If you follow the intoxicating aroma of fresh-baked rye bread in Palm Springs you could find yourself at Sherman’s Deli & Bakery. Once there, try the house-made turkey pastrami which is layered on that fabulous bread. “If that’s the only thing that you sold here I could expect lines all the way to Wisconsin,” said Guy. Or try the real-deal latkes that serve as the "bread" for meltingly tender brisket topped with creamy horseradish sauce. Be sure you don’t leave without a taste of the fan-favorite banana tart.
Nighthawk Breakfast Bar specializes in serving breakfast for dinner. Chef and owner Chef and Owner Jeremy Fall is all about pushing the envelope on beloved childhood flavors. The Drunken French Toast is a crispy creation topped with cognac sautéed pears, mascarpone mousse and a dash of pear brandy.
For tostadas with a towering twist and more elevated Mexican classics head to La Tostaderia which is tucked away in Grand Central Market in L.A. The chef was born in Mexico and later went back to culinary school to learn more about flavor profiles and it shows. Guy was impressed by the tender octopus tostada and blown away by the cheesy shrimp burger.
Guy called Azla and Nesanet Abegaze “culinary ambassadors,” as they serve a meatless take on traditional Ethiopian cuisine at their restaurant. The mother-daughter team's standouts include the misir wot, a flavorful stew made from red lentils cooked down with onions, tomatoes and pungent spices sourced straight from Ethiopia. “There’s a ton of flavor in that,” Guy declared after dipping into the dish with a piece of injera, the spongy flatbread that’s traditionally used for scooping up food.
This family-owned eatery is famous for slinging rectangular thin-crust, Neapolitan-style slices, which they've been doing since well before pizza made it to the West Coast in a big way. Back in the 1940s, Barone's owners set out to re-create the Italian-style pizza popular in New York using the only tool available — a sheet pan — and thus the signature slices were born. Another must-try is the ricotta and Parmesan lasagna, served with meatballs and housemade marinara sauce.
Owner George Abou-Daoud opened this joint as an homage to the Italian restaurants in downtown Manhattan, and it’s apparent once you open the menu, filled with pizzas named after New York streets — think Fulton, Crosby and Mercer. Pork lovers, opt for the Gramercy. In addition to featuring red sauce and melted mozzarella, this pork-centric pie comes loaded with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, soppressata and guanciale. Once cooked, the pizza is brushed with a garlic-infused olive oil.
Opened in 1969 by a pair of Louisiana transplants, this joint is still serving classic Creole dishes. Try the classic standout gumbo, or opt for the crawfish etouffee. This dish starts with an old-school roux made from shrimp stock and a mix of tomato and cream of mushroom soups, which surprised Guy. Loaded with spices and tender crawfish tails, the resulting etouffee is “deep and rich and creamy,” Guy says.
Chef-Owner Eskender Aseged left quite the impression when he appeared on Guy’s Grocery Games — so much so that Guy made sure to check out Aseged’s Ethiopian joint when he was in San Francisco. Follow Guy’s lead and order the seared tuna. It’s topped with chermoula, a Moroccan cilantro and parsley sauce, and served over a bed of sauteed vegetables. “I don’t want this dish to end,” Guy exclaimed.
Chef-Owner Warren Almeda serves up American twists on classic Filipino dishes at this Koreatown joint. Guy just had to try the Sisig Hot Dog. As the name suggests, this dog is dressed up with sisig (a Filipino mixture of ground pork belly and pork snout, made in-house daily), in addition to garlic crema, pickled red onions, radishes, green onions, a fried egg and the Filipino citrus known as calamansi.
Co-owners Pamela Schafer and Richard Park are bringing the best flavors of down-home barbecue to San Francisco at CatHead’s BBQ. This joint takes its name from the “cathead” biscuit — a Southern staple that’s the size of a cat’s head. It’s also one of the rare spots in the city with a barbecue pit. As such, Guy had to try the classic pulled pork biscuit sandwich served with a housemade mustard slaw and a side of pickles.
This authentic Italian deli churns out 4,000-plus ravioli a week using a ravioli machine that dates back more than a century. “I have seen really cool kitchen equipment in my day,” Guy said of the gear. “This might be the coolest.” The deli’s signature ravioli are stuffed with a combination of beef, cheese, spinach and Swiss chard, then served with a homemade Bolognese-style meat sauce
Former NFL player Steve Smith has traded in the pigskins for wings, which he slings at this Stockton joint. One popular option is the Damn Hot, which Guy called a “good old-fashioned funky, crunchy wing.” For this dish, the wings are coated in a paprika-laced flour mix, fried and then slathered in a fiery sauce whose heat factor is kicked up with cayenne, smoked jalapenos and green chiles.
The allure of craft brews is what first drew many locals to Commonwealth, but it’s the food that keeps them coming back. The craft tacos are one crowd-pleaser that Guy just had to try. “There’s so much flavor in each one,” he declared of the trio that included a banh mi taco layered with cilantro, jalapenos, pickled carrots, red radish and pulled pork tossed with a housemade umami sauce.
Chef-Owner Tamearra Dyson serves up Creole classics and soul food favorites with a surprising twist: All the dishes offered at her restaurant are vegan. Guy just had to check this creative menu out, so he stopped in to try Chef Dyson’s okra gumbo and her meatless spins on succulent sandwiches.
This family-run food truck is all about community, from its origins as a crowd-funded project on Kickstarter to its use of regionally sourced ingredients. And the locals are certainly lining up for the creative comfort foods cranked out here, as Guy found out when he swung by to chow down on the Root Beer Pulled Pork.