Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Top 5 Savory Menu Items In America*
Is as the case with all the lists based on my recent road/air/sea trip across America with the lady, the asterisk is there to concede that we obviously did not try every item in every place in every city in every state. That said, I'm sure none of these would out of place on a list made by someone who had. They're all that good.
Before we start a couple of notes. I am not listing anything I've had before (so no Imo's, toasted raviolis, Roscoe's chicken & waffles, Al's Italian beefs, etc.). These are all items we'd never tried before the trip. Also, there are no tacos here (we already kinda covered that arena). Finally, these are all from affordable places. To me, fine dining establishments are a separate category (it's easy to make boutique ingredients taste great).
I'd also like to give some honorable mention shout-outs to items that narrowly missed making the list: the roast pork sandwich at Tommy DiNic's in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market, the jerk chicken enchilada platter at Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica, the clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder in Seattle, the spicy chicken sandwich at NYC's Fuku, the fish 'n' chips at Gordon Ramsey's Fish & Chips in Vegas, 3 PM meatballs at Chego in L.A. and pretty much everything at Hang Ah Dim Sum Tea House in San Francisco.
#5 - Three-piece sweet soy garlic fried chicken at Federal Donuts
1632 Sansom St., Philadelphia (five locations in total)
#4 - The Cubano at Las Olas Cafe
644 6th St, Miami Beach
#3 - Soup Dumplings at Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell St., Chinatown, Manhattan (three location in total)
#2 - The Reggie Deluxe at Pine St. Biscuits
125 NE Schuyler St., Portland OR (three locations in total)
#1 - Death By Duck at Beer Belly
532 Western Ave., Koreatown, Los Angeles (also a Long Beach location)
For starters, let me say that this is one of the truly great restaurants in the massive L.A. metro area. One peruse over their menu will make anyone lose concentration and they also have a terrific variety of craft beers (and ciders, the lady's favorite).
The clear pièce de résistance here, though, is the item you see teased in the picture at the top of the post. I mentioned my irrational love of dim sum before, but now we'll talk about my drooling crush on duck. I love duck, people. For reals... LOVE. In every shape and form. And the Death By Duck covers most of the best forms in one sinful appetizer. It's crispy duck-fat fries, topped with melt-in-your-mouth duck confit, sprinkled with little bits of duck crackling, served with a raspberry mustard sauce to cut through the decadence with a slightly tart heat. Need I say more?
You can catch a view of the Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives visit to Beer Belly, when Guy Fieri runs frosted-head first into this supreme eat. And then, locals, get your ass over there ASAP. Out-of-towners can put it at the top of their list.
- Greg Seltzer