We gotta eat this city, eat this city


/ #arftw / adam riff™ food and travel week

I believe that the best way to experience a city is to eat it. If you eat a city properly, you will visit places that you might otherwise not visit, and see things that you might otherwise not see, like this mesmerizing sculpture outside Columbia University's law school building, which I stumbled upon while trying to locate a coffee shop.


Simmons asked me to create a formula that mirrored the popular baseball statistic VORP, an acronym for "Value Over Replacement Player." The VORP metric attempts to isolate the merits of a particular hitter or pitcher in comparison to a fictional "replacement player" — a hypothetical strawman who's an average fielder and a mediocre hitter. "Would it be possible," pondered Simmons, "to create an identical statistic for music?"

That was VORM. This is VORE (Value Over Replacement Eatery).

In layman's terms, the higher the VORE, the better the eatery – in my opinion.

Eatery Neighbourhood VORE
Earl's Beer and Cheese Spanish Harlem 60.2
Dirty Bird To Go West Village 52.2
Mile End Delicatessen Boerum Hill 42.3
Henry Public Cobble Hill 38.6
Xi'an Famous Foods Chinatown 34.4
Ample Hills Creamery Prospect Heights 29.6
Pies 'n' Thighs Williamsburg 23.9
Fatty Cue Williamsburg 19.9
Torrisi Italian Specialties Nolita 17.5
53rd and 6th Halal Cart Theatre District 15.3
Shake Shack Battery Park City 13.6
Blue Ribbon at the Brooklyn Bowl Williamsburg 12.4
Gray's Papaya West Village 10.6
Gramercy Tavern Flatiron 9.1
Doughnut Plant Lower East Side 8.4
The Spotted Pig West Village 7.6
Robicelli's Downtown Brooklyn 6.8
BaoHaus Lower East Side 6.2
Pommes Frites East Village 5.7
Johnny Foxes Upper East Side 4.8
La Esquina Nolita 4.0
The Smith East Village 3.5
Sweetwater Restaurant Williamsburg 3.1
Di Fara Pizza Midwood 2.5
Graffiti Food and Wine Bar East Village 2.1
The Dutch Soho 1.6
Dos Caminos Soho 1.3
Solber Pupusas Red Hook 1.0
Artisanal Murray Hill 0.8
Traif Williamsburg 0.6
Dos Toros Taqueria Union Square 0.5
M. Wells Diner Long Island City 0.4
Taïm West Village 0.3
Patacon Pisao #2 Elmhurst 0.1
Pão de Queijo Astoria 0.1
Smashburger Fort Greene 0.0
Rosa Mexicano Upper West Side -0.1
Crumbs Bake Shop Upper West Side -0.1
Calexico Flatiron -0.2
Momofuku Milk Bar East Village -0.2
Jacques Torres Ice Cream Shop DUMBO -0.2
Spot Dessert Bar East Village -0.3
Peels Restaurant East Village -0.4
Il Laboratorio del Gelato Lower East Side -0.5
Magnolia Bakery West Village -0.6
Cones West Village -0.7
DuMont Restaurant Williamsburg -0.9
L'Arte del Gelato Chelsea -1.1
Motorino Pizza East Village -1.9
Porchetta East Village -2.3
Popbar West Village -2.9
San Loco East Village -3.7
The Meatball Shop Lower East Side -4.5
FoodParc Midtown West -6.6
T.G.I. Friday's Times Square -14.3


Special Recognition:

Smoked Meat Sandwich (Mile End Delicatessen)
I want to take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding (Blue Ribbon)
puts Pizookies to shame

Spicy Cumin Lamb Hand-Ripped Noodles (Xi'an Famous Foods)
immaculate Asian fusion

Chairman Bao (BaoHaus)
Eddie Huang's pork belly bun is quietly superior to David Chang's

Bread Pudding (Earl's Beer and Cheese)
I know. Another bread pudding? But this maple stew of bread and apples topped with cotton candy devastated me. Earl's menu >>>>>



  1. Jeff 18 Jul 11 at 09:55

    Well done. 2-5 all hold a very special place in my heart, and couldn't agree more with their placements.

    The Fridays in UNION Square, however, if i follow the formula correctly, would be even lower, considering several of the cities' best restaurants are literally steps away, AND it actually replaced an extremely popular and productive vegetarian restaurant.

    But again, very well done. I didn't know Dirty Bird was a destination eatery, but was my favorite delivery spot before I moved to Brooklyn last fall (to an apartment right between Henry Public and Mile End.)

  2. Ryan 19 Jul 11 at 02:07

    Your VORE rating; does it adjust for local market saturation? I don't know what your formula is specifically.

    1. Jon 19 Jul 11 at 05:55

      does it adjust for local market saturation? no.


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