2012's Most Challenging Dishes in NYC
7. Perro Colombiano at La Casa de la Antojitos -- New Yorkers who like their franks with just some mustard and sauerkraut might be abashed at the way they handle weenies in South America. Take this hot dog from Colombia, available in several permutations up and down Northern Boulevard in Queens. It flaunts canned pineapple, Russian Dressing, and potato sticks, among other things. And yes, it's good.
6. Beef Tartare at Perry St -- Like Coluck, this place is also closed. But in this case due to Sandy, and re-opening is expected in a couple of months. Meanwhile, here's a picture of the place's challenging take on steak tartare, in which you have to assay the raw meat like a spelunker crawling into an uncharted cave. Crumbed and fried quail egg yolk? Check! Spiral of some unidentifiable raw vegetable? Check! Baton of panisse? Check! Eating this requires a strategy, but the taste proves to be memorable.
5. Black Bean and Mango Pie at Pete Zaaz -- This was one of those traditional pies in the early days of Pete Zaaz, the city's most off-the-wall pizzeria. You can't get it anymore, but now that it's gone, I still long for it and don't quite know why. The beans were savory, the shredded leeks a nice flavor enhancer, and the fruit added a touch of sweetness, an odd combination of ingredients working in unexpected ways.