"You win! I win! We all automatically win!"
But still, I thought, I need to spread my wings and fly, like RKelly. So, I'm gonna be totally Un-NYC centric for at least a few posts----even if that totally eliminates my chances of being spotted for a guest role on Gawker. But totally ups my chances of a shout-out in the Detroit Free Press, or the "freep" as us locals call(ed) it. (That still exists, right?)
So! Today I present the first entry in a series entitled "THE BEST OF NOT-NEW YORK 2007," in which I reveal The Best of The Best, using the categories chosen by New York Magazine for their Best-Of issue, pictured above. We will begin with "EATING," and this week I have both answered myself and solicited the opinions of other food expert eaters to compile not-nyc selections for 8 of the 26 total seemingly-slapshotty-selected categories in "EATING." There will also be other categories until I tire of this. Also, seriously, as I am writing this (in legwarmers, cargo capri pants, and a dirty t-shirt with a hole in the armpit, tres classy, very hipster, very east coast), I am eating cake frosting out of the container with my fingers. Because I started thinking about cupcakes.
Part One: French Fries, Barbecue, Pig, Gelato, Lunch, Paella, Newfangled Beef, Cupcake, PB&J
NY Mag said: The Farm on Adderley (1108 Cortelyou Rd. Ditmars Park, Brooklyn)
I say: Arby's. (National Chain)
Hands down totes Arby's. I can never even decide: homestyle or curly? They are both delicious, but in totally different ways. You know, like men and women. That being said, I usually chose curly fries. I think they are just more emotionally complex.
I'd Also Like To Say: Grandma's Kitchen (Interlochen, MI), Red Hot Lovers (Ann Arbor, MI), and Fish & Chips places in Australia. I don't know which ones. The ones where I sat on the counter, like a little monkey.
NY Mag said: Da Enzo (494 Ninth Avenue)
Ingrid Greenfield of Chicago, IL (Wisconsin native) says:
When I was working at the Guggenheim in Venice, my favorite way to take a break from the French women knocking their overly LV-monogrammed bodies into priceless works of art was to walk to Nico's on the Zattere for a Gianduiotto--a chocolate-hazlenut frozen gelato log thing, which the bar man will shave off into a cup and top w/fresh whipped cream. It actually costs twice as much to sit at a table, so, in lieu of that, this is how to best enjoy your gelato:
1. He'll give you extra if you flash a winning smile and let him call you and your friend "belle bionde sorelle" (beautiful blonde sisters)
2. Take cup o' heaven to sunny street, plop ass on edge of wide Giudecca canal with legs hanging over the water
3. Recline with sunglasses on (to avoid eye contact with typically scrawny Venetian boys sporting boy-band hair)
4. Shovel gelato delight into eager mouth
5. Have a cigarette, because the gelato experience is similar enough to sex (or watching Shane have sex) to warrant sinful behavior.
These were two separate categories in New York Magazine. My brother, Lewis Bernard, decided: "BBQ can double as pig. I thought a while about how to make a Jew Joke with the pig but couldn't think of anything. I do eat a lot of swine these days."
NY Mag said: Eleven Madison Park (11 Madison Park, surprise!) for Pig, and Rub BBQ (208 W. 23rd street) for Barbecue.
Lewis Jacob Lyn Bernard of New Orleans, LA (Michigan native) says: Roughly 500 days ago, I had the joy and privilege of gathering a few things and fleeing New Orleans as fast as traffic would allow. We ended up in Atlanta. I hate Atlanta. Actually, not only do I hate Atlanta, I also prefer Pepsi, don't get "crunk" and like my tea unsweetened. I'm a bit of a fish out of water in the capital of Southern America. However, if you can fight your way through the traffic you might just find yourself at Fat Matt's Rib Shack on Piedmont Street. Huge smoked slabs of ribs covered in a tangy BBQ sauce, great sides, and local beer on tap. We ate and drank outside the Shack for hours (waiting for my man/$26 in my hand...) and eventually we were rewarded with live music. A friend got the fish. Don't get the fish.
NY Mag said: Kyotofu (705 9th Avenue)
Rachel Kramer-Bussel, the most productive writer in New York City, says:
1. Sprinkles in Beverly Hills -they're huge and very rich, kinda like Two Little Red Hens here. The coconut and the red velvet are especially divine. Best to split with someone, though.
2. Cupcake Beach in Destin, Florida makes amazing vanilla/vanilla cupcakes with real vanilla beans--they FedExed me some, which was amazing in itself, and both the cake and the frosting were like the cupcake equivalent of Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream.
(check out Rachel's cupcake blog: "Cupcakes Take the Cake" for more cupcake tips)
Lewis Jacob Lyn Bernard and his friends from New Orleans, LA say:
"Not sure what that is, like tofu or something?"
Jillian (originally from Door County, Wisconsin):
"I think it has to do with raising happy, hormone-free cows. But its probably just a spinoff of some anti-wisconsin propaganda bullshit. Like, that "happy cheese comes from happy cows, happy cows come from california" crap--but only with New York and beef."
Katherine (originally from Atlanta, GA):
"Star spangled beef?"
Sarah Ravits (originally from Seattle, WA):
"It seems like maybe that's what an old person in a buffet would call it, if it were cut into weird shapes or something. Maybe new fangled beef is the McDonald's beef that isn't really "beef" but contains a small amount of meat and is then treated with weird chemicals manufactured in New Jersey such as "Essence of beef" or something of that sort."
NY Mag says: Boqueria (53 W. 19th St)
Cameron McClure of NYC (originally from California) says: When I first moved to Spain I tried Paella for the first time, and this was '98 or '99, and Spain was still on the peseta, and it was a good time for the dollar, so I didn't even blink when it cost sort of a lot, like the equivalent of $8 or something, and I guess the waiter didn't blink either, because they expect Americans to eat enormous amounts of food, like my Spanish roommates expected me to eat pancakes and sausage and eggs for breakfast everyday, and were really disappointed when I had tostada de tomato everyday instead. So anyhow,the paella was for like 2 people, or maybe 4, and I ordered the seafood one, and it came with muscle shells, and shrimp with their heads on, and clams in the shell, and chicken, and octopus, and other sea creatures that I could not identify at the time. So I sort of freaked out, but not vocally, because my Spanish was horrible at the time, so I think I just smiled. And ate as much as a person can when shrimp heads are staring at them accursedly.
NY Mag Says: Prune. 54 East 1st. St.
Jason Nadler of Los Angeles, CA (originally of New Jersey) says:
Nate N'Als Deli in Beverly Hills. It's a Jewish deli that beats any New York Jewish deli, and you may get to see Larry King...Live.
NY Mag Says: Davidburke & Donatella. 133 E. 61st St.
I say: Zingermans, Ann Arbor, MI.
When I went to hippie high school (kids playing guitar in the grass, picking proverbial dandelions, a lot of Ani DiFranco and Grateful Dead blasted from cassette decks in beat-up Volvos with rolled down windows to let out all the smoke), my Mom gave me a daily lunch budget of $2.00. That probably seems like not enough. Yeah, it totes WASN'T. I used to get curly fries from this place that also sold crack-cocaine, that would be my whole lunch but safely under $2.00. We also liked to go to Zingermans, which is world famous and therefore very crowded and really expensive, and take up the whole place standing in line to get 50-cent bags of bread ends and then grab a bunch of mayonnaise. That was the cheapest lunch, and you'd have extra money left over for eye-glitter. But if we were feeling really flush, we'd get soup or a kid's sandwich from Zingerman's. $4.99. And seriously, they were fucking amazing, and it wasn't just because we usually ate bread ends with mayonnaise. Which, by the way, was also delicious. Zingermans serves their free-range organic corn-fed peanut butter with similarly organicized jelly on raisin bread. It's like what God would eat if God was an 8-year old boy.
FYI: The next post is in process but I'm still looking for anyone who can recommend where the fuck to eat Fugu or caviar (seriously? I thought that just happened in like, Three Men and a Baby or whatever movie it is I am thinking of with the caviar in it. ew. but like, no judgments) and BON BONS (the 18th century doesn't count, that's not a real place). So like, e-mail me and stuff, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm gonna be really starving for answers when I get to stuff I don't even do in the city, e.g. buy furniture, get things fixed, give birth to children and then feed & entertain them. Also, I've got some additional solicitation to do for the rest of the food categories. Annie Barrett, that means you.
Also side note:
BEST FOOD IN MY KITCHEN RIGHT NOW: I just put strawberry frosting on a Le Petit Ecolier cookie and then my mouth actually jumped out of my body to say "Thank You."