As a lover of good food, but not a food snob, I delight in the pleasures of white clothe fine dining along with a solid taco at a borderline clean Mexican grocery. Good food is good food and to create false dichotomies in which the dinner we spend $100 on is somehow superior to the $2.00 dog from a vendor in NYC is to insult the process. That said, here are my top 10 epicurean adventures of the year… all restaurant involved. I chose not to list my Top 10, including home because that would include 9 of my wife's wonderful dishes and my perfect hamburgers (thanks NYTimes).
Of course, there are better dishes in Tampa, including the perfect pork shank at Ceviche, but I did not eat that in 2009.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all vegetarians.
Honorable mention: Beef and Cheese Empanadas at Mr. Empanada.
Chilorio at The Taco Bus
Pepperoni Pizza at Paci's
Ultimate Fried Egg Sandwich at Pinky's
Popeye's Rise and Shiner at Datz Delicatessen
10. Tikka Masala at Tun-Du-Ree (Tampa)
9. Kitfo at Queen of Sheba (Tampa)
8. Barbeque Pork Sandwich at Peebles (Auburndale, FL)
7. Roast Berkshire Pork at Café DuFrain (Tampa)
6. Porch Salad with Tuna at Front Porch (Tampa)
5. Fish Taco at Mema's Alaskan Fish Tacos (Tampa)- the gator taco is pretty wonderful also
4. Pork Ribs and Pork BBQ combo at Buz and Ned's (Richmond)- beat Bobby Flay on his show
3. La Completa Cubana at Columbia (Sarasota)
2. Austrian Beef Gulasch with potatos at Café Steinhof (Brooklyn)
1. Roasted Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad and Sea Salt at Prune (East village, NYC)