America's Best: Top 10 Comfort Foods

Food Network Magazine names the best comfort food in the US.

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©dave lauridsen 2010

Alton Dishes on the Top Comfort Food Spots

Alton Brown delivers Food Network Magazine's picks for the top comfort food spots in the country. Check out this sneak peek of the finalists, then tune in September 20 to 23, 2010, at 9 p.m. ET, when Alton will reveal the winners.

Best No-Nonsense Pizza: Lucali, Brooklyn

No pasta. No vino. All you can get here are pizzas and calzones. New Yorkers don't mind — in fact, they wait up to two hours for them. Owner Mark Iacono (who made his very first pie when he opened this place) lets his dough rise for two days then rolls it out with a wine bottle and tops it with his grandma's sauce. 575 Henry St., Brooklyn, NY; 718-858-4086

Loveless Cafe, Nashville

Lon and Annie Loveless opened this spot in 1951 as a Grand Ole Opry hangout, and although ownership has changed, Annie's biscuit recipe hasn't. The buttery, fluffy rounds come as a side with every meal, but it's a crime not to get them as the main event, with eggs, country ham and red-eye gravy. 8400 Hwy. 100, Nashville, TN

Boise Fry Co., Boise, ID

The slogan is "Burgers on the side": This place is all about fries. You can name your cut, your potato type (like Okinawas from Hawaii) and your toppings (like chipotle aioli or smoked sea salt). You can create just about any combo, but you can't get your fries naked — they're all cut with the skin on. 111 Broadway, Suite 111, Boise, ID

Scarpetta, Miami Beach, FL, and New York City

Great chefs know not to mess with Mom's recipes. Chef Scott Conant serves his spaghetti the old-fashioned way — no meatballs, no fancy garnishes, just perfect freshly made pasta, hand-mashed tomato sauce like his mother used to make and olive oil infused with basil and hot pepper.

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, Philadelphia

Russ Cowan comes from four generations of Jewish deli owners, so when he took over this famous spot five years ago, he didn’t hesitate to add his family's chicken soup to the menu. Each bowl is loaded with chicken, carrots, matzo balls, kreplach (beef brisket in dough), noodles, rice and kasha. It's meant for two to three people, but fans claim to eat it by themselves.

Watershed Restaurant, Decatur, GA

Edna Lewis, the face of Southern cooking before she died in 2006, helped create this restaurant's amazing fried chicken recipe: Fry master Laura Mares soaks the chicken in buttermilk for two days and fries it in lard, butter and fat from a country ham. Plan your visit: It’s sold only on Tuesdays. 406 West Ponce De Leon Ave., Decatur, GA

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas

We're guessing renowned chef Joel Robuchon's mashed potatoes are one big reason his chain of L'Atelier restaurants has exploded around the globe. The "pommes puree" are insanely decadent, as if the potatoes couldn't possibly hold any more butter. At the MGM Grand, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV

Best Real-Deal Burrito: La Taqueria, San Francisco

There is much debate over whether La Taqueria invented Mission-style burritos, but there's little debate about how great they taste. Try the lengua (tongue) or the carnitas: The meat is smothered with refried pinto beans and pico de gallo. La Taqueria never adds rice, and you'll never miss it. 2889 Mission St.; 415-285-7117

Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Ann Arbor, MI

At this restaurant companion to the popular mail-order food catalog, you'll find at least five awesome takes on mac and cheese. Start with the classic (made with aged Vermont cheddar) and return to try all the others. The chefs cook each batch to order in a cast-iron skillet, so it arrives with a nice caramelized crust. 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

The Foundry on Melrose, Los Angeles

Every year, Los Angeles hosts The Grilled Cheese Invitational for 7,000 hungry fans, and Eric Greenspan’s unusual entry — taleggio, slow-braised short ribs, oven-dried tomatoes and apricot-caper puree on raisin bread — took the prize two years ago. He put it on the menu here, and we think it's still a winner. 7465 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA