Bouchon's Bakery fills its displays with Thomas Keller's famous sweet confections of macarons and croissants. But on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Donatella Arpaia heads straight to the savory Quiche Lorraine. Each bite of the buttery crust, eggs and bacon is a lesson in delicious guilt.
Since the 1960s, Galatoire's has been serving generations of families its French cuisine, including the must-eat Poisson Meunière Amandine, a sauteed fish coated in brown butter and toasted almonds. Galatoire's Friday lunch is also legendary, as you’ll often see customers take lunch way past dinner.
In a restaurant such as Lucques, it may be difficult to choose a favorite. Dishes range from Cape Cod clams with pancetta to steak frites. But Frank Bruni's choice was easy: braised short ribs with horseradish cream. The "pure lusciousness" of this dish left Bruni's knife unused and unnecessary.
As the queen of Southern cooking, Paula Deen knows comfort food. Tyler Florence adores her free (yes, free) golden hoecakes, but everything from her fried green tomatoes to oyster shooters deserves a taste. For the all-you-can-eat buffet, arrive early, as this line wraps around the street corner.
Ming Tsai's passion for spicy foods took him off the Las Vegas strip to Lotus of Siam. The Nam Prik Ong dish made with a blend of spices, herbs and ground pork quickly made the list for The Best Thing I Ever Ate. No wonder, as Chef Saipin Chutima is also a James Beard Award winner.
Ask Ina Garten who's inspired her most and she'll likely say Anna Pump from Loaves & Fishes Cookshop. Nestled in the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y., Loaves & Fishes is a gourmet takeout shop offering a weekly menu of tasty soups and entrees such as Ina's favorite: Shrimp and Swordfish Curry.
Although Society Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, it best excels in the rise-and-shine department. On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Adam Gertler happily wakes up to the Ultimate Steak & Egg Sliders made with succulent filet mignon. For a sweet treat, try the 14-layer chocolate cake.
Though Iron Chef Michael Symon is pork-obsessed, his favorite meat splurge comes in the form of goat. At Resto NYC, he finds not just a small shank, but instead a large-format feast of spring goat that includes such plates as goat tartare, succulent goat ribs and even braised goat soup.
Aaron Sanchez samples a variety of caviar at Tsar Nicoulai in San Francisco, CA, on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
When Rocco DiSpirito wants cheesecake, he skips the chocolate swirls and instead orders Junior's plain cheesecake with a sponge cake crust. Opened in 1950, Junior's has become an iconic Brooklyn restaurant, serving towering pastrami sandwiches, steak burgers and the "most fabulous" of cheesecakes.
Ming Tsai calls the Sakura Smoked Hamachi at Oishii Boston worthy of The Best Thing I Ever Ate — and a bucket list too. Not only is the Hamachi utterly luscious, but it comes served in a glass of burning cherry wood that, when opened, releases a stream of aromatic smoke.
Known for its dazzling plates with a playful edge, Tru's dishes are practically works of art. But they're also delicious, as Cat Cora shared on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. The Chocolate Bar dessert with its chocolate ganache ribbon is one of the most decadent desserts she’s ever had.
The Huevos Barbacoa dish at Cafe Pasqual does the impossible for Chris Santos -- it makes him love eggs. Not typically an egg fan, Santos found the spicy, smoky dish made with succulent beef cheeks and sunny-side egg as nothing short of remarkable for this beloved Santa Fe restaurant.
Leave it to an Irish pub to turn an Asian appetizer into Robert Irvine's favorite egg dish. The Reuben Eggroll contains all the usual ingredients (corned beef, Swiss) but gets rolled in a housemade wonton wrapper. And, if you like that, you'll have to try McGuire's actual Reuben that's mile-high.
Local Hawaiians, like Iron Chef Chairman Mark Dacascos, know that nothing beats a malasada from Leonard's Bakery wagon. A Portuguese doughnut with no hole, a malasada comes with coconut haupia or chocolate filling. Or, in plain cinnamon-sugar. Want a better description? Finger-licking Aloha.