The Top 5 Memorable Meals of 2015


These are the 5 dishes of 2015 that I haven’t forgotten about yet. They’re the tastes that I ate with the least grudging indifference and that left me some sort of memory, mostly one suffused with guilt or self-loathing. Maybe next year I should look to more progressive diners for guidance, but then again, it’s just food, give me a goddamn break. You eat it to shut your stomach up and you hope you it doesn’t kill you because there’s doody on it or whatever, the end. Anyway, the winners are:

Everything bagel at Black Seed
Ugh, I try not to eat carbs because gross, but I will totally bring a bunch of bagels to the office on the theory that if everyone else looks all bloated and puff-faced I can feel much better about myself by comparison. Still, if you wait on line as long as they make you wait on the line at Black Seed for their tiny Canadian impersonations of New York’s greatest culinary contribution to the field of breakfast bread, you are going to be hungry as fuck and not a little pissed off when you finally emerge three hours later with your bag of bagels. And hungry as fuck + pissed off is the precise formula to make even the most carb-averse orthorexic bite into a bagel and chew on its glutenous bounty. You know what? These are pretty good.

Two cough drops, Hoyt-Schermerhorn stop
I found these in my coat pocket the first time it got cold enough this year to pull it back out from the closet. Because last winter seemed like it was never going to end I didn’t have a chance to get the coat cleaned, so I know these are definitely from late 2014/early 2015 at the oldest. Don’t judge me, you’ve done worse. Anyway, I was standing on a subway platform waiting for a train and these were exactly what I needed at the moment. If this winter is bad I’m going to seed all my outerwear with mentholated treats for the future.

Kellogg’s® Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts® at the Awl offices
Someone in our office bought a shitload of these before deciding that he was going to go on one of those fad diets that everybody swears by for the first six weeks because almost every diet is amazing the first six weeks but then people sort of slink away from because you get so goddamned exhausted of only eating, say, beets, tuna fish and tiny hot dogs that you want to kill yourself and anyone else around you, plus your body gets wise to the tricks and starts to hoard whatever terrible calories you give it. Anyway, this colleague’s entry into restrictive consumption left a bunch of these chemistry experiments just sitting around in the office, waiting for the right moment when my energy was low to whisper, “You haven’t had me in over 25 years. Imagine what delicious nostalgia I’m flavored with! My silver paper contains all sorts of processed delights!” I tried like hell to resist, but I give blood every eight weeks and one time right after a donation when my will was weakened I somehow convinced myself that I needed the sugar to survive. These were gross, I think, but I ate them both so quickly that I can’t say with any degree of certainty, so on the list they go.

Green juice at, I don’t know, every fucking corner in Manhattan below 14th Street has at least one juice place on it now, this was one of the newer ones
2015 was the year I spent eleven dollars on a bottle of something that in any other circumstances would be a salad, and not even the kind of salad I would order. On the one hand, yes, dropping double digits on a small bottle of anything without alcohol in it makes me feel ashamed enough of myself as a man that when they hand you your change they should also give you a small hammer with which to crush your own testicles in acknowledgment of your surrendering up your masculinity for all future circumstances, but on the other hand I am no longer afraid to die because once you hear yourself saying things like, “I wish the cucumber wasn’t so overpowering, it really obscures the notes of kale,” there is no turning back, and it’s hard to put a price on that freedom, really. Although $11 does seem kind of high, if you’re doing a per-ounce analysis.

L-train churro
Look, sometimes you’re STARVING and you don’t know when you’re going to eat next and cough drops are not going to cut it. I have zero regrets about this.