For a passport to Thailand in Texas head to Jack Nuchjasem’s CrushCraft. Chef Nuchjasem is channeling the flavors he loved growing up near Bangkok into his authentic dishes. “That’s one of the best curries I have ever had,” Guy said after tasting the Green Thai Curry.
Milly Martinez has been serving up authentic Venezuelan food in South Florida for more than two decades. Now her son, Jose Atencio, is taking the cuisine to another level with some creative riffs on the classics. The Pabe Yo-Yo is like a Venezuelan Monte Cristo with bread made of sweet plantains surrounding ham and queso blanco which is then deep fried and stuffed with braised beef. “This crazy,” said Guy.
Chef and Owner Amanuel Gebremariam is bringing the bold flavors and traditions of East Africa straight to Arizona. Guy loved everything saying, “each one of the dishes is individually its own little song and what comes together is the Ethiopian musical.”
This artisan doughnut shop in Miami is creating sweet mouthwatering masterpieces and some savory surprises. There are over 200 varieties of hand-rolled and hand-cut doughnuts. For a sweet treat, try the Abuelita which is stuffed with rice pudding and topped with swirls of dulce de leche. The adventurous should try the Chicken Brulee Sandwich. In this creation, crispy chicken tenders are sandwiched inside a bruleed doughnut, topped with a mild cheddar sauce and showered in bacon. “This changes the fried chicken sandwich game,” said Guy.
At Renee’s Organic Oven, husband and wife team Steve and Renee Kreager are serving up Italian classics their own way. The Tailored Tony is like a Sloppy Joe made for a healthier palate. For this open-faced focaccia local organic beef is infused with tomatoes and topped with melted provolone and roasted red peppers. Also try the Spinach Dip Calzone. Guy described it as a cross between the best jalapeno popper you’ve ever had, a gigantic perogi and a chicken sandwich.
Can’t get to Hawaii? Aloha Kitchen will transport you to the islands on a plate. Lynn Tso and her husband Ray are serving classic Hawaiian plate lunches and marinated meats to the people in the Arizona dessert. Try the super soft Manapua steamed pork buns or the Korean-style short ribs.
Chef Omar Flores is dishing out comfort food with a Southern spin and making some seriously crispy fried chicken at Whistle Britches. The Hot Dang is their Nashville-style hot chicken served on thick Texas toast, with cool dill ranch and house-made pickles. Their chicken and waffles are served with a drizzle of jalapeno hot honey, house-made sausage gravy and a wedge of watermelon. “That’s wrong in so many ways that it makes it right,” Guy said of the dish.
Grubstak is an Arizona spot with a knack for the stack. Owner Colton Grubb and chef Seth Widdes work together to create towering flavor combinations to please any palate. A popular pick is the Sweet Lou’s BBQ, which is a combination of shredded braised beef, applewood-smoked bacon and house-made cole slaw all piled on top of crispy sweet potato and regular fries.
Audrey Sherman combined her passion for pizza with the teachings of Tony Gemignani, the heavy weight champ of global pizza competitions, to create her popular pizza shop. Her fabulous dough is the soul of her killer pies and is also used to make the roll for her massive meatball grinder.
Husband and wife team Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin are introducing the people of Arizona to flavors from their home state of Chihuahua. Guy tried the smoked beef cheek Barbacoa Tacos and the smoked brisket Deshebrada Roja Gorditas. “When I eat this I’m tasting culture,” he said.
Chicken and beer are a match made in heaven, especially when the chicken is crispy, crunchy perfection. Chef and owner Brett Smith uses a pressure cooker and a unique flouring system to create some of the best chicken Guy has ever had. Guy also loved their unique chicken chicharrones, fried chicken skin served with a pinto bean hummus.
Guy’s been to more BBQ joints than most people so when one impresses him it’s worth trying. Chef and Owner Kyle St. Clair’s brisket was so tender that Guy remarked, “You don’t even need a knife; you can cut that with a bad look.” Have it on the Spicy Brisket Sandwich which is layered on a brioche bun with a roasted poblano, in-house smoked cheddar, pickles and red onion.
Chef Matt Pikar’s restaurant is the first Afghan place Guy has visited on DDD. The cuisine is redolent of spices like turmeric, cardamom and saffron. Guy loved the tender lamb shanks served over fragrant basmati rice and topped with raisins, carrots, pistachios and slivered almonds. The Kofta Chalao, Afghan meatballs, were another feast of spice and flavor.
Chef Jesus Carmona is serving up real-deal Tijuana street tacos and more in Dallas. His grilled octopus tacos are topped with a spicy pesto salsa and cooled with avocado and cheese. The chef was inspired to make his signature Mole Fries by a vendor selling potato chips dipped in mole. His version substitutes crispy fries topped with house-made mole, crema fresca and cotija cheese. “I came here for tacos, I’ll come back for the fritas,” gushed Guy.
Chef and Owner Phinsto Lama is cooking up Tibetan and Nepalese specialties in the middle of an international market in Columbus. Her signature dish is Johl Mo Mo, Tibetan steamed dumplings filled with chicken and enrobed in a spicy fenugreek tomato sauce. The Choila Set, a Tibetan chicken salad with rice, potatoes and black-eyed peas is “one of the most-unique dishes” Guy has ever tried on DDD.