Meats of the Year, 2022 Edition
AT LONG LAST: A ranking of the best carnivorous dishes I ate this year.
Something about me: I love meat. I’m sorry, I can’t help it!! Long ago in a dark period of my life, I was a vegetarian for about seven years, which now seems like an eternity. What snapped me out of it (and ordering only appetizer samplers at restaurants)? The realization that life is too short to deprive myself of one of its great pleasures. (Please don’t send this post to P*TA.)
Discourse Blog is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
So when it comes to year-end lists, I wanted to try something new and deranged. I give you: My top meats of the year for 2022, listed in no particular order.
Japanese Korean BBQ, Los Angeles
I went to LA a bunch of times this year, and I ate like an absolute king compared to how I eat in New York. I don’t remember exactly what grill-your-own meats spot this was, but it was in Koreatown and was DIVINE. I feel like you can’t go wrong: think perfectly done brisket, short ribs, pork, chicken if you’re boing, with all the perfect pickled fixings.
Zankou Chicken, Los Angeles
Zankou is a “fast casual” Mediterranean chain out of Little Armenia in LA, and I absolutely must have it every time I’m in the city. The roasted chicken and falafel are great, and it’s all made even better when you slather it in Zankou’s “secret” garlic sauce, which has the consistency of a slightly runnier hummus and the potency of a (garlic) atom bomb.
St. Anselm, Brooklyn
Dollar for dollar, St. Anselm, in the Williamsburg neighborhood, is the best steakhouse in the whole city (and certainly the borough, apologies to Peter Luger). A perfect, cozy setting for an intimate dinner with someone you love is made a year-end best by ordering the Ax Handle Rib Eye. Yes, it will arrive sizzling off the grill, bone-in, looking like a prehistoric man obtained it by hunting a wooly mammoth. I dream about this steak.
Casey’s Corner, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FL
Listen: hot dogs are meat. If you’re going to be in Disney World (I was pedo hunting, obviously), this is the best dog, hands down, and one of the best I’ve had anywhere. Slather it in ketchup, no mustard allowed, and enjoy the old-timely piano player pounding away. The corn dogs are also really, really good.
My boyfriend’s pork chops
Will, my bf, won my heart many moons ago by making me a perfect, reverse-sear ribeye steak. The rest is history. But there’s already plenty of red meat on this list, so I’m including his marvelous pork chops instead. I spent a lot of my life thinking I hated pork chops, but he makes them so wonderfully tender and lightly seasoned that I had no choice but to change my mind. Permit me some year-end emotion, but it’s true: They taste like love.