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Guardian's Worldwide Best 50 Foods & Where to Eat Them


Chris Amirault
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The Guardian just published its list of the best 50 foods in the world, and they also declare where one must eat them. It's a pretty fun list, and I can claim a mere three for myself: pastrami at Katz's, macarons at Ladurré, cake at Pierre Hermé. You?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Naturally, this being a "best of" list, some of the entries are ridiculous. The best place to eat "Algerian food" is in Algeria? You don't say! Next you'll be telling me the best place to eat French food is in France... though, of course, no one would ever use a term as reductive as "French food."

The one that really baffles me, though, is #19. The best place in the world to eat "Nordic food" is Olo in Helsinki? Maybe I've just been won over by marketing hype, but I think I'd sooner be booking dinner at Noma.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

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For me, it doesn't get better than #5 (phở in Vietnam). Though I prefer the more Northern style served at Phở Gia Truyền in Hanoi, as pictured here: ----->

There is NO number 6.

Once got a look inside Sushi Daiwa, but the line was about 5 hours long.

Hard to beat the Thai curries at Chote Chitr in Bangkok.

I'd like to add the greatest place to eat Chicken wings: Elephant & Castle, Temple Bar, Dublin...crave them fortnightly.

Edited by KD1191 (log)

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I have scored 1 only, a meal at Chez Panisse, which was good but not amazing, probably because the menu that night was just not my thing.

I did get to Pierre Herme on my trip to Paris, but only for Macarons, which actually were rather disappointing, and for some lovely chocolate cookies. Didn't know to go for the cake. When I toured Tsukiji, I it was too cold and drizzly for sushi afterwards, so we ate in a Ramen place full of market workers. So close, but not quite 3.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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Eh, these lists are just crap marketing tools designed to make you feel bad about yourself for not travelling more. I've had just as good pho as I've ever had on the streets of Hanoi in pho shops in Toronto and Shanghai. The only thing missing was that I wasn't balanced on a crap blue plastic stool trying not to break off one of the legs and collapse into a heap of gutter lime peels and pink paper tissue pulp. My butt thanked me for it. If you like the atmosphere, sure go get on a plane. If you like soup, go find your local Vietnamese community. It's probably closer to you than Hanoi.

After all they go on about carbon offsets? I cry foul, Guardian.

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I'm feeling tres worldly because I eat Central Texas barbecue all the time. Including at Snow's.

:cool:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Eh, these lists are just crap marketing tools designed to make you feel bad about yourself for not travelling more. I've had just as good pho as I've ever had on the streets of Hanoi in pho shops in Toronto and Shanghai. The only thing missing was that I wasn't balanced on a crap blue plastic stool trying not to break off one of the legs and collapse into a heap of gutter lime peels and pink paper tissue pulp. My butt thanked me for it. If you like the atmosphere, sure go get on a plane. If you like soup, go find your local Vietnamese community. It's probably closer to you than Hanoi.

After all they go on about carbon offsets? I cry foul, Guardian.

Why is pho (the best or otherwise) in Hanoi (or anywhere in Vietnam)... often described as something to be eaten "balanced on a crap blue plastic stool trying not to break off one of the legs and collapse into a heap of gutter lime peels and pink paper tissue pulp", or something similar?. There ARE 'proper' restaurants, with seats for any sized butt :-)) serving pho in Hanoi and in other cities in Vietnam, are there not? and as 'good' as any served by the street stalls? Sure, if you chose to do so, you can find 'good' (and the cheapest) pho sitting on crappy blue plastic stools by the streets in Vietnam, and i even found one in Paris - though not by the roadside but in a shopping mall.

And what is as 'good' or 'best' is obviously very subjective and controversial, especially when so-called ethnic cuisine is evaluated by those with a 'western' culinary upbringing and tradition. Ever wondered why Michelin have awarded stars to Thai restaurants in the 'western' countries only, and only to those owned and operated by 'westerners' ?

I dont think the Guardian article is meant to be taken seriously. To their credit, they did try to find the best place for a food in their country or place of origin. However, they fail even in that attempt, eg as Jenni pointed out in post above, and i do not agree that Quanjude is the best restaurant for Peking duck. What is most unbelievable is the recommendation for the best Dim Sum, which is in Hong Kong (OK, so far so good) but the restuarant that serves 'the best Chinese ham and grill it in small slices as an appetiser – amazing with a glass of red wine'. Well, to me, dim sum is basically all appetisers, what did he/she have after the grilled ham, as the main course? I dont know about that restaurant, but has any one ever ordered red wine, or any kind of wine, with their dim sum? I guess Chinese restaurants would try to serve wine if requested, but has anyone ever had wine served in a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong that paired well with their food?

It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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I only have 2 under my belt - pastrami at Katz's and a meal at Gramercy Tavern, though I don't think they had pork belly on the menu that day.

I agree with others that the list is kind of silly in that no one is going to travel that far for one food item. As for the first item listed, I get to have oysters 5 days a week at my job, I'm there anyway, and it's a lot cheaper than a plane ticket to Ireland!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Why is pho (the best or otherwise) in Hanoi (or anywhere in Vietnam)... often described as something to be eaten "balanced on a crap blue plastic stool trying not to break off one of the legs and collapse into a heap of gutter lime peels and pink paper tissue pulp", or something similar?. There ARE 'proper' restaurants, with seats for any sized butt :-)) serving pho in Hanoi and in other cities in Vietnam, are there not? and as 'good' as any served by the street stalls? Sure, if you chose to do so, you can find 'good' (and the cheapest) pho sitting on crappy blue plastic stools by the streets in Vietnam, and i even found one in Paris - though not by the roadside but in a shopping mall.

The attitude that some travel-food writers have, that "you have to be there to get the true experience" annoys me. I mean, in some ways, it's true - some things just don't travel well. But good pho can be reliably reproduced in a variety of locales, no need to get on a plane. Interestingly, the pho shop they recommend is a chain, Pho 24 - and they're right; it did have a reliable and broad meat selection. I know there are pho shops in Hanoi that have proper seats; I ate at many of them when I lived there (although mainly for the aircon). But more often than not, pho stalls in Hanoi have indifferent seating at best. If you want the "I'm on a street corner! Motorcycles are whizzing by!" Bourdain experience, like, if people think that adds to the soup somehow, then sure, go for it. My point is; I like the soup just as much in Toronto as I do in Hanoi.

The more annoying thing about this article, as many of us have pointed out, was that they didn't get the basics right. I'm in Beijing right now; a cursory glance at my guidebook and a brief post here let me know that DaDong is more favoured for duck. But whoever the writer was didn't even bother with that, and went with Quanjude.

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