Yucatan Shrimp at Doc Ford's on the St. Pete Pier.

Y is for Yum: A not-skinny editor recalls his favorite dishes of the year

For the last several weeks, we’ve been teasing the content of this year’s A to Z Issue, a celebration of people and businesses who have been successfully riding the turbulent waves of change and offering service and hope to the community at large. The print edition is now arriving in local mailboxes, but if you can’t wait for the hard copy, here’s the digital edition — and meanwhile, welcome to the letter “Y”

Ever hear that expression “Never trust a skinny waiter?” Well, it applies to editors, too — which is to say you can trust me with the following recommendations. Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite tastes from the last year, incuding takeout orders, outdoor meals, and dishes I just can’t forget.

• The half chicken with couscous, lemon preserve and roasted tomatoes at Baba on Central

• The sausage and pepper pizza at Bella Brava

• Flash-fried calamari with tomato coulis and shaved Parmesan at 400 Beach (best enjoyed outdoors while sipping on a Grey Goose martini and looking out at Straub Park)

• The ginger beer-braised Berkshire pork chop at Sea Salt (best enjoyed outdoors while sipping on a Downtown St Pete Manhattan and looking out at Sundial)

• The sublimely messy peel-and-eat Yucatan Shrimp at Doc Ford’s (best enjoyed while gazing at the new St. Pete Pier)

• Deepest Darkest Chocolate Secret ice cream from Bright Ice

• A grouper sandwich from Frenchy’s

• A Cuban sandwich from Bodega

• Anything from Armature Works, especially a steak at Steelbach or the Belgian waffle & mushrooms at Oak & Ola

• A lobster roll (and splendid fresh pasta and charcuterie) from Gracie in Pass-A-Grille (the shop affiliated with the wonderful Grace restaurant next door)

• The black n’ blue cheeseburger from Engine No. 9

• The fresh mozzarella made tableside at Rocca

• And anything from Mise en Place.

Sigh. See why I’m not skinny?

Next: Z is for Zoom: The way we live now