What was the best thing you ate in 2010?
I asked around with a handful of Phoenix food lovers, and they were split down the middle. For some, the answer was easy and obvious, a singular work of gastronomic perfection, whether decadent or humble. Others struggled to pick just one thing from the past year's smorgasbord, so they narrowed their answer down to two or three dishes.
Sounds like it was a delicious year . . .
I had intense pleasure from the tomato sandwiches I made in June/July. So simple, fresh, immediate, juice-dripping-down-chin.
Jess Harter, Mouth By Southwest blogger and former Tribune food critic
Top 3: Green chile pork tostada at Cork, fat noodles with fontina, parmesan, pepper jack and spicy cappicola at Il Vinaio, pork pibil at SanTan Brewing.
Pamela Hamilton, publisher of Edible Phoenix magazine
16-year-old mountain cheese at Salone del Gusto in Italy, or first green grape tomato I grew myself from a plant I got at Slow Food Phoenix Tomato Fest. (This year's Slow Food Tomato Fest will be Feb. 5.)
Gwen Ashley Walters, freelance food writer/critic and Pen & Fork blogger
Handmade ravioli stuffed with wild herbs and ricotta, served with clams and mussels at Il Ridotto in Venice, Italy.
Eric Schaefer, Eric Eats Out blogger
Duck yolk raviolo at Noca or black truffle and artichoke soup at Guy Savoy (Las Vegas). Also, braised hog jowl at Tinderbox Kitchen in Flagstaff.
Eytan Zias, owner of Phoenix Knife House
Stuffed pig trotter by the chefs of The Parlor. Parlor is known for its pizza and pasta, but when they let the chefs get creative, they put out specials which will rival any restaurant in town. In this case, they recreated a classic Marco Pierre White recipe -- a deboned pig trotter stuffed with ground pork, veal and wild mushrooms, served with duck fat-poached mushrooms stuffed with a roasted gizzard risotto. The sauce was the the reduced braising liquid. Unfortunately this dish was just a side project to a pig roast they did -- and since there was just one pig, only four lucky people got to have one.
Dominic Armato, Skillet Doux blogger
If I have to pick just one, I think I'm going with a special at Andreoli: Gamberoni Reali alla Brace (grilled king prawns).
Susie Timm, Girl Meats Fork blogger
A tie: Sopranos pizza at Pomo, and ribs and coleslaw at Bryan's BBQ. Based on how many times I returned for more . . .
Kirti Dwivedi, Diya Marketing founder
To be painfully obvious, the braised leeks at FnB. After all, I'm obsessed enough to do #Leekapalooza!
Joel Latondress, One for Dinner blogger and notorious Yelper
Nasu dengaku at Takesushi in Midtown Manhattan. A simple dish that elevated eggplant to an ethereal level. I need to figure out how to reproduce that at home.
Seth Chadwick, Feasting in Phoenix blogger
I would have to say the Chicago deep dish pizza at Tony's Little Italy in Placentia, California. Fabulous pizza and a great owner! If you want local, that would be the Parma pizza at Pomo Pizzeria in Scottsdale. Fantastic pie with a perfect crust.
Nikki Buchanan, The Wild Lavender blogger and former Republic food critic
I loved the pepper pot at A Taste of Caribbean, My Arepa's cachapa, the butterscotch pudding at FnB . . . and probably a million other things I've forgotten. Oh, can I add FnB's J. Lo? Puerto Rican pork butt on the late night.
David Bickford, PHX Rail Food blogger
The carrot cake at Stan's Deli -- the best I've had.
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Rick Phillips, EaterAZ blogger
The Egg Rolls at Wahsun. Believe me, as a New York Jew, I'm telling you this egg roll defies all others. I have grown up on Chinese food, I have eaten at the world's best from coast-to-coast, and yet this offering from a tiny hole-in-the-wall, strip mall joint, cleans all their clocks. I learned about Washun while actually introducing Aaron May to another great spot with the best Peking Duck in town, Super Dragon. May and I quickly planned a visit and were both blown away!
Washun packs theirs with whole large shrimp and chunks of chicken the size of a small baby. It defies all egg roll logic. A typical New York Egg Roll can be found at Jade Palace, larger than a spring roll and a whole lot less greasy filled with mostly shredded cabbage. Wahsun's actually has zero greasy taste to it and comes with a honey-based dipping sauce instead of the typical nuclear duck sauce.
They're served four to an order there and if you take food out, they come with any order over $5.