The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats 1. Pickle Tater Tots

I’m probably not in the majority when I say I don’t love tater tots. I mean, I don’t dislike them; they are fried potatoes after all. On their own I just find them greasy and kind of boring. They never hold salt the way I want them to and are more often than not soggy; I’d prefer fries or home fries any day.

Imagine my surprise when BS and I sat down at R Gang Eatery in San Diego, the laid-back base of Top Chef’s Rich Sweeney, and were offered a slew of stuffed tater tots. After some debate (do we want foie at 10am?) we ordered the craziest ones (clearly) — tater tots filled with pickles and cheese. They were the first thing to come out of the kitchen, and let’s be honest, we both stared at them for a minute before touching them. Were we really going to eat pickles and cheese as breakfast?

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Top 10 New Foods of 2011

Another year gone by, another chance to look back fondly at the thousands of things we stuffed our faces with in 2011. After much internal debate, we’ve narrowed it down to just 10 — the very best new things we shoved in our mouths in 2011.

10. Tater Tot Poutine

Montreal’s greasiest, gravy-iest contribution to the food world, poutine officially became a trend back in 2010. It got even more amazing this year when chef Kyle Bailey of D.C.’s ChurchKey had the ingenious idea to replace the french fries with tater tots.

9. Kouign Amann

We first discovered this over-the-top traditional pastry, which is something like a croissant with twice as much butter and sugar, on a trip to Brittany, France this summer. Returning home, we were pleased to find it blowing up in the states. The best version we’ve tasted to far is the one above, from Starter Bakery in Oakland. It has also popped up at Dominique Ansel in New York and Bouchon Bakery in L.A.

8. Nouveau Filipino

Filipino food is among the most far-out in the world, so it was only a matter of time before it got a hipster update. From Adobo Hobo’s Filipino tacos in San Francisco to Maharlika’s spicy arroz caldo in New York (above), we’ll take all the creative Filipino cuisine we can get.

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Food Porn Champion: Poutine Tater Tots

We love poutine. We love tater tots. We are SO EFFING MAD at ourselves for not thinking of poutine tater tots before someone else did.

Chef Kyle Bailey — yes, the same mad genius behind The New Luther — well be hawking this deep-fried stroke of genius around Washington D.C. all week. Only 20 orders of “Wonky Tots” will be available per lunch shift (11 AM to 2 PM), and those of you lucky enough to live there will have to follow @eatwonky and @churchkeydc to find out where his food truck will be.

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Nachos Gone Wild!

With football season kicking into high gear, it’s about time for some serious snack talk. But you know us ES-ers aren’t gonna just crack open some Tostitos spicy cheese dip and call it a day. These 10 recipes are taking nachos to a whole new level.

1. Greek Nachos

Pita chips, ground lamb, and tzatziki stand in for the usual Mexican ingredients in this inventive Mediterranean take on Nachos.

Greek nachos recipe from elly says opa!

2. Chimichurri Nachos

It’s Argentina’s turn to get creative, topping their nachos with grilled steak and the country’s signature cilantro sauce.

Chimichurri nachos recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

3. Totchos

Yes, that’s tater tot nachos, and really, can anyone argue nachos wouldn’t be better when you replace the chips with crispy fried potatoes?

Tater tot nacho recipe from Riley J. Briggs.

4. Pasta Nachos

At San Francisco Italian restaurant Puccini and Pinetti, wonton wrappers serve as the base for Italian nachos topped with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Recipe for pasta nachos.

5. Grilled Nachos

Once again proving that any food that tastes good tastes even better cooked over a grill.

Grilled nachos recipe from Jenn’s Food Journey.

Next: Potato chip nachos, dessert nachos and more

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