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The simple combination of sugar, buttery pastry and tart sliced apples produces a dessert so extraordinary people have devoted their entire lives to perfecting it. For a particularly excellent example, try the apple pie with added green chilies at the Pie-O-Neer, in Pie Town, New Mexico. Phone ahead and Kathy Knapp, the self-proclaimed “Pie Lady of Pie Town”, will save you a slice.
A bad cup of diner coffee? Let’s pay respects to the city’s strong Jewish population and go with bagels and lox, a weekend staple on many Manhattan tables. Scientific studies have been conducted trying to work out why the New York bagel reigns supreme over all others; legend attributes it to the water. American as apple pie” for a reason: this sweet treat is a national institution. Forget anybody who will try to tell you pecan or key lime is better, because they are lying.
The fragrant soup is sold everywhere, and it looks hideous, being white and lumpy. But one taste is all it takes to fall in love. Whoever decided to mix the quahog shellfish with tender potatoes, salted pork, heavy cream and herbs is a total genius. There are many ways to eat it, but you may as well go all out and get a bread bowl at the Atlantic Fish Co., where the chefs carve out a cavity in a fresh boule, pour in the heavenly juice, then put the top back on. Edible dinnerware.
Whatever the cause, head to Russ and Daughters on the Lower East Side and tell them you want a selection of smoked fish, cream cheeses and, if you’re feeling flash, caviar.
While the recipes, like most things on this list, seem custom-made to give you a heart-attack or diabetes, they’re all delicious, and taken together create one of the most ridiculous and enjoyable feasts you could ever attend. Many restaurants offer a menu, for the most special option is always a friend’s house, even if they burn the bird.
New Haven, Connecticut. The year was 1900 and the establishment was Louis’ Lunch, run by one Louis Lassen. Today his great-grandson, Jeff Lassen, guides the ship, which still serves burgers made from five-meat blend and cooked in a century-old cast iron grill.
Los Angeles is a city with a taqueria on every street corner, basically. With so many Spanish-speakers it’s possible to find anything from greasy nachos. Every single American will have a different idea about where to find the best hamburger in the country, ranging from fast food on the West Coast (In-N-Out Burger) to fine dining in New York (The Spotted Pig).
Australians might like to stoke up a barbie on the weekend, but Texans live and die by the practice. Mesquite smoked meats and tenderising rubs are common obsessions, and it is not uncommon to go to football games and find people have brought entire ranges to the parking lots that are worth upwards of five or even ten thousand dollars – a pastime called “tailgating”.
It is basically illegal to visit Boston without trying New England clam chowder. For excellent brisket, head to the Dallas Farmers Market, stand in line for a bit, then find a seat at Pecan Lodge. So perhaps it’s a good idea to just go with one of the basics: hominy grits, which is essentially corn milled into a rough powder and then boiled up with butter or bacon grease. where menus run the full gamut from fajitas to mole verde and “flautas” – fried crisp taquitos stuffed with chicken.
Keep in mind that Mexican food and Tex-Mex are two very different things. Southern food seems to exist in its own universe, and an entire list could be written just focusing on things like chicken and waffles (yes, you read that correctly). Also good are the pork links, pulled pork, beef ribs and collard greens. Basically everything.
It sounds rough but it’s actually sublime. For proof, try Blossom Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, which offers Geechie Boy grits with shrimp and andouille sausage. Pair it with brussels sprouts and sweetened ice tea.
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