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What foods live up to their reputation? What do you 'rave' about?

Following a little discussion about Chicago Dogs on a breakfast thread...it got me thinking about foods and products of which I am totally a fan, and that I think do live up to their reputation. Here are some that I can think of offhand:

Chicago Dogs (thank you, John E. for the inspiration!)
Chicago Italian Beef, dipped

New York style pizza
Chicago style pizza
Pimento Cheese

And one brand name product..Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk (love this stuff!).

Maybe it's because these things don't taste like anything else.
And other than the almond milk, I don't get to eat them often enough for the glow to wear off.

What 's your favorite thing to 'rave' about? Since moving to Georgia, I've made Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef for quite a few Southerners who had never tried them, or even heard of them. I always got good feedback, even a few raves!

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  1. i think the problem with a general saying of something like "new york style pizza lives up to its reputation" is that it totally depends on the joint. ive had some amazing NYC and chicago pizzas, but ive had some downright awful ones as well.

    one dish that i always end up loving, no matter where i get it though, is shrimp n grits.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mattstolz

      When "Office" boss Michael Scott goes to NYC for business meetings, he proclaims he likes to get there early to indulge in his favorite food places, especially New York pizza. He then walks across the street to his favorite pizza joint - Sbarro's.

      1. re: bulavinaka

        Every time we see a Sbarro's we say "look it's your favorite NY pizza joint."

        1. re: bulavinaka

          hahaha i so wish michael scott would come back to be the boss on that show. its just not the same

        2. re: mattstolz

          Shrimp and grits is nearly always good. Often spectacular.

        3. It sounds like you are speaking about region related foods. If that is the case then I have to say New Orleans Po Boys are so much better than any po boys I've had recreated in he NY area. Just doesn't have the same pizzazz. That and steamers in Maine!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jhopp217

            Yes, I guess I AM thinking of regional foods, but as mattstolz pointed out, they must be made well. I'm a big fan of pimento cheese, for instance, but I am a traditionalist with the ingredients. Cheddar, Dukes and pimento (or roasted red peppers), and that's all I want to see in it. Any number of trendy restaurants glam it up with a half dozen add-ins, but that changes the recipe to something else. It may be delicious, but it may no longer really be pimento cheese.

          2. Peanut Butter Nutella Banana Sandwiches

            3 Replies
            1. re: dbirney

              I cannot believe that I have never had one of these. This just might be my post-half marathon celebration meal on Saturday!

                1. re: dbirney

                  I gave this to my daughter this morning on toast for breakfast

                2. Oh the wonder that is good pimento cheese. Prefer my homemade, but there is rarely a bad batch to be had. I do agree with the other post in the thread that over thinking it; adding in optional extras is going a bit off book. Of course, that's what putting it on sandwiches is for.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Nocturnalbill

                    Agreed.

                    I make a pretty good pimento cheese sandwich, and it is, as you describe, pretty simple.

                    But the best I've ever had has to be the ones I get at Augusta National during the Masters golf tournament. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the atmosphere. I think it cost around $2 this year, maybe less.

                    1. re: Nocturnalbill

                      I'm very curious about how you make it. We don't seem to sell this in Ontario (Canada as a whole?) I see so many people post about it on this site that I'm dying to try some. The only pimento I see here is stffed in olives, but if I can make it with roasted peppers I'm in. Do you have a recipe?

                      1. re: dianne0712

                        Dianne, you can use the roasted red peppers in it just fine. Chop them up, don't puree them.

                        Shred a half pound each of sharp white cheddar and extra sharp yellow cheddar. Add about a quarter cup or so of the chopped roasted red peppers, and 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise. I use Duke's, which is traditional for pimento cheese in Georgia, but if you have Hellman's or Best Foods there in Ontario, those would work as well. Mix it all up, refrigerate overnight. If it's too stiff when you are ready to serve it, add a little more mayonnaise.
                        This is the way I learned to make it from the old-timey cooks here in the South. I understand that there are many variations that have cream cheese, garlic, or other additions, but this one I am a purist about. It tastes just like the kind my Grandma used to get at the downtown Lazarus department store's deli when I was a kid in Columbus, Ohio, back in the 60's.

                    2. I'd throw in Pacific Northwest Smoked Salmon. I've had smoked salmon a bunch of different places, but the stuff right off the reservations near Seattle or Vancouver is just awesome.