Gallery: Staff Picks: The Best Things We Ate in July

Kenji's Bacon Cheeseburgers in the Test Kitchen
Kenji's Bacon Cheeseburgers in the Test Kitchen
Honestly, Kenji's Bacon Cheeseburgers took me to places I wasn't sure I was ready to go. I literally would take a bite, return to my desk and then bolt back to the kitchen, literally salivating. Not a pretty picture...but make the burger and you will understand. —Leandra Palermo, Ad Sales
Three Little Pigs at iNG, Chicago
Three Little Pigs at iNG, Chicago
Immediately after a disappointing dinner at a new West Loop restaurant that shall remain nameless, I looked to iNG help restore my faith in food. To my surprise, the restaurant was in the middle of "The Wonder Years," its take on eating as a child. Once I explained my dire predicament, my waiter suggested I head straight for the Three Little Pigs. He was right. These supple baozi are stuffed with a luscious mixture of braised pork and served in a smoked trotter broth with crunchy crackling on the side. Even though this was my second dinner of the night, I could have eaten a dozen more of these things. —Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor
Bulgar Salad at MP Taverna, Queens
Bulgar Salad at MP Taverna, Queens
Okay, so one of the reasons I dig MP Taverna so much is that it left me with the shortest post-review meal trip home—a walk down the street. But I'd travel for this bulgar salad, which is tossed with dates, almonds, olives, fennel, red onion, pistachios, and pomegranate. It took me a few bites to realize just how much was going on here; soon after the bowl was empty.—Max Falkowitz, New York Editor
Octopus Salad at Seabra's Marisqueira, Newark, NJ
Octopus Salad at Seabra's Marisqueira, Newark, NJ
Octopus freaks like myself are accustomed to disappointment. It's a penchant that often ends poorly—hardly a surprise considering that octopus is notoriously challenging to cook. I've seen whole servings go from meaty and tender to rubbery and bland in the blink of an eye. So it was with some trepidation that I awaited our order of Octopus Salad at Seabra's Marisqueira, in Newark's Ironbound district. Suffice it to say that I needn't have worried. Not only was the cook on the octopus perfect, but the tentacles were encased in a delicate, buttery layer of fat, and the poaching liquid of onion-studded red wine added just enough acidity to complement the meat's characteristic briny sweetness without overwhelming it. With some punchy vinegar and garlic to top, the chilled salad made for some much-needed refreshment on a sweltering hot day. —Niki Achitoff-Gray, Associate Editor
Tuna Melt at Classic Coffee Shop, New York
Tuna Melt at Classic Coffee Shop, New York

I've eaten a lot of tuna melts in NYC this year, but the one from Classic Coffee Shop is my favorite one so far. Well griddled rye, creamy tuna salad, and two slices of melty cheese. Add on an egg cream and you've got a great lunch. —Robyn Lee, AHT editor and staff photographer

Straight-Up Garlic in the Catskills
Straight-Up Garlic in the Catskills
Summer is all about simple pleasures, and nothing is more enjoyable to me than eating whole heads of slow-cooked Rocambole garlic, dressed with nothing more than olive oil and salt, then left to smolder in foil on the grill for a few hours. I'd love to say that I did something with the soft, sweet cloves, but the reality is that I smeared them on a piece of bread and ate it (all) with my hands.—Jamie Feldmar, Managing Editor
Vegetarian Starter Board at W.J. Kavanagh's, Dublin
Vegetarian Starter Board at W.J. Kavanagh's, Dublin
After a week of what was mostly pretty meat-and-potatoes-heavy Irish food, stopping in for dinner at at W. J. Kavanagh's in Dublin was a nice change of pace. The feel is all pub, but the menu has a surprising amount of excellent veg-based fare, the best of which is their Vegetarian Starter Board (9.50 Euros). It comes with bread, some local cheese, homemade pickled carrots and curried cauliflower, and—the best parts—pumpkin and beet-based pâtés. The cask-conditioned O'Hara's Ale to wash it down wasn't bad either. —Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer
Brunch at Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, New York
Brunch at Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, New York
It would have to be brunch at Blooming Hill Farm in Blooming Grove, New York, a few weeks back. There was a granola and yogurt parfait with berries, strong cold brew, and amazing sandwiches, including fried egg on a fresh baked kaiser roll, and fried green tomatoes on a homemade biscuit (pictured here). If you're in the area, it's worth stopping by Blooming Hill just to stock up on fruits and veggies, but if you can make it on Saturday morning, don't miss brunch.—Ben Fishner, Ad Operations Admin
Slow-Cooked Goat from Darko's, Vis, Croatia
Slow-Cooked Goat from Darko's, Vis, Croatia
I recently took a vacation to the remote Croatian island of Vis. You should go there. And you should visit as many little restaurants as you can—on this island, there's amazing olive oil, amazing seafood, amazing capers, and amazing cooking at spots that just have a few tables outside the chef's home. One of my favorite bites: luscious slow-cooked goat from Darko's, beyond tender, mild and rich, served with potatoes that had sipped a generous share of the meat's juices and fat. Eat it with a bottle of Teran and then go swimming in the sea—the water's plenty warm.—Maggie Hoffman, Drinks Editor
Hot Dog at Epicerie Boulud, New York
Hot Dog at Epicerie Boulud, New York

A housemade hot dog at Epicerie Boulud topped with caramelized onions and crispy shallots. $8, but worth every penny. —Ed Levine, Serious Eats founder and overlord

(Pictured above: the DBGB dog at Epicerie Boulud, which is similar to the hot dog, with more frisee.)

Smoked Octopus at Madera, Rosewood, Palo Alto
Smoked Octopus at Madera, Rosewood, Palo Alto
Madera, the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Rosewood in Palo Alto, California, is doing some really delicious and interesting food. For example, this octopus starter. I'd never had smoked octopus before, but it was fantastic. The tentacle really picked up the smokey flavor and it tasted almost like a piece of meat. Also, it's served with romanesco, which makes everything better. —Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor
Ceviche at Home
Ceviche at Home
Ceviche is one of my favorite things to eat, but something I had never attempted to make at home. It's a shame I waited so long—it's a perfect no "cook" summer meal. I used Kenji's Food Lab recipe for some guidance, but, honestly, it's a tough thing to screw up.—Paul Cline, Developer
Seared Duck Breast at Home
Seared Duck Breast at Home
My husband made this seared duck breast with a charred corn/Sungold tomato/pasilla pepper/basil salad for dinner and it was fantastic. I think it's the perfect expression of midsummer! And everything was from the Union Square Greenmarket. —Tracie Lee, Designer