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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)

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  1. 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.

    1. 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)

      1 Reply
      1. re: charmedgirl

        My pleasure -- and Berger cookies from Baltimore simply crush NY black-and-white cookies (one of those regional favorites I just don't get).

        I even like crab imperial -- and if you had told me that I'd like something that involves cooking mayo, I'd have said, "NUH-uh."

      2. 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.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ktmoomau

          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.

          1. re: ktmoomau

            OK, one more!

            Fish tacos in San Diego!

            1. re: Bob W

              Oh my gosh yes... love good fish tacos from San Diego.

              And Smith Island Cake, it is now my wedding cake I fell in love so much.

          2. Street food from the vendors in Manhattan. It was all good! The pizza, the hot dogs and the knishes.

            1. 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!

              1. NEW YORK BAGELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No place else should waste their time trying to make them. We now bring home to CA two dozen and freeze. When they're gone, we hopefully have our next trip booked.

                1. Jonnycakes (thin-style - not the thick style) - I ordered myself a proper bag of RI white flintcap cornmeal. They are addictive.


                  Oh, and I lovingly remember the spoonbread I used to have when I was in college in Virginia.

                  1. 1. Upper Peninsula of Michigan Swedish pasties--This is basically beef stew wrapped in baked dough and was eaten by Swedish iron miners around Lake Michigan and Lake Superior in the first part of the twentieth century.. Sometimes it is onion-heavy. They've done something with it, though, that makes it taste different than beef stew. Delicious!

                    2. Chicago hot dogs--Long, thin steamed black poppy seed bun; a long, thin steamed hot dog; a 6" long wedge of cucumber with the mooshy seed part removed; coarsely chopped white onion; pickled sport peppers; coarsely chopped tomatoes, bright yellow ballpark mustard; neon green pickle relish. (I don't think I've forgottten anything.)

                    3. Muffaletta sandwich from Central Grocery in New Orleans. I've eaten them many places in other parts of the counrty, but they're just not the same. The bun is different and the olive salad is different.

                    1. Plate lunch - both the Hawaiian and Louisiana versions.
                      Kalua pork in Hawaii
                      Stumptown coffee in Portland
                      Waffle House
                      In & Out
                      Beaver Tails (Canadian, but I've only had them at Disney World!)

                      1. Oyster Roasts in Myrtle Beach, SC.