an oily paper plate and a small tomato-stained Styrofoam cup
October 10, 2017 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Garlic knots are, quite simply, a perfect food.
posted by moonmilk (64 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
West Coast is overrun with tired-ass breadsticks. Never as good as you think they ought to be.
posted by amanda at 8:09 PM on October 10


Heyyy, another thing that you can only get in New York! And at every Brumby's and Baker's Delight and Woolworths and Coles and mum & dad bakery in every town in every state and territory in Australia.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:12 PM on October 10 [12 favorites]


(They are quite good though, no disputing that. Just kind of...a bit nothingy. Like pizza without any of the actual pizza, or garlic bread without any oozing butter.)
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:13 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


My vote is for the Serious Eats Pepperoni Garlic Knots, myself. A touch fancier, because there's pepperoni, but still delicious, greasy, and fantastic.
posted by CrystalDave at 8:29 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


Moments like these, I am grateful for Paprika’s screen-scraping web recipe loader. Thank you for this.

Heyyy, another thing that you can only get in New York!

I am at least grateful that they didn’t try that bullshit “you can’t get them this good anywhere else, because the water is more alkaline” or whatever like they do with bagels. Because lord knows that raising the pH of water is impossible using common baking ingredients. I will now refrain from giving my annual presentation, titled Your Grandmother was Full of Shit and Baking is Mostly a Superstitious Cargo Cult, but slides are available on request
posted by middleclasstool at 8:30 PM on October 10 [50 favorites]


Thinking about garlic knots makes me want to go eat some real garlic bread.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:34 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


I have had many many garlic knots in my life, even though I think they're terrible. Starchy, boring, soulless, sad. Every version I've eaten is disappointing, because I'm comparing them to a Proustian figment: Leonardo's Garlic Knots, crafted and served in Gainesville, Florida. They come 6 at a time for 5 dollars (white, if you're wise, wheat if you're penitent) with garlic-butter sauce on the side, and marinara too, if you ask.

Oh, there were lots of cheap college eats. Hunch Punches and street slices and kegs. But these were different. They almost seemed out of place--because Leo's pizza was great, yes, but those rolls. That sauce. Every one I ever put in my mouth seemed like just a spark to eat another. A sordid whisper of a thing, an airy, doughy tangle of lightly caramelized garlic and oil. Two bites and gone.

They were good enough to lure you in alone, to soothe you while you eat alone. Sometimes they were an escape.

I miss Gainesville sometimes, and the people I knew there. But honestly, mostly I miss those damn rolls.
posted by erinfern at 8:42 PM on October 10 [18 favorites]


Heyyy, another thing that you can only get in New York!

Heyyy, another person angry that a New York-based publication is writing about New York.
posted by neroli at 8:45 PM on October 10 [15 favorites]


Grew up on the Island. Loved and still love garlic knots. Shout out to Vincent's Pizza on Willis Ave!

First to comment that the key to a good garlic knot is the same key to a good bagel, the NY water.

(When you add to Vincent's that Daphil's kosher deli next door had the best potato knishes, a young stoned fella could get quite the carb buzz going eating knots and knishes riding his bike there with his friends after school.)
posted by AugustWest at 8:59 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Bah, garlic knots are disappointing because they are not a slice of pizza no matter how hard they try. Every time I've eaten one I stare it in the eye and ask sadly, "But why aren't you pizza? I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you! How dare you!" and the garlic knot never has a good answer.
posted by supercrayon at 9:01 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


I'm from California and now Seattle, and the only time I've ever had anything called a garlic knot was at Milo & Olive in Santa Monica. It's basically a small calzone/big baked dumpling just full of olive oil and garlic cloves. Like in my memory there were at least 15 garlic cloves in each one. It's really good in a "your breath will never be the same and now nobody has room for dinner" sort of way but I had no idea garlic knots were a thing anywhere else.

I'll confess after reading both articles I'm still not clear on exactly what it is. Is it like a cinnamon roll but with garlic instead of cinnamon and pizza dough instead of cinnamon roll dough? Or just a kind of bun with a lot of garlic on there?
posted by potrzebie at 9:02 PM on October 10


No, that's pretty much it. Most aren't quite so aggressively garlicky, but the basic idea is dough tied in to a knot and baked with a ton of oil and garlic. They're a mainstay of NY pizza places, though I've never thought of them as being a particularly NY thing. Done well they're a beautiful, stinky, starchy mess, but 90% of the time they're done poorly - kinda like NY pizza, in that regard.
posted by Itaxpica at 9:09 PM on October 10 [5 favorites]


the only virtue garlic knots have over pizza, garlic bread, or a garlic bagel is the obnoxious amount of garlic in them. We should be pushing for stronger and more concentrated garlic knots until they cause the eater to break out in hot, uncontrollable sweating.
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 PM on October 10 [6 favorites]


Oh, dear. Looks like a NYC food that New Yorkers are actually kind of meh about...the cognitive dissonance of this level of disdain of an "only in New Yawk" food item may cause permanent damage.
posted by zardoz at 9:27 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


FYI, if in Seattle, you can get garlic knots at Dino's Tomato Pie, but only after 10 pm. No idea if they're good, but my Long Island / Floridian partner has had that on our list for months.
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:30 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


If I wanted to modify the Bon Appeti Galric Knot recipe, I'd switch out all the olive oil and butter for ghee, re-add the old poppy seeds for texture) and maybe some paprika or other spicy mixture into the dough, maybe something numbing hot.

also skip the finishing salt and bake chopped olives into them.
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 PM on October 10 [2 favorites]


FYI, if in Seattle, you can get garlic knots at Dino's Tomato Pie
Oh cool, that's right near me! That place went through some changes, it was a record/shoe store for a while and a sketchy payday loan shop and now it's an fancy pizza place that claims to have the longest bar in Seattle. I'm not sure why that would be a draw but I've never had garlic rolls and they sound amazing and now I can go try some in like 15 minutes. Thanks, batter_my_heart!
posted by drinkyclown at 9:45 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


We got some garlic knots from a pizzeria in LA and somehow accidentally ordered extra garlic. They were epic. Dripping with butter and an eye-watering amount of garlic.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:54 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


This post was composed at Smiling Pizza while I had a mushroom slice and garlic knots. Now I have a tummy ache and I stink but it was almost worth it.
posted by moonmilk at 10:41 PM on October 10 [4 favorites]


Thinking about garlic knots makes me want to go eat some real garlic bread.

Eating garlic knots makes me want to go eat some real garlic bread.
posted by Uncle at 11:01 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


Shocked that Metafilter would scorn this Food of the People, or, at least, of the starving student. Such classist, much bourgeois.
posted by praemunire at 12:04 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Garlic knots are amazing when they’re done right. The greater Philadelphia area is dotted with hundreds of places named Brothers Pizza or Brother’s Pizza or Brothers’ Pizza and they all offer garlic knots, and they’re usually, at worst, inexpensive. At best they’re the real reason you go back.

Incidentally, I’ve discovered the secret to truly transcendent garlic bread, and that is roasted garlic. Roasted garlic is pretty easy to make — my toaster oven has a 300W setting where you don’t even need to cover the garlic, just drizzle it with oil and heat for half an hour. Squish it up, spread a layer of that and some butter inside or on some good bread, and heat until warm throughout. You won’t just smell but feel garlicky for the next 24 hours, but lawdy is it ever worth it
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:29 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


DoctorFedora: "Roasted garlic is pretty easy to make"

Cut a whole head of garlic in half, crosswise.

Ignore all recipes that mention aluminum foil. Put in oven. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook until brown.

Use result as butter. Or just eat it straight.

Trust me.
posted by chavenet at 2:12 AM on October 11 [10 favorites]


If I wanted to modify the Bon Appeti Galric Knot recipe, I'd switch out all the olive oil and butter for ghee, re-add the old poppy seeds for texture) and maybe some paprika or other spicy mixture into the dough, maybe something numbing hot.

also skip the finishing salt and bake chopped olives into them.


Where do you live again? So I can show up from Drunken Snacking Night?

Oh cool, that's right near me! That place went through some changes, it was a record/shoe store for a while and a sketchy payday loan shop and now it's an fancy pizza place that claims to have the longest bar in Seattle. I'm not sure why that would be a draw but I've never had garlic rolls and they sound amazing and now I can go try some in like 15 minutes. Thanks, batter_my_heart!
posted by drinkyclown at 11:45 PM on October 10 [+] [!]


Mods? You need to change this MeFi's name. If DrinkyClown can't figure out the attraction of a super-long bar, then we need to save that nick for someone that can.
posted by Samizdata at 4:22 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Heyyy, another person angry that a New York-based publication is writing about New York.

Heyyy, a New Yorker!
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:41 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Heyyy, another thing that you can only get in New York!

Where exactly did either of the linked articles state that these are things you can only get in New York?

Arguing that something originated in New York (state or city) ≠ "you can only get in New York."
posted by andrewesque at 6:04 AM on October 11


Eating garlic knots makes me want to go eat some real garlic bread.

They're totally different things, though (and honestly garlic knots are better, but hey). It's like saying that eating pecan pie makes you want to go eat some real pecan sandies.

I'm of the opinion that garlic knots should have an almost imprudent overabundance of raw or almost-raw garlic. Eating them should burn a little, and just standing too close should make your breath reek. I'm okay with a little sprinkle of grated pecorino romano on top instead of salt (this is a general rule for my life, really). And as much as I hate touching greasy things, yeah, they should be greasy, and probably a little oil should squish through the pillowy crumb when you take a bite.

Now I want to eat a half dozen knots with lunch.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:13 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


My childhood pizzeria use to make excellent oversized garlic knots that they would split open and fill with chicken, eggplant or shrimp parm.
posted by JPD at 6:20 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


The place down the block from me does pepperoni sliders on split knots, but they're normal-sized knots.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:22 AM on October 11


Q: How do you spot the New Yorker in a crowded room full of peo-..
A: HE'LL LET YOU KNOW.

They used to send these for free when you ordered a pizza in a NYC style pizza joint in Miami Beach back in the 90s. They were... OK, but who wants to eat oily, slightly undercooked lumps of pizza dough with pizza?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 6:33 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I regularly dine at a pizzeria chain in Atlanta that was founded by some guys from New York. They have garlic knots. I can't verify how authentic they are, but they are delicious, and seem to match the description in the Bon Appetit article. They serve them in a bowl with warm sauce.

I might have to go get some for lunch.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:34 AM on October 11


FYI, if in Seattle, you can get garlic knots at Dino's Tomato Pie

which is funny given the rest of this thread because if your restaurant is called "Tomato Pie," you're not selling New York food, you're selling the real thing -- New Jersey food.
posted by escabeche at 6:38 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


I first encountered garlic knots when I moved to Salt Lake City. Several local places made them and I remember being thoroughly unimpressed every time I tried them. To be fair, though, Salt Lake City is not a good pizza town. The Pie Pizzeria, which is what all the locals swear by, is merely okay. The best I found was Big Apple Pizzeria, which would not crack my top 5 back here in Iowa.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:42 AM on October 11


Right, also, the best thing about garlic knots isn't that they're good (though ideally they are); it's that you can buy four for a dollar.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:45 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


I don't understand why garlic breath is a bad thing. Garlic is a strong smell, but it's not a bad smell, just like minty smells.

Also, a person who smells garlicky probably has the hook ups to more garlicky foods, which if so, come sit by me.
posted by blnkfrnk at 6:49 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


re-add the old poppy seeds

Three simple words. Everything. Spice. Blend.

1 tsp ea.: Caraway, Sesame, and Poppy Seeds, granulated onion, granulated garlic, Kosher Salt
posted by mikelieman at 7:03 AM on October 11 [6 favorites]


I don't understand why garlic breath is a bad thing. Garlic is a strong smell, but it's not a bad smell,
There's "had a couple of garlic knots at lunch" breath, and then there's "Made Alton Brown's 40 cloves and a chicken recipe and ill-advisedly ate most of the garlic in one sitting and have been exuding garlic odor from our pores for 2 days and our garlic miasma has seemingly coated everything in the house with a film of pungent garlic molecules and we never want to smell garlic again" breath.

Robbie Mac's in Sherman Oaks, CA always had good garlic knots when I lived in delivery range 20 years ago. Better than their pizza, actually. They seem uncommon in my part of New England, although Ramunto's in NH/VT makes them.
posted by Funeral march of an old jawbone at 7:24 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Thinking about garlic knots makes me want to go eat some real garlic bread.

Fixed.
posted by Fizz at 7:46 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


Ignore all recipes that mention aluminum foil. Put in oven. Drizzle with olive oil. Cook until brown.

A friend of mine, who is wise, once observed that there is nothing mysterious about cooking: it's just adding heat to food.
posted by flabdablet at 8:00 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


...wait until you hear about baking.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:07 AM on October 11 [3 favorites]


which would not crack my top 5 back here in Iowa.

that is the sickest burn this coastal snob has ever heard.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 8:13 AM on October 11 [7 favorites]


I thank Sbarro for introducing me to the garlic roll. Their pizza never stood out to me as anything special, but the garlic rolls were good no matter what weird shape they formed. Central Minnesota did not offer much in the way of Italian cuisine in the early 90s.
posted by soelo at 8:25 AM on October 11


Garlic knots are wonderful in their own regard, but they're best used as a marinara-delivery mechanism.
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:40 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


"Made Alton Brown's 40 cloves and a chicken recipe and ill-advisedly ate most of the garlic in one sitting and have been exuding garlic odor from our pores for 2 days and our garlic miasma has seemingly coated everything in the house with a film of pungent garlic molecules and we never want to smell garlic again"

New! From Glade!
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:12 AM on October 11 [4 favorites]


I would roll in feta to the first log, used to make the knot. I would spread baked garlic, on the inside of the log, then put in the feta. I would use half white whole wheat, and half semolina to mildly increase the fiber.
posted by Oyéah at 9:13 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Baked garlic, with baked feta, sourdough, spinach salad, red wine, dinner...two days later I went to work, and in the early afternoon, the Dietitian asked, "Why does it smell like pastrami in here?"
posted by Oyéah at 9:19 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


omg, Mr. Purr's parents go-to pizza place had amazing garlic knots, and everytime we'd go and visit we'd get pizza and 5 garlic knots that were JUST for me. And then we'd put them in the fridge and the olive oil would seize up, and I'd eat them for breakfast the next morning. Never as good hot, but still delicious. And then they moved, and the new pizza place doesn't make them, and I really want garlic knots now. (goes to defrost pizza dough)

I am also the person who wants all the crusts on pizza, so knots-as-dough vehicle is part of the appeal.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 9:32 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


There is a restaurant in DC that serves melt in your mouth garlic knots with a side of marinara and a side of impossibly fluffy fresh ricotta, and OH MY GOSH.

(Also it is kind of a garlic Gordian knot, where they are all still secretly connected down in the buttery grotto and you have to rip off each knot from the larger thread, mmm.)
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:39 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


FYI, if in Seattle, you can get garlic knots at Dino's Tomato Pie

Wow! This is news to me! I'm often in that area after 10 (Crescent forever!), and never noticed. I've always kind of looked down at that place because, well, you're a pizza place and you don't sell slices? Gofakyaself.

The personal platonic form of garlic knots for me were from a long closed pizza place in Willliamsburg that had a bullet hole in the window. I would buy my knots and sit in front of that hole, just reveling in the garlic.

However, I suspect that my inability to find any that measure up to those long lost delicacies has more to do with my desperation for cheap sustenance at that point in my life than it does with their actual quality.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:14 AM on October 11


A friend of mine, who is wise, once observed that there is nothing mysterious about cooking: it's just adding heat to food.

Um no.
posted by holborne at 10:40 AM on October 11


a fiendish thingy, I suspect you're in violation of Metafilter ordinances 62a) through k) inclusive with that comment. You can't describe a food like that, and leave out—Which restaurant in DC?!

(You might be really committed to your username, that's okay too.)
posted by seyirci at 10:44 AM on October 11


A test:

What do you do with the bready part of your pizza slice?
A. You mean the crust? It's part of the slice, I just eat it.
B. Pizza bones? For dogs or hungry undiscerning children, feh.
C. The best part! Dip them in more marinara or olive oil or whatever is left to dip in and savor a nearly second meal beyond your initially satisfying slice.

If like me you answered C, you probably also enjoy garlic knots - crunchy/pillowy/buttery/oily-but not really greasy dip delivery systems.

Yay to roast and other flavor enhanced garlic and dry seasonings. Boo to all this turn them into cheese and olive charcuterie with artisan dough hokum - go back to Fresno before you try to jam sprouts in there. (Okay I'll eat them but won't call them garlic knots.)
posted by abulafa at 10:46 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Farmers and Distillers. Good food, allegedly owned by farmers-- although the place has a very whitewashed George Washington: Noble Farmer Who Definitely Tilled His Own Crops Let's Not Discuss Slavery theme/decor which I didn't love, which is why I've only had the knots once.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:49 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Oh. They are a spin-off of Founding Farmers, with branches in DC, VA and MD. They do have amazing food and I'm not surprised those garlic knots are theirs, but... as is obvious from the name, Jefferson is part of the schtick in a big way too. I keep hoping they'll get a clue.
posted by seyirci at 10:55 AM on October 11


exuding garlic odor from our pores for 2 days

This is absolutely a thing. As a child I once awoke in a panic at 2am convinced that I could smell a gas leak bad enough to pose an explosion risk, but it turned out that my Dad had just hit the garlic prawns a bit hard at the staff dinner. My parents' bedroom was at the other end of the house. Poor Mum.
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 AM on October 11 [1 favorite]


What, no mention of the West Virginian Pepperoni Roll? For shame! Trust me folks, you need this In Your Face.

(Vegetarian friends, substitute soy-riso. Non vegetarian people, you also want this.)
posted by endotoxin at 11:07 AM on October 11


What do you do with the bready part of your pizza slice?

Oh mang, parts of this you-knighted states they've got IIRC "butter sauce" that comes along in these little ready-paks. I discovered this in a state not known for its pizza culture and felt like I was fugging Vasco De Gama finding this thing. HOW DO WE NOT ALL HAVE THIS.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:26 AM on October 11 [2 favorites]


that is the sickest burn this coastal snob has ever heard

I’ve been all over, eating pizza th entire time, and I am dead serious when I say the best pizza in the Midwest matches up against anywhere else in the country.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 12:25 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


Next time I think about making some bread, I'm gonna make some Bon Appetit garlic knots.
I started out wondering why garlic powder, but at least they made up for that later.

I had a boss who once told me about 'a little trick' to not get that garlic smell on one's fingers.
I was like, "why would I do that?"
posted by MtDewd at 1:26 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


I've been making garlic soup* lately--I only make it for myself and on the fly so like four garlic cloves per serving? Two or three crushed and smeared into paste, one sliced and browned. Other times I'll brown then braise a bunch of garlic cloves in wine and smear it on bread.

I must smell really terrible all the time and not know it.

On the upside at this point it's probably best for other people to avoid me.

I don't know where I read this recently, maybe here, but a cool thing to do with garlic bread is toast it on the stove top covered with butter and garlic, then cover one side with parmesan cheese, and flip it over until the cheese browns directly against the surface of the pan, like a parmesan cheese crisp.

I haven't done this and it may stretch the definition of 'cool.'

Also I would really like to try a pepperoni roll some day.

*Beef broth, smoked paprika, cumin, saffron, and an appalling amount of garlic. That's it--but traditionally you can poach an egg in it and add some toast and then it's like an actual dinner, with a salad.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:10 PM on October 11 [2 favorites]


I never heard of garlic knots until last year when I had some in the mountains of North Carolina. They were so good my friends and I stopped talking and just ate. The secret, I'm pretty sure, is that they must be eaten immediately after removal from the oven.
posted by acrasis at 3:10 PM on October 11


What, no mention of the West Virginian Pepperoni Roll?

John T. Edge, for the NYT: Fast Food Even Before Fast Food. Thank you for including a recipe, endotoxin!
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:06 PM on October 11 [1 favorite]


Readers, I did it. Yesterday I pulled out the pizza dough from the freezer, and made those delicious greasy garlic knots. Not quite as good as those on the island, but still excellent. I ate them late last night, and again this morning. There are only 2 left from the batch :/

New fact: the garlic oil is also fantastic on riced cauliflower.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 6:51 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


I found it greatly disappointing that a local outpost of an Italian chain that calls itself Garlic Knot had mediocre garlic knots. Apparently I'm gonna have to make them myself.
posted by asperity at 8:04 AM on October 12


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