Sink your teeth into doughy goodness at this pizzeria that offers a tantalizing array of seasonal pies adorned with sauces and salumi created from scratch. Keep it classic with a margherita pizza, which Michael Symon describes as “the true expression of simplicity (and) great ingredients.” Housemade dough is slicked with red sauce, then topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Another standout is the Rotolo, a roll-up of dough, ricotta and mortadella that’s finished with pistachio pesto.
Dig into creative dishes here like the Smoked Chorizo Meatloaf. This new take on a classic starts with a blend of spicy Mexican sausage, beef and pork. A bourbon-based barbecue sauce is added to the mix, which is baked, smoked and seared in bacon fat, then topped with melty cheese and onion straws.
Tom Peters is seriously dedicated to Belgian beer, so much so that he was knighted in Belgium for his efforts. His pub offers a vast selection of Belgian and other brews (around 300 varieties total), along with a menu of tempting bites. For an unbeatable combination, pair a sour beer with the Mexicano mussels. A pot of Blue Bay mussels comes laced with jalapenos, peppers and onions that have been sauteed in a sour ale. Limes bring a bit of brightness, while cilantro adds a floral finish.
Beers and bowling pins are the main draw at this cavernous space, where you can work up a sweat playing the spot’s namesake game (a bowling-football hybrid known as fowling) and then grab some drinks at the fully stocked bar, which features more than 180 brews. “Fowling is much harder than I thought it would be, but it is tons of fun,” Michael Symon said after a friendly match here against Kendra Wilkinson.
Iron Chef winner Ken Oringer satisfies his sandwich cravings at Mighty Quinn's. “Why settle for a ham and cheese when you can have thick slices of brisket with cucumbers, pickled onions, pickled chilies, on the most delicious bread?” he asks, describing the brisket sandwich. When he’s craving chicken, the transcendent chicken sandwich is a must. “Once you have a bite of this, it will kick all others to the curb,” says Chef Oringer.
If you are craving a succulent short rib that is as massive as it is mouthwatering, try the imposing Brontosaurus Rib.
“This is awesome! It’s like a treehouse with beer,” exclaimed Michael Symon when he stepped into the taproom at the DC Brau Brewing Company. Owners Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock draw upon both North American and European techniques to produce their beers, most of which are pale ales. Michael was left impressed by the On the Wings of Armageddon Double IPA, which he described as hoppy yet balanced.
D.C. barbecue devotees head here for the succulent cuts of meats that are smoked, then finished over a grill fueled by red oak and hickory wood. A standout is the smoke-kissed spare ribs, which come coated in a gorgeous char. They’re not overly seasoned, so the natural flavors of the pork shine through. Another popular pick is the Rocklands Pearl: Creamy mac and cheese is layered with baked beans, then piled with chopped pork and finished with a generous ladleful of housemade barbecue sauce.
Duff's plate of barbecue could have been served in a galvanized bucket. As he says, The Salt Lick BBQ has it all, including pork ribs and sausage. The giant pit in the middle of the restaurant is what makes them special — it's also what makes the best beef ribs Bobby has ever had. As for Michael, he couldn’t get enough of the tender brisket and its “crispy, caramelized bark.”
Chef-Owner Fernando Martinez churns out gourmet burgers at this hot spot. His creativity shines through in menu items like the Argentinean burger. A brisket-sirloin patty is piled high with a mound of caramelized onions and smothered in provolone cheese, then topped with a chorizo patty. The Double Southern Belle burger also ups the meaty, cheesy ante with two 8-ounce Black Angus beef patties blanketed in pimento cheese, then stacked between six slices of fried green tomatoes.
Want to chow down on barbecued ribs, but could do without the sticky mess of eating with your hands? Follow Michael Symon’s lead and order the boneless ribs here. Smoked for two hours and then deboned, these beauties come out tender and caramelized. Also try the baked potato loaded with pulled pork.
Chef Justin Devillier is known for his riffs on traditional New Orleans cuisine, but it was his creative take on an all-American classic that lured Michael Symon to La Petite. The LPG Cheeseburger features a coarsely ground beef patty topped with onion marmalade, melty Gruyère cheese and house-brined pickles, which add up to a dish that “burger dreams are made of,” Michael says.
This longtime fixture of the Baltimore dining scene lures in locals with its fresh seafood dishes. Michael Symon calls the jumbo lump crab cake “wonderful.” The succulent dish is made with a spice-laden sauce and just a bit of breadcrumbs so that the flavor of the meat really shines through. Another standout is the soft-shell crab that’s lightly seasoned, dredged in flour and then pan-fried. “When I think of Baltimore, this is what I think of,” Michael says of the restaurant’s crab dishes.
Chef-Owner Jimmy Gibson describes his restaurant as a “house of carnivores,” so meat lover Michael Symon just had to try the Barge Bash Burger here. For the burger’s 8-ounce patty, Jimmy mixes a ground beef blend with plenty of butter (yes, butter) for added richness. The patty comes loaded with blue cheese and a spicy bacon-tomato jam that puts the burger “over the top,” according to Michael.
For a taste of Germany in Philadelphia, locals head to this beer hall to indulge in sausages, pretzels and other satisfying bites, along with suds from Andechs and other breweries based in the fatherland. So popular are the housemade sausages that Brauhaus Schmitz makes between 500 and 600 pounds’ worth per week, with six different options available on the menu. Michael Symon favors the ungarischewurst, a Hungarian sausage laced with smoked garlic and paprika. “That’s delicious; it’s so balanced,” he said.
This spot serves homemade pub classics that pair perfectly with the craft beers brewed on the premises. All the meats are aged, cured and cut in-house. For a satisfying snack, try the house-smoked corn dogs coated in buttermilk batter (with jalapeno for some kick). The chorizo tacos are also tasty.