From him: “Steve only serves 'new' shell because the meat is sweeter and more tender, and he has his own lobstermen he uses to supply him so he knows exactly what he’s getting.He keeps them in seawater, instead of cold water -- because he sells so many so quickly he doesn’t have to worry about them eating each other -- then boils them in salt water, shucks them fresh, and cools them on ice. We'll happily line up for a Baltimore pit beef on a Kaiser roll any day of the week, but when in a port state, nothing tastes sweeter than the local catch.Other than Outkast, Georgia's greatest export to the rest of the country is undoubtedly the chicken biscuit.
And while the state does amazing things with other foodstuffs, the humble fry is forever associated with Idaho. Deep dish and dogs are generally the first foodstuffs sought by tourists. Hog farming is serious business in Iowa, and so are breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches, one of the meaty fruits (sure, why not) of said farming. But when it comes to the Hot Brown -- Kentucky's legendary open-face turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce masterpiece -- the original at the Brown Hotel remains the best.
Yes, still get that bison burger, but go in with the expectation that it might actually take a backseat to the spuds, which you can customize by potato type (sweet, purple, gold) and cut (regular, shoestring, homestyle, balls, and waffle are among the shapes), then pick seasonings and sauces that range from blueberry ketchup to roasted garlic. Downstate, you'll find heart-stopping horseshoes and some celebrated BBQ. Will it be sweet (grilled green and/or red bells) or hot (giardiniera, a glorious relish of spicy pickled vegetables that varies from place to place)? Elmo's is a memorable experience, and some Hoosiers are certain to be angry about Iowa getting the nod on pork tenderloin sandwiches (and to be sure, they have many a fine rendition as well), but there's something sweetly soul-satisfying about a sugar cream pie (does anyone dislike ANY of those words? Wick's has built an empire on these custardy delights (it'll ship all over), but like so many things, they're another experience altogether tasted fresh from the source. You can't go wrong with the version at Breitbach's (now on its sixth generation of owners dating back to the 1850s), though you might be violating doctor's orders to restrict your pork intake. Yes, burnt ends are the Kansas City signature, and Joe's has some of the best around (on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, at least). With respect to the Colonel and Billy Ray Cyrus, it’s the tastiest icon Kentucky has birthed.
And we’d venture El Norteño makes them better than anyone else in Arizona. And while we do have a place in our hearts for the California burritos stuffed with fries and fish tacos of So Cal, we must go with our one true love: the Mission burrito.
It’s an old-school, counter-service spot where an asada chimichanga brings an unexpected heat, and only gets better when topped with red chile, sour cream, and cheese. We’ve long been fans of the spa town’s iconic restaurant and its fantastic spicy sauce. Yes, yes, it won all sorts of awards when Nate Silver used science and then people to cook up a huge burrito bracket, but we’ve been spouting off about the carnitas at La Taqueria for as long as Thrillist has been in SF, and its hard to argue with the perfection that is its super burrito, especially if you’re going to finish it off with those green/red salsas that are sitting on the table.
But if you can make it to NOLA on the week before Easter, you may be able to grab a bowl of its gumbo z’herbes, a rarely seen green gumbo made for Holy Thursday, and preserved in the culinary tradition of the region by Leah Chase, the restaurant’s matriarch.
Our NY editor Andrew Zimmer spent the summer eating his way through lobster roll joints all around the East Coast, which is alarming in its own right, but also makes him a verifiable expert in the field, and through all his travels, he never encountered anyone more passionate about lobster than Steve Kingston, the owner of The Clam Shack.
If we were judging biscuits alone, Silver Skillet might get the nod (we're suckers for grandmothers' recipes), but the total package is at Home Grown, whose massive buttermilk-brined chicken breasts sprawl onto a bed of biscuit, then get drowned in sausage gravy that tastes just as good as it looks.
With respect to laulau, poke, loco moco, Spam musubi, and plate lunches everywhere, the most delicious of all the famously iconic Hawaiian foods has to be its take on the Portuguese donut known as the malasada.
And the best vehicle to sop up that sauce is its fantastic chopped beef, which tastes of hickory and secrets and love. Yes, a breakfast burrito covered in green chile is perfect stoner food, but it was a breakfast staple in CO way, way before the other green stuff was legalized.
There are seven ridiculously tasty spots in Denver to snag tortilla-wrapped heaven, but you can't go wrong at El Taco de Mexico, with a chorizo, rice, beans, and egg burrito smothered in green chile.
Every state in our gluttonously blessed union shines in its own way, and as always-hungry Americans, it's our solemn duty to find the single brightest source of that sparkle and take a big bite.