‘Maxim’ Plays the Chicago Card in Its ‘Food Awards’


After what the magazine claims is over four years in the making, Maxim’s Food Awards came out earlier this month (not online), and as you might expect — with the one exception of a “Smartest Sommelier” nod to Aldo Sohm of Le Bernardin (our pick back in 2006) — the national survey is a glorious celebration of indulgent, lowbrow eats. As in: the “Garbage Plate” at Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester; deep-fried spaghetti-and-meatballs on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair; the bacon cheeseburger served on a Krispy Kreme donut at the Gravity Pub in Atlanta; and Kool-Aid pickles anywhere in the South.

As for New York, there’s an obligatory nod to Momofuku Ssäm Bar’s Bo Ssäm (“It’s been known to make grown men cry. Possibly at the $200 price tag”); Kobe Club has the “scariest dining room” (also because of the prices?); Bánh Mì Saigon gets the “Sandwich Quagmire” award (“Once you eat one, you will be prone to Nam flashbacks in your mouth.” Um…?), and, of course, a few local spots (Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, and Mario’s) get nods for pizza.

The other winners, however, are largely from the South. And the biggest slap in the face? New Yorker and Maxim senior editor David Swanson names Chicago the “tastiest city,” thanks to its liquid donuts (Moto), Applewood ice cream (Alinea), prosciutto consommé (Schwa), and foie gras with crushed Pop Rocks (Avenues). And we, in turn, would like to nominate this choice as Most Increasingly Predictable Way to Piss Off Members of the New York Food Media.