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Favorite top 3 dishes you had in 2012

mine were -
Som-Law Ma-Ju Kroung Sach Ko - Beef, beef tripe, lemon grass, vegetable, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind, jalapeno, holy basil - Simply Khmer, Lowell
Xiang La dry fish fillets (lightly battered fish with a flavoring of anise, Sichuan peppercorn, chili pepper, garlic and ginger. served in a pot with crisp cooked celery) - Sichuan Gourmet, Billerica
Dry rubbed pork rib - Blackstrap BBQ, Winthrop

What were your favorites?

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  1. Pork chile tacos - Taqueria el Amigo, Waltham
    Tteokbokki - Bon Chon, Allston
    Albondigas - Angela's, East Boston

    1. Parsley root soup- Bondir
      Tea smoked ribs- Meyers and Chang
      Grilled rommaine w oxtail- Strip T's

      1. Dinner Burger - JM Curley
        Conant's Island - West Bridge (it's a drink, but it's that good)
        Fried Pigs Tails - Craigie on Main

        1. Awesome string, nasilemak!! I can't wait to take note of everyone's faves!

          Singapore Street Noodles- Empire

          Garganelli w/ Chicken Oysters- Catalyst (off the menu now!! grrrrrrr)

          Black truffel macaroni w/ madeira & parm- Mistral

          1. 1. Spelt Agnolotti with Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Sunchoke Puree, Tomato Jam, Porcini Bread Crumbs topped with a piece of Crispy Lamb Skin. Where else, but at Strip T's.

            2. Special off the menu Barcelona Sausage stuffed with Foie Gras, garnished with Mostarda at Scampo.

            3. A gooey slice at Galleria Umberto.

            1. When I think of dishes I immediately remember and crave from 2012 and want again ASAP, I immediately think of:

              - Red Wheat Tagliatelle (Sauté of Chanterelle, Mousseron, and Shiitake Mushrooms, Pu-Erh Celery Baton, Pecorino Extravecchio) at Bondir. This was just once of the many at Bondir, which is the one Boston restaurant that innovates and amazes me every time I go there.

              - Italian sub from Monica's Mercato. Sandwich perfection every time.

              - Bo Ssam made using bone in Berkshire pork shoulder from MF Dulock, accompanied by Pemaquid oysters from New Deal and home made kimchi (and other items) from Lotte Market. This wasn't a restaurant dish, but it was one of those meals which reinforced that leveraging the excellent raw materials available in our area and cooking at home often trumps dining out. We had very few restaurant meals in Boston which could stand up to this (and will be preparing it again a week from today for friends). The arrival of MF Dulock in 2012 is a huge plus to the area.

              - Honorable mention for the lamb shoulder sandwich at Strip Ts. I found more misses than I would like on my visits there, but this sandwich was a revelation. Even if you think you don't like lamb, just get it and enjoy.

              In addition to incredible food a common theme among the places mentioned above is that the staff and proprietors are universally a pleasure to interact and do business with. I am happy to support these places and that makes the food taste better to me.

              Admittedly, the grass is always greener, but It bums me out a bit that I can think of many more dishes and meals from the past year in cities other than Boston which make me drool, than those enjoyed locally.

              1. Salt N Pepper Soft Shell Crab at Best Little Rest.
                Clams and Chourico Cataplanas at the Azorean in Gloucester
                Ipsofatso's 4th of July slow smoked lamb ribs

                1. Oxtail and grilled romaine with poached egg at Strip T's.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Kat

                    I'd throw in that eggplant banh mi from Strip T's as well.

                    1. re: ebone

                      After giving this some more thought:

                      1. eggplant banh mi - Strip T's
                      2. beef cheek gorditas - JM Curley
                      3. biscuits - Sweet Cheeks

                      (*honorable mention to the corndog at Parlor Sports)

                      Not a single entree on there, but these seem to be the things that stick out in my mind most over the past year.

                  2. - A slice of Sesame-Semolina bread from Mamadous with Irish butter
                    - Rib Eye at the Blue room eaten at a special event with the owners and staff of the Rain Crow Ranch
                    - Roasted Peaches at Erbaluce

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FoodTruth

                      I hope I get a separate entry for Asian (-:

                      - Peking Duck at China King (thank you Doris and Erwin for coming back to Chinatown)
                      - Hand Pulled Noodles at Gene's Flatbread Cafe
                      - Banh Mi at Mei Sum

                    2. Wow, it sounds like I have to get to Simply Khmer ASAP!

                      Off the top of my head, I would say these three stand-out:

                      - Hand-pulled noodles at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe
                      - Sri Lankan godhamba coconut roti at Biryani Park
                      - Savory almond tart with leeks at Bondir

                      1. Mine:
                        - beef brisket sandwich from the M&M Ribs truck, Boston
                        - Catfish Meuniere from Hungry Mother, Cambridge
                        - Gyro and loukoumades from the annual Greek Festival on Central St. in Somerville

                        My girlfriend's:
                        - beef brisket sandwich from the M&M Ribs truck, Boston
                        - the Cheese sandwich special with shaved steak, fried egg, cheese, avocado, and Russian dressing from All-Star Sandwich Bar, Cambridge
                        - pan-fried pork dumplings from One of the Kind, Super 88 Food Court, Allston

                        Fantastic thread, Nasi! Thanks for the great info.

                        1. +1 on the Som-Law Ma-Ju etc from Simply Khmer

                          Chicken B'stilla from Moroccan Hospitality

                          Braised pork belly with preserved mustard greens from Royal Palace 2

                          pureed corn soup from Sugar

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: gourmaniac

                            Hi g,

                            What are the hours at the Moroccan Hospitality? And thanks for the recommendation, I've had it on my radar for a couple of years now.


                          2. 1.Smoked Trout @ Island Creek Oyster Bar
                            2. Smoked Trout w/ 5 hour egg @ Strip T's
                            3. Forest Sushi @ Strip T's (beef tartare w/fixins)

                            1. ** Polenta with Hen of the woods mushrooms and kale at Highland Kitchen
                              ** Lamb Belly at Puritan & Co.
                              ** Mala broth and hot pot at Little Q in Arlington

                              1. 2012 was a fine year, most memorable:

                                Scallops, sunchokes, brussels, chantrelles w/ bacon veloute - Blue Pear, West Chester PA
                                Fried clams, squid ink emulsion - Craigie on Main
                                Striped bass, zucchini & squash - Strip Ts

                                1. Doo wee and rice - Either chicken heart fries or the steak baos.

                                  The pork belly app at painted burro that actually tastes Chinese.

                                  The beef satay at Thai North (in an attempt to assuage the fears of some neophytes we got what I thought would be pedestrian meat on a stick. Turned out to probably be my single favorite dish of the year.)

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: coolaugustmoon

                                    Oh, yeah - that pork belly is realllllllly good!! I've had it twice - and then I don't want to eat anything else - because anything else is a let down after that! :)

                                    1. re: Small Plates

                                      The burro belly always presents the following problem... Do I order a 2nd or 3rd order? I'm not really hungry anymore plus we still have a table full of food. But it is possibly the single best thing in the world to eat.

                                      The only reason I ranked Thai norths satay higher is the surprise factor based on expectations from the "American" side of menu.

                                      1. re: coolaugustmoon

                                        What is this burro belly about? "The single best thing in the world to eat" is a lofty description! Do share! :)

                                        1. re: Prav

                                          The menu simply claims pork belly with Serrano chile and tamerind glaze over frisée salad. In reality it is a more then generous serving of crisped( but seemingly not coated or battered) literally melt in your mouth bite size bits of pork belly. The tamarind and Serrano(plus whatever magic spell cast upon ordering) look and almost taste like char siu color roast pork. But as good as righteous roasted pork is on its own, this has top notch pork belly texture thrown into the equation. That it is but six bucks is even crazier.

                                  2. In no particular order and limited to the Boston area:

                                    1. Salt n' pepa fried crab at Peach Farm, sometime after 2am

                                    2. bowl of ramen at Yume Wo Katare. I prepared by not eating much and the result was eater's high after completing a bowl. Didn't get the same high on 1st or 3rd visits, maybe there was something special in the broth that day.

                                    3. Combo of beef sundubu and spicy pork at Kaju Tofy House on some cold wintry day

                                    1. Brisket Reuben @ B.T.'s Smokehouse in Sturbridge
                                      Soup dumplings aka "juicy buns" on their menu, Dumpling Cafe, Chinatown Boston
                                      Brioche french toast with roasted pear compote and spicy crispy cheese, Queen's Kickshaw, Astoria, NY

                                      1. 1. Beef & Octopus soft tofu soup - Kaju Tofu House, Allston

                                        2. Veggie Momos - Rangzen Tibetan, Central Square, Cambridge. [Note: I am a Nepali, so I consider this high praise]

                                        3. Flan - Acitrón, Arlington

                                        1. Cuchi Cuchi - French Banana Bread Extravaganza (I know, dessert, but AMAZING)

                                          Aquitaine - Duck Confit and Gruyere Sandwich

                                          PiCCO - Roasted Caulifower Gordita

                                          1. new items:

                                            beef brisket BT's
                                            cabbage with bacon: Golden Garden
                                            Uzbek lamb Om

                                            old favorites:

                                            dumplings in spicy sauce Sichuan Gourmet
                                            eel with sticky rice Mulan
                                            fresh shrimp East Ocean Seafood

                                            1. A whole fish prep at Island Creek Oyster in April that reminded me of Lers Ros...perfectly deep fried whole and then presented "standing up," as if it swam right onto the plate.

                                              Gnocchi with ramps at Il Casale, early spring (I only wished there were more ramps).

                                              I liked my eggplant banh mi at Strip T's, but it didn't bowl me over. However, I did like my half of the burger there (my first in ~15 years!). Fries were excellent, too. One quibble...I couldn't detect the smoked miso.

                                              Guess we didn't eat out much in 2012. Agree with Lipoff and nasilemak, gotta get out to Lowell. And agree with Nab et al, gotta get to Thai North. And YoMa, etc....

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: digga

                                                I'm with you. Could not detect the smoked miso in the burger too...and i was so looking forward to it!

                                              2. In no particular order

                                                - braised squid and octopus from Blue Room
                                                - pork bolognese pizza with fried egg at Coppa
                                                - spicy curried coconut goat stew at Highland Kitchen

                                                honorable mentions:

                                                - the double awesome from MeiMei;
                                                - lambs tongue & grits dish at Tres Gatos; and
                                                - the dry-rubbed baby back ribs with mustard barbeque sauce & hot pepper marmalade at VeeVee.

                                                1. * Bok choy with a sweet chilli sauce at Moksa
                                                  * Pork belly carbonara at Posto (a repeat performance from a 2012 winner)
                                                  * Goat cheese tortellini with short rib at Catalyst

                                                  Honorable Mentions:
                                                  * Paella Valenciana at Toro
                                                  * Cauliflower with that chorizo puree at Strip T's
                                                  * Crispy skate with oxtail at West Bridge

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: mkfisher

                                                    MKF - Your post jogged my memory about a good lunch at Moksa in April...I liked both the eggplant steamed buns and the lime chili tofu whole wheat "roti." I have not been back since but might try to hit it up for lunch soon just to mix things up a bit from the usual rotation. Is it really as bad as folks here have been reporting in the last half of 2012?

                                                    EDIT: Just peeked at the menu - rather different from what I encountered. The menu is all over the (East and Southeast Asian) map! But B would be all over beef rendang if it's tasty. And how about the Korean seafood tofu bowl? Thai papaya salad? Mee goreng? Am I an idiot for considering a return visit?! Perhaps, but it's just lunch...

                                                    1. re: mkfisher

                                                      Will miss Patricia's cooking as I loved 2 items at Moksa -

                                                      Fried duck tongue with brandade and cucumber lemon chutney and sprouts on a whole wheat roti

                                                      Pork belly skewers glazed with umeboshi plum

                                                    2. My choices in no particular order are:
                                                      1. Ribs from Mrs Jones in Dorchester
                                                      2. Chopped salad with pan seared scallops from Cafe deParis, and
                                                      3. Chocolate chèvre cheese from Westfield Farm (spread on a shortbread cookie and topped with a fresh strawberry

                                                      1. Fried clams at the Clam Box in Essex.
                                                        Lobster roll at Charlies Kitchen and Kelly's.
                                                        Hot dog at Bukowski's.

                                                        @castorpman on Twitter

                                                        1. Harami ("tender meat around diaphragm") skewer at Yakitori Zai
                                                          Half rack of ribs at M&M Ribs
                                                          Pork belly bun at Uni

                                                          Runners-up: Hot and sour soup at Dumpling Cafe, agedashi mochi at Yakitori Zai, biscuits at Sweet Cheeks

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Mike5966

                                                            accidentally read "half rack of M&Ms"

                                                          2. 1. Garlic noodles (item 4) at Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe
                                                            2. Beef tournedos at Catalyst
                                                            3. Sweet potato fries on Burger King's summer menu. Seriously. I have never had a better rendition of this item. I have not tried their current curly fries rendition but assume they are spicy, which the previous ones were not.

                                                            1. 3 fond memories, random order:
                                                              Edamame and rhubarb salad, East by Northeast (thought I could dupe this at home. hah.)
                                                              Weekend-only chilled noodles, Gene's
                                                              Sri Lankan cabbage curry, Biryani Park