Second Annual Pristine Awards

 

Awards

Welcome to the Second Annual Pristine Awards, where I pick the best “must eat” foods of the year based on what I have reviewed in 2016. As opposed to last year I will be changing up the format a bit to help keep this short and sweet. If a category is underrepresented in my reviews this year (Eg. if I ate a food item/category last year and not this year, or there were no new options), then they will not be mentioned here (for last year’s winners, click this link).

Best Burger Winner: Pretzel Burger (WBC) 

Runner Up: The 5 Napkin, 14 Spice Stuffed Burger (The Cobblestone)

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The Pretzel Burger takes it for the second year in a row, the Cobblestone’s offering put up a great fight, but Westchester Burger Co. has seriously perfected this amazing burger.

Best Specialty Pizza Winner: French Fry Pizza (Silver Lake Pizza)

Runner Up: Philly Cheesesteak Pizza (Silver Lake Pizza)

Former Winner: Vodka Sauce Pizza (Luca Bella)

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I mention former winner and runner up because of the immense respect I have for the now closed down Luca Bella and their Vodka Sauce pizza, that being said this was hands down the best specialty pizza I had this year, nothing else comes close. The combination of french fries, bacon, ranch, chives, and two kinds of cheese is fantastic, and is a whole lot better than should be allowed.

Best BBQ Winner: Cider Spiced Ribs (Whetstone Station)

Runner Up: The Trash Rib Teasers (Holy Smoke)

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What else can I say about these ribs that I haven’t already said? As I wrote in my review, “Smothered in sauce, these ribs are near perfection. The BBQ sauce is sweet, with a semi hot (but not overpowering) cider spice.” Can’t beat it.

Best Bird Winner: Duck Confit (Le Provencal)

Runner Up: Fried Chicken (Birdsall House)

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Our second two-time winner, this Duck Confit remains the best bird I have ever had, and the most steak like bird I’ve seen.

Best Desert Winner: Cheesecake (Westchester Burger Co.)

Runner Up: Maple Bacon Ice Cream (Birdsall House)

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Believe it or not, the runner up race was harder to pick than the winner! There were a lot of good choices this year, but the cheese(cake) stands alone.

Best Penne Alla Vodka Winner: Sal’s (White Plains)

Runner Up: Doubleday’s.

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To be honest, if Luca Bella were still around, there would be no contest; Sal’s is great, but Luca Bella was something else. That being said, Sal’s has become the best Penne Vodka in Westchester County, and is deserving of this victory for sure.

Best Non-Beef/Bird Meat Winner: Rack of Lamb (KEE Oyster House)

Runner Up: Pork Belly with Miso and Kimchi (Communal Kitchen) 

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Truly the best lamb I’ve ever tasted; from the rich red tenderness of the meat, to the succulent bone and citrus infused panko crust, this is a meal to behold…and then devour.

Best Appetizer Winner: Chicken Fried Steak Bites (Prohibition River)

Runner Up: Charcuterie Board (Communal Kitchen)

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Still one of the most amazingly flavored appetizers out there, I’ve been longing for it ever since I first tried it. While it is not readily available on the menu (it is seasonal), it is still the top appetizer around.

Best Steak Winner:  8 oz Filet Mignon (Ruth’s Chris)

Runner Up: 8 oz Filet Mignon Au Poivre (O’Malley’s)

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You can’t go wrong with a prime cut of steak that is served on a sizzling 500 degree plate. For awhile O’Malley’s was going to take home the title, but then Ruth’s Chris came back into my life during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week; and I’m so glad she did.

Best Soup/Chowder Winner: New England Clam Chowder (O’Malley’s)

Runner Up: Roasted Tomato Soup (Ruth’s Chris)

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I know I’ve said this a lot, but this is simply the best New England Clam Chowder I’ve tried. The roasted tomato soup was great, but the “chowdah”at O’Malley’s is simply amazing.

Best Hot Sandwich Winner: Phive All Day (Philly’s: A Taste of Philadelphia)

Runner Up: Ale Roasted Cheese Steak (Lazy Boy Saloon)

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Another two-time winner and with good reason, this is one of the most unique sandwiches out there. Take your traditional Philly and add bacon and secret sauce to it nd you have a Phive All Day. Wonderful.

Best Side Dish Winner: Garlic Balls (PPT’s)

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Another two time winner that is totally unique; doughy, sweet, and full of Garlic. This is a great side to pizza and even a great dish to bring home by itself. Truly deserving.

Best Philly Cheesesteak Winner: Silver Lake Pizza

Runner Up: Tighe’s Tavern

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The final two-time winner, and my favorite Philly that I’ve had, this sandwich from Silver Lake Pizza is top notch, and has yet to be beat (maybe when I visit Philly?)

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That’s it for the Second Annual Pristine Awards, thanks so much for reading and I hope to see you back in the New Year!

 

 

Anthony’s Deli: American Combo

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Today’s review brings you one of the greatest deli sandwiches in New York, if not the country; you think I’m joking? If so, then you’ve never been to Anthony’s.

Anthony’s is a traditional Italian American deli with great food and a classic charm; known for overstuffed sandwiches at an affordable price, if you want a real NY deli experience, Anthony’s is the place to go. Their signature sandwich is known simply as “The Godfather” (“often replicated never duplicated”), and it is a fantastic wedge that I will one day review, but today belongs to the American Combo; easily my favorite thing on the menu:

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Look at that size! It is, simply put, a monster of a sandwich that Anthony’s packs with an assortment of meats, cheese and lettuce; if you don’t think its really that big, I invite you to take a look at what half of that sandwich looks like:

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Yes my friends, that is only half of what you get when you order an American Combo on a wedge; pretty awesome right? But never fear, if a wedge is not your style, you can always order it on a roll as well:

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Are you hungry yet? What is amazing about these sandwiches is that even if you traditionally do not like deli style sandwiches, you will still like most anything the staff at Anthony’s puts together. They always use the freshest ingredients and the price difference between a roll and a wedge is less than $2. But I know what you are thinking; “okay, so it looks good, but how does it taste?” The answer? Unbelievable.

I said it before, but it bears repeating; Anthony’s ingredients are always fresh. When you take a bite, a myriad of flavor and texture hits you like a brick…a delicious meat filled brick.

The bread is equipped with a perfect crust; not too hard, and not too soft. The ham and turkey both have a delightful sweetness to them, a key factor in what makes this sandwich deserving of praise. But not to be outdone, the roast beef is of the best quality and is unspoiled by time or exposure. The Swiss cheese provides a sharp bite that is the perfect counterpart to the sweetness of the ham and turkey, and crunchy iceberg lettuce with creamy mayonnaise puts a final bow on this gift to humanity.

Anthony’s Deli truly knows how to make a top notch sandwich; what could be sold for $11 or $12 elsewhere will only cost you about $8.50, a great price for a great meal*. Even better is that one could easily be satisfied by only half a sandwich and save the other half for another meal; which makes it an even greater value.

Anthony’s is my favorite sandwich shop, and I hope it becomes yours as well; so whether you live in Westchester or are just passing through, do yourself a favor and go to Anthony’s Deli in Mamaroneck; you will not be sorry you did.

Got food tips? Email me at: foodreviews24@gmail.com

*One thing that must be noted for first time buyers at Anthony’s is that they are a cash only establishment; credit/debit cards are not accepted (although they do have an ATM inside). But hey, that’s part of the charm.