Mason Hereford’s Irish Channel sandwich shop has been killing it since opening last year, garnering accolades from critics near and far (including this one), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the restaurant snagged the food magazine’s top spot.
Two weeks ago, the magazine announced its picks for the top 50 new restaurants in the country, of which Hereford’s restaurant and Broad Street newcomer Marjie’s Grill were both included. The magazine’s Hot 10 were announced Tuesday morning, with Turkey and the Wolf taking top honors as the No. 1 best new restaurant (last year, local French restaurant N7 was named among the top 10). The list, culled by Bon Appetit editors Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer, also included Chicago’s Elske, San Francisco restaurant Mister Jiu’s, and Brooklyn’s Hart's.
Praising the restaurant’s “weird and wacky appeal,” Knowlton’s piece credits both Hereford’s long tenure as chef de cuisine at Coquette as well as his childhood upbringing in Charlottesville, Virginia. The chef's “road to culinary enlightenment,” resulted in genius creations dripping with nostalgia like the fried bologna sandwich, deviled eggs topped with fried chicken skins and hot sauce, and tacos "inauthenticos.”
As for the collard green melt, Knowlton says this:
“In my four-plus decades on this planet, it’s the best sandwich I’ve ever crammed into my mouth, with a mastery of flavors and textures way beyond any sandwich joint.”