The best of all foods! Where do you get them?

I’m curious where people get their favorite foods. Everyone has their favorite pizzeria, favorite sub shop, best barbecue joint, awesome neighborhood bakery, and so forth, so let’s find out where they are. Nothing wrong with chains if you truly like them the best, but I’m expecting a lot of “mom and pop” answers. Maybe you can end up recommending some great restaurants to your neighbors. If you make it yourself, feel free to say so and make the rest of us seem lazy.

Best pizza (I’ve ever had): Lou Malnati’s Pizza, Des Plaines, IL. (Chicago style, natch!)
Best pizza (locally): Italian Village, Casselberry, FL. (New York style.)

Best barbecue (I’ve ever had): Corky’s, Memphis, TN. (Best pulled pork shoulder.)
Best barbecue (locally): Sonny’s (a chain, at least in Florida.) (Best sweet BBQ sauce, perfect on anything.)

Best hamburgers: Fuddrucker’s. It’s a national chain, and I’ve eaten there in at least 3 states.

Best sushi (I’ve ever had): Dragonfly, Gainesville, FL. (But I don’t get out nearly enough for sushi, because it is so expensive.)

Best cold subs: Publix supermarket deli, all over Florida.
Best hot subs: Quizno’s (national chain). (Black Angus!)

Best burritos: Taco Rico, Coral Gables, FL. (Although I had an awesome one in San Diego a few years back, I can’t remember the name of the place).
Still searching for the best Mexican food in Orlando…

Best Chinese food: Canton, Miami, FL. (local chain… if only they had a buffet).

Best milkshakes: Steak ‘n’ Shake (national chain.)

Best meatloaf: Cracker Barrel (national chain.)

Best lasagna: mine. No restaurant lasagna I’ve ever had even comes close.

Let’s hear it, folks, and you don’t have to stick to my categories either! Orlandoans, by all means toss out more suggestions for me!

Best pizza (I’ve ever had): I can’t remember the name - it was in Saugatuk, Michigan - it was just a small little hole in the wall - but this was a long time ago - I was a teenager.
Best pizza (locally): Mama Capri’s, Palatine, Illinois on Rand Road

Best barbecue (I’ve ever had): The Patio, Orland Park, Illinois
Best barbecue (locally): Ditto

Best hamburgers: Brandts Little Cafe

Best sushi (I’ve ever had): I’ve never eaten sushi.

Best cold subs: Subway
Best hot subs: I’ve never had one

Best burritos: I don’t like burritos. Best Mexican food in general? La Margarita in Rolling Meadows (no, I don’t get out much for Mexican food. :D)

Best Chinese food: Local places - and I don’t have it much so I can’t say.

Best milkshakes: McDonald’s

Best meatloaf: Mine

Best lasagna: Mine

By local, I mean in or near Anderson, IN. By Indy metro, I mean within 50 miles of Indy (the classic definition.)

Best steak, local–Texas Roadhouse
Best steak, Indy metro–Ruth’s Chris
Best steak, ever–Dierdorff & Hart’s, St. Louis, MO

Best pizza, local–Scampy’s Annex. Art’s is a close second. Both are nearly as old as I am.
Best pizza, Indy–Bazbeaux. Puccini’s Smiling Teeth is very good, too.
Best pizza, ever–Maybe that wood-fired place in San Diego, but I think it’s Scampy’s.

Best pork chop, local–Right here, baby, on my own grill
Best pork chop, ever–Indiana Pork Producers, at the State Fair

Best breaded pork tenderloin, local–Grindstone Charley’s
Best breaded pork tenderloin, Indy–a bar at I-465 and 96th St. that doesn’t exist anymore.
According to Jane and Michael Stern (Road Food) the best in the world is at a little place in Gnaw Bone, Indiana. The day I was in Gnaw Bone, they were closed.
It is rumored that the world outside Indiana does not understand the art of the breaded tenderloin. I do not intend to defend that idea.

Best beef stew, ever–The Mousetrap in Indy

Best fresh Italian sausage, local–Strong’s Market. They supply to Art’s Pizza, which, to an Andersonian is endorsement enough.

Best Pizzas: Pinnochio’s (Cambridge, MA), followed closely by Jupiter (Berkeley, CA) and Chicago Pizza (San Jose, CA), for thin-crust and Chicago-style, respectively.
Best Milkshakes: Original Mel’s (Berkeley and San Francisco, CA, probably a few more)
Best Curry: Uh… a food court at a Chinese shopping-center in Richmond, British Colombia, actually.
Best Rotisserie Chicken: First-semester Crossroads Dining Commons (Berkeley, CA). Naturally, they disconnected the rotisserie after that semester, partly to keep the place from getting glommed by everyone with a mealplan. After that, Costco (everywhere).
Best barbecue: Mr. Tibb’s (Bakersfield, CA). Haven’t eaten there in over three years, though, and Mr. Tibbs has passed on, so I don’t know if it’s changed or not.
Best Burgers: Mr. Bartley’s (Cambrige, MA) (and a close run for the best milkshakes, too)

Probably Freebirds World Burrito, home of the Monster Burrito. Outstanding food. They have stores in College Station, Texas, where I got addicted, Dallas, Austin and Houston. I pester them now and again to branch out. I need my Monster Burrito in Saint Louis.

Look, I know Imo’s ain’t “good” pizza. But I looooooove it. If I want great pizza, I go to Joanie’s down in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis. Best I’ve ever eaten.

Mike Anderson’s in Dallas makes a brisket that can’t be beat, although Tom’s Smokehouse in Bryan tries. Mike’s smoked turkey is in a class of it’s own.

You want a real breakfast with chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon? Then you can’t go wrong at Mama’s Daughters’ Diner in Dallas.

The best burger in Dallas is at The Hole in the Wall bar off just off 635 on Harry Hines. Hand-cut fries just add to the goodness. It’s followed closely by Hunky’s and Adair’s. The Dixie Diner in Texarkana makes their own fresh, beer batter buns, that make their burgers worth stopping by when you’re passing through town.

Best veggie plate? Look no further than Threadgill’s in Austin.

The bread pudding at PappaDeaux’s, a chain even, is better than most homemade I’ve had. And that’s sayin’ a lot.

Best stuffed crab I’ve had was at The Windswept in Oyster Creek, Texas.

Best Italian food ever was at Hogan’s Heros in Hogansville, Georgia. The shrimp and scallops manicotti was mind-blowingly good.

The onion rings at Hunky’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Dallas are worth the trip.

Katz’s in Austin makes the best deli sandwiches in Texas. Here in Saint Louis either Pumpernickel’s or Kopperman’s just might beat them. And Pumpernickel’s corned beef hash is to die for.

I never knew how good a bagel could be before I tried the ones at The Bagel Factory on Olive in Creve Coeur. A-Mazing.

Best root beer is a toughie. Fritz’s in Saint Louis and The Prince of Hamburgers in Dallas are neck-in-neck.

The best etouffee was at a place in Dallas that closed a few years back. But PappaDeaux’s and Copelands both make good etouffe, too.

The City Coffee House & Creperie in Clayton, MO, makes fantastic crepes.

I can’t remember the name of the place but there was some little joint in Atlanta that made the best paella. A web search suggests it’s Mambo Restaurante Cubano.

The Key Lime Pie at Spondivits near Hartsfield in Atlanta was shockingly good that far from Florida.

Best Pizza: Myle’s Pizza Pub (Bowling Green, OH).
Incredible sauce, 2 or 4 pounds or so of toppings, and a bubbly, cheezy, dark finish that is inimitable and I’m assuming entirely proprietary to their pizza oven. They also have great tomato bread!

Best Burger: Three Oaks Bar & Grill (Ellenton, FL)
A worldclass barburger. The place doesn’t look like much but don’t let that deter you. Well worth it.

Best Steak: Angelo’s Northwood Villa (Erie, MI)
Choice Black Angus dry aged on premises beef. Truly the best steak I have ever had.

Best Hot Dog: This is a toss-up, Toledo has a great hot dog tradition. I’m going to have to say it’s a tie between Tony Packo’s (Unique Hungarian Hot Dog) and Rudy’s Hot Dog (Greek Traditional Hot dog).

Best Grilled Chicken: The Chicken Patio/Roundhouse Bar (Put-in-bay, OH)
Secret wine glaze BBQ pit chicken. Awesome!

Best Chinese: Wah Court Restaurant (Windsor, ON Canada)
Great traditional Chinese Restaurant (They also have a “secret menu” for Chinese customers or for people who request it.). There is also a chinese bakery next door, they have the best giant almond and chocolate corn flour cookies. Definitely worth a visit to both.

Best Perch Dinner: Sonny Berry’s Bayshore Supper Club (Oregon, OH)
Lake Erie style fish fry!

Best Amish Food: Der Dutchman Restaurant (Walnut Creek, OH)
Family style dinners, best salad bar anywhere.

Best Chicken Wings: Fricker’s (Maumee/Perrysburg/Toledo/BG/Findlay, OH)
Frickin’ BBQ Killer sauce!

I’m going to stick to local. Well, mostly local. Within a 50 mile radius since a few of the places are in San Francisco.

Best pizza: I Love NY Pie – The closest thing to real NY style pizza I’ve had in the area. Second place goes to Russian River Brewing Company – their pizza is more ‘bar style’ but really delicious. They also take First Place for beer. Our favorite place in town.

Best barbecue: Tex Wasabi’s – Great pulled pork sandwich

Best hamburgers: Taylor’s Automatic Refresher. Huge delicious burgers. Second place to Santa Rosa’s own Superburger. Honorary Mention to the snack shop on Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville.

Best sushi: Tex Wasabi’s – Interesting sushi, fresh and tasty.

Best burritos: Taqueria Santa Rosa – Hands down winner. And we’ve got no shortage of great taquerias in town.

Best Chinese food: Dynasty Chinese Restaurant, Rohnert Park. – Just great Chinese Food.

Best milkshakes: Another vote for Mel’s Drive-In in San Francisco (Pretty much any one.)

Best meatloaf: Home – In the Castro District of San Francisco.

Best lasagna: My husband makes a mean lasagna.

Best greasy spoon breakfast: Parkside Café, Santa Rosa – My search for the best biscuits and gravy in the area ended at this little place around the corner from our house just a couple of months ago. Honorary Mention to Omelette Express, where the omelettes are hot and the waitresses are hotter.

Best Curry: Kabab and Curry House, Santa Rosa. Second Place to Pamposh, Santa Rosa.

Best Seafood: The Tides Wharf, Bodega Bay – Fresh off the boat! With a very, very close second going to just about any crab station on Fisherman’s Wharf in SF.

Best Pub Food: Third Street Aleworks, Santa Rosa – Sandwiches, Chili, Garlic Fries, etc.

Best gyro/Greek: Papa’s Taverna, Petaluma. Great food and belly dancers.

OK, I know I said I’d stick to local but I have to throw these in here.

Best coffee and donuts to Dunkin’ Donuts, with a Second Place for coffee to Wawa.

Best steak goes to Arthur’s Tavern in North Brunswick, NJ. - Not the best steak I’ve *ever *had, but the one steak house that I went to frequently because it was consistently delicious and priced right.

Best pizza: Can’t remember the name. It was in Ann Arbor when I went to college. Havn’t tasted a pizza in 20 years that was good for anything other than making me less hungry.

Best stea: Texas Roadhouse

Best shrimp: Red Lobster shrimp scampi

Best fish: Dennison’s (not sure if that’s just local or a chain)

Best mexican: no such thing.

Best burgers: Miller’s (local bar)

Best cold sub: Subways

Best hot sub: Steve’s (local)

Best chicken parmesan: Fazoli’s

Oh! I loved this place. I stumbled upon it the summer of '96 when I lived in Cambridge for a few months. I wonder if the pizza really is good as I remember.

As for me:

Best Pizza (non-local): Pretty much any place in New York
Best Pizza locally: Shrug. I don’t know. Not a big Chicago style pizza fan. Pat’s is pretty good for thinnish crust.

Best Thai: Bahn Thai on 74th and Harlem. Place reeks of fish sauce. The food is not dumbed down for American tastes like every Thai place I’ve ever been to in Chicago. And it’s pretty cheap, to boot.

Best Ribs: Still looking for the definitive answer locally, but either Fat Willy’s or Smokedaddy. I was disappointed by The Patio, and even more disappointed by The Pit House, which seem to be SW Side standbys. I don’t get the appeal.

Best Indian: Tiffen’s

Best Italian Beef: Chickie’s on 29th & Pulaski

Best Hot Dog: Weiner Circle, although I have yet to have Hot Doug’s

Best Middle Eastern: The Nile in Hyde Park. Although if you want to consider Afghani cuisine Middle Eastern rather than Central Asian, I offer you Kabul House on Halsted.

Best Polish buffet: I’m not generally a fan of the buffet concept, but Bobak’s on Archer east of Cicero is fantastic

Best liquor store: Sam’s Wine and Spirits, of course. A worthy runner-up for beer selection is Archer Liquors on Archer, west of Central.

Best Mexican mariscos (seafood): I don’t even know the name, but it’s labeled “Mariscos” and it’s on 54th and Pulaski.

Best tacos: Zacatacos on 56th (?) and Pulaski.

Best sandwich: Bari’s on Grand.

Best Philly cheese (non-local): Regardless of what some Philadelphians may say, I like the original Pat’s on 2nd (was it?). People have told me it’s touristy, that places like Jim’s is better. No way. Jim’s was bland compared to Pat’s. Pat’s use of ribeye is more flavorful and better textured than Jim’s top round.

Best Chicken Wings (Buffalo-style): Buffalo Joe’s in Evanston. The only good Buffalo wings in the Chicago area. Buffalo Wild Wings sucks.

Best Brew Pub: Flossmoor Station in Flossmoor, IL.

Best Cajun - Heaven on Seven on Wabash. Maple Tree Inn in Blue Island is OK, too, but not as good as Ho7.

Best Steak Sandwich – the jibarito (served on deep-fried plantains instead of bread) at Papa’s on Division, just west of Western.

Best Bar for Beer Drinkers - The Map Room on Armitage

Best Hungarian - Paprikash on Diversey (OK, it’s pretty much the only Hungarian in Chicago, but I vouch for its authenticity and tastiness.)

I’ve been around:

Best pizza (I’ve ever had): To quote Voodoo Lou, “Lou Malnati’s Pizza, Des Plaines, IL.” That’s some good stuff.
Best pizza (locally): Stuft Pizza - San Jose, CA

Best barbecue (I’ve ever had): Burr’s barbecue in Lebanon, TN near Nashville. Located in a dirty old gas station, but DAYUM that’s good barbecue!
Best barbecue (locally): Nothing better’n my own.

Best hamburgers: I like In and Out Burger, but Johnny Rockets is okay too.

Best sushi (I’ve ever had): Kioki Sushi in Newark, CA

Best hot AND cold subs: Togo’s Eatery - born in San Jose but located throughout Callifornia now, and I’ve seen them in the Raleigh/Durham area too.

Best burritos: La Victoria near SJSU. That orange colored sauce is ROCKIN!

Best Chinese food: I really like P.F. Changs. National chain I think.

Best milkshakes: In and Out Burger

Best Atmosphere: I will never forget Casa Bonita in Denver, CO. The food was bad but it was a great place to go with the kids. They had/have this indoor waterfall and every half hour or so, a guy would appear at the top of it, juggle flaming batons and then dive into the pool below. Too bad the food sucked!

Best Burrito:

Roberto’s, in San Diego. I can’t remember the name of the road, but the Bahia Resort is where I stayed when I attended a conference in February of this year. A co-worker who hails from the area recommended Roberto’s and I ended up getting 2 huge burritos while I was there. It was just a little hole in the wall place, but you could taste just how fresh the burrito was. I hope I get to go to more conferences there.

It’s <i>hard</i> to find the first time, isn’t it? It’s worth it, though. I was there in summer 2001. I was a little skeptical when my friends dragged me there, and maybe I was just hungry (all dozen-or-so times I went), but it was like… archetypal pizza, the mythical pizza of which all others are merely shadows. As I remember, there’s a newspaper clip-out on the wall about how a professor at Harvard cited them as one reason he stayed when another university was trying to hire him away.

That says something, at least.

I don’t remember actively looking for it–I was just lured in there by the smell. I seem to remember it being by the end of campus closer to the river (that’s south, right?) and just randomly walking by it, when the aroma got me. Oh, I still remember it to this day. I may very well be romanticising it, but I need to go back to test my taste memories.

I also loved Elsie’s hotdogs which–so I’m informed–has been gone for years. :frowning:

I’m pretty sure that’s the south end of campus. Let’s see… Walk out of the Yard, through the gate by Wadsworth Hall, down the street to the Garage (where Pandemonium and Newbury Comics are), I think. It’s around there.


Best Hot Dog: Red Hot Lovers, Ann Arbor, Michigan. I lived in Chicago for a while and tried several places there, but even they didn’t compare.

Best burrito: although I generally loathe mexican food, there used to be a chain in the Detroit area called Juan Carlos that had an excellent crab burrito. But if I had to say now the best would be McDonald’s breakfast burrito. :smiley:

Best food court foods:Bourbon chicken and Panda Express’s orange chicken

Ooo…I’ll be in Ann Arbor at the end of September. We’'ll see what this Chicagoan has to say about it. :wink:

And I agree with you on Panda Express’s orange chicken. I normally hate Asian chains, and most of Panda Express’s output is mediocre, at best, but the orange chicken is pretty damn good.

Best tacos and burritos: Sammy’s, Lancaster California (just got back from there actually).

Best pizza: Petrillo’s, San Gabriel, California (NOT to be confused with Mama Petrillo’s).

Best steak: My house (sorry if I’m a tad immodest, but I can find no better steak than mine).

Best shakes and burgers: In-N-Out, any various location.

Best Thai: Thai Cafe, Palmdale, CA

Best Italian: Quite the drive, but Al Dente in Palm Springs serves the best food I’ve ever had at all, Italian or otherwise.

Best sushi/Japanese/Chinese: Sadly, I don’t know. I don’t get to eat Asian aside from Thai very often.

Case Bonita featured prominently in an episode of South Park, where the kids celebrated Kyle’s birthday there, and Cartman got arrested. At first I thought they made it up, until a friend of mine who moved to Denver went there to experience it for himself.

I live about half a block from Hot Doug’s old location, and I ate there a couple times a week, at least. Oh, so yummy. It still bums me out that after the fire last year they reopened someplace that wasn’t walking distance. You really, really have to try them. And I just decided I’m having lunch there tomorrow.

[QUOTE=Big Bad Voodoo Lou]

Best lasagna: mine. No restaurant lasagna I’ve ever had even comes close./QUOTE]

You do realize this means you have to share the recipe, right?