We know another year has gone by in the food world because the Saveur 100 is out. The list “offers a vivid snapshot of the wide … world of food,” says the magazine, so the picks skewed global — licorice from New Zealand, anyone? — but we are, as always, only interested in the New York stuff.
• No. 1 on the list was “competition barbecue,” and mentioned RUB’s Paul Kirk by name. One warning, though: The item claims that visitors to contests get to eat their fill, but Kansas City Barbecue Society rules actually prevent teams from feeding the public, so it’s rare that anybody but judges really gets to pig out.
• Much praise goes to independent butchers, who Saveur claims are helping to redefine the way we eat meat. And “leading the pack is the husband-and-wife team Joshua and Jessica Applestone,” whose two Fleisher’s shops are upstate in Kingston and Rhinebeck. Take that, Northern California!
• One item we wondered about a little was the shout-out to the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, whose reputation is currently in tatters. The group, which purports to represent the powerless, was sued this year by some of its own members for coercive tactics, and its co-op eatery, Colors, has been on life support so long that it’s practically the Terry Schiavo of restaurants.
• The Institute of Culinary Education received some love for its vast recreational program, which provides some of the city’s top chefs with much-needed extra money and a chance to meet worshipful fans.
• We can’t for the life of us figure out why Saveur, or anyone else, would want to salute the Reuben sandwich, one of the most misbegotten, freakish, and sloppiest sandwiches known to man, but we always thought the very least we could say for it was that it was invented here in New York. But no! Saveur claims that it was created by an Omaha grocer, which greatly pleases us, since we can now hate it with total, unmediated conviction.