The focus here (no surprise) is chili, or, as the folks at Palookaville like to call them: "Hot pots o' soul." There are five kinds of chili with a variety of spice levels. You can have your chili in a bowl, over chips ("nacho grande"), on a hot dog, over pasta or in a burrito.
What started as a simple love of baking for Rosa Porto in a seaside town in Cuba turned into a 20,000-square foot catering facility in Los Angeles. Porto's is a go-to for Cuban-style desserts, cakes, mousses, and just about anything else your sweet tooth is craving.
Gooie Looie's lives up to its name, serving huge, over-stuffed hoagies and cheese steaks you need both hands to eat. Take a tip from Jeff Mauro and grab a stack of napkins before digging in to a classic Philly Cheese Steak.
Any local will admit it: Cleveland is obsessed with corned beef. Head to Danny's Deli for one of the best corned beef sandwiches in town. Its key ingredients are generosity and freshness, according to Danny's website.
If you need a little pick me up while perusing the Reading Terminal Market, head to the Amish section for a hot apple dumpling from the Dutch Eating Place. It's served with whipped heavy cream!
The doughnuts at Dough have an almost cult-like following. They're larger than average, crisp on the outside and light on the inside, and range from traditional glazed to a the more out there blood orange or hibiscus tea. Jeff Mauro loves the Cafe au Lait doughnut.
Eating at Artichoke's is a sloppy but delicious affair. The pizzas are easily an inch thick, and that's not because of the crust. Try a slice piled high with artichokes and spinach, their namesake dish. It may seem a little pricey for pizza, but one slice satisfies even the biggest appetites.
Located in Minneapolis' Midtown Global Market, Sonora Grill serves up bold and tasty dishes mixing Spanish and South American flavors. Jeff Mauro stopped by for a Caramelos taco with cheese, and just about died of happiness.
Pizza is usually a special thing in Chicago, but at Scatchell's, a fixture in Cicero opened by Stubby and Eddie Scatchell in 1953, you come for the Italian beef sandwiches. The beef is sliced paper-thin and topped with crunchy homemade giardinera hot peppers.
For a refreshing treat on a hot day, stop by Mario's Italian Lemonade in Chicago's Little Italy. Open from May to September, the stand makes Italian ices that are like slushies but way better. The classic lemonade has lemon zest in it for a bitter and sweet combo.
Head to this traditional Irish fish-and-chipper for an authentic cod and hand-cut fries combo, or go a little outside the box with battered and fried sausage a fried veggie pastie.
When the Swedish owners of a restaurant in Chicago decided to retire, Ann quit her job of 22 years, pooled her life savings and bought herself a diner. Her devotion to made-from-scratch food, especially the cinnamon rolls Jeff Mauro calls insane, is legendary in the Lakeview neighborhood.
ABC is an old-school bar in Cleveland's historic Ohio City district, but the menu is fresh, creative and modern. Plus, everything is well under $10! Jeff Mauro loves House-Cured Pork Belly BLT, or try one of the "somewhat famous" burgers.
Tofu Ya is a great find for vegetarians and the carnivores who love them. Most dishes are prepared with tofu rather than meat, but there's also an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue menu featuring bulgogi, short ribs and brisket. Jeff Mauro stopped in for the Tofu-Seafood Soup.
Caffe Paradiso is queen of Boston's North End when it comes to cannoli. The pairing of light, flaky shell plus creamy filling should be enough, but they'll put you over the top by dipping the whole thing in chocolate.