Regional favorites that lived up to expectations once you got to try them
Since the other thread is so long, I thought it was time for a new one that would accentuate the positive.
So I'll start with a few:
1. Steamed crabs in Baltimore.
2. Eastern NC barbecue.
3. Western (AKA Lexington) NC barbecue
4. Poutine (LOL). Perhaps because my expectations were low, but the Dairy Bar in Dania FL (run by Canadians for Canadian tourists) met them.
5. Peanut soup (VA)
6. Fried soft-shell crabs in Baltimore.
7. Pit beef (Baltimore)
8. White clam pizza (New Haven)
Stone crab in Miami. At home, I'm a big Dungeness crab and King crab fan. But I have to admit, the stone crab was excellent.
First off, thanks for all the Baltimore shout outs, Bob. I'm Baltimore born and bred, and I'm so happy to see so many local favorites being enjoyed by others! (Especially after the beating Old Bay took on that other thread...)
Anyways, my additions are:
1. Philly cheesesteak (Philly)
2. Texas ribs (Ft. Worth)
3. Cedar-plank salmon (Seattle)
Dungeness Crab and good coffee in Seattle.
Fresh lobster from a dock and, lazy lobster rolls (the butter kind) in Maine.
Green Chili sauce on about anything and Blue Corn Burritos in Pheonix.
NC BBQ (but not NC cole slaw)
Sweet Tea and real biscuits pretty much anywhere in the south.
Sourdough bread from Boudin bakery.
Deep Dish Pizza- Chicago (I know many people on the other thread disagree, bless my heart I love it)
Tacos in L.A.
Po-boy, Mufaletta and Beignets in NOLA. (Pretty much anything in NOLA)
NYC Pizza- depending on where you go.
I'll second the NOLA choices. With po-boys, my favorite is roast beef, and I've had a couple that were not so good, but when they are at their best -- that is "hot n sloppy" -- they are fantastic.
Muffaletta -- absolutely. When my brother and I went to NO for a Pats-Saints game, we got muffs at Progress Grocery (which no longer has a retail operation, sadly). One quarter of a muff for each quarter of the game. Perfection.
Beignets -- totally.
And also boiled crawfish. I even suck da heads.
Street food from the vendors in Manhattan. It was all good! The pizza, the hot dogs and the knishes.
Chicago - Char dogs, gyros, and both styles of pizza (deep dish and cracker crust). Does al pastor count as a Chicago specialty? It's delicious and I've never seen it anywhere else.
Philadelphia - cheese steak
The South - slow cooked greens, and Waffle House
Cincinnati - Chili 5-way
New Orleans - real Creole gumbo. When I make it myself I can never get it that dark and flavorful.
Johannesburg - Boerewors... the most delicious sausage I have ever had!