Dish no. 25: Crispy ribs from Flor De Mayo (2651 Broadway, 212-663-5520)
Specializing in “Chino Latino” cooking for over three decades, Flor De Mayo is an Upper West Side institution, offering affordable food in a section of the island that desperately needs casual dining options. Platters of Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken crowd tables already bearing servings of rice with soupy black beans, fried plantains, and pork egg foo young. But the most impressive plate to grace the narrow dining room is a portion of Hong Kong-inspired pork rib chops. Pounded thin and fried crisp in thickly applied batter, the knobby slabs weep with meat juice. The kitchen also makes its own sweet and sour sauce, and we must applaud them for getting the color so frighteningly fake blood red (UWS families should keep this in mind for any tiny vampires roaming the streets this Halloween). Despite its dubious composition, it’s piquant as advertised and does a fine job cutting through the chop’s richness.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.