Welcome to the fourth and final installment of the Boston/New York Food Super Bowl (for installments 1-3, please look here, here, and here). Today, we’ll be evaluating the two cities’ burrito, street food, and seafood offerings. Let’s hop right to it!
Boston: We’ve written about our city’s burrito glut at some length before. Simply put, if you want a burrito in the Hub, you don’t have to travel far to sate your craving. From Anna’s Taqueria to Boca Grande Taqueria our local chains are second to none and, perhaps more importantly, they’re cheap as all get out.
New York: To be sure, there are great burritos to be had in New York, if you find yourself in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, East Harlem, or at one of the incredible vendors’ stalls at the Red Hook Ball Fields (those vendors, incidentally, are in grave danger of losing their licenses, which would be a tremendous shame for New York). If, however, you’d like to get a burrito on your lunch break (and really, who wouldn’t?), you’re likely to find that all your options cost twice as much as Anna’s et. al. and taste half as good.
Boston: Well, there’s Speed’s. And we have a continued weakness for the lemonade stands in the Common. Um. Yeah.
New York: Let’s imagine together, shall we? You’re in New York, you’ve just had a fine dinner, but you’re craving a little something sweet. You don’t want to go for a sit-down dessert. What would be great is if you could just stop at a truck and grab something you could then eat while wandering about. New York says “Sure! Do you want a perfect Belgian waffle from Wafels & Dinges? A great brownie from the Treats Truck? Maybe it’s chocolate bread pudding with bacon creme anglaise you’re craving. If so, you can pick that up at the Dessert Truck. Hey, while you’re there, why not stop at the Dosa Man’s cart in Washington Square?” All the options mentioned don’t even include the bountiful choices in the outer boroughs or in Chinatown. This is, after all, a city that has an awards ceremony to celebrate the best of the best in street food. It’s just no contest.
Advantage: New York
Boston: Admittedly, Boston is not Maine, so we do not have the absolute finest lobster this great nation has to offer, but goddamn if we don’t make a strong showing in second place. Bostonians are notorious seafood snobs (we once strongly declined to order steamers in Northampton because it was a “little far inland”) and it shows in the quality of our seafood restaurants, from Yankee Lobster to Neptune Oyster to, yes, even Summer Shack. Our seafood options are not, however, limited to traditional New England fare: from the fusion flavors at East Coast Grill & Raw Bar to Chinese treats at Big Fish Seafood Restaurant, Boston rocks seafood in all of its forms.
New York: The seafood category seems like it should be a full lock for Boston, but it’s actually quite close. New York has a few very respectable New England-style seafood eateries, like The Mermaid Inn and Pearl Oyster Bar, as well as a plethora of great seafood-based Chinese restaurants and the best ceviche we’ve ever had (once again, that event took place at the Red Hook Ball Fields). In the end, however, New York’s seafood scene misses a certain authentic something that Boston’s has in spades. Besides, Jasper White lives in Boston and if that doesn’t give plenty of points, we don’t know what would.
The final tally gives Boston five (sandwiches, ice cream, cookies, soup, burritos, and street food), New York four (pizza, barbecue, hot dogs, and street food) and two ties (burgers and bread). Boston wins! Again, we would like to express our deepest admiration for Ed Levine, who’s original post on the matter inspired our passionate responses. As Gridskipper noted, we are certainly not an unbiased source. We are, however, an unapologetic believer in Boston’s culinary greatness. We stand by our results, just as we stand by our prediction that the Pats will win on Sunday. As always, however, we do encourage your thoughts in the comments.