When Tito Gonzales opened this family-owned joint three generations ago, he set out to create a dish that blended the bold flavors of his Mexican heritage with the Italian cuisine he loved. And so the Carne Adovada Turnover was born. For this dish, pork shoulder meat is marinated in a fiery Hatch red chile blend and roasted until tender. The juicy pork meat, along with Wisconsin cheddar, is then stuffed into a flour tortilla that’s sealed shut like a calzone and fried until irresistibly crisp.
This cafe offers a tempting trifecta: pie, coffee and cocktails. Try Random Order’s decadent take on apple pie. Buttery dough is filled with caramel-coated apple chunks that have been only partially peeled (for added texture). Baked until golden brown, the pie is served with vanilla ice cream.
Best Pizza dishes out classic New York slices at old-school New York prices, making them one of the best deals in the city. Many of the ingredients are housemade, including the mozzarella cheese that’s the star of the popular white pie, and each thin-crust pizza is cooked until satisfyingly crisp in a century-old wood-fired oven.
Don’t sleep on the square doughnuts at Astro. The innovative shape ensures each bite is filled with maximum filling. One popular pick here is the PB&J. The doughnut is stuffed with homemade strawberry jelly, then drenched in a peanut butter glaze and finished with a flurry of crushed peanuts. In addition to its creative array of doughnuts, this joint also offers fried chicken and Sriracha wings.
Toaster’s pork tacos make for a great to-go bite, but they’re far from standard fast-food fare. The tender filling alone takes 30-plus hours to prepare. Chef Hannah Love starts with shoulder pork roast, which she marinates in a homemade barbecue sauce that combines blackberries and Sriracha for both sweet and spicy notes. The meat is then seared and cooked in the oven before being stuffed into crunchy fried corn tortillas and topped with avocado crema, apple cabbage slaw and candied jalapenos.
The menu here is simple: doughnuts, fried chicken and coffee. The Korean-style chicken is twice-fried to create an extra-crunchy crust before being dressed up with the seasoning or glaze of your choice (options include chili garlic and buttermilk ranch). Buttery doughnuts make for a sweet finish.
The best Italian food is made by Grandma, and that’s just who you’ll find cooking at Enoteca Maria. Each day, the restaurant features a dish from a different region of Italy — made by a Nonna who grew up there. Grandmothers from southern Italy make the Pappardelle di Mare, filled with octopus, cuttlefish, calamari, shrimp and, of course, fresh pasta.
This tiny stand traces its roots to the creamery’s farmstead, where Old-World cave methods of aging are used to produce cheeses that are arguably more flavorful than cellar-aged varieties. You can load up on specialty cheeses, but the Valley Thunder sandwich alone is worth a trip. Slabs of pullman bread are layered with tender slices of brisket, mounds of shredded cheddar and provolone, along with five-cheese macaroni and cheese, then buttered and grilled until golden-brown.
The prime rib is the star of the menu here, even arriving on a silver-domed serving cart. A unique roasting process ensures each cut is particularly succulent. Coarse rock salt covers the meat before roasting, which seals the juices while simultaneously seasoning the beef and creating a tasty crust.
The moment Iron Chef winner Ed Lee lands in New Orleans he heads to Domilise's Po-Boy & Bar for their legendary fried oyster and roast beef po' boys. The fried oyster po' boy is made with crisp gulf oysters stacked on local bread and doused with mayonnaise, ketchup and hot sauce. It is, “the most perfect sandwich ever invented,” opines Chef Lee. The roast beef po' boy is draped with warm roast beef topped with mayo, lettuce and pickles doused in two mustards and hot gravy. “You hold on for dear life and you just go at it,” explains Chef Lee.
This casual California eatery is home to some of the best gumbo in the country. Chef-Owner Tanya Holland uses caramelized garlic instead of raw garlic to pump up the rich and sweet flavors in the dish. She starts with her homemade chicken stock, then thickens the gumbo roux with sassafras and okra, which add earthy notes to the dish. Tender chicken and shrimp complete the creation.
For a delectable taste of Motor City in the Lone Star State, swing by this customized pizza trailer and order a Detroit-style slice. The aptly named Detroiter pizza features two types of pepperoni (smoked and natural casing) and two kinds of cheese, baked in an upcycled rectangular auto-part pan.
Swing by Al’s Little Italy locale for a hearty sandwich featuring beef that is rubbed with a secret blend of herbs and spices, then roasted until it falls apart into silky shreds. Want to kick the flavor up a notch? Ask for it topped with the nuclear-hot giardiniera studded with celery and carrots.
Hot wings may not have been served when the first tavern opened here in the 1700s, but these days, J. Timothy’s sells 300 tons of them per year. The wings are fried, coated in a robust Buffalo sauce and then fried again to create a caramelized crust. A final bath in the sauce ensures maximum flavor.
During happy hour, locals pour into this spot for the sliders that are sold with a beer on a sliding scale based on the hour — $5 at 5 o’clock, $6 at 6 o’clock and so on. Opt for the Buffalo chicken slider. This tiny sandwich is big on flavor, thanks to the fried chicken whose corn flake-studded crust is both crunchy and sweet. Buttery Buffalo sauce and creamy blue cheese kick up the richness.