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One Day of Dining in Your City

The task is simple. A generic friend or relative who has never been to your city is stopping over for a one-day visit and wants to experience the best breakfast, lunch and dinner your burg has to offer. Where do you take him? What do you suggest he orders?

Lubbock, Texas:

Breakfast--Two breakfast burritos from the Burrito Tower. One with potatoes, ham and cheese, and the other with bacon, ham and cheese. All will be accompanied by their astonishing chile verde (hot sauce, not stew), black coffee and orange juice.

Lunch--Carnitas, tacos and margaritas at Cancun. When the waiter brings chips and salsa I'll put in a special request for their habanero sauce which is sheer murder.

Dinner--Chicken 65, rasam and spinach pakoras at Maharaja. We'll also drink a bottle of their Chateau St. Jean chardonnay. A pity they don't serve kulfi, although we'd probably be too full to eat any.

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  1. Pittsburgh, PA:

    Breakfast - Pamela's
    Pitcher of coffee, short-stack hotcakes, Lyonnaise potatoes.

    Lunch - Primanti's
    IC Light, Capicola and Egg Sandwich

    Dinner - Salt of the Earth
    Bourbon (Buffalo Trace, Campari, sassafras), followed by Green Flash IPA's, bottle of good Cabernet, finishing with whatever port they have.
    I'd do the tasting menu if possible, but from the current menu (and, incidentally, my exact dinner a couple weeks ago)...
    Appetizer - Octopus (chorizo, orange, marcona almond, cilantro)
    Entree - Ribeye, rare (mushroom, squash, sauce charcuterie)
    Dessert - Cheese (Taleggio, berry, pistachio, basil)

    4 Replies
    1. re: MonMauler

      Calvert County, MD (a peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River):

      I hope you have a.c. in your pick-up, first of all, 'cause you can't walk or take your boat to any of these places, unless it's for dinner. It'll be in the 90's all week--with high humidity. Again.

      Breakfast: The Frying Pan, Lusby, MD. Eggs, country ham/sausage/Scrapple (if you dare) and grits or, if it's on the menu that day: crab omelette.

      Lunch: Jerry's Place, Prince Frederick, MD. Rockfish (a.k.a. striped bass) or soft shell crabs (either can be stuffed w. crab (yes, crab-stuffed crab!), if you're really starving), kale (omg! it tastes like it's been braised in pure bacon fat and butter), baked sweet potato (you won't need dessert).

      Dinner: Someone else will tell you to buy fried chicken, but if you can, go to someone's house who has some leftover stuffed ham (regional specialty from colonial days: corned ham cut with slits and stuffed with a spicy kale-cabbage mixure, and then boiled in a big drum for a long time, usually made for holidays, but some people have it around all the time); bi-color corn on the cob and tomatoes from the Mennonites over the bridge; They're always out of limas, but when they have them they're fantastic... I swear they hoard them,--just like the rhubarb in the spring. Local blackberries and peaches for dessert. You can make cobblers and pies if you want, but they're better just by themselves.

      Come back in the R months and have some local oysters. There are a few wineries, but I wouldn't say it's anything you HAVE to try. The closest thing to local beer is Natty Bo or Yuengling. I'm partial to a Pimm's Cup in this weather--but that would probably get me beat up for admitting it in these parts.

      1. re: staughton

        I'm also from Maryland, so your post made me smile. Stuffed ham is one of the best foods in the US. And, FWIW, I love my scrapple, too. Rockfish, soft (and I must add hard) shells, all the produce -- it's really a great place to be!

        1. re: Terrie H.

          BLEEEVE, HON' !!! Yes, I was out of MD for a good chunk of 2 decades, but it's fun to be back--and the produce here is great now, even if it's not restaurant-foodie heaven like other places I've lived. It's forced me into the kitchen--and onto CH.

      2. re: MonMauler

        I'm gonna go ahead and put in my personal votes for P-burgh!

        Breakfast:
        --Gotta start at Eggs n'at. If they have their Saucy Kielbasa special, get that. Otherwise, get anything (it's all good), but make sure to ask for biscuits instead of toast. Homemade, and delicious with butter!

        Lunch
        --Head down to the Strip district for a few different things :)
        1.) Get some tacos from the stand in front of Reyna. They do have tongue for the more adventurous, but everything is good and fresh.
        2.) Follow that up by splitting a plate of either roast chicken or pork from Chicken Latino. (Pork and other specialties are only available on Saturdays).
        3.) Finally, don't forget to grab something from one of the many Chinese stalls along the way. Their giant egg rolls are a good finale.

        Dinner
        --I suggest either pizza from Dinette or Thai from Nicky's or Smiling Banana Leaf. All are excellent!

      3. San Francisco Area

        Breakfast: We'd have to start early to get to wine country, specifically, Bistro Ralph for:
        The Man O' War - fried oysters over sautéed spinach with garlic and preserved lemon. covered in hollandaise with sea urchin and salmon roe (add a poached duck egg to this). A glass of bubbly or their wickedly good strained bloody mary accompanies. Leisurely drive through the glorious valley.

        Lunch: back to the City for a Mission Crawl. We'll hit Mission Bowling Club for the Mission Burger (aged and granulated beef with monterey jack, grilled onions and caper aioli), La Taqueria for a carne asada taco, Taqueria San Jose for their al pastor and a glass of sangria, and finish up at Taqueria Vallarta for a lengua taco. Cold Bohemias all around.

        Dinner: Lers Ros for the Koh Moo Yang - smoky grilled slices of pork shoulder, served with chili & rice powder sauce; the Koong Chae Nam Pla - fresh raw prawns with chili and lemon grass with lime based salad dressing, served with sliced garlic and mint leaves; and the Phed Yang - roasted duck mixed with rice powder, chili powder and lime based salad dressing. a bottle of their 2009 Rose, Domaine De Paris, Cotes De Provence to finish off the evening.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen

          These meals sound amazing...can I come visit you?!

        2. Okay, me and my sore tooth will play along with this fun game!

          Vancouver, BC

          Breakfast -- Red Wagon for deep fried pork belly, sub a pancake for the side of toast, go on a weekday to avoid silly lineups, or some Cantonese or Shanghainese dim sum at Dynasty or Ningbo perhaps

          Lunch -- I'd take them on a food crawl, trying my favourite dishes at a number of Asian food courts in Richmond including Richmond Public Market (pork with mantou), Aberdeen (fish in broth), Pacific Place (otak otak, curried chicken), Admiralty Court (HCR), President's Plaza (Chinese crepe), Empire Court (ostrich claypot rice) and Lansdowne (RJM)

          Dinner -- would be at Kimura-san's new restaurant when it opens for omakase

          1 Reply
          1. re: grayelf

            hmm...can I get the pork with mantou for breakfast?

            Hope the tooth is all better soon!

          2. Manchester, north west England

            Breakfast - the "full English" at Trof in the Northern Quarter. The "best breakfast" winner in a national newspaper's food awards. Bacon, sausage, hash browns, eggs, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, toast.

            Lunch - Sam's Chop House. Start with the black pudding and bacon dish (although that might be a bit breakfasty after the full English). Follow that with lamb rump, pearl barley and pea risotto, broad beans and lamb sweetbreads. Finish with Eccles cake, ice cream and an Earl Grey tea syrup. This is the place that I would always take a real foreign visitor to the city.

            Dinner - the French restaurant at the Midland Hotel. Eat great food served classicly and formally in an Art Nouveau room, dating to 1903 (or thereabouts). From the current menu, order the mackeral to start, continue with the local duck, served with rhubarb (although we struggle to get past the Chateaubriand for two), finish with Manchester Tart, of course.

            I am assuming that my generic friend has a vast appetite and is wearing loose fitting clothes.

            2 Replies
              1. I bundle the friend/relative into the car and drive out of town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Trumbull, CT has no great food. There are a few fast food franchises, McDonalds and the like at the mall's food court. A bad luncheonette in Trumbull Town Center, Bruegger's Bagels and Starbucks for Breakfast or lunch.

                Poor quality Chinese and Subway for Lunch and a smattering of independent Italian-American and Pizza joints for Dinner.

                Truly nothing memorable, or that I would be proud to show off.

                But within a 30 minute drive there are great restaurants in Bridgeport or New Haven and Milford for Steak, Continental, Asian, Italian, etc.

                If we had to eat in Trumbuil, we'd be doing it at home.