10 Best Things I Ate in October

Shrimp and corn tamale at The Blind Pig.
Shrimp and corn tamale at The Blind Pig.
Jackie Mercandetti

Another month checked off in the culinary datebook of 2013, another month when I look back on the best things I ate.

From dishes like my new favorite macaron of the moment to sophisticated nachos and a tough-to-find street snack, here are 10 of the best things I ate this month, selected from reviews, first-time visits, and places I've popped into just because.

I hope it inspires. Enjoy.

Shrimp and Corn Tamale at The Blind Pig (above)

The best thing on the menu at this meat-centric venture in Scottsdale (complete with a butcher's case of take-home proteins) is the shrimp and corn tamale ($10). When it arrives, the husk has been spread open to reveal plump grilled prawns resting atop a delicately sweet masa cake covered in a sumptuous corn and cilantro cream sauce for a gourmet take on a Mexican street food that's nothing short of spectacular.

See also: The Five Best New Phoenix Restaurants of 2013 (So Far)

Pumpkin Spice Macaron
Pumpkin Spice Macaron
Laura Hahnefeld

Pumpkin Spice Macaron at Essence Bakery Cafe

Chef Eugenia Theodosopoulous has managed to put the taste of the holiday season into one of her heavenly macarons thanks to a creation called Pumpkin Spice ($1.40/small, $3.25/large). With a creamy filling made with ingredients like organic pumpkin, brown sugar, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger layered between a lightly flavored orange spice macaron, it's more or less the macaron version of the pumpkin pie.

Lechon Baboy
Lechon Baboy
Laura Hahnefeld

Lechon Baboy at Halo-Halo Kitchen

Folks at this West Phoenix Filipino bar and restaurant not only no how to party (see: Friday late-night karaoke), they also know how to eat. In particular, on Saturdays, when they stand in line for fresh lechon baboy ($8.99/lb.) succulent chunks of roasted pork with crunchy skin served with a side of seasoned liver sauce. Too early for a cold San Miguel with that? Never.

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