chef at Charly's Sue Creek, a new waterside restaurant in the wilds of Essex. He crams a whole chick lobster (1.5 lbs) into his succulent version of a Connecticut-style lobster roll. More, please.

black and bleu burger from Alonso's @home
Alonso's has the best burgers in town. Always fat, juicy, and perfectly cooked, on a super fresh roll with the perfect amount of cheese. Go try it if you haven't already.


cajun mac and cheese with pulled pork @Cajun Kate's
We've started a tradition of going to Cajun Kate's on my birthday (November 17, if you want to send gifts), and it's hard to leave there without trying the mac and cheese du jour. This particular day they had three varieties, and we ordered the most decadent. The creamy and very cheesy mac doesn't need a layer of smoky pulled pork, but now that I've tried it, it seems wrong to eat it any other way.

nonna pie @Underground Pizza Company

Our last pizza for the year came from Underground Pizza Company, which specializes in Detroit-style pies. Among the three variations we tried, our favorite was the Woodland, though the Nonna was pretty darn good. Love that vodka sauce!

peking duck on a bao bun @Kung Fu 12 Szechuan
Christmas Eve dinner at Kung Fu 12 involved half a Peking duck, which came with the option of pancakes or buns, and duck soup or crispy salt and pepper bones. The first time we had the duck there, we went for the soup and ended up bringing 2 quarts of stock home. Though it is soup season, I didn't want to have to think of what to do with all that duck stock (and it wasn't going to fit in our very full freezer), so we went with the bones. I didn't photograph it, because it was literally a plate of bones. Fried bones with crispy bits of juicy fat and skin that were a delight to eat. Though we had some other good stuff that night, I think the bones were my favorite thing on the table.

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