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2011 Food and Drink Awards: Five Best Dinners

Normally we compile our annual food awards by smacking our bellies and trying to recall everything we’ve consumed to make them so jiggly and penis-concealing. This year we turned to celeb­rities, chefs, and Maxim readers to create our most mouthwatering list yet. See our five best dinners below or dig into our five best breakfasts and five best lunches.

1. Appetite of the Beast at Rock N Roll Ribs


Rock N Roll Ribs, Coral Springs, FL
"This place is run by Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain. I originally went because he’s a friend, but I was thinking, What’s a Brit know about barbecue? But dammit, I was impressed! A few friends and I shared the Beast, a $60 tableful of barbecued everything: chicken, ribs, pulled pork, pulled beef, beans, corn, fries, Texas toast, coleslaw, and sauces galore. We’re three big guys, and we couldn’t even put a dent in it. The food and the atmosphere are awesome. It’s not a big place, but there’s a little stage outside where Nicko jams with his side band, doing classic covers. It’s great food, great staff, and great music." —Rich Pierce, musician and road manager who has toured with everyone from Marilyn Manson to Gregg Allman
 

2. Braised Oxtail Stew at Spur Tree


Spur Tree, New York, NY
"When I’m in New York, I like Spur Tree down on the Lower East Side for authentic Jamaican food. It’s a small restaurant, but the taste of the food is huge. It keeps me coming back, especially when I’m homesick. They do an oxtail Jamaican-style, so it’s braised and stewed down. The meat’s really tender, and it’s served with a really thick sauce and rice and peas covered in gravy. It’s bone-lickin’ good. I was home recently and thought, Lemme make some oxtail. I did, but it wasn’t as good as theirs." —Sean Paul, reggae artist 

 

3. Filet Mignon at Capital Grille


Capital Grille, Pittsburgh, PA
"At the Capital Grille, steaks are served without anyone counting calories, and carbs are everywhere. They have a 10-ounce filet the size of a baseball and perfectly prepared. And for before the meal, there’s a seafood sampler that would attract sharks. If you make it to dessert, you’ll go home and pass out a happy person. The entire meal is relaxing. It’s a world-class joint. I love that it’s located in the middle of the city that built this country. And if my wife is reading this, the only thing I ever order there is the chopped salad." —Billy Gardell, actor, Mike & Molly


4. Al Pastor Tacos at Los Gauchos Taco Truck 


Los Guachos Taco Truck, Columbus, OH
"Going here is like the end of From Dusk Till Dawn. It’s in a parking lot next to a Mexican nightclub that looks like it falls off a cliff in back. It’s seriously like the Titty Twister bar. It’s famous for al pastor, marinated pork. There’s a rotating spit stacked with thin cuts of pork, and on top a pineapple, so the juice drips straight down and marinates the meat. A guy with a machete-looking knife shaves off the meat and slaps it into a fresh tortilla, then chops a chunk of pineapple and puts it on top with some onion and cilantro. I like to add their very hot habanero salsa. So good." —Roland Kopecky, Maxim reader and senior systems architect for BMW


5. Foie Gras Tortellini at Bar La Grassa 


Bar La Grassa, Minneapolis, MN
"These tortellini are little pockets of gold. They’re fresh and handmade, stuffed with foie gras, then doused in a brown butter sauce with sautéed currants, which bring sweetness and acidity to cut the butter. The pasta’s perfectly chewy and mind-blowing. It makes you realize every other pasta dish you’ve had before was bullshit. They only give you eight, so at first you’re like, “This is a rip.” But it’s so rich that by the time you get down to four you’re like, “Anyone want a bite?” It’s just the richest, most satisfying thing. Hands down the best pasta dish I’ve ever had in my life." —Tyler Labine, actor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes