In Austin, Texas, casserole queens Sandy Pollock and Crystal Cook deliver their signature chicken pot pie straight to their customers' doors. Their combination of roast chicken and fresh vegetables provides home-style comfort that earned Bobby's admiration on Throwdown.
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.
Lee Ann Whippen has won several awards for her pulled pork sandwich, and with good reason — at Wood Chicks BBQ, she smokes her own pork and then covers it in her homemade barbecue sauce. Even a BBQ master like Bobby couldn't make a superior sandwich on Throwdown.
Brothers Miguel and Victor Escobedo, who own this Mexican spot, are known for the best burritos around. Their Triple Threat Burrito, which features achiote-marinated chicken, smoky prawns, tangy carne asada and an ultraspicy salsa, is so good that it led Bobby Flay to challenge them to a throwdown.
Rao’s classic Italian-American cuisine is legendary. The tangy lemon chicken and the tender meatballs made of beef, pork and veal taste like they came straight from Grandma’s kitchen. Another must-try is the Beef Lasagna featuring ricotta, pecorino, mozzarella and a sausage-studded Bolognese sauce.
In Charleston, S.C., Peninsula Grill Chef Robert Carter's specialty is the coconut cake: a 12-layer, 12-pound behemoth of a cake. This treat also happens to be one of Bobby's all-time favorite desserts, so he couldn't wait to challenge Chef Carter on Throwdown.
Ben Sargent -- the "Brooklyn Chowder Surfer" -- brings the flavors of the shore to the streets of the Big Apple. Surf Bar and Seafood Restaurant is a wave-rider's paradise, featuring NYC's "Best Lobster Roll" and the Bahamian Monkfish Chowder he served up bowl to bowl on Throwdown with Bobby Flay.
Rachael’s visit to Seattle wasn’t over until she visited the “must-taste” Matt’s in the Market. With a location inside the iconic Pike Place Market, this eatery always has fresh ingredients close at hand. Stop by for the scrumptious seafood paella made with mussels, clams, octopus and prawns.
Bakers Karen and Carol have reinvented the whoopie pie by using fresh local Maine ingredients like Maine maple sugar. In the throwdown with Bobby, their Pumpkin Whoopie with Maple Cream Cheese took the prize. Be sure to also try the spicy Mexican chocolate whoopies and the lemon and lime whoopies.
Just about every diner offers grilled cheese, but only The Pop Shop in Collingswood, N.J., offers more than 30 varieties of grilled cheese. Their best-selling Calvert has melted Monterey Jack, bacon, turkey and avocado; Bobby himself said ''it's a really good sandwich'' on Throwdown.
Four delicious words: fresh, moist, fantastic cupcakes. Big Man Bakes is satisfying L.A.'s sweet tooth, one bite at a time. Owner Big Chip Brown's Rum Raisin Mini Cupcakes are a single gulp of perfection (Bobby eats them by the boxful), made by the gentle hands of a 6-foot-5 linebacker of a baker.
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.
Bobby calls Chef Melba Wilson the "Queen Bee" when it comes to chicken and waffles. A family recipe that has been passed down for generations, this sweet and savory Harlem favorite is topped with strawberry butter and maple syrup. If you're going for dinner, get a side of Tres Mac and Cheese too.
Giada De Laurentiis is crazy for Churros Con Cajeta, a doughnut-like confection filled with sweet caramel, at La Casita Mexicana. Another standout is the Flautas Tres Moles, chicken-stuffed tortillas that are deep-fried and smothered in three distinct chile-based sauces, including La Casita’s 43-ingredient mole poblano.
The award-winning Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter at Clinton St. Baking Co. & Restaurant are so irresistible, Bobby just had to challenge them to a throw down. If you stop by the homey spot for brunch, also try the buttermilk biscuits and tomato jam, hearty omelets and sugar-cured bacon.