David Pines, 12, publishes a kid’s guide to the best NYC restaurants

“There were lots of guides for entire restaurants but none for specific types of foods,” says the sixth grader at the Collegiate School in Manhattan. “If I wanted a grilled cheese, I wanted to know to go to The Melt Shop and not just some random place.”

so Pines, who has always had a talent for describing his food, decided to write his own guide from a distinctly childish point of view.

“Adults make too many judgments based on the appearance of the restaurants,” he says while seated in a booth at Chinatown Brasserie, his favorite new York restaurant. “They get mad because the glasses weren’t all there when they walked in. I’m like, who cares? how did the food taste?”

Judging from the rate at which Pines inhales his pork buns, the food tastes delicious.

“I’ve always been able to eat a lot and I’m not scared to eat anything,” he says, while consuming his fifth pork bun. “The only food I can’t stand is raisins. That’s why I didn’t include bread pudding in the book.”

While bread pudding — or anything that contains raisins — didn’t make the book, Pines did rate nearly 100 different kinds of food.

On weekends and during the summer, he would convince his parents or grandparents to take him on “food hunts” throughout the five boroughs where he would try everything from mozzarella sticks to lobster rolls, all while scribbling notes on a pad hidden underneath the table.

Lest his methods be questioned, the sixth-grader maintained a fairly scientific taste-testing procedure.

“I try to eat the same types of food at the same time so I can really taste the differences,” he says. “Most times it is obvious which is better if you eat them at the same time.”

The writing was the hardest part for Pines, who would return stuffed from his “food hunts,” and type out his findings on his computer.

David Pines, 12, publishes a kid’s guide to the best NYC restaurants


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