Chef and Owner Kevin Ordonez is taking Asian street food to another level at Alkaline. His popular wings are lightly coated and then fried twice for optimal crunch. He then carefully brushes each one with a sweet and spicy sauce so they don’t lose their crispiness. The braised ox tail-topped ramen was so packed with different flavors and spices that Guy never wanted to dish to end.
Chef and Owner Angela Kora was a mechanical engineer before bringing her attention to detail to the baking world. The menu at Ethos Bakery & Café is designed around fresh, local fare. The bakery even mills their own grain on site. Guy was enamored with the Salmon Gravlax. “You want to slow down when you eat it to appreciate the depth ... Love this,” he said. He was also impressed by the over-the-top Ethos Burger which is served on a house-made croissant bun with a bacon and braised leek topping. That one of the most outside-of-the-box burgers I have ever had on DDD,” said Guy.
Carib Shack is the place for a little slice of the islands in a strip mall in Virginia Beach. The jerk pork bowl is a comforting combination of crispy pork coated in a special jerk barbeque sauce served over rice and veggies. Mama’s Stew Beef Bowl melds meltingly tender slow-cooked angus beef with stewed lentils and rice.
Momona was started by three friends hoping to fill in a culinary gap in Chico, CA. They brought in the food they wanted to eat which was great noodles and baos that combined Hawaiian and Asian flavors. Guy loved the unique combination of flavors in the Mochiko Fried Chicken Bao and the Chico Ramen.
Stop by Frankinbun for one of the best vegan dishes Guy has ever had. The meat-free hot dog is crafted from brown rice flour, black eyed peas and aromatics and then topped with a dynamite house-made chili. Plus, try their handheld version of chicken and waffles which consists of Bavarian chicken apple sausage surrounded by a crisp waffle shell served with maple syrup.
Brigit & Bernard's Garden Café is a German gem in the middle of paradise. Swiss-born Chef and Owner Bernard Weber is dishing out impressive apple strudel and to-die-for beef roulade with house-made spaetzle that keeps the locals coming back for more.
Seither's Seafood is a funky, fresh seafood stop where cuisine and creativity collide. Chef and owner Jason Seither grew up on the Bayou boiling crawfish with his dad and cooking with his mom. He takes the best local, old school ingredients and adds his own wild style to his dishes. The Volcano is like an upside-down Asian-style taco salad with fresh ahi, crab salad and shrimp. The Totem Pole is a towering dish of crab stuffing, crispy soft-shell crab, fried eggplant and a shrimp kabab.
Diners say The Banshee is Chico’s best kept secret. Chef Will Brady’s food combines his Boston background with his time in Southeast Asia into true fusion comfort food. The Pho French Dip is made with braised beef and topped with house-made pickled cucumbers, onion, carrots and spicy mayo and then dipped in a spicy broth. “You’re taking folks international and they don’t need a passport,” said Guy.
YouTube-star Darius Williams opened a restaurant to celebrate his love of food in real life after becoming popular online. At Greens & Gravy he creates soul food with a twist like his Lemon Pepper Honey Fried Chicken and Collard Green Lasagna.
Three guys from Georgia brought down-home cooking with a slice of paradise to Down the Hatch in Maui. They started out serving shave ice drenched in their special fruit syrups and later expanded to a neighborhood joint with killer sandwiches. Their best-selling dish is the lobster and crab grilled cheese served on Hawaiian sweet bread and doused in lemon beurre blanc.
You’ve never tasted fusion like this before: this El Paso joint serves dishes made with flavors from around the world, like their Oxtail Tostadas and Pasta Chihuahua. “I think you made yourself a dish that is a one of a kind,” Guy said when he tasted the pasta, which is a Mexican take on a Bolognese. To make the dish, they mix a chorizo meat sauce and grilled steak with pasta and top with cotija cheese and fresh cilantro.
The menu at this cozy bakery tucked away in Orlando’s Milk District extends beyond confections, as Guy discovered when he stopped by on Triple D. Favorites include a chicken pot pie featuring a flaky, buttery crust stuffed with exquisitely seasoned chicken, mirepoix, potatoes and peas in a silky bechamel sauce. When it comes to dessert, there are plenty of decadent choices. One of the most indulgent options, however, is the Vanilla Bean Bourbon Bacon Moon Pie. “That is legit,” said Guy after sampling the sweet treat, which features silky homemade marshmallows laced with vanilla and bourbon.
Husband and wife team Justin and Christy Pitard are putting their twist on local favorites at Avery’s on Tulane. Don’t miss the Oysters Rockefeller Po Boy, made with crispy fried oysters and creamy spinach sauce on a garlic-butter baguette. “That is gangster,” raved Guy. He also loved the Fried Potato Salad, saying, “I am officially, 100% ripping that off.”
This long-time Houston spot serves “real-deal Mexican food,” according to Guy, who tucked into the tamales and chiles rellenos made from owner Irma Galvan’s family recipes. “Light, fluffy (and) super flavorful,” Guy said after taking a bite of the tamales, which come stuffed with succulent morsels of pork smothered in cascabel chile sauce. The chiles rellenos also left him impressed. Galvan makes them the old-fashioned way, which means the poblano peppers come stuffed with a ground meat filling known as picadillo. After they’re stuffed, the peppers are dipped in an airy batter, then fried until a fluffy, crisp coating forms.
Aside from being the place with the best name in DDD history, according to Guy, The Pie Hole is also a treasure trove of sweet and savory pies. Chef and owner Janell Parsons has 100-plus pie recipes that she rotates through at the shop. Guy was floored by the Raspberry Cream Pie. “That’s a whole different level of pie,” he said. “That changed my expectation for pies in general.”