Housed in a former bakery left vacant after Hurricane Katrina, High Hat draws the crowds with Southern eats of the savory sort. A standout is the Oyster Remoulade Po' Boy: Fried Gulf oysters are tossed in a tangy vinaigrette-based remoulade, then piled on a hunk of fluffy bread with a crunchy crust.
This spot may be home to the Chicken Churrasco (a grilled chicken breast sandwich), but both Bobby Flay and Michael Symon head here for the burgers. Choose from more than 60 options, including the extra-fiery Napalm burger, which packs a punch with its combo of spices, habanero sauce and jalapenos.
Sausages are given the gourmet treatment at this hip spot, which serves up elevated takes on that street-food classic. A standout is the Fico Anatra, which stars a smoky duck-and-pork sausage that’s nestled in a hearty bun, then loaded with a tangy-creamy combo of fig mostarda and goat cheese.
Owner Ladi Sebestyan brings the traditional tastes of his native Europe to the Pilsener Haus beer hall by serving hearty classics like sauerbraten. For this labor-intensive dish, a flat-iron cut of beef is braised in a vinegar-based marinade for five days, resulting in an “incredibly tender” steak, Michael Symon says.
“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.
This spot boasts over-the-top barbecue creations like the Piggy Mac. Chef Keith West starts with 16-hour, cherry-smoked pulled pork and tops it with creamy mac and cheese for a delicious finish. Another decadent dish is the Southern Stack, which won over Michael Psilakis. This breakfast bonanza is composed of sweet potato pancakes heaped with pulled pork, cinnamon-laced apples and a rich fried egg. Another menu mainstay is the meatloaf, which is smoked, then seared to ensure a crisp coating that gives way to the succulent blend of brisket and pork butt underneath. A generous ladle of mushroom gravy completes the dish, which comes served with airy mashed potatoes.
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.
The "world famous" burgers at Original Tommy's take a cue from the old-fashioned chili dog. Since 1946, Los Angelinos have been lining up for a bite of the classic chili that has been a favorite on the Double Chili Cheeseburger, Chili Cheese Fries, Chili Hot Dog, Chili tamale and more.
This farm-to-table spot is a hometown favorite of Michael Symon, who is a fan of the Brunch Burger. Order it to indulge in an Ohio beef patty piled high with cheddar cheese, housemade ketchup, onion rings and a fried egg. The fluffy biscuits and gravy, and the buttery sticky bun are also standouts.
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.
Michael Symon and Eddie Jackson head to LeAnn Mueller’s laid-back joint to try El Loco. Brisket and pork butt are rubbed with mustard and pickle juice, hit with salt and pepper, then smoked and piled onto a bun. Chipotle slaw, pickled red onions, and black bean and corn salad round out the sandwich.
At Black's Barbecue, the oldest family-run barbecue joint in Texas, slow-cooked ribs, brisket, sausage and more are the lay of the land. Don't expect to drown your meal in BBQ sauce here; Black's does its meat the old-fashioned way, so nothing gets in the way of its distinctive sweet smokiness.
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.
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.
A mecca for beer mavens, ChurchKey offers 50 drafts and close to 700 bottled selections. There’s also an extensive food menu that stretches well beyond your average bar bites, with fresh dishes that are seasonally driven. The menu changes regularly, but keep an eye out for the Greek-inspired Gigante Beans dish studded with tangy feta cheese, and the Monte Cristo sandwich stuffed with pig’s head terrine and doused with powdered sugar.