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Bright, herbal Israeli appetizer plate with falafel, tabbouleh, (Credit: Johnny Simon)

Bright, herbal Israeli appetizer plate with falafel, tabbouleh, hummus and babaganosh at Ahuva's Grill, Hewlett. (May 9, 2012)

Cheap Eats: 12 best dishes of 2012

This has been a tasty year -- as in hundreds of tastes. Even in a slow-growth economy, plenty of eateries arrived, and many others improved during the past 12 months. Here are the favorites from the menus of 2012. --JOAN REMINICK, joan.reminick@newsday.com

Fragrant, subtly spicy chicken tikka masala at The
(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)

Fragrant, subtly spicy chicken tikka masala at The Good Life, Massapequa Park. (Sept. 22, 2012)

The irresistible "ganga roll" -- flaky Indian roti
(Credit: Jeremy Bales)

The irresistible "ganga roll" -- flaky Indian roti pancake wrapped around roast duck with hoisin and spicy rémoulade -- at Fancy Lee, Babylon. (Oct. 6, 2012)

Bright, herbal Israeli appetizer plate with falafel, tabbouleh,
(Credit: Johnny Simon)

Bright, herbal Israeli appetizer plate with falafel, tabbouleh, hummus and babaganosh at Ahuva's Grill, Hewlett. (May 9, 2012)

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Juicy, nuanced pepper-crusted tandoori duck breast over tikka
(Credit: Yana Paskova)

Juicy, nuanced pepper-crusted tandoori duck breast over tikka masala sauce and spinach, also the dark meat chicken Chettinadu curry in a peppery gravy at Southern Spice, New Hyde Park. (Jan. 14, 2012)

Rousing, inspired fried cumin lamb, as well as
(Credit: Doug Young)

Rousing, inspired fried cumin lamb, as well as complex West Lake beef soup at the authentically Chinese Yao's Diner, Centereach. (Feb.16, 2012)

Deeply comforting roast pork ramen soup; also juicy,
(Credit: Adrian J. Fusssell)

Deeply comforting roast pork ramen soup; also juicy, hyper-flavorsome yakitori (bacon-wrapped quail egg and shrimp, among many favorites) at Daisho of Japan, Huntington. (Oct. 13, 2012)

Flaky, fabulous biscuit -- big as a softball
(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Flaky, fabulous biscuit -- big as a softball -- with creamy andouille sausage gravy at Biscuits & Barbeque, Mineola. (October 2012)

Voluptuous, subtly perfumed white truffle tuna at Sushi
(Credit: Yana Paskova)

Voluptuous, subtly perfumed white truffle tuna at Sushi Ko, Merrick. (April 07, 2012)

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Super-smoky, tender St. Louis ribs, as well as
(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Super-smoky, tender St. Louis ribs, as well as equally grand smoked chicken, at Tennessee Jed's, Wantagh. (September 2012)

Wholesome, satisfying whole-grain cereal served with honey and
(Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

Wholesome, satisfying whole-grain cereal served with honey and a mix of strawberries, blackberries and blueberries at Relish in Kings Park.

Crisp, plump and briny fried Ipswich clams, a
(Credit: Heather Walsh)

Crisp, plump and briny fried Ipswich clams, a recent menu addition at Old Fields, Greenlawn. (Jan. 8, 2011)

Light yet ever-so-soulful fried chicken and waffles at
(Credit: Alessandro Vecchi)

Light yet ever-so-soulful fried chicken and waffles at Pretty Toni's Cafe in Valley Stream. (Nov. 16, 2012)

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