As part of our 2012 Year End Coverage, we’ll be posting some our staff’s favorite meals from this last year. Today we’ll start with our podcast producer (and my brother) Tom and his five favorite meals from this last year (in no particular order).
While Donnie and Alli have taken me with them to try a bunch of new restaurants in the past 3 years, I usually just stuck to my boring favorites for my regular meals (Jims Steak Out, Mighty Taco, quick homemade stir-frys, etc). This past year I finally experienced a “break out” and started to try new cuisines. From eel and octopus to foie gras, my pallet has grown considerably. On top of trying new things this past year, I still have a few favorites that will always be at the top of my list; Blue Monk‘s Blue Monk Burger, Shish Kabob Express‘s Beef Schwarma (pictured above), and Lloyd‘s pork burrito all remain some of my favorite foods in Buffalo. Since 2012 was also my first full year as a 21 year old, I was able to enjoy the fantastic cocktails being crafted at both Mike A‘s Lounge and Vera Pizzeria. With that, I was also able to finally enjoy a steak sandwich from The Pink.
Beyond my favorites above, here are 5 new food experiences that I really enjoyed this year. Hopefully I’ll have plenty more in 2013.
Bistro Europa – I’ve never had lamb before this year, and Steve Gedra’s gyro was an awesome introduction. Everything was perfect….portion size, the rich flavor of the lamb, the toasted pita and the yogurt sauce.
Foie Gras – This past year I had the pleasure of having Foie Gras twice: the first during an IN event at Seabar where it was prepared a variety of ways (pictured above). The second time was at Mike A’s Lounge on top of their F*** California burger during my birthday dinner. Both times the foie gras provided a very interesting and distinct flavor and surprisingly I enjoyed them both thoroughly.
India Gate – A friend pushed me to try Indian for the first time, so we took India Gate up on their restaurant week offer. The result was extremely spicy and extremely delicious. It is most certainly a restaurant and cuisine that I want to revisit in 2013.
NoNoo Ramen (now closed) – After seeing my first Nickel City Chef challenge this past year, Donnie and Alli took me to NoNoo Ramen. We sat at the kitchen bar and had Chef Chris Van Every prepare a couple dishes for us. He preceded to hand select some on and off menu items. From eel to fried octopus, it was a big day for me and my experience-lacking pallet.
Banh Mi Boys (Toronto) – This was my second time ever having Banh Mi and it was a much better product compared to the two dollar sandwich I had previously. All of the ingredients of my grilled pork Banh (pictured above) mi were fresh and delicious. The experience has also led to an increased desire to try more Vietnamese cuisine (when I feel adventurous…or when Donnie is forcing me into it).
Check back tomorrow when we’ll have our editor and co-founder Allison Suriani’s top 5 meals.