Originally posted September 29, 2010

Which dining delicacies distinguish your city or town? In other words, if someone is visiting from somewhere else, what local food specialties would you recommend to them as indicative of your regional cuisine, and which are either unavailable or not as good elsewhere?

I came up with an acronym to remember Detroit’s dining delicacies, and challenged some of my foodie friends to do the same for their locales. Here are five offerings. Feel free to comment to offer similar acronyms for your home town.

1. Detroit
by Stan Garfield

MAGIC JOHNSON
(the college and NBA basketball star from nearby Lansing — the greatest point guard and Michigan State Spartan in history)

  • Mexican: Taqueria Mi Pueblo, Taqueria El Rey
  • Arabic: Al-Ameer Restaurant, Bucharest Grill, Dearborn Meat Market
  • Greek: Pegasus Tavernas, The Greek
  • Indian: Shalimar, Namaste Flavours
  • Coney Island and Breakfast Diner: Lafayette Coney Island, Duly’s Place, Fleetwood Diner
  • Jewish Deli: Stage Deli, Steve’s Deli, Bread Basket, Hygrade Deli, Mudgie’s Deli
  • Oyster Bar and Seafood: Tom’s Oyster Bar, Kabin Kruser’s Oyster Bar, Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips, Joe Muer Seafood
  • Ham: Ham Shop Cafe, Mike’s Famous Ham Place
  • No Frills
  • — Burgers and Sliders: Miller’s Bar, Red Coat Tavern, Green Dot Stables
  • — Ethnic: Polonia Restaurant (Polish), Polish Village Café, Que Huong (Vietnamese), The Jamaican Pot
  • — Pizza: Tomatoes Apizza, Buddy’s Pizza, Shield’s Pizza, Supino’s Pizza, Loui’s Pizza
  • Soul and Barbecue: Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Bad Brad’s BBQ, Kensington Grill
  • On the Water: It’s A Matter of Taste, Zukey Lake Tavern, Sinbad’s at the River
  • Nice: The Whitney, Roast

2. Washington, DC
by Roger Garfield

BIG JOHN THOMPSON
(the legendary basketball coach of Georgetown University)

  • Ben’s Chili Bowl
  • Injera (Ethiopian)
  • Greek
  • Jumbo Slice Pizza
  • Ooohs and Ahhhs (soul food)
  • Horace & Dickey’s
  • Naan (Indian)
  • The Crab Bomb (Jerry’s Seafood)
  • Half-Smoke
  • Oriental (Chinatown)
  • Mobile (food carts)
  • Pupusas (El Salvadoran)
  • Seafood
  • Ox-Tail (and other Jamaican specialties)
  • Nexus (this represents carry-out places, where all of the cuisines of the world are connected and on the menu)

3. Philadelphia
by Sean Mellody

MICHAEL JACK SCHMIDT

(As a Phillies fan, I went with the iconic Phillies third-baseman)

  • Morimoto (Sushi Iron Chef style)
  • Ice Cream (Bassetts — oldest ice cream stand in the country)
  • Cloe (original BYOB of the amazing BYO scene here in Philly)
  • Headhouse Square (oldest continues farmers market in the country)
  • Amada (Spanish Tapas by Iron Chef Jose Garces)
  • El Joracho (home of the Mexican Three Meat Torta)
  • Little Vietnam (the area around the Italian market has become known for its Asian influence)
  • John’s Water Ice (40 years strong)
  • Amis (fine Italian dining)
  • Carts (gourmet food carts are all over, from tacos to cupcakes)
  • Kraftwork (one of many Philly Gastropubs)
  • Soft Pretzels (Philly’s breakfast of champions; who needs a bagel?)
  • Cheese steaks (need I say more?)
  • Headhouse Market (oldest — since 1700s — and best farmers market in the city)
  • Monk’s Café (the original Belgian Beer Bar)
  • Italian Market (Rocky ran through here, I mean, come on!)
  • Di Bbruno Brothers (Italian Marketing house of cheese and cured meat)
  • Tastykakes (Hostess look out, you and Little Debbie have nothing on our Kakes)

4. Austin
by Lesley Campbell and Chris Campbell

STEVIE RAY VAUGHN

  • Sushi: Uchi, Uchiko, Musashino, Maru
  • Tex Mex: Trudy’s, Chuy’s, Santa Rita, Fonda San Miguel (Interior Mexican), Zocalo
  • Everyday: Taco Deli, Frank’s, Hoover’s, Magnolia Café, Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Amy’s Ice Cream
  • Vietnamese: Le Soleil, Sunflower, Lulu B’s Bahn Mi, Hai Ky, Tam Deli
  • Indian: Clay Pit, Swad, Bombay Bistro, Madras Pavilion
  • Eclectic: Barley Swine, Casa Colombia
  • Red Wine: Vino Vino, Uncorked, Mulberry, Trio, Max’s Wine Dive
  • Asian: Tatayia’s (Thai), Korente, Korea House
  • Yonder BBQ: Salt Lick, Louis Mueller, Coopers, Smitty’s
  • Vegetarian: Mother’s Café, Daily Juice, Beets Café, Counter Culture
  • Austin BBQ: Franklin, Stubb’s, Iron Works, Vic’s (for ribs)
  • Uber Local: Trace, Texas Chili Parlor, Saturday’s Republic Square Farmer’s Market (great vendors: Kocurek, Dai Due)
  • Grocery Stores: Central Market at Lamar/38th, Whole Foods World Headquarters at Lamar/6th
  • High end: Wink, Paggi House, Eddie V’s, Vespaio, Jeffrey’s, Jasper’s
  • Not covered elsewhere: Trailers ~ Odd Duck, Gordoughs, East Side Kings, Izzo’s, Flip Happy Crepes, Chilantro, The Flying Carpet

5. St. Louis
by the late Steve Carter and Stan Garfield

STAN MUSIAL

  • Slinger: originated at the late, lamented OT Hodge Chile Parlor, this late night delicacy includes two hamburger patties, two fried eggs, and hash browns, totally covered with chili
  • Toasted Ravioli: a St. Louis appetizer offered at all Italian restaurants, including marinara dipping sauce
  • Amighetti’s: once the best sandwiches anywhere, including great bread, meats, cheeses, and condiments; now, get the “Little Bit of Italy” at the remaining location in Rock Hill
  • Newport: an ice cream sundae (pronounced “sun-duh” in St. Louis) including nuts and a cookie, available at the legendary Crown Candy Kitchen in an otherwise-neglected section of St. Louis
  • Mini-Crete: a smaller version of the famous Ted Drewes Concrete, a thick frozen custard concoction, named for the fact that you can turn it upside down and it will stay in the cup. But don’t leave it upside down too long on a hot St. Louis summer day. Try the Heath, Dutchman’s Delight, or Terra Mizzou.
  • Unusual: local specialties including toasted ravioli, thin-crust pizza with Provel cheese, the Rich & Charlie’s salad, the slinger, the brain sandwich, the St. Paul sandwich (an egg foo young patty made with mung bean sprouts and minced white onions served with dill pickle slices, white onion, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato between two slices of white bread), the pork steak, gooey butter cake, the Newport at Crown Candy Kitchen, the concrete at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, the Adam Bomb (named for Adam Richman of Man v. Food) at Pappy’s Smokehouse, and IBC root beer served in frozen mugs out of a giant barrel in the middle of Carl’s Drive-In, a tiny establishment with two entrances and 8 counter seats on each side
  • Salad: the Rich & Charlie’s salad includes romaine and iceberg lettuce, parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, red onions, and pimentos — it is delicious
  • Italian: the best cuisine in St. Louis, especially on The Hill — order veal and pasta
  • Anheuser-Busch: take the brewery tour, drink some free Bud, and buy a frosty cold Busch Bavarian at Busch Stadium while watching the Cardinals in the best baseball town in America
  • La Pizza: thin but still chewy crust, gobs of molten whole-milk mozzarella blistered and browned, and a gently seasoned sauce (source)

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/