Got a hankering for smoked turkey? Dr. Barbecue (Ray Lampe) will prescribe you a visit to this family-run restaurant, which he says serves the "juiciest turkey you’re ever going to eat." Another must-try is the smoked chicken, which is locally sourced and served with a tangy white barbecue sauce.
Northern Italy meets the Pacific Northwest at Spinasse, where locally sourced ingredients are used to make dishes inspired by Italy’s Piedmont region. A must-try is the Tajarin al Ragu: Fresh pasta is julienned by hand, then cooked with a meat ragu featuring beef chuck, pork shoulder, prosciutto and a housemade duck broth.
Owner Tyrone Bully built this joint by hand from the ground up, and he puts the same care into every rack of ribs he serves. Each rack is dry-rubbed and marinated for three days to start. Smoking the ribs over hickory and cherry woods and steaming them in their own juices create bold, smoky notes and fall-off-the-bone tenderness. A coating of Bully’s barbecue sauce adds a punch of flavor.
It may seem impossible to find fresh fish in the middle of a desert, but Joyful House is no mirage. The chefs at this seafood-centric spot prepare dishes with fresh lobsters, prawns and more plucked straight from tanks right on the premises. One menu highlight is the Honey Walnut Shrimp. Fresh shrimp are wok-fried, then tossed with a sweet sauce made from pineapple juice and condensed milk. Candied walnuts add to the richness. Bonus: This spot is open until 3 a.m. for your late-night cravings.
You don’t need reservations to eat at this pizza joint in the Cosmopolitan Hotel — just a sense of adventure. The by-the-slice counter service is unmarked and tucked away at the end of an unassuming hallway in the hotel. Reward yourself for uncovering this clandestine spot with a white slice. All the dough is made with a yeast that’s been aged for 10 years to ensure maximum flavor. The white pie is finished with a trio of cheeses — mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan — and drizzled with garlic oil.
Bigger is better at this down-home joint, starting with its signature sandwich: The Jethro. This porky delight weighs in at nearly 2 pounds. It all starts with a breaded-and-fried pork tenderloin, which is placed on one half of a fluffy hamburger bun, then heaped with pulled pork, smoked ham and thick slabs of hickory-smoked bacon, then blanketed in an aged white cheddar cheese sauce and topped with the other half of the bun.
The doughnuts at Dough have an almost cult-like following. They're larger than average, crisp on the outside and light on the inside, and range from traditional glazed to a the more out there blood orange or hibiscus tea. Jeff Mauro loves the Cafe au Lait doughnut.
This shop offers cleverly concocted flavors like The Munchies, a sweet-salty bonanza of pretzel-infused ice cream with Ritz Crackers, potato chips, pretzels and mini M&M’s. Other standouts include It Came From Gowanus (a salted chocolate flavor with chunks of brownies and hazelnut cookies) and Salute (a blueberry limoncello sorbet that is the perfect hybrid of an after-dinner drink and a dessert).
This pub focuses on three of life's greatest pleasures: sausage, bacon and beer. The meatiest dish on the menu is the 5-pound meatloaf, The Bomb. Thick-cut bacon is woven together in a lattice pattern, then slathered with a hearty layer of housemade beef-and-pork sausage. Next comes a drizzle of beer-based barbecue sauce and a flurry of cracked pepper bacon. To give The Bomb that classic "loaf" shape, the chefs roll the woven bacon around the meaty fillings before the dish is smoked over apple wood.
Jon Darsky is like the Pied Piper of the pizza scene, drawing the crowds to his mobile pizzeria. The secret to his success is in the details. The yeast is made from scratch to give the dough a greater depth of flavor, and every pie is cooked in the truck’s wood-fired oven sourced straight from Italy. A standout is the sausage and mozzarella pizza that’s slicked with fresh tomato sauce, then topped with melted mozzarella, house-ground sausage and a splash of Calabrian chile sauce for extra zest.
Crowds flock here for the meatball Parm hero. Veal, beef and pork sausage are given the old-school Italian treatment when mixed with panade (milk-soaked bread) to make delectably tender meatballs. Tomato sauce and mozzarella add to the flavor. Another standout is the chicken Parm on a semolina roll.
This casual California eatery is home to some of the best gumbo in the country. Chef-Owner Tanya Holland uses caramelized garlic instead of raw garlic to pump up the rich and sweet flavors in the dish. She starts with her homemade chicken stock, then thickens the gumbo roux with sassafras and okra, which add earthy notes to the dish. Tender chicken and shrimp complete the creation.
For a delectable taste of Motor City in the Lone Star State, swing by this customized pizza trailer and order a Detroit-style slice. The aptly named Detroiter pizza features two types of pepperoni (smoked and natural casing) and two kinds of cheese, baked in an upcycled rectangular auto-part pan.
Swing by Al’s Little Italy locale for a hearty sandwich featuring beef that is rubbed with a secret blend of herbs and spices, then roasted until it falls apart into silky shreds. Want to kick the flavor up a notch? Ask for it topped with the nuclear-hot giardiniera studded with celery and carrots.
Hot wings may not have been served when the first tavern opened here in the 1700s, but these days, J. Timothy’s sells 300 tons of them per year. The wings are fried, coated in a robust Buffalo sauce and then fried again to create a caramelized crust. A final bath in the sauce ensures maximum flavor.