[Editor's note: We ran this post a while back, but because so many people are traveling for Thanksgiving, we wanted to share the great advice in the comments below and ask you to shout out more of your hometown favorites.]
One of Eatocracy's most favored Canadians, CNN anchor Ali Velshi dropped by a while back to film an installment of 5@5 Live.
Our managing editor gifted Mr. Velshi with the signature dish of her homeland - a can of Skyline Chili Spaghetti, in the hopes that it would sway him to accept her offer of a position as Eatocracy's official Spokesanchor/Taste Tester (he has since been named our Senior Junk Food Correspondent). He, in return, waxed rhapsodic about poutine - a meld of fries, cheese curd, gravy, and, according to him, a soupcon of rancidity from infrequently changed fryer oil.
Upshot - whenever we visit our native lands, there's an idiosyncratic food for which we make a beeline. Is this just us being food-obsessed freaks (which is often the answer), or does everyone savor the flavor of home?
What hometown food do you crave like crazy? Spill it in the comments below or share your favorite local eateries at iReport
For me it's a slaw dog from the soda fountain in the New Graham Pharmacy in Bluefield, Virginia. And my dad's homemade apple butter!
The only thing that must happen in my food life when I go home is eat my father's cooking... Which always seems to include Clam Sauce baked Salmon! It's freaking amazing, I dream about it! LOL!
I must have a cheeseteak and an Italian hoagie when I go home to Philadelphia. I bring a cooler so I can bring a few home for the next day. I have to put the cooler in the trunk of the car, otherwise they will be devoured before I reach the Delaware border!
Buffalo, NY – Ted's hotdogs and Schwabel's for their beef on 'weck! OH, and Genesee Cream Ale. Never really cared that much for wings (especially the ones from the Anchor Bar). Also have to cross the Peace Bridge into Fort Erie to get FABULOUS fish and chips at the Parkside.
Skyline & GoldStar in Cinci, The Hero House in Wooster, Wing-It and Sandy's in Jax, Pollock Johnny's in Baltimore – steamed MD crabs anywhere (sobbing)
Aside from the halibut, this meat place makes the best smoked turkeys and a jalapeno cheese dip to die for.
Order some today!
You will be disappoint!
*You will NOT be disappoint!
How ya been MC!?!
Who u iz?
Whenever I'm on the Kenai I always stop in Soldotna for a pint of Farmer's Friend at St. Elias, a Bossio at Jersey Subs, and some jalapeno cheese spread from Echo Lake (oh, and a slice of pizza from Fat Olive's in Homer).
Even though it's recycled, I still feel loved.
As well you ought.
If and when i return for a visit at my hometown, I make an effort to stop at Duke's Drive In for the have the best Italian beef sandwiches around next to Portillo's and Carm's in Hillside. That is my favorite sandwich in the whole world and I do miss it alot. When I get tired of people here claiming they have Italian beef sandwiches, I get a big let down because they are awful. It has been 6 years for me and I couldn't take it anymore and I had gone to a Portillo's in Crystal Lake and I felt like I died and gone to heaven. I will have to go there now more often since I just discovered how close it is to where I live now
I've moved around so much I don't have a set 'home town' but what i do want everytime I go home to my parents house is ANYTHING my mother cooks. she's an amazing cook and I make requests weeks ahead of time when I know I'm going home.
Cambiotti's Tomato Pie in Landing, NJ has the BEST pizza- no mozzarella, a very thin crust and an unusual tomato sauce. I'm from northern NJ so it's hard to pick a favorite!
Warren, Ohio: Briar Hill-style pizza from Sunrise Inn. Briar Hill pizza is made with thick crust, rich (NOT SWEET) red sauce with roasted bell peppers cooked right in, and romano instead of mozzarella cheese. I know that most people would find a pie with no gooey mozzarella sacrilege, but the sharp, salty romano is a taste like no other. I live less than two hours away from my hometown, but that kind of pizza still doesn't exist here.
Green Chile Cheeseburger using a fresh roasted NuMex green. If I've been away from home (Santa Fe) any length of time, I crave one. My preference is for Swiss cheese, the burger medium rare and add some sauteed mushrooms to mine, plus lettuce and tomato of course. Also am gaga over a really nice Carne Adovada w/ a little sour cream on the side....and some fresh-made guac at Gabriel's in Pojoaque!
Double Double, animal style, with animal style fries.
When I get back to Ann Arbor, MI, it's breakfast at Angelos, lunch at Zimmerman's and dinner (with beer) at Grizzly Peak. Then the entire next day on the treadmill.
NE OH: Sky-Hi burger & onion rings from Sky-Way (Swenson's is for posers). Fried chicken from Village Inn or Hopocan Gardens. Frozen custard from Strickland's (not the best in the world, but it's a tradition).
Fresh, squeaky cheese curds from Wisconsin farms. Two friends of mine from grad school, both Southern boys, played a gig with me in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, and they balked at trying anything with Curd in its name.
They were converts after the first bite.
Also, Leon's Custard in Milwaukee, as featured on Happy Days. It could be 20 below with a foot of snow (which is never out of the question), and there would still be a line at Leon's.
When I go home to visit my mother, this native South Jersey girl absolutely MUST have: Scotto's pizza (or anything similar), a cheesesteak with fried onions, and an Italian hoagie with sweet or hot peppers (preferably Nardi's). Bonus points for a panzarotti. If I'm in town for the weekend, I must have at least one of those choices a day. If longer, I spread them out over the period of time while happily settling for Mom's homecooked meals the rest of the time. Where I'm from, I find it totally astounding that The Olive Garden, Quizno's and Subway make any money.
Several people have mentioned the terrific wings we have in upstate NY, but no one has mentioned our lesser-known specialty–speidies! A speidi was originally a highly seasoned pork or lamb shish kabob grilled and served on a slice of Italian bread. These days chicken is popular, but I have had versions made with beef, tofu, veggies, venison,and game birds, as well. Lupo's Char-Pit in Endicott was one of the original places to get them, but now most markets, pubs, and restaurants have them, and they are available as subs, sandwiches, and salads, too. Binghamton even has a weekend long speidi festival each year. I lived in North Carolina for many years before recently moving back, and Salamida's State Fair speidi marinade was available in some grocery stores, which was an ok substitute but not as good as the real thing.
When I go home to Iowa, it's straight to "Happy Joe's Pizza"! Awesome specialty pizza's. A trip to "Maid Rite" is a must and a definite stop at "Betty Jane's Candy"!!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!
Jackson, Ms – Smokes – Big Apple Inn......
when I go back to Pittsburgh I have to go to Permanntti Bros.
I crave good Tex Mex– it is unheard of in SC- but whenever I go home to Houston, I am ALL over some Chuy's, Los Cucos, and this little chain in The Woodlands called Rico's. Mmmm LOVE IT ALL! Also, it's a necessity to hit up Wings n More in The Woodlands or College Station, Texas......Gotta get back to Texas soon!
Central Illinois: Maid-Rites, Horseshoes and Monical's pizza!
CRAB CAKE from Seaside Restaurant, Glen Burnie, Maryland.
Hometown favorite..two favorites known mainly to University of North Dakota Alums a grinder from the Red Pepper, (soft sub bread, ham, turkey, salami, provolone and taco meat heated up with special red pepper sauce). Follow that up with Chippers from Widmans Candy Store, (chocolate covered rippled potato chips, salty and sweet!) to satisfy that chocolate craving later that night! Widmans even survived the great flood sitting next to the river, proof that even God cares about good chocolate!
I live in Wi now so I am a cheese curd pusher. Fresh and squeaky the first day and then batter and fry 'em up the next. I always take guests to a local cheese makers shop, no matter where people are from they are amazed at the selection.
Buckeyes – the chocolate covered peanut butter candy. If you need a hostess gift, if you're going to an interview, (out of state, of course. In state would be gauche.) If you need that perfect "remember me" gift, go with Buckeyes. Who doesn't love PB and chocolate?
Anything (biscuits, sausage gravy, hashbrown casserole, fried chicken) from the Loveless Cafe in Nashville. Heaven on a plate.
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