Corned beef hash
Restaurant: Hash Food NY, Stone Ridge, N.Y.
Picked by: Peter Romeo, Editor-at-Large
Using ingredients from farms down the road, places like Hash deliver comfort meals that Brooklyn chefs should try even if it means walking there. It’s just tough to distinguish which local specialty was best; the housemade corned beef hash, served amply atop a bed of local fingerling potatoes, or the pastrami, smoked at a nearby farm.
Restaurant: Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, Calif
Picked by: Kim Rasmussen, Digital Production Manager
You get a 2-ounce sample of every beer they have on tap, priced as quoted that day. They brought the tasting glasses out in a big contraption that took up our entire five-person table. Plus, the beers were delicious.
Restaurant: La Petit Grocery, New Orleans
Picked by: Alaina Lancaster, Associate Editor
A breaded and fried egg on top of this twist on Cajun cuisine made an already adventurous menu item—
at least for a Yankee—more fascinating. The fact that the staff at the James Beard Award winner didn’t judge my jorts made it even better.
Restaurant: Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, Chicago
Picked by: Brett Dworski, Associate Editor
I love authentic Mexican, but these were nothing like I’ve ever had before. They had the texture of barbacoa, and were the juiciest tacos I’ve ever consumed. The restaurant is a family-run hole in the wall, and is all goat-themed. Also, there’s only one waitress. And the place is usually packed, so she’s quite talented.
Smoked tomato soup
Restaurant: Hagel 1891, Mt. Sterling, Ill.
Picked by: Mary Chapman, Director, Events and Special Projects
It was tomatoey, thick and rich, but the flavor came from the smoked tomatoes rather than cream. It was topped with crunchy focaccia croutons, Parmesan and parsley.