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.
As a former director at the California Sushi Academy, it's no surprise that Phillip Yi is a talented sushi chef. At his restaurant Sushi Central in Los Angeles, Phillip makes all kinds of sushi including nigiri, sashimi and maki; Bobby’s sushi on Throwdown just couldn’t compare.
Norma and Irma Paz are helping Nashville chill out. Their Mexican paletas (think of them as the Popsicle's bigger, better brother) rotate daily with flavors from apple to zucchini. Adam Gertler swooned for Rose Pops, and not even a throwdown could cool off the Pineapple-Lime-Chili-Salt Pops.
Southern baker and etiquette coach Vera Stewart set her manners aside during the throwdown with Bobby. The competition was fierce, but the coconut, pineapple and pecans in Vera’s cake gave her an edge over Bobby. Not in the area? VeryVera delivers cakes and casseroles anywhere in the U.S.
The Big Easy doesn't do anything small. New Orleans sandwich shrine Serio's Po-Boys & Deli is no exception. Brothers Jack and Mike Serio stack up a serious muffaletta (or is it muffuletta?). Their perfectly blended vinegar and oil dressing slipped a Throwdown victory right out from Bobby's hands.
Cioppino — a hearty seafood stew — is the star of the show at Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing, Calif. Owner Phil DiGirolamo uses fresh shellfish all caught locally, which ultimately gave him the edge over Bobby in a hard-fought Throwdown.
The secret to Fish Tales Manhattan Fish Chowder is that Chef John Addis hand selects his fish at the market daily. For the throwdown with Bobby, John used halibut because it looked the freshest that morning. This Brooklyn eatery is also a great place to find fresh fish to cook at home.
Chef Nick Vazquez won a James Beard award for having the most authentic Cuban restaurant on the East Coast. This proved to be no joke when he won the throwdown against Bobby with his Cuban sandwich stuffed with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese and dill pickles. The ropa vieja is another fan favorite.
Didier Pawlicki is in love with cheese and doesn't care who knows it. His smash hit French restaurant, Taureau, serves one thing only: fondue. Of his 13 varieties, indulge in the Perigord, made with Chardonnay, sharp aged Gran Padano and black truffles. Stake, dip, swirl and bon appetit!
World-famous pastry chef Francois Payard makes the holiday yule log cake, Buche de Noel, so well he inspired Bobby to challenge him to a throw down. The classic but casual French patisserie also excels in simple sandwiches, salads and irresistible pastries.
Nongkran Daks has been called the Rachael Ray of Thai Cuisine, and she has the skills to back it up — her pad thai has become a favorite at Thai Basil in Chantilly, Va. With perfectly cooked shrimp and noodles, Nongkran emerged the victor against Bobby in the pad thai battle on Throwdown.
Marc Summers heads to this spot for the Philly cheesesteak, which features thin-sliced rib-eye steak, provolone and a tasty ladleful of red gravy on top. Rachael Ray can’t get enough of the Italian Roast Pork Sandwich, which is piled high with slow-roasted ham, broccoli rabe and sliced provolone.
For tried-and-true North Carolina barbecue, stop by Ed Mitchell's The Pit, filled with down-home flavor and Southern hospitality. Ed's approach is "whole hog," meaning that authentic 'cue can only begin by cooking the entire animal. When Bobby Flay came to visit, it was a ribs and beans Throwdown.
Giorgio Giove is "The Pizza King," and he's got medals from the World's Best Tasting Pizza Competition to prove it. At Brother's Pizzeria in Staten Island, N.Y., his cream-dipped mozzarella, herbed cream cheese, zucchini and pancetta white pie left Bobby's Throwdown spinning.