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Jan 7, 2008 10:05 AM

Small cities' food specialties

I find that many small cities have certain foods peculiar to them, if not too well-known elsewhere.

I don't mean obvious things like the New York bagel, London Fish and Chips, or Athenian Gyros. For example, there is Buffalo, New York, with its spicy chicken wings and "weck" (a type of roast beef sandwich on a roll), or Cincinnati's chili served atop spaghetti. Anyone have other suggestions?

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  1. Breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.

    In Indiana, Iowa, and some of the more rural western areas of Illinois this is a very popular sandwich. A piece of pork tenderloin, flattened(tenderized), breaded, and deep fried. The tenderloin is typically 2x - 3x the size of the bun it is served on.. I like mine with pickle, onion, hot sauce , and maybe some mayo or worsteshire sauce.

    4 Replies
    1. re: swsidejim

      Jim have you seen this gallery devoted to the pork tenderloin sandwich? it's great.

      but i think the pork tenderloin sandwich is more of a widespread midwestern phenomenon instead of one cities' specialty.

      how about the "jucy lucy" yes that is how it's spelled, from minneapolis?

      1. re: soupkitten

        yes thanks for the link though, that site is an awesome collection of sandwiches.

        I agree, I guess it would be called a regional specialty as opposed to limited to one city.

        1. re: swsidejim

          The tenderloin is unique in origin to pork producing regions. When I lived in Iowa, they were my favorite. Have not seen them in Kansas or Missouri as much if ever. I go pickle & mayo on my tenderloin!

          1. re: stellamystar

            I associate roasted corn on the cob right there along with the pork tenderloin in Iowa...

    2. There's a small town south of Nashville called Fayetteville, Tennessee that is known for "Pool Room Slaw" Burgers. It's a sweet yellow slaw that they put on the burgers there and it's pretty good.

      1. I don't know how unknown it is, but I fell in love with the mustard-based barbeque pulled pork sandwich I had a few years ago in South Carolina, and haven't been able to adequately reproduce it myself.

        1. How about Owensboro, Kentucky and Burgoo? Not chilli, not barbeque, but in the same family. Sort of.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cowlbelle

            Utica, Illinois has an annual Burgoo Festival each fall.

            We went this year and sampled this stew.

          2. Along the coast of Lake MI...the local specialty is Lake Perch. Usually fried with some tartar sauce for dipping. Delish.

            1 Reply
            1. re: amanda3571

              Yep, Calumet Region soul food. Boned and buttered lake perch.