Metatalktail Hour: Local Food December 1, 2018 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, theora55 wants to know "what foods people love that are local. For instance, Columbus, Ohio, has sauerkraut balls, which are hella tasty, also, the jokes write themselves, albeit badly."

As always, this is a conversation starter, not a conversation limiter, and we'd like to hear everything that's up with you! And send your ideas for future metatalktails my way!

Also I once again forgot to Eurotalktail on the first weekend of the month, apparently this only works for me if the month doesn't start on the weekend! I'll hit you next weekend!
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:45 PM (242 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Toasted ravioli is one of the best things to come out of St. Louis. Old Vienna Red Hot Riplets potato chips are also great. And yeah, I do like Provel cheese on St. Louis–style pizza, even though I like other styles of pizza better. Custard concretes, yes please, though my favorite frozen custard is from Doozle's, not Ted Drewes. Gooey butter cake is also good. Our barbecue is awesome; Pappy's Smokehouse is of course great, and Sugarfire Smoke House also brings it. We also have a lot of good donuts; "church" for my family on Sundays was going bowling at Crest Bowl, then getting donuts at Old Town Donuts. St. Louis food is good. Now I'm hungry!
posted by limeonaire at 5:58 PM on December 1 [17 favorites]

I live in California wine country, so: wine. I really love that I can go buy a bottle of wine made from grapes in a vineyard within walking distance of my house. I think I was influenced early by Shirley Valentine, which my mother loved and would watch over and over again. "Do you know what I'd like to do, Wall? I'd like to drink a glass of wine in the country where the grape was grown. Sitting by the sea, just sipping wine and watching the sun go down." (The movie is also why I often want to inform bloodhounds that they are not veggie-burger hounds in a bad Liverpudlian accent.)

I put up the Christmas tree today, which is early for me but my family moved Christmas up to December 8, so I'm kind of in the last week pre-holiday. Finished almost all my shopping today. Still need to clean.

I found out I'm one of the top two candidates for the promotion I applied for, and the wait is making me streeeeeessssssed, and I'm a little worried that the fact that I'm good at my current job is going to go against me, because we're all super understaffed right now and my moving departments would start a chain event of other moves in order to fill my current position, but I'm trying to think positively.
posted by lazuli at 6:03 PM on December 1 [9 favorites]

Oh, well, Wisconsin, so I have to say deep fried cheese curds, right? So, so bad for you. But delicious!

We're spending a pretty quiet night at home tonight. We were supposed to go up north to our cabin, but then our middle schooler got invited to a party, and, well, middle school social lives are so fraught that we decided to stay home so he could go. We watched our Hokies win today to make it to their 26th bowl game in a row this afternoon, then went to the gym where I wore myself out swimming, and are now about to watch a movie with our younger kiddo. Nothing super exciting, but it was a nice day.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 6:09 PM on December 1 [10 favorites]

One of the best parts about being back in New England is that I can easily find clam chowder that is not broth with a few clams and a potato, and it is also not mashed potatoes with a few clams suspended inside it. I also really love being able to get whoopie pies!!

I found out this week that I did not advance at any of the jobs I've applied for. Officially, I'm 0/17 for this job cycle. So unless something comes up, I'm stuck here at least until July 2020. And that is Something. I'll come up with a way to get as much out of this as I can, but I'm sad.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:14 PM on December 1 [22 favorites]

I unpacked my xmas ornaments today after having them stored away for 20ish years. None are broken. Now, I need to find someone to give them to. But the interesting thing was the 1980s era holiday cooking recipes in the Southern Living magazines. I want to make all the cakes! And there's not one recipe for cakes or cookies that starts with a mix.
posted by mightshould at 6:17 PM on December 1 [7 favorites]

Wine is also the lane I'd stroll down for this question, but in actual food-stuff there is Sourdough bread and the most wonderful fish stew ever- Cioppino. There are some extreme benefits to living in San Francisco, and they are all food/wine/beer based. Mission Burritos anyone?

I planted The 4x4 bed with Pac Choi and green onion and lettuce. And most importantly it survived the rains- though There was a criminal. I took the last of my atomic red carrots for eating, and in its pot I planted some leeks today.
The Umbrella failed but the late season tomatoes are nice and big so hopefully I'll be snacking soon. The rains has meant some real fun weeds, a constant of course, and also that soon I'll need to dig out the push mower.
My Sorrel plant continues to scare me.

The rains will resume on tuesday, and I am stoked. I also got my first Hannukah card from the holiday card club and that was really really lovely. Hannukah starts tomorrow at sundown and this year of all years it feels like a small rebellion against the forces of evil to celebrate with my family.

posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:17 PM on December 1 [14 favorites]

Rural upstate New York -- Yankee and close to New England:

Apple pie with cheddar cheese. Maple syrup.

Spiedies in Binghamton, Brooks Barbecue in Oneonta! We went long, long before it became famous.


Crab cakes, fried oysters, soft-shell crabs, and blueberry buckwheat pancakes from Eastern Market's Market Lunch. Ben's Chili Bowl, featuring chili with a half smoke. Swing's coffee.
posted by jgirl at 6:25 PM on December 1 [9 favorites]

Hey, cool, that's my question! I went to Ohio for a family wedding, made sure to have Dayton pizza, which has a thin, chewy crust, and in my family is ordered with pepperoni & green olives. So you have to have plenty of Schoenling Little Kings Cream Ale. I brought some home, but it is not fresh. at all. so that's sad. I also got some frozen Skyline/ Cincinntti chili. But I neglected to have sauerkraut balls, and they are killer. At the wedding, there was excellent barbecue and really good Indian food, and I may have eaten plenty of both.

Now I live in Maine, occasionally eat lobster, but I do like chocolate donuts, scallops, and Italian sandwiches. Peanut butter & marshmallow fluff sandwiches.

Today was sunny so I got some outside stuff done. I just got back from BarRoom Messiah, a Messiah sing-along with musicians and professional soloists. At a bar, so one could drink beer between singing the choruses. It was brilliant.
posted by theora55 at 6:25 PM on December 1 [8 favorites]

All-beef frank, dragged through the garden (tomatoes, pickle, onions, sport peppers, mustard, relish, and celery salt).

And while I love me some Chicago pizza, my TRUE hometown pizza for my little suburb is probably matzoh pizza, kosher for Passover, ordered from Dominos. Which is objectively not that good, but it tastes like high school nostalgia so I still love it.

In downstate Illinois, you should avail yourself of a horseshoe. (But do yourself a favor and order the pony shoe, it's a lot of food either way.) If you're in Peoria specifically, avail yourself of Lebanese food, there's a huge Lebanese population and several restaurants (and also they cater basically all of the Democratic Party events so yummmmmmmmm).

Right now I'm eating dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, dipped in bleu cheese dressing. Leftovers!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:29 PM on December 1 [8 favorites]

We ended up in the tampa area and discovered a fee things that are native and originated in tampa.

1) the Cuban sandwich (no shit right? I thought miami too, but nope. Cuban Cigar workers in tampa)

2) Tampa deviled crab. Which is like this weird tomato sauce and spicy crabg mixture cooked inside a football shaped dough. I swear some places they easily weigh 1.5 - 2 pounds!!!

3) smoked fish dip. It's amazing. Everyone has a recipe and they are all ridiculous. 99% are smoked fish right out of the bay or gulf. Seriously. The stuff is a religious experience.

I'd provide links and proofs but... Tonight i opened my hars as hell to buy rum advent calendar and that tasty fluid has removed my will to accomplish anything else. So i guess... Google it or something?? Happy Saturday tho!!!
posted by chasles at 6:32 PM on December 1 [8 favorites]

Also dayton pizza is a thing. And as a polish kid from ohio sauerkraut balls ftw.
posted by chasles at 6:33 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Mr. Dewie's Cashew Creamery is just down the street. Ice cream made entirely from cashew milk. All the flavors are great but I particularly like the turmeric.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 6:37 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]

Oh, you know what else, I didn't think about this, because it's not food, but St. Louis truly has awesome local beer. Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, 4 Hands Brewing Co., Ferguson Brewing Company, and of course Schlafly Beer are just a few of the breweries here making some delicious things. Fitz's sodas are also good—the key lime soda, Hip Hop Pop, cream soda, grape soda, and of course root beer are worth trying.
posted by limeonaire at 6:39 PM on December 1 [8 favorites]

You might not think apple cider is a local food until you live in a part of the American south that doesn’t have farmers stands selling it every fall and winter. Going up to the Great Lakes to spend Thanksgiving with my parents reminded me of this, and also afforded me the opportunity to pick up a gallon for cheap.

And also pepperoni balls. Which, where I grew up, are literally just a wad of pepperoni slices jammed into bread dough; unlike in West Virginia not even garnished with options like cheese or sauce. Come to think of it, it’s only up thereabouts where I’ve seen pepperoni ubiquitously offered as pizza topping, sandwich meat, snack sticks, and condiments.

Where I live now, the food is generally better, and the public generally has higher expectations of the restaurants and food trucks. But sometimes, man, a cheap shitty pepperoni ball hits the spot.
posted by ardgedee at 6:42 PM on December 1 [11 favorites]

Anytime we’re in the South, my wife and I will make great efforts to have pizza at Mellow Mushroom, which we grew up with in Atlanta but have also had in Nashville and Savannah and probably other places I am forgetting. Even after years in Chicago and New York I think it’s fantastic pizza and their rich chewy parm-y crust is not like anything else I’ve ever had.
posted by rustcellar at 6:43 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

All you Midwesterners are making me miss my native Chicago! I left too early to really claim it as a place I lived, but you're stirring my ancestral Midwestern soul.
posted by lazuli at 6:43 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

my TRUE hometown pizza for my little suburb is probably matzoh pizza, kosher for Passover, ordered from Dominos.

Pls explain. Because that sounds awesome.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:43 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

Apple season recently wound up here in central New York. I love those couple of months where you can have fresh local apples with every meal.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:45 PM on December 1 [9 favorites]

Come to think of it, last week when chatting with my older sister I realized that maybe my earliest first hand memory was of my grandmother cooking us johnny cakes. Grandma died when I was three, it’s my only first hand recollection of her and it’s strongly triggered every time I make johnny cakes.
posted by ardgedee at 6:46 PM on December 1 [5 favorites]

This is too easy for me: Cornish Pasties. The nearest baker to me bakes hundreds every morning, 2 guys lay out rows of pastry circles, then add the veg, then meat to each then fold and crimp. You can watch them through the window if you want. There's quite a few breweries here too and all the local pubs have ale on draft. Other than that, I think due to European support for diversification plus tourism, there are Cornish cheeses plus Cornish variants of some French cheeses, also lots of quality ice cream and probably other stuff that doesn't come immediately to mind.
posted by biffa at 6:47 PM on December 1 [9 favorites]

I think the official answers in Iowa are loose meat sandwiches, which I have to admit I have never had, and pork tenderloin sandwiches, which are indeed dreamy. (Obligatory link to the seemingly-dormant Des Loines blog.)
Anytime we’re in the South, my wife and I will make great efforts to have pizza at Mellow Mushroom, which we grew up with in Atlanta but have also had in Nashville and Savannah and probably other places I am forgetting.
They seem to be in heavy expansion mode, for what it's worth. There's one in D.C. now, for instance. I bet they get to New York and Chicago soon.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:50 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Oh, you know what I miss from growing up Polish in Chicago? The answer should be "kielbasa" but my answer is "Easter lamb cakes." They were never particularly good, and generally at least one limb or the head fell off and had to be toothpicked back on, but lamb cakes meant Easter and now no one ever knows what the hell I am talking about, until my younger brother and close friend moved to Greenpoint and finally believed me that lamb cakes were an actual Polish thing and not just something I made up. (My brother was young when we moved away and stopped doing Easter with my grandparents, so he had no memories of the cakes.)
posted by lazuli at 6:59 PM on December 1 [12 favorites]

The Pittsburgh Steak Salad is a thing around here. It's a normal garden type salad, topped with a layer of strips of grilled steak and then a layer of french fries and then a layer of melted cheese. When I'm in other cities and order a salad, I always have to remind myself that it won't have french fries on it.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 PM on December 1 [11 favorites]

Unpasteurized cider is the best. Especially when it gets a little old and fizzy.

Flint style Coney (sauce has beef heart!), obviously made with Koegels.

I also miss how ubiquitous middle eastern food is in Michigan. All I want is a pile of chicken shwarma with a fattoush salad from the restaurant next to my undergrad campus . And their mint lemonade.
posted by ghost phoneme at 7:06 PM on December 1 [12 favorites]

All-beef frank, dragged through the garden (tomatoes, pickle, onions, sport peppers, mustard, relish, and celery salt).

Sport peppers?
posted by jgirl at 7:06 PM on December 1

I am going to avoid the actual question, but I have something that I have been absolutely dying to share and really have no one to tell, so thanks in advance for listening.

The other day at work a colleague mentioned that his brother still uses an email address which made me think that I would really kind of like to tell people to email me at an aol address because that's pretty much hilarious to me, so now, fellow mefites, I have an official email address that people can contact me at!
posted by Literaryhero at 7:07 PM on December 1 [19 favorites]

Sport peppers!
posted by lazuli at 7:11 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Sport peppers are an integral part to the Chicago do experience. Otherwise there's only two pickled veggies. Practically naked!
posted by ghost phoneme at 7:12 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]

I miss smoked salmon, which I used to consume all the time growing up in the Pacific Northwest. It took a long time for me to get used to seeing "smoked salmon" on menus in the Mid-Atlantic and remembering that it generally refers to lox here, which is a totally different thing. There was a place on the Ave in Seattle that did a great smoked salmon sushi roll. At least, it was great to my high school and college palate.

Speaking of cheap and delicious Seattle food, those cheap sweet-salt-and-starch-bomb corner teriyaki joints that used to be ubiquitous in my hometown seem to be near-extinct. Boooo. I'd describe it as "2am drunk food that tastes good anytime."

In other news, I've been putting my various odd little projects on a new personal website, which is fun! There are a couple of things that I've been meaning to put up on Projects, and now that I have an official webpage for them, I'll try and get around to that soon.
posted by duffell at 7:13 PM on December 1 [4 favorites]

"Pls explain. Because that sounds awesome."

I mean you literally take matzo and use it as the crust and then put tomato sauce and cheese on top of it (and maybe some vegetables but who are we kidding, this is rotgut food). No meat because milk + meat isn't kosher (even when not-for-Passover). Good places have a crispy matzo base, bad places end up with a soggy matzo base.

In high school, the high school musical's tech week almost always coincided with Passover (and if not, Passover was the week before tech week when we were all there through dinner anyway), and since my hometown is very Jewish, the teachers would just call Dominoes and have 30 kosher-for-Passover matzoh pizzas delivered for dinner. EVERY local pizza place (chain or true local) did matzo pizza because they didn't want the revenue decline of missing 30-40% of the population for a week!

It's basically this. Use a very light hand when saucing or you'll have soggy matzo!

It is objectively not very much like pizza, but I have SO MANY FOND MEMORIES! I'm always delighted when I'm at some PTO event during Passover and there's matzo pizza. (Do note that all my Jewish friends who HAD to eat matzo pizza on top of lots and lots of matzo are not nearly as enamored as those of us who rarely ate matzo and for whom matzo pizza was a wonderous and rare delicacy.)

"Sport peppers?"

Sport peppers!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:18 PM on December 1 [13 favorites]

There is an open air pit bbq just Saturdays until 2:00 PM. They cook a lot of meat and I was on the street with cash for a change and drove in to the dirt lot, full of trucks and guys. You go to their food truck and pay, they send your box over and I had tri tip and pork ribs, served with fresh salad and wbole beans and meat chili, and a hot sausage. I could have ordered a three meat plate, but heaven is busy just now. The lady at the food truck exclaimed. "Look at you! You have lost so much weight! She runs where I walk, so she has watched me get in better shape. Though I have only been there a couple of other times over the last two years. It was so sweet and affirming, and made me feel at home here. I split the meat and froze half of it for another bbq day. Tacos la Villa offers flaming hot Cheeto burritos. Oh yes, and chili verde nachos. Cafe Smitten makes a quinoa salad with dressed kale, feta, chopped sweet potatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, and a poached egg on top. They serve a ginger tumeric tea I love. You can call a taco truck to come to your house at night, one restaurant only starts serving at 9:30 at night for take home after the bar crawl.

Little bicycle carts ply the hoods selling elote, slathered corn on a stick, with mayo, cotija, chili pepper and butter.

There is a large Basque community in Bakersfield whose restaurants sell family style meals, way good, great atmosphere. One of these has a jai alai court outside the bar. This town has so much culture. The new crop grapefruits are on. My daughter has a tree from which I have eaten at least one grapefruit a day for the last two years. It does not even come close to running out of fruit. Last years are still on the tree and they have little trees with two inch roots and leaves inside them. They are still good.

Bakersfield, with its parrots, mockingbirds has every sort of culture you can imagine, with so much history tied to agriculture and the immigrants from everywhere. There is a road called The China Grade Loop, that rises up from the Kern River oil fields. The road was named so because it was how where the Chinese farmers were "allowed," to travel up the Bluffs and into East Bakersfield, to sell their produce, long ago.

Tri tip is the official fave meat in this town. Wine is so cheap and good, and plentiful, I buy it to cook with, instead of broth or soy sauce. My latest foray into California goodness will be vinegar making. Out at the Rio Bravo Ranch, I had a black berry infused balsamic vinegar that was the best thing ever. They have begun to win international awards for their olive oil. They have a cloudy first press that is the best I have ever tasted. Anyway, that bbq today!
posted by Oyéah at 7:39 PM on December 1 [16 favorites]

Oh, you know what I miss from growing up Polish in Chicago?The answer should be "kielbasa"

Since moving to Chicago, the easy to get to (for me) grocery stores and butchers seem to only have smoked kielbasa. Which is fine! But my family kapusta recipe calls for fresh and smoked. It's ok with just smoked, but not the same. And Christmas was always kapusta time so I really want to make it right soon. Things are finally slowing down at my job*, so I think I'm going to to take an afternoon off and trek out to the polish sausage shop that doesn't have any English signs and apparently does not always have English speakers on hand. I need to dig out the notes I have that specify the kind of kielbasa and figure out how to pronounce it.

*It's been a good busy! Everyone has collected so much data, enough that the winter slow down won't set us back for spring conferences. Data that looks interesting and tells a story. And with the anticipated slow down in study activities I'm going to get the database organized and updated.
posted by ghost phoneme at 7:40 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

I definitely remember my aunt shipping out fresh kielbasa from Chicago when we moved to the South, so it should exist somewhere! I wish you luck!
posted by lazuli at 7:43 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Limonaire has STL pretty well covered and I'll add a St Paul sandwich with a can of Vess.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:45 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Haha, I'd be into St. Paul sandwiches if St. Louis' version of egg foo young weren't just basically a whole lot of fried white onions and sprouts barely encased in egg. Just...too much onion for me. I liked Vess growing up but had to quit drinking it when a can of pineapple Vess seemed to burn my throat... But I'll take a Ski soda (the Breese, Illinois, variety) any day.

Those pepperoni balls above sound a little bit like kolaches, which are a Czech/Eastern European thing that seems to have come to St. Louis by way of Texas. See a pepperoni kolache pictured here. (We also have plenty of non-chain kolaches.)

And oh my God, pasties are so good. I had Cornish pasties in Michigan and they are so delightful. The closest thing I can get here is the Australian meat pie at The Silver Ballroom.

Speaking of international cuisine that has become a local feature of St. Louis, I can't remember if I've tried it, but I need to get ćevapčići at some point. There's a lot of awesome Bosnian and Croatian cuisine here. I love how even beyond hyperspecific regional cuisine, there are also world cuisines that various U.S. cities are better at, depending upon which populations immigrated there. A friend of mine who comes back from New York fairly regularly will often go for Vietnamese, Thai, or Tex-Mex here, because it compares favorably to what he can get near home there.

What I can't get here: spam musubi and xiao long bao. Actually...huh, I take that back. Apparently I now have to try the new soup-dumpling place that's down the street from me! There's only one place I know of locally that now has Shanghainese stir-fried sticky rice cakes, Tang Palace, and they're not quite as good as the ones from the sadly now closed Shanghai Cafe Deluxe in New York. My fave New York spam musubi place, Poketown, is now also gone. In St. Louis, I also miss Cicero's, Riddles, Thai Café, and Momos so much, as noted previously.
posted by limeonaire at 7:55 PM on December 1 [4 favorites]

Everybody thinks Philly is a cheesesteak town.

We are not, or rather, we like cheesesteaks, because who doesn't love carbs and grease and cheese and salt, especially not a city that enjoys sweatpants as much as ours, but the real deal Philadelphia sandwich is the roast pork, served on a proper seeded roll, with broccoli rabe or spinach. Preferably sold to you by somebody surly through a window in a post-industrial area near the Delaware River with evil-looking seagulls and rusting WWII steel in equal abundance.

The banh mi, for the record, is a rising second even though it isn't strictly local. There are some astoundingly good banh mi in the city, and I recently had a shockingly good beef rendang banh mi, which makes sense? Because the Indonesian and Vietnamese communities in Philly live in close physical proximity, but it's also an act of cultural fusion that blows my mind, given the history of the banh mi.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:57 PM on December 1 [11 favorites]

Reporting in from a lifetime in the mid-Atlantic.

Philadelphia: This is a hot take that people will fight me on, but I will take a roast pork sandwich over a cheesesteak any day. Needs all the toppings: provolone, broccoli rabe, and hot peppers. Cannolis from any of the little Italian bakeries in South Philly. Kenzinger; not the best beer in the world, but the best cheap, local and readily available. Indonesian food in South Philly.

New Jersey: Diner breakfast, preferably at an ungodly hour of the night. Not all diners are created equal; if your over easy eggs have hard yolks or your bacon’s flaccid you are not at the correct diner, move on and try the next. Also fresh corn at the height of summer, preferably grilled and served with lots of butter, and fresh blueberries picked at a pick-your-own farm.

DC: For the longest time after moving to Philly, I swore up and down that the only thing I missed about DC period, not just food-wise, was pupusas. Now that I have found excellent pupusas just outside Philly, DC is officially dead to me.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:59 PM on December 1 [6 favorites]

Something else regional that is pretty great is a New Jersey breakfast sandwich with Taylor ham (if you're from North Jersey), a.k.a. pork roll.
posted by limeonaire at 8:06 PM on December 1 [5 favorites]

Easter lamb cakes! Butter lambs! Hot cross buns! Easter in Buffalo!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:08 PM on December 1 [8 favorites]

A dozen strawberry frosted donuts from Dunkin Donuts on Sunday mornings in MA ::heart eyes emoji::
posted by elephantsvanish at 8:22 PM on December 1 [5 favorites]

I compiled a MeFi State Foods list from an AskMe a while ago.
posted by zamboni at 8:32 PM on December 1 [10 favorites]

That banh mi sandwich roll is very much like the single serving Mexican torta roll, half of one was soaking up the meat juice under my bbq today. I am so resisting breaking out the rest of that lunch of mine! It will be so good next week.
posted by Oyéah at 8:36 PM on December 1

Well, there's the aforementioned Pittsburgh habit of putting fries in places where there probably shouldn't be fries. On salads, inside sandwiches, etc.... We're also known for pierogies, so basically if you are a fan of potatoes prepared in the least healthy ways possible, come to Pittsburgh!

Pittsburgh has great food, but most of it is from, like, other places.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:43 PM on December 1 [4 favorites]

That banh mi sandwich roll is very much like the single serving Mexican torta roll

I had no idea lamb cakes weren't ubiquitous. Huh. For Chicago, I'll go with Italian Beef. Dipped. Not personally a fan of giardiniera, but I'd be remiss not to mention it.

This is a fun topic! Based on everyone's answers I want to go to so many places and eat so much food.
posted by Fig at 8:52 PM on December 1 [7 favorites]

Mellow Mushroom has been here in Asheville for at least 20 years (the company started 1974 Atlanta) but they've really expanded. I need to go try them out.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:54 PM on December 1

I just gave my 11 year old cat to my sister and I'm really struggling with the decision, even though I know it's the best thing for everyone. My younger cat was a rescued feral kitten; he's only bonded with 2 people in his life and the one that isn't me is no longer around. Younger cat has hated older cat for the past 5 years, and things have only gotten worse as time has progressed. Younger cat has never been able to stand being anywhere near older cat and woe betide older cat if young boy gets within swatting distance.

So I packed up the old boy's brushes and toys and food and let my sister take him. She's fallen in love with him and I know she will give him all the love and attention he deserves. (And she knows that if things don't work out that I'll take him back immediately, no matter what younger cat thinks.)

I'm sad. I'm disappointed in myself. I'm happy for younger cat. And I'm praying that older cat is happy in his new home.

...And I know that I'll be relieved about all of this as soon as I clean the fur off of my couch and the barfs off of my floor.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:57 PM on December 1 [13 favorites]

I completely forgot about the olive burger.
posted by ghost phoneme at 8:57 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

This thread is making me so hungry! Obviously the local food in my neighborhood is bagels from Bagel Hole, not those interlopers from La Bagel Delight or Terrace Bagels.

For the holiday spirit I've got the Emoji Yule Log running pretty much nonstop on my 2nd monitor. It makes me very happy.
posted by moonmilk at 8:57 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

I am an evil opinionated ex-New Yorker living, and, unfortunately for them, I now live in the SF Bay Area where everyone is entitled to my opinion on pizza.

The evil bastards here put potatoes on pizza.
posted by twoplussix at 8:59 PM on December 1 [6 favorites]

Sydney rock oysters. They are sharper, more briney than the pacific oysters (ignore the name, they are grown all over). I like that fresh saltiness; it balances against the natural sweetness/creaminess of the oysters. A squeeze of lemon juice is all that's required. My wife and I once ate six dozen between us in a sitting.

It's hot here today 35C/95F - God I hate summer. I've been doing christmas baking; the presence of my two "helpers" has slowed things down somewhat, but we have rum balls, christmas logs, faux-reos, and some butter biscuits flavoured with a splash of orange blossom water. I'm pretty happy with how things turned out, especially that I found pre-made, powdered royal icing - omg so much better than faffing around making the real thing.
posted by smoke at 9:00 PM on December 1 [7 favorites]

That's always a tough one elsietheeel. I hope you get lots of pictures from you sister of her snuggling happy older cat very soon.
posted by ghost phoneme at 9:04 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

Also my favorite local foods (I am not saying these are local to me, but local to places I have been that I have not been able to reliably find elsewhere) are white pudding, pork pies, a white pizza from that place in Queens down the street from my old apartment, vla, and Brains Bitter (also Fullers ESB, for that matter).
posted by elsietheeel at 9:04 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

Hey! Plenty of pupusas in Bakersfield, Costa del Sol is a Salvadoran place, that serves them in the traditional way with pickled cabbage slaw on top!
posted by Oyéah at 9:20 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

Bakersfield is also chock full of Basque restaurants, in case you ever feel an urgent need for pickled tongue.

Also sis has already sent me a photo of old boy chilling on her bed. I feel less panicked and more relieved.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:25 PM on December 1 [13 favorites]

I live in Vermont, but I'm not actually a huge fan of maple flavored things. Maybe my favorite local foods are blueberries and fiddleheads. Vermont isn't famous for blueberries but they grow well here. We have some bushes of our own and there are a lot of pick-your-own places around. I feel sorry for people who never get to eat just-picked blueberries. We don't eat a ton of fiddleheads, but there are a lot right on our property and we fry up a batch of them at least once or twice every spring.
posted by Redstart at 9:27 PM on December 1 [4 favorites]

We're also known for pierogies, so basically if you are a fan of potatoes prepared in the least healthy ways possible, come to Pittsburgh!

I go to the Pittsburgh area once a year, and my mouth waters for pierogi pizza all the way down. I'm glad I don't have access to it all year round because it's so heavy but it's also SO GOOD. This year, the Pierogi Festival, Peanut Butter Festival, and mushroom festival were all almost around the same time. If I'd realized I could have planned my trip a little more efficiently.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:39 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]

You can call a taco truck to come to your house at night,

Hold on, seriously? This is genius and I would probably just set up a daily schedule for them to stop by.

Where I am right now for work has great sushi everywhere and breweries on every corner, which is good. But I am missing fry sauce and high quality regional Mexican food, so the grass is always greener.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:00 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]

West Virginia representing here with pepperoni rolls! I was born and raised here but moved back last year after several years in Pittsburgh (sorry, primantis is overrated unless you are drunk), Erie (where I never found interesting food), Atlanta (the shawarma from Yalla at Krog St Market was life changing), and Rockford IL (a culinary wasteland). I am still not over the fact that pepperoni rolls are EVERYWHERE. I actually had them for breakfast and dinner today. The best pepperoni rolls are the ones that have Oliverio Peppers in them, but I am happy with a gas station hot pepper cheese pepperoni roll anytime. I understand why some regional foods never make it too far from their origin, but pepperoni rolls...baked soft with a sweet yeasty dough, slices not sticks of pepperoni, and spicy not mozzarella cheese...they are magical.
posted by August Fury at 10:04 PM on December 1 [6 favorites]

Thank you for the favorites, oh Two People Who Managed to Parse My Incomprehensible Sentence above. Everyone else, sorry.
posted by twoplussix at 10:07 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

The evil bastards here put potatoes on pizza

Speaking as a native San Francisco person who is the child of two New Yorkers... this is indeed evil and you have my support.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:15 PM on December 1 [1 favorite]

Literary hero—my email is an aol address.
( ducks head, slinks out of room)
posted by bookmammal at 10:19 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]

In Anchorage, we don't really have a signature local processed thing but I can heartily recommend anything with fresh local salmon or halibut. I wish I were better at smoking salmon, but I have a colleague who is amazing at it, so he gives us some every year and I make him bagels and key lime pies in return.

We also have a great local(ish, you have to go about a half hour south to get to places warm and wet enough for it to flourish) berry, the salmonberry, that's built a little like a raspberry on steroids and great in the month you can get it. And superb blueberries.

I'm going to go ahead and take things to Serioustown and say that right now, I'm just glad that we all still have those things in our freezers after a pretty huge earthquake yesterday. Everybody has power and water again, we can get (slowly) through on the two roads in/out of town, and no one was seriously hurt. The port, the loss of which would absolutely devastate us, is relatively unscathed. Lots of people had little things broken and a few big things too but in general we spent all of today, when we weren't vibrating with aftershock anxiety, meditating on the wonders of strict building codes, seismic retrofitting and well-organized local governments with excellent emergency plans.

I spent the earthquake in a room alone with 50+ middle school students who knew what to do and followed directions and got right under their chairs. We had literally practiced doing it last week. We popped back up when it seemed over, started to assess the situation and 3 minutes later felt another one start and dove back under (albeit with some more shrieking than the first one). We evacuated outside for 45 minutes in the cold and eventually it was decided the building was safe enough for kids to go back inside and wait for their parents to sign them out and pick them up. They were kind and generous, comforting freaked out friends and sharing jackets with each other and just generally fucking troopers, you guys. I can't say I want to Giant Earthquake with 50 7th graders again anytime soon, but if I had to do it with any 50 kids I'd take these ones in a heartbeat.

Anyway. Really proud of our little city and school district and the way the community is pulling together. Right now we have a Chinook featuring 30-60 mph winds happening- it is hard to distinguish the gusts buffeting the house from aftershocks- we have a winter weather advisory for a big snow dump tomorrow after the winds die down and people are just rolling with it and trying their best to help their neighbors and clean up. It is such an enormous luxury to feel slightly traumatized and mildly inconvenienced by something that could have been absolutely awful.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:23 PM on December 1 [53 favorites]

Utica style greens, a Central New York thing. Escarole cooked up with garlic, olive oil, hot peppers, breadcrumbs and cheese. Looks like a mess but tastes divine. Lots of variations on heat and extras, easy to make at home. Also, tomato pie, which is sort of like pizza but not quite. Another Utica thing.

Of course Syracuse has salt potatoes, a summer picnic staple. These are small spuds cooked in brine, a relic of days when salt industry workers slung bags of potatoes in salt boiling vats to eat for lunch.

Used to make pilgrimages to the Delmarva region for fresh local blue crab but it has become increasingly difficult to find in restaurants, alas.
posted by kinnakeet at 10:45 PM on December 1 [5 favorites]

I wish I were better at smoking salmon

The trick is to not inhale.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:46 PM on December 1 [11 favorites]

The trick is to not inhale.

Oh, shit, I have *definitely* been doing it wrong, then.
posted by charmedimsure at 10:47 PM on December 1 [4 favorites]

Well, my hometown insists that it's where the ice cream sundae was invented, although apparently not everyone agrees. Also lots of apples in the fall (which means cider too). Little crisp-snap tart red-green Macintoshes. (sigh...)
My current city has a lot of food around; I guess the most iconic thing is takoyaki, which I don't actually like much. The octopus is fine, it's the squishy dough around it I'm not fond of. (I'm told a former governor tried to market them to foreign visitors as "samurai balls," with just about the results you'd expect. This may be apocryphal.)

I went to Munich for a week with my mom, ate a lot, saw some nice buildings and a wonderful opera (although I couldn't help feeling that both Jenufa and the Kostelnicka would have been helped by access to AskMe), and came home with a cold and an all-consuming worry which is, in the grand scheme of things, really trivial and silly and even in the worst case is not such a big deal. I just wish I knew if it was going to work out or not.

Still, a lovely Mozart rehearsal today which made me forget about it for an hour or so. Best to all here, whether struggling or celebrating; take good care.
posted by huimangm at 10:57 PM on December 1 [6 favorites]

Cleveland: The Polish Boy and Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard.

(Also I know several people who swear that eating sauerkraut balls gives them crazy dreams - hasn't happened to me, but the rest of you should definitely eat some ASAP and report back in the morning.)
posted by soundguy99 at 11:46 PM on December 1 [3 favorites]

The evil bastards here put potatoes on pizza.

And it is delicious. Potesto pizza (potato/pesto) is one of the best I’ve had.

Also, I was coming here to say that sadly, the bay area’s contribution is probably salad. Fuck. But this comment has made me realize that salad ON pizza was probably ours, and I’m a fan of it. It makes me think I’m eating healthy as I shovel in cheese and grease.
posted by greermahoney at 12:17 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]

see what we have to put up with here? Salad on pizza, starch on pizza....
posted by twoplussix at 12:23 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]

I was daydreaming about sausage rolls in Paris last week (side note, we have great pastry and huge varieties of sausages, why have the boulangeries not figured this out!) and am back in the UK for the weekend, sadly for a funeral but up in the beautiful Lake District, and my uncle served sausage rolls!
posted by ellieBOA at 2:05 AM on December 2 [7 favorites]

Grew up in western MA and I’d say cider and cider donuts. Now live just outside of NYC and will say pizza, cheesecake and bagels.

For more specifically local: a Landi wedge and chicken scap pizza.

Almost every year I get a request for something local from my secret quonsee and struggle with achieving a suitably local gift. I’ve already quonsed this year but if anyone has some great ideas for me that scream Yonkers (or Westchester or NYC) for next year, let me know.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:41 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

And oh my God, pasties are so good. I had Cornish pasties in Michigan and they are so delightful.

My dad's family is from a slate mining town in eastern PA that was all Welsh and Cornish immigrants so pasties were a standard food growing up for me.
posted by octothorpe at 4:43 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]

Lamb cakes! I'd forgotten all about those. My grandmother always made them--my father's birthday often overlaps with Easter, and the heavily coconutted cake was often served with candles down the back.

Seconding unsmoked kielbasa--a guy who worked with my dad used to make it, fresh and delicious and so garlicky that it'd be put in multiple ziptop bags, and then a tupperware, and then another bag, and even with all that the fridge would still smell of it for weeks. The best way to serve it was panfried with onion and butter and the pierogies that all the local churches sold for fundraisers. All the good churches handmade theirs, the grandmas of the parish gathered in the church basement, pinching and boiling and portioning them out into plastic bags and styrofoam take-out containers, slick with the butter from the fried onions that you could get for an extra fifty cents.

Pierogi pizza and pepperoni rolls were popular, too--one of my aunts owned a restaurant where they sold both in great quantity, and the best part of seeing her was that she always, always brought one of each with her, and that was meals for the next couple days sorted. She sent over a pizza last Christmas, actually, and heated in my toaster oven, it was every bit as delicious as I remembered.
posted by mishafletch at 5:11 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]

Toronto is a mishmash of everything, which I love. I can have any cuisine any day and probably walk there.

The only local consumable I still miss from Boston is Polar seltzer! And I always bring some Cheez-Its from the airport shop back to Canada since I discovered how coveted they are here. Even though they taste like paprika rather than cheese, they are tasty.
posted by wellred at 6:05 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]

One of the best parts about being back in New England is that I can easily find clam chowder that is not broth with a few clams and a potato, and it is also not mashed potatoes with a few clams suspended inside it.

CO-SIGNED. I grew up in New England making frequent visits to Cape Cod grandparents and now I live in a place where they think chowder comes with tomatoes. GAH.

There are a gazillion "local foods" here in NYC - some of which you can even get well outside New York. The only two things I get gustatorily-patriotic about are Ample Hills ice cream and bagels. ....A few of my friends and I used to joke about something we call "the Lenders' Line" - a line several miles out from around the perimeter of the New York Metro Area, past which you cannot find an acceptable bagel. Ample Hills ships better, and is SO DAMN WORTH IT.

As for where I grew up - those of us who grew up in Eastern Connecticut grew up in a hella-boring place, but one thing we had going for us was cheeseburgers at Shady Glen diner.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:31 AM on December 2 [8 favorites]

Here it's all about that Minorcan food.
posted by saladin at 6:41 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]

I had no idea I was missing Polish-American food traditions until this thread -- it has always been a bit weird for me growing up in a region so heavily Polish-American that it was never noteworthy, and then spending the rest of my life in areas where I generally never meet anyone else with Polish ancestry. A teensy mostly unimportant bit of cultural out-of-placeness, but I appreciate this little moment of feeling cozy and understood.
posted by lazuli at 6:47 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Bah, I woke up this morning with a stuffy nose so I guess it's time for the Capricorn Annual Winter Cold™. Hopefully this won't be as bad as the one last year that put me in bed for a week and had me pretty congested for the next two.

ChuraChura, sorry to hear about the job search! Let me buy you a beer next time I'm up in New England, which hopefully will be soon since I have a sibling in MA now.

duffell--first of all, love the website; I'm looking forward to seeing more--I had no idea that kind of smoked salmon was a PNW thing only! My uncle in WA takes an Alaska fishing trip every year and makes a ton of smoked salmon and smoked tuna. The best was the smoked tuna belly. Ridiculously indulgent but also so worth it.

August West, pepperoni rolls were one of the things I came here to mention! I recently learned about them in all their varieties. The local (to DC) restaurant that basically rolls up pepperoni slices and mozz in pizza dough and bakes it, the popup shop that serves them almost like a meatball sandwich, with a pepperoni stick, cheese, and tomato sauce on a crusty bread roll, and maybe my favorite, the WV state fair version that was basically a soft bread roll baked with finely chopped pepperoni in the center.

Here in DC our main local foods are: 1) jumbo slice pizza, which is our version of a pizza-by-the-slice place except all the slices are the size of my torso. I'm not exaggerating. This is not good pizza by any stretch, but is mainly designed to soak up any quantity of alcohol after a night out. 2) mumbo sauce, which I shamefully admit I've never tried, and 3) the chili half smoke, which is a chili dog with a sausage instead of a hot dog. Very good though the famous Ben's Chili Bowl is overrated and there are plenty of local restaurants that will make you a better one. We also have the biggest Ethiopian diaspora population, I think, in the world, and have an amazing Ethiopian food culture. In my opinion nothing is better than a meal where your napkin and plate are also food.
posted by capricorn at 6:56 AM on December 2 [7 favorites]

Many people know about Maryland crab cakes, but fewer seem to have tried soft shell crabs. They can be a little chitinous if not eaten asap after the crabs molt, but are nevertheless quite tasty.
posted by cheapskatebay at 7:18 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]

posted by poffin boffin at 7:35 AM on December 2 [8 favorites]

Metafilter: they can be a little chitinous
posted by moonmilk at 7:40 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]

"I had Cornish pasties in Michigan and they are so delightful. "
"My dad's family is from a slate mining town in eastern PA that was all Welsh and Cornish immigrants so pasties were a standard food growing up for me."

My husband's family is all Cornish miners who came over to dig in the pits in Michigan's UP, so upon marriage I had to learn to make pasties. :D He likes them ultra-traditional like his grandma used to make them (beef, rutabaga, potato, and onion ONLY), which as a result are rather dry because modern beef is so lean compared to cheap cuts of miner beef 100 years ago. If any of you Cornish-adjacent folk have suggestions for ever so slightly saucing the pasty without losing the very traditional flavor, I'd be eager to hear it! After 16 years I've finally convinced him to let me add SOMETHING to make it less dry, but nothing CRAZY like herbs and spices.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:42 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]

If any of you Cornish-adjacent folk have suggestions for ever so slightly saucing the pasty without losing the very traditional flavor.

Not Cornish-adjacent, but have you tried putting gelatin into the mix? It's a trick that helps oven-baked turkey and chicken meatballs not dry out. You'll probably want to start with relatively small bit of it bloomed with either water or a little beef broth, and mix it into the ground beef. (It'll also help take things back to the cheap, gristly cuts of miner beef...)
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:58 AM on December 2

Last April I had a really hectic move that resulted in me accidentally burning bridges with my best friend of 19 years. I've felt awful about it all year but too embarrassed to do anything about it. Anyways, they had a baby that coincided with my awful move and I finally got over my shame and found some baby books and wrote a heartfelt apologetic Christmas card and now I'm going to go spend next Saturday wandering around the arboretum with her and the baby and mending things.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:28 AM on December 2 [31 favorites]

" mix it into the ground beef. (It'll also help take things back to the cheap, gristly cuts of miner beef...)"

I make it with skirt steak or similar, no ground beef!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:28 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

I love a good Chicago dog, or even better, a polish. But Chicago's unhealthy food delights do not stop there. Excellent tacos mostly everywhere west of Halstead, great hole-in-the-wall BBQ (although the place closest to me finally closed after being in business for almost 50 years and burning down at least twice during that stretch), amazing fried chicken, delightful paletas in summer.

But the best thing, really, is being out late at night in a bar that doesn't serve food and getting a visit from the Tamale Guy (real name Claudio Velez). He is a local hero who goes from bar to bar, and brings tamales in a cooler to keep them hot, and they are something like $1, and they are just what your drunk self needs.

Because the real official food of Chicago is liquor.
posted by mai at 8:33 AM on December 2 [7 favorites]

In the midwest I never saw Lebanon bologna, which is unlike to the more familiar lunchmeat, and which I am totally hooked on.
OTOH, I grew up on Quad-Cities style pizza, and especially in its crumbly fennelly sausage variant, it is truly the best pizza.
In conclusion, the United States is a land of contrasts sausages.
posted by drlith at 8:46 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]


Every so often I get a can of Cel-Ray because "oh weird, soda that tastes like celery! How novel!" But then I never finish because "oh right, I do not like the taste of celery soda."

And seconding Chicago dogs, which I actually like better than NYC style, and even gleefully had as Christmas dinner when I was in O'Hare en route to Paris.

And yes to Polish food. Dad's friendship with our neighbors across the street was cemented when Mr. Pawelkiewicz told him about this Polish hole in the wall across the state that could make pierogi like my great-grandmother apparently did.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:55 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

When I had my war of 1812 road trip the only place I saw pepperoni balls was in Erie PA.

several NYC pizza by the slice places put penne on them

i haven't seen machaca con huevos anywhere outside LA

the westside pavilion is no longer a shopping center and I missed being able to get a sugar free lemonade from the hot dog on a stick at the food court on my last trip...i suppose from now on I'll get them at the Glendale galleria after a movie at the nearby laemmle
posted by brujita at 9:23 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Oh my god, penne on pizza. I haven't thought about that in forever. It's good! I also miss New York's melty, rich, decadent pizza that fills your whole being with a comforting feeling of richness, fecundity, leisure, abundance. The pizza outside of NY is more of a feeling of austerity, the smallest possible amount of cheese, etc.

I don't live in NY anymore but I grew up on Long Island. And yet still, any time i pass a bakery case I look for the rainbow cookies, but they are never there.
posted by bleep at 9:39 AM on December 2

My adopted home (since 1987) is the Pacific Northwest, so our once-ubiquitous local food is smoked wild pacific salmon. Nowadays, the salmon runs are seriously depleted, and the orcas live on salmon, so I’m not sure that treat is sustainable anymore.
In my hometown of Denver my favorite local food was a Chubby-Burger Special Burrito, smothered with green chile . This is the “original” Chubby’s on West 35th, where they made their chile from peppers grown on a family farm in sw Colorado, and if you were lucky you would see grandma in the kitchen making the most delicious green chile known to humankind.
posted by dbmcd at 9:44 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

I'm thinking "what did I miss the most when I didn't live in MA" : that's easy. Good apples.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 9:45 AM on December 2 [4 favorites]

Potatoes on pizza is (here in Berlin) ‘Pizza Roma’ and includes rosemary and no red sauce. It’s really a-ok.
For about five years in the late 80’s I lived off of Driggs Pizza in Brooklyn - the cook was a guy named Cono and when he moved to that place up on McGuiness I made monthly pilgrimage. The new guy at Driggs made crappy sauce. I have yet to find as good a marinara sauce.
The other thing I forgot I even missed until my wife picked up some at the market (the market is stands of produce, cheese meat or fish out in the open, Thursday’s has lunch carts) - Kasia’s pierogies. I ate there when I wasn’t eating at Driggs. The ones my wife got (from a really sweet Polish lady who disappeared after about six months) were so similar, the Pavlovia-Proustian punch was so mighty I cried as I ate them and didn’t quite know why.
Local food wise, there’s this sublime fruit bread this bakery called “Brotgarten” makes once a week and I get when I’m in that part of town on the right day. Warmed up with a little butter and soft cheese it’s really lovely.
posted by From Bklyn at 10:00 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

I didn't think cheesesteaks were all that important to me until I moved up to New England and all I can get are these "steak and cheese" abominations. Also a proper Philly pretzel is basically impossible to find here. And water ice. I miss all these things.

I am currently posting this from the high seas where I am once again holding together a testing program with baling wire and chewing gum. My whole plan for being in port was thrown out the window after a hardware failure took up our entire timeline fixing it, and then a delay leaving the dock meant that I was up all night running tests. I actually ended up doing the "second sleep" thing last night (got some shuteye between 6 and 10:30 and then 4 am to 8) and I really don't think it's for me. Things seem to have settled out a little but there's still plenty of time for more stuff to go wrong.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:04 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]

Cheap Peruvian rotisserie chicken is a true blessing of DC and the surrounding suburbs.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:07 AM on December 2 [6 favorites]

Potatoes on pizza is awesome. I’m a big fan of all double starches. Like lomo saltado, basically a French fry stir fry over rice. Or a local coffee shop used to do a kind of danish that was a pastry with a hash brown center. That was so bizarrely good. Or pasta with potatoes, green beans, and pesto. Or pierogies, can’t beat that for a dibble starch! I would love to hear about other fabulous double starches.
posted by HotToddy at 10:07 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]

Ima just leave “dibble starch.”
posted by HotToddy at 10:08 AM on December 2 [11 favorites]

There's a pizza/Mexican/Italian/etc. place near me that makes a "burrito" that has fries and ground beef in it. I don't care if it's an abomination and my stomach hates it, I like it and that's all that matters.
posted by bleep at 10:17 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

I can't think of any quintessential Richmond, VA, food, unless booze counts. We live not far from the Scott's Addition neighborhood, which is currently home to too many breweries, a cidery and a meadery. A local Greek family has a restaurant empire, so there's that, but the best barbecue in town is from a Texas-style joint.
posted by emelenjr at 10:18 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

Also one thing I miss about Chicago (and there aren't that many) is how much they love ginger flavor and it's so easy to find.
posted by bleep at 10:19 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

bleep, ooh, right, similarly, we have a Greek place that puts fries on their gyros. Pretty dang good.
posted by HotToddy at 10:23 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]

bleep, ooh, right, similarly, we have a Greek place that puts fries on their gyros. Pretty dang good.

Oh shit i remember eating these in a greek-speaking island nation with a British military base on it.. there was a pita/gyro/kebab place down the road from where I was staying and the fries were a strange but awesome addition. Lots of tzatziki and turnips please!!

Also: Haloumi and Lountza sammiches with cucumber. Good times. Also Grilled Sea Bream with fucking peach slices on it!!!! what?!! but it was awesome!
posted by some loser at 10:29 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

All this talk of potatoes in incongruous places puts me in mind of SPUDS, which puts me in mind of Tottenham Hotspur and their ignominious defeat this afternoon by the glorious Arsenal (by far the greatest team the world has ever seen) - which in turn puts me in mind of a 'local' [ie UK] delicacy, the Chicken Balti Pie, an essential and absolutely delicious Match Day dish. Carbs + curry + footie = winner.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 10:38 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

North Central Ohio here. Troyer's Trail bologna. Made in Trail, Ohio! Lol! I have been eating this stuff since I was a kid, and just recently found out where it's made. And also didn't know that it is very much a regional delight! It's a ring style smoked and seasoned snack sausage. Excellent on a meat and cheese board. Partner and I love to visit wineries and take picnic fare along. Trail bologna, some savory crackers and tastings of sweet wine=heaven! I send frozen rings to daughter and her husband in Wyoming, where it's real popular with their friends. It's great with a strong aged Swiss cheese, and if there's some mustard to dip into, all the better.
posted by LaBellaStella at 11:07 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

Buffalo is famous for wings, but what I really miss is Beef on Weck. You can't find it anywhere outside of Buffalo. :(
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 11:07 AM on December 2 [7 favorites]

I grew up in Utah, and aside from various jello monstrosities and funeral potatoes (which are in fact delicious)-the apricots and cherries are amazing, as is the local jam. Also Utah "scones"-hot fried dough served with honey butter and aforementioned jam.

Currently live in the Bay area, and the best thing I've eaten here may be tacos al pastor from some guys that set up folding tables outside a dive bar near me late at night sometimes. Like, seriously the best street meat I've had in my life.
posted by LadyNibbler at 11:09 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]

I can name a few :
- tomates farcies
- Cassoulet
- Tripoux
- Gâteau à la broche
- Sanquette
posted by nicolin at 11:12 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]

Cincinnati style chili, of course. I don't actually like it served on spaghetti with shredded cheddar cheese and onions (the traditional 3-Way, wink wink), but I do tolerate Cincinnati style chili on a baked potato with shredded cheddar cheese. Really quite good.

I can't think of anything else that's Cincinnati specific. Oh, wait! There's Frisch's Big Boy, which originated in Cincinnati. Dave Frisch opened the Mainliner in 1939 in Cincinnati. He met Bob Wian (owner of the Big Boy restaurants in California) in 1946, who introduced him to the Big Boy, which Dave then customized by adding a "specially formulated" tartar sauce. It sounds kind of gross but several burger joints in town have had tartar sauce on their burgers forEVER because of Frisch's. So I guess that's a Cincinnati thing.
posted by cooker girl at 11:15 AM on December 2 [3 favorites]

Good apples.

Yes! Up in Vermont also. We have a local farm stand that always has curious varietals every year to try and it's great to think that there are different kinds for eating, pie, cider, baking, applesauce etc. I make applesauce like it's my job lately and I've been very much enjoying noticing the differences between how they all cook up.

Also things you can put syrup in or on. Like applesauce, snow, maple cream on crackers (my fave thing lately) and into turmeric coffee!

I never met a butterut squash I did not like. And in the summers when I'm on the South Coast of MA I go full on MOZAMBIQUE everything and cit the garlic taste with some coffee milk.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:19 AM on December 2 [5 favorites]

I really like potatoes, but I hate fries in gyros and wraps. Otto's serves a mashed potato pizza that is really good, but once things get that far from tradition, it's no longer pizza. It's tasty food on a bread dough base.

Frisch's Big Boy always has fresh strawberry pie and it is so good.
posted by theora55 at 11:25 AM on December 2 [1 favorite]

I go full on MOZAMBIQUE everything and cit the garlic taste with some coffee milk.

I have no idea what this means, yet wish to know more.
posted by zamboni at 11:55 AM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Theora55, I looooove Amato’s Italian sandwiches. I insist on going there everytime I return to Maine for a visit. I also miss the wild blueberries and Smiling Hill Farm’s ice cream.

Like others have said upthread, the DC area is great for half smokes and Peruvian chicken. Also, my particular suburb has amazing Korean BBQ and banh mi sandwiches.
posted by saturngirl at 12:06 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

i want a maple creemee
posted by poffin boffin at 12:15 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

Brujita- war of 1812 road trip? I must know more.
posted by emd3737 at 12:17 PM on December 2

Modern classic, enjoyed just this afternoon: Haggis Pakora. This by the way is an actual thing you can buy in the supermarket in Scotland. Can and should.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 12:25 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]

I also miss how ubiquitous middle eastern food is in Michigan.

The SE Michigan food I most miss is gyro meat as a breakfast item — in omelettes or skillets or as a side.

Not every place had it, mostly just the ones that were Greek-owned or used to be (often confusingly named "X's Coney Island" regardless of whether or not their coney dogs were any good or anyone ever ordered them).

Next best thing here in Boston seems to be the place that will put loukaniko in your breakfast, which is fucking delicious, but it's NOT THE SAME.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:33 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

So at this point everywhere has hot wings and the only thing that really separates metro Buffalo from anywhere else is that just about everywhere here has reliably good wings. Anyplace that didn't would die on the vine.

Beef on weck, though, that's good. I mean, at one level it's just a roast beast sammich, but putting the roast beast on kimmelweck -- sort of like a salty pretzel bun -- turns out to be really a good idea.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 12:47 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]

Locally in Seattle it's a huge glorious mish-mash, but stand outs include the invention of the teriyaki bowl, but the actual teriyaki joints aren't nearly as plentiful as they used to be and have seem to be mainly replaced with poke bowl, pho and banh mi places - if not more upscale places entirely.

Locally smoked salmon is amazing and not at all lox. And also sadly overfished.

I'm going to go with the berries, native or imported. There's so many berries, and I'm not kidding about how insanely plentiful they are and widely varied. You can practically live on them and barely have to move much at all. I'm a fan of all of them from blueberries, biberries and salal berries to the ubiquitous rampant Himalayan blackberries to the Oregon grape.

I also now have a personal law of life that any time I find a patch of ripe thimbleberries I simply and absolutely must stop and eat all of them that I can find, because it's usually not very many, the time that they are ripe and available is really short and if you come back the next day expecting them to be there they'll simply be gone, either (happily) to the birds or (unhappily) to the ground.

I've never seen thimbleberries at any store or market. I'm not sure if you can actually pick them and carry them away in a basket. They're so delicate, soft and sweet they basically turn into bits of jelly on your fingertips and tongue and have a delicate but complex flavor, like a dusky raspberry with faint floral and citrus notes.

And I've been exploring the new digs and noting where all the berry patches are at. There's a huuuuuge thicket of blueberries and bilberries out on the property line and clearcut that I can tell is going to be amazingly productive based on all the dried/fallen berries still on them this far into winter.

Locally there's just a huge flurry of new electronic/dance music projects and dance parties and I am very pleased by it. Friends of friends are buying and leasing spaces for projects. Gigs are happening. Studios are being built. Skillshares are happening. There's even a monthly sober and family friendly DJ night at one of the local operating granges and it's a ton of fun with a great socks-only dance floor, and there's been DJ nights in yoga studios as well as the bars.

I have a couple of gigs this month and I appear to be getting ready to record a new ambient album or project or something. On the gigs side of thing I have the usual healthy anxiety and "OMG WTF ARE YOU DOING!?" fears and have to remind myself it's all my fault for booking the gig so many months ago in the first place. This may be the last gig at this location, though, so I'm intending to have fun with it.

On the album side of things I'm doing field recording again and I have begged, borrowed and/or have been gifted some tools like a small mixer, midi interface and cables and stuff. I'm thinking something in the area of "Matmos meets nature and hears some really weird shit in the woods."

You probably don't want to know how much time I've spent pondering about exactly how does one mic and record a fruiting mushroom, especially in a non-destructive way.
posted by loquacious at 12:54 PM on December 2 [10 favorites]

In central Virginia, especially around Richmond, we are all about those Hanover Tomatoes.
posted by 4ster at 1:02 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Beef on weck, though, that's good. I mean, at one level it's just a roast beast sammich, but putting the roast beast on kimmelweck -- sort of like a salty pretzel bun -- turns out to be really a good idea.

Yeah, I've been a happy vegetarian for decades, but on the rare occasion I do crave a bit of meat, it's the beef on weck I remember. The way the au jus soaks into the soft part of the roll, but not through the crispy outer shell.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:11 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

I'm the Triad area in North Carolina. So, obviously, I have to talk about barbecue. There's eastern style and Lexington style (and if mustard style is your thing, you do you. :) ) People argue about BBQ around here with an intensity we usually reserve for college basketball, but I like both styles. Our favorite BBQ place does both, which is really unusual around here, and they're SO GOOD (they did our wedding). You can get a half and half plate, and you can also get your slaw half sweet half spicy, and it's so good and perfect for those of us who like a little bit of everything.

Another North Carolina thing is pimento cheese. Now I want some...
posted by joycehealy at 1:36 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]

ok, I have a local weird one, since we're talking about wild foods:
a primitive-skills-obsessed couple up in Mendocino County, who ran a workshops business whose name I sadly can't remember now, introduced me to these 'chocolates' they were making from roasted bay laurel nuts. They were supposedly slightly caffeinated and tasted kinda fatty, like a milder flavor of cacao nibs ground down and reconstituted with sugar. Googling brings up a bunch of recipes for Bay Laurel Chocolates or Bay Laurel Truffles.
posted by twoplussix at 1:55 PM on December 2 [5 favorites]

I'm from (suburban) Buffalo. As obliquity of the ecliptic noted, our chicken wings are now everywhere. Beef on Weck is just in Western New York. But you know what else we have that's even better? Sponge Candy. Only in cool weather, which makes makes the dark days of winter even more special. Chocolate-covered carmelized sugar, and I'm aching for home as I think of it.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:01 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]

My overly-attached-to-her-very-feminine-birth-name mister called Kid Ruki by her preferred gender neutral name for the first time tonight after we lit the Menorah. Best Hanukkah ever.
posted by Ruki at 3:04 PM on December 2 [32 favorites]

Yay, Ruki!
posted by lazuli at 3:19 PM on December 2 [1 favorite]

Yay Ruki! And charmedimsure, I'm glad you are ok - the quake sounds like a scary experience.

I love this thread. I've lived here (NC) all my life and all the "local" foods I can think of, I don't really like, honestly. I'm looking at you, grits, okra, collards, barbecue (the vinegar-y pork kind). I guess I'd miss Krispy Kreme if I lived elsewhere. And possibly hush puppies, but I don't know if those are strictly an NC thing.
posted by yoga at 3:56 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

The fish and chip shop down the road does a pretty good chiko roll. And the potato scallops are sublime.
posted by h00py at 4:02 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

Local food treats is where Japan is a Viking!*

Seriously, due to the mass shift of the population towards Tokyo, a lot of the rural prefectures are desperately trying anything they can to increase tourism and prop up local economies. This has resulted in really pushing 名物/meibutsu, or locally famous goods. For the most part, that’s food. Think matsuzaka beef, and then, seeing that wagyu had this big name recognition, every other prefecture started trying to find something they made they could push. Now, nearly every prefecture boasts some sort of carefully raised really awesome meat, poultry, fruit, or vegetables. Chiba has two different varieties of pork, one of which is raised on sweet potatoes, as a sort of local take on Iberico. Nagoya and Akita both have absurdly wonderful chicken.

So much of Japanese tourism is about food (most Japanese guide books have more information about restaurants than anything else) that it’s easy to find places that serve fantastic local dishes, partly because that’s how those local places are keeping their economy alive.

*I still insist that Ralph dreams of being a Viking. Ralph is, by his very nature, not good at anything, and is probably not very good at sleeping, either.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:08 PM on December 2 [8 favorites]

Twin Cities likes to argue over the best Juicy Lucy. It is a cheeseburger with the cheese inside the beef patty, so it gets oozy and gooey. And hot--my husband almost had an ER visit after his first bite. Usually the competitors are Matt's Bar (called Jucy Lucy there) and the 5-8 Club, but Bon Appetit tried 9 different versions and came to a different conclusion.

I wouldn't say it's the best or even what most people eat here, but lutefisk is something Minnesota is known for. Although it seems the tradition may be dying out at some of the Lutheran churches that have the dinners around this time of year.

I love the porchetta from Iron Range grocery stores. Each has it's own spice rub; all are good, but the Jubilee store in Chisholm is the one I like best. Zup's in Ely makes a good version, too.

I am a big fan of the Iowa pork tenderloin that is pounded thin, breaded, & fried. As big as the plate. The best are served in lots of dives, bowling alleys, & similar fine establishments. Other Iowa foods are fresh sweet corn & locally grown white popcorn from Sac County to pop at home.

When I lived in German Village in Columbus, it was the cream puffs and Bahama Mamas at Schmidt's Sausage Haus.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 4:25 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

Western MA is definitely cider doughnuts, cider, and apples. We get varieties of apples here I’ve never seen elsewhere. Oh and asparagus! Best in the world grows here.
posted by john_snow at 4:51 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

You guys, I just took a learn-to-solder class at the maker space, and it turns out that soldering is really, really fun. I think I may join the maker space and solder/ 3D-print all the things. All of them.

They're planning to offer an intro-to-electronics class later this year, which is good, because I do not remember a damn thing from high-school physics, which I think is where I would have learned all that stuff.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:52 PM on December 2 [6 favorites]

Street tacos are my jam. Chilaquiles and Chile rellenos from a real Oaxacan restaurant.

It's been a very challenging couple of months and every day seems to throw a new little obstacle in my way. I'm not going to say I'm doing great, but at a minimum, I'm coasting, so I guess that's enough for now. Chag sameach, MetaJews.
posted by Sophie1 at 4:56 PM on December 2 [6 favorites]

The local food I love doesn't tend to be from here. I live in one of the top 20 US cities in terms of population, and what's notable about it isn't a specific thing or dish, it's the diversity. One of my favorite places in this town owes its existence to a Japanese company having a large plant on the city's periphery. That brought a large population of Japanese immigrants who brought a desire to get the food they get at home here. About 15 miles from my house is the market manifestation of that desire. A large suburban strip mall filled almost entirely with Japanese businesses. One of the best noodle places in the state lives there, and one of the best sushi spots, natch. There's a Japanese bakery that's out of this world. It's not widely known but the Japanese love French pastry, and a Japanese bakery is an amazing melting of the two cultures offering lite flakey matcha and creme tortes and crepe cones filled with fruit or ham and gruyere. There's also a Japanese gift and home goods store, a bubble tea shop, but my favorite part of that mall is the Japanese grocery, which is huge and has amazing fish and snacks and sweets and sushi and bento and street food to go. It rates a weekly visit with my two kids for stocking up on Poky and Yan Yans.

My other local favorite is a more generic international market that's huge. Built in a defunct Toys R' Us, this store is large and comprehensive. But beyond its size and scope lies an interesting choice the owners made. Rather than just having just a large international supermarket, they decided to allow small food vendors to open little shops along the outer walls. There are about ten independent shops offering everything thing from Himalayan lamb and beef dumpling floating in a spicy fragrant broth topped with cilantro, to a carnitas and taco shop, to an Indian street food stand, to a Korean gimbap shop, to a Mexican bakery and more. One stall sells cooking equipment and implements unavailable elsewhere. Or you can get fancy braids or nails. And as always, a way to get phone cards to call those back home, or exchange and transfer shops to send them money.

What I love about my town isn't a specific dish, it's that it's the product of a town of immigrants who all contribute to a vibrant and dynamic food paradise. Form the early German settlers who still inhabit the brewery district on the west side and offer mind blowing beer and sausage and cream puffs, to the East African immigrants who've turned a different strip mall on the east side into a halal bazar amid beautiful bolts of fabric and phone card and money transfer booths. What I love about our local food is that it isn't local. It reflects the people who came here and the places they miss. It's a cornucopia of cultures and flavors, and it's far more palatable than what the people over in Cinncinati call "chili" with its unnecessary and bewildering cinnamon and allspice. It's an immigrant cuisine of longing, prepared with melancholy and love. And I can't get enough of it.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:41 PM on December 2 [10 favorites]

I got to walk around Barcelona recently eating sweet potatoes and chestnuts out of hand. OMG that was amazing, and inexpensive. I also stopped at a few meat shops and got chunks of meats and cheeses and wandered around with my tiny (dollar store equivalent?) knife, slicing off cheese and meat and slapping it on bread or crackers. I sat on little park benches slicing over my hankie so that I wouldn't leave breadcrumbs everywhere for the birds and squirrels. I was alone and it was glorious after the horror of my whirlwind June trip that landed me in a hospital craving pineapple juice.

Tonight I made the worst soup I've ever made. The squash looked like a butternut on the outside but had the color and consistency of spaghetti squash inside. I don't know why I didn't think to taste it before plonking it into soup and immersion blending it to a smooth consistency. It is terrible and I have at least 3 quarts of it. Very grateful I had a chunk of cheese to console myself, and throwing a pot of soup away won't break me. The soup is in the fridge to think about what it's done. I'll try some for lunch tomorrow and hope it improves with time.
posted by bilabial at 5:47 PM on December 2 [12 favorites]

Nosey Mrs. Rat: I love the porchetta from Iron Range grocery stores. Each has it's own spice rub; all are good, but the Jubilee store in Chisholm is the one I like best. Zup's in Ely makes a good version, too.

I have the separate tubs of Zup's porchetta spices right now in my Rhode Island kitchen, bought at the Ely store. (My brother picked them up for me.) When I roll and pat and coat a pork roast and cook it up in my Ditch oven, it tastes like my childhood. *sigh* ALL HAIL ZUP'S.

(And also: stand and doff your cap and lower your eyes in honor of like the third Zup's location that burned to the ground last month. Downwind it must have been GLORIOUS.)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:10 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

So. In not so great Hannukah news. A family friend of ours (used to work with my dad many years ago now lives in Connecticut.) She gives us great gifts every Hannukah, and every time I grouse about Christians kinda sucking sometimes mom is very quick to say- what about Family friend and her family, and I am chastised. Well no longer. For Hannukah she got me Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat- which is fucking great! I love to cook, she knows this, I've wanted this book! great right?

Well. It turns out after this book was in the mail, family friend frantically e-mailed mom a rambling email to *apologize* because she felt it was inappropriate to gift us a book written by a woman who might be Muslim for Hannukah. As in- This family friend felt that as Jews we must therefore be Islamophobic.

I'm still glad I got the book, but I am viewing this woman in a whole new light. Fuck her honestly. Just... Fuck her.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:25 PM on December 2 [6 favorites]

The soup is in the fridge to think about what it's done.

If it's any consolation, I just trashed a large quantity of gumbo that wasn't bad, really, but also wasn't good. I had four or five servings and there were probably eight or nine servings left but I just... couldn't eat it. I left the big pot in the fridge for a good week and a half and it just never got more appealing. RIP mediocre gumbo and RIP squash soup.
posted by lazuli at 6:31 PM on December 2 [7 favorites]

I didn't even get into local restaurants. Maybe I will write an ode to Bojangles (not that local anymore, Pennsylvania?!) and Cook-out tomorrow.

But in the meantime, I am caught up on grading and my coursework for the semester is done (save getting proposal revisions to my chair, which I cannot face at 9:30 at night but I'm blocking off time this week for it so woot) and this all feels very strange. My wife is passed TF out, because she went down with the bug I went down with over Thanksgiving (either that, or the ghost of her gall bladder is acting up because the pharmacy ducked up her bill salts script for a couple days, it's hard to say, the end result is the same), but she can't take the rest of her meds until 11, so I'm staying up. So I'm working on class schedules for next semester. It's that halcyon time where I'm still assuming everything is going to go according to plan. It's not going to snow, I'm going to get to stay on schedule, and everything is going to be fine.

This plan is going to go to hell as soon as my chair decides which week I'm taking prelims.
posted by joycehealy at 6:42 PM on December 2 [4 favorites]

Nthing on Syracuse (NY) salt potatoes....if you've heard of them and want to try them, be warned that a lot of 'kits' you'll find will sell you potatoes that are too big. You should aim for the smallest potatoes you've ever seen, like grape size. À small volume:surface area ratio is key -- no potato is too small. The picture in the Wikipedia article shows potatoes that are too big, although later correctly states 'bite size'. Second, you need more salt than you think you do. The water should be supersaturated and salt should precipitate out once the water cools. Anyone I've worked with to make their first batch has been unconfortable at the amount of salt. It doesn't have to be fancy potatoes or fancy salt - small potatoes and a good strong brine and you will want to be from Syracuse too! (;
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:11 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Oh lazuli, that does make me feel worlds better, not being alone in the sad soup club. It's the worst thing I've cooked all year and my partner was like, "eh, it's ok. it's not great, but it's ok." If he thought it was bad, he would say "maaaaybe don't make that again." I felt kind of alone in being grossed out by the soup.
posted by bilabial at 7:41 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

I go full on MOZAMBIQUE everything and cit the garlic taste with some coffee milk.

Upon further research and reflection,
  • Cit -> cut
  • New Bedford and surrounds have a history of Portuguese immigration, leading to Shrimp Mozambique being a thing.
Coffee milk I already love, although my true allegiance is Farmers Union Iced Coffee.
In 2008, Farmers Union Iced Coffee outsold Coca-Cola in South Australia at a rate of almost 3:1, with South Australians consuming 36 million litres, making it the only place in the world where a milk drink outsells a cola product[.]
posted by zamboni at 7:53 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

I live on the west coast now and today I was at a restaurant and ordered clam chowder - Boston clam chowder not that Manhattan swill. Here is what was wrong with it:

- gnocchi - WTF?
- bacon - WTF?
- no oyster crackers - this was at an oyster bar! - WTF?
- no Westminster Oyster Crackers - WTF?
- the clams were still in their shells - WTF?
- completely flavorless - no potatoes, no salt, no butter - WTF?
posted by bendy at 8:04 PM on December 2 [6 favorites]

In my hometown of Denver my favorite local food was a Chubby-Burger Special Burrito, smothered with green chile . This is the “original” Chubby’s on West 35th, where they made their chile from peppers grown on a family farm in sw Colorado, and if you were lucky you would see grandma in the kitchen making the most delicious green chile known to humankind.

New Mexico (the state) will fight you, with our award-winning license plate. No, really --
Creating the chile plate took on added urgency during the session when lawmakers learned that officials in Colorado were mulling a plan to create a similar a license plate celebrating Pueblo, Colo.’s green chile.

The prospect of New Mexico’s northern neighbor claiming the mantle of the “chile state” sent legislators into action. They attached an emergency clause to Brown’s bill declaring that the swift creation of such a license plate was necessary for the public peace, health and safety.

“They’re trying to beat us to it,” Brown said.

In her veto message, dated April 6, Martinez said, “I appreciate the sponsor bringing this forward, and I absolutely believe our New Mexico True chile is worthy of its own license plate.”

However, she said, the plate should be made available to all New Mexicans at no additional cost. “That is why I have directed the Tourism Department to work with the Motor Vehicle Division to create a standard chile license plate that represents something that makes New Mexico true — our chile, with no additional fees.”

A day later, Martinez issued a news release announcing the new plate would be available this summer, well ahead of Colorado’s chile plate, which won’t hit the highways until 2018.
Green chile on everything! We're apparently doing a better job marketing the Hatch green chiles, but not a great job, because while I was thrilled to find "hatch chile" on a menu in Little Rock, Arkansas, it took some asking around in to find anyone who could verify what their "hatch chiles" were [it didn't help that the whole menu was in lower case, so it was unclear if they meant Hatch, NM, or some recipe or preparation style, but I digress]. It was weird being a semi-subtle promoter of local produce.

(Also, New Mexico doesn't have much else to proudly say "This Is Ours," because we don't want to celebrate Cops and Breaking Bad too loudly, or it might seem like we're celebrating lawlessness)

But we should be celebrating and exporting biscochitos! They're tasty, crumbly anise and cinnamon seasoned sugar cookies, though if you want some "adult" flavor to your holiday treats, the New Mexico tourism magazine published a recipe that also includes whiskey.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:14 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]


Stuffed Quahogs
Bar Pizza
Fluffernutter sandwiches
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:50 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

Speaking of both chile and lawlessness:

I went to Albuquerque for a few months in the fall of '99, to visit a penpal/acquaintance, who was part of a very small intentional community in a poor rural area on the outskirts of town. We'd been corresponding for a while and had met at a campout earlier that summer, but I didn't have a good picture of what the rest of the community would be like.

I got off my all-night bus at dawn and made my way down to the South Valley. His long-distance girlfriend had also just arrived for the first time the night before.

The "community" was busy. Some friend from the Mesa, as in the Mesa profiled in the movie Off The Grid, had just purchased a garbage truck for $300. This required a logistically complex expedition to go get it and to deliver it to where the friend lived even further south of town, and some complex combination of people with or without vehicles and with or without drivers' licenses and registered cars to go get it and also to follow behind so that the police didn't get overexcited about the unregistered garbage truck lumbering down the road.

While the initial garbage-truck-buying negotiations were going on, me and the newly-arrived girlfriend were asked to stay at the house and roast a bunch of green chile.

Also, it turned out the chile was stolen. They had hopped a fence and harvested a basket of fairly poor-quality Hatch chiles from a neighboring farmer's field. Allegedly, year after year, the farmers always planted a field of chile that they never irrigated or harvested, and our hippie heroes were convinced it was a tax writeoff.

So my first, sleep-deprived, been-on-a-Greyhound-bus-for-40-hours day in Albuquerque involved sitting by a fire in the yard in the crisp fall air, smelling a mix of smoke from all the other neighbors ' chile-roasting and trash-burning fires, sitting across from an equally sleep-deprived traveler, turning possible contraband chiles over the coals and wondering what the hell we got ourselves into, all while our hosts went off on a Mad Max expedition to retrieve a rusted old garbage truck that no one really could explain the purpose of.
posted by twoplussix at 9:06 PM on December 2 [15 favorites]

I believe in NM they call that "the weekend"
posted by bongo_x at 10:00 PM on December 2 [3 favorites]

It is a tragedy of the commons to be in a place where I have to describe to someone what a whoopie pie is. That is sort of the dividing line of places I'm willing to live vs. ... wherever the rest of you live.

There are spots across the US where people know what a whoopie pie is. I might live there. But, if the collective zeitgeist says 'What?' well then...
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:02 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Man, I am constantly reminded recently that a) we have a ton of awesome Mefites in my old home town of Chicago and b) we have a ton of awesome foodstuffs in my old home town of Chicago. While I don't personally know any of the Mefites I sometimes miss the foodstuffs terribly. I will have to head east for a meetup sometime soon if you folks will have me. (I promise I will strategically not mention my preference for NY style pizza).

I've been in Portland for a dozen years now and I honestly couldn't tell you what the best "local" food is. There's a lot of great salmon and oysters around but anything beyond that, I suspect (as a transplant) I am not allowed to know, or at least the natives have successfully hidden it from me so far. (Maybe one of you guys can clue me in?) Local or not though, we are a heck of a foodie town these days and generally do pretty well with everybody else's local foods. I find myself eating a lot of very good Asian stuff lately, particularly Vietnamese and Thai. I'll be relying on Luc Lac's pho, Bunk's pork belly cubano, and the ba mhee Pitsanulok at Paadee to get me through the winter. Very impatiently waiting for the new Korean grocery in my neighborhood to open up, they were supposed to be open Q1 2018 and at this point I'll be hopeful-but-surprised if they make Q1 2019.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 10:59 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Huh, it seems to be the season for mediocre soups. Yesterday I made a soup out of some leftover roasted brussels sprouts, carrots languishing in the crisper draw, sautéed garlic and onion, stock, cream and then pureed it. Only, I just didn't like it much. The burnt bits on the sprouts, delicious in roasted form, seemed to add burnt notes to the soup and the unrelenting sameness of the soup really got to me. Funny thing is, the 15 month old adores it, and ate a quite large bowl yesterday and today. So we're just going to keep feeding it to him, some each day, while his dad and I eat other stuff.
posted by peacheater at 11:25 PM on December 2 [2 favorites]

Ghidorah is absolutely right about how local food specialties just keep on developing in amazingly delicious ways, so traveling in Japan is basically going from one dish to another for many people.

There is one very weak link though: Tokyo itself. The local food is monja or monjayaki (article with bubbling, gelatinous video not autoplay). Kind of like its much better known and loved cousin, okonomiyaki, monja is cook-it-yourself on the steel grill food to share with friends over a drink. Except it looks like and has all the appeal of congealed, grilled snot. Look at it. I will eat just about anything served at almost any restaurant in Tokyo and it will most likely be decent to excellent and I'll probably enjoy it. But the local treat is an abomination. It is the one glaring failure of Japanese cuisine.
posted by Gotanda at 12:15 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Gotanda is almost right about monja yaki. Really, really close. It’s not really like snot though. It seriously looks like someone barfed on a hot plate and let it cook down until the chunks charred.

Not a fan. I’d rather have Osaka’s terrifying concoction of doteyaki, which is konyaku, cow ligaments, and white miso boiled down on a hot plate into a gelatinous goo that’s actually prettt nice.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:02 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Both ways. Barfed through the nose? But, doteyaki? What? Osaka betrayed me. I thought everything there was tasty. Ligament-based food should never become a trend but I can see it being sold as some kind of collagen-rich health food.
posted by Gotanda at 1:16 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]

I spent a week making it on a giant hot plate for Minoh at a beer festival once. Having to explain what it was to Tokyo area people was a challenge, as most Kanto area people have never even heard of it. Still, better than monja.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:23 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Oh stop dissing monja you two.
posted by misozaki at 1:47 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]

Lots of former shitamachi Tokyo kids look back fondly on monja as something they ate after school at cheap confectionery shops (dagashiya). Mentai-mochi-cheese monja FTW, get over yourselves and try some sometime. Maybe I'll organize our next meetup at a monja place!
posted by misozaki at 1:58 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]

Right. Childhood comfort food always wins. Please do organize one! We are long overdue and always over rely on visitors.
posted by Gotanda at 3:24 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

I’ll be in Tokyo late this week for a conference.

I think I’ll pass on the monja. (Trying to find a hotel: outside Tokyo, with hot tub in the room/on a terrace, available the night of the 8th, with a website my partner can navigate for reservations proved too much. I think we’ll end up at a coed onsen in Tokyo. Maybe we’ll take a bullet train day trip.)
posted by bilabial at 4:39 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

+1 for Skyline Chili, which I order as a chili cheese sandwich, plain (just chili on a hot dog bun with cheese, no hot dog, onions or mustard). Last time I visited Cincinnati, Skyline was my first stop from the airport, ahead of seeing my mother.

When I lived in Madison, I would go to the Old Fashioned and get the No. 6, which is served as a lazy Susan with a spread of Braunschweiger, pickles, salami, smoked trout, deviled eggs, pickled herring, 2 types of cheese spread, rye bread, and Ritz crackers. It tasted like my grandmothers' parties (fish, pickles, salami, rye served by my Jewish grandmother in Michigan; Braunschweiger, deviled eggs, Ritz, and cheese spread served by my Cincinnati grandma). The No. 6 is so salty that your fingers will swell up like little cocktail wieners and you'll wake up feeling hungover even if you didn't drink but it is worth it because nostalgia.
posted by coppermoss at 4:53 AM on December 3 [4 favorites]

I lived in Cincinnati for a... terrible eight months in the 90's. I was very broke, and it's a good town for cheap food, or it was then. But that chili...I could not eat that chili.

Graeter's ice cream however, particularly the caramel and cinnamon flavours, that was an excellent splurge.
posted by wellred at 5:12 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

People argue about BBQ around here with an intensity we usually reserve for college basketball, but I like both styles.

Grew up outside Raleigh and in New Bern, and I strongly agree with this. I'm super partisan about North Carolina barbecue in general, but I like both styles, although I prefer Lexington style slaw. I feel like it's a place where North Carolinians can come together and celebrate our differences, unlike college basketball in which some of us are Right and others are Wrong.

I've lived a few different places: I'm from NC, my wife's from Rhode Island, we met in Chicago, we live outside DC, and it feels like local food is the thing I most carry from place to place. Some barbecue, an Italian Beef, a stuffie or a half smoke? I'd have any of those right now and it's 9 AM.

(and it's not a North Carolina thing, but seeing that you're in Greensboro, where my parents are from, made me want Ghassan's)
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:03 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

I’d love another Tokyo meetup, but due to the crazybusy, the best I can do is a small window after six on Saturdays along eastern Tokyo, or a slightly longer window on Sundays, also from six.

Thought at this point, I seem to be hosting small scale meat ups every month or so.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:08 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

If you're in Peoria specifically, avail yourself of Lebanese food, there's a huge Lebanese population and several restaurants (and also they cater basically all of the Democratic Party events so yummmmmmmmm).

My first apartment was in Peoria, DIRECTLY ABOVE a Lebanese restaurant. Had I not been financially limited, I might have eaten there every day. Their food was so good (and their owner was a sweetheart; he told me I should just come downstairs and hang out when my air conditioner died). I've found a decent equivalent in Hartford, but damn I miss Haddad's.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:47 AM on December 3 [5 favorites]

I live in Ottawa and work in Quebec and although it originated further into Quebec, this area is still a hotbed of Poutine. Even shitty restaurants here have pretty great Poutine.

Except for The Cross on Elgin. Great trivia host; terrible, terrible food. Poutine should not be soup.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:07 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]

Oh, you know what I miss from growing up Polish in Chicago? The answer should be "kielbasa"

I grew up around enough Polish Catholics in Chicago that I associate fat Tuesday with paczki, despite not being Catholic. Kids would bring them in to share with the class and it was a treat. I was very disappointed to find out that it wasn't a common thing elsewhere, even though when I moved to another place that had a lot of people of Polish descent. (though in Minneapolis, Bogarts will make some, and of course kramarczuk's has a pre-order form).

My knitting group acquired a lamb cake tin because we had enough Chicago-adjacent people that it became a Thing.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:10 AM on December 3 [5 favorites]

SHIT yeah I miss paczki. Detroit area and then Pittsburgh for me, but I remember them being a bigger deal in Michigan. In any case, they don't exist in Austin, TX, and aren't convenient to get close by in the part of the Boston area I live in now, so I am DEPRIVED.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:19 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]

I've never heard of paczki in Pittsburgh. Google tells me that they're a kind of donut which we have lots of here but I've never seen that word before.
posted by octothorpe at 7:49 AM on December 3

I never found a beer I actually wanted to drink until I moved to Michigan. Oberon is what I really want Blue Moon to be like- Blue Moon is just too citrusy.
posted by Mouse Army at 8:03 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]

Oberon is my go-to summer beer here in PA. Love that stuff.
posted by octothorpe at 8:18 AM on December 3 [2 favorites]

Maybe I will write an ode to Bojangles (not that local anymore, Pennsylvania?!) and Cook-out tomorrow,

Cook-out is overrated. Please do not @ me during this difficult time.

Both (all) styles of barbecue are great, though I prefer Eastern. The thing that I always end up explaining to Northern family/friends that visit is that what they call "a barbecue" - grilling assorted meats over flames - bears no relation to North Carolina Barbecue. Down here it would be called a "cook-out" (hence the drive-thru joint). If you want an easy to understand guide to the difference in NC barbecue styles, Raleigh's House of Swank sells this handy t-shirt.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:38 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]

I didn't travel much as a kid and this was pre-internet, so I didn't know till my 20s that pierogi were not a ubiquitous food across the US. I don't have Polish ancestry, but so many people in my socioeconomic bracket did that I didn't really even register it as a Polish food. I felt sad for the pierogi-lacking areas. Still kind of do.

Didn't realize pepperoni rolls were regional either, on about the same time scale. They've become our go-to for day trip hiking picnics. Filling and indestructible.

Also, cookie tables at weddings. The cookies themselves will vary in execution, but I will defend the practice all day.
posted by cage and aquarium at 9:23 AM on December 3 [4 favorites]

Since moving to North Carolina, I've fully appreciated how much my Texas upbringing isn't all that Southern. Things I've really enjoyed since moving here:

Duke's Mayonnaise- I'm a convert. I only have Duke's at home now.

Green tomatoes (fried or pickled or just raw)- Turns out this has more Midwestern Jewish roots than anything, but the South has claimed it, and I had never seen it elsewhere before.

Atlantic Beach Pie- Super citrusy filling not unlike Key Lime pie, but this sucker's got a saltine cracker crust that gives you a little bit of saltiness to counter a lot of the sweetness.

Pimento Cheese- I normally love cheese, so when it's more flavorful and spreadable? Oh HELL YES.
Having been raised on BBQ brisket, NC pork-based BBQ (either version) will always be a far second. That said, I've really enjoyed the pork, cabbage, and vinegar thing that goes on down here. It's actually pretty similar to flavor combinations found in some of the Chinese food I grew up on. I've been able to mix all these flavors together and collaborate with the chef at work to create pulled pork and pimento cheese dumplings served with a Balsamic vinaigrette reduction. It was fantastic!
posted by astapasta24 at 9:30 AM on December 3 [8 favorites]

mix all these flavors together and collaborate with the chef at work to create pulled pork and pimento cheese dumplings served with a Balsamic vinaigrette reduction

Yo, meetup at astapasta24's work.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:47 AM on December 3 [5 favorites]

Packzi regularly appears in the Giant Eagle big-box grocery chain here in Cleveland right around the appropriate season.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:00 AM on December 3

SHIT yeah I miss paczki. Detroit area and then Pittsburgh for me, but I remember them being a bigger deal in Michigan.

Oddly, this is my experience as well, in Chicago. I asked my Chicago raised fellow grad students where to get some my first year, and they looked at me like I was insane. Clearly there are many options, it just blew my mind that people who had Pulaski day off hadn't heard of Paczki. You can't avoid them in SE Michigan on Paczki day!

I've never heard of paczki in Pittsburgh. Google tells me that they're a kind of donut which we have lots of here but I've never seen that word before.
posted by octothorpe at 7:49 AM on December 3
[+] [!]

Very rich donuts. I think the dough is supposed to have some alcohol and lard in it? And 3 weeks worth of calories.
posted by ghost phoneme at 10:53 AM on December 3 [4 favorites]

"Honey dill is a condiment consisting of honey, mayonnaise, and dried dill that is unique to Manitoba, Canada"


I guess Poor Man's Pudding/Pouding Chômeur would also count, though I don't know if it's as popular in Manitoba's francophone community as it was in my family. ProTip: Sprinkle a layer of sweetened shredded coconut on the batter before pouring in the syrup to get a crispy texture and more diabeetus.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:02 AM on December 3 [3 favorites]

My husband, right before last Fat Tuesday, his first Easter season in Chicago, comes home from the grocery store, and is like, "There are these crazy-delicious jelly donuts everywhere on sale and on special displays!"

I was like, "Those are paczki, dude."

"What are paczki?"

"A Polish thing, for Fat Tuesday."

He came home on Ash Wednesday and in a voice of great woe, cries, "THE PACZKI ARE GONE!"

No kidding, it's Lent! But I am very much enjoying my husband discovering the food atlas of my childhood. He keeps coming home with things I think are super-normal but for him they're special unique unicorns he just discovered and has never seen before.

(And then also this is the first really BIG city he's lived in -- grew up in Sarasota, went to college in Durham, lived in Peoria 12 years -- so he's also discovering the world foods smorgasbord of your average suburban supermarket outside a big city, which he's never had available before. Like, even my Walgreens has an Indian foods section in their ONE AISLE of groceries. And I haven't even exposed him yet to the big Mexican supermarket nearby, or H-Mart, or any of the big ethnic supermarkets.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:03 AM on December 3 [12 favorites]

Saltine cracker crust! Oh my heck! The things I will do with that. I see a saltine cracker crust bowl, full of smoked fish dip, for instance! I see little saltine cracker crust tiny baked boats for one or two bite canpes. You would have to put in butter, then ice water to make a workable structural component. Never mind, but there are the best ideas in here.
posted by Oyéah at 11:33 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Eyebrows, you've reminded me of how what seems an ubiquitous thing to me is unheard of elsewhere. Like - it totally blew my mind 15 or so years ago when I learned from my brother, who was living in Los Angeles at the time, that Dunkin Donuts wasn't a thing there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:35 AM on December 3 [1 favorite]

I started composing a reply about 'local foods' when I was growing up in NYC in the 80's, and, frankly, the thing that stood out the most was also all about Polish food, mostly the diners (with the odd Ukrainian-owned place occasionally thrown in on the Lower East Side).

There was a place we used to go as hipsters in the 90's in Green Point which we called the Literary Diner- it was next to a Polish bookstore and the waiters were extremely forgetful. It was heavily decorated in that kind of cheap Soviet-era Eastern European tourist souvenir schtick tchotchkes and "art" with the little rubber-stamp-paper price sticker on the bottom. Plates didn't match. Every table had a different set of completely mismatched salt and pepper shakers. Folk art painted rooster salt and pepper shakers on one table, while the table next to you sported a Mickey Mouse knockoff cartoon mouse salt and pepper set. Giant oversize painted wooden spoons and forks painted in garish folk art motifs on the wall, next to a velvet painting in some unmatching colors/themes, and totally random cheap plastic decor objects behung every vertical surface. There was never anyone there besides us and the food was awesome. It was such an awesome destination.
posted by twoplussix at 11:45 AM on December 3 [4 favorites]

I cannot leave New England because then how will I eat Greek pizza?
posted by overeducated_alligator at 12:45 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]

Come to the Pacific Northwest. If it is edible, we have pizza of it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Richmond, VA has the Sailor sandwich. Chiocca's does a great one - right next to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
posted by Vhanudux at 1:09 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]

I compiled a MeFi State Foods list from an AskMe a while ago.

Couple missing here. Jucy Lucy, as mentioned above. But also the following:

1. An Italian sandwich, unfortunately called the hot dago, that is still served in bars.
2. Pearson's salted nut roles. A local invention.
3. Creamy wild rice soup.
4. Booya, a sort of communal soup still served in Northern Minnesota
5. Flat, cracker-crust pizza cut into squares with lots of mozzarella and a sweet, slightly spicy sauce.
posted by maxsparber at 1:15 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]

maxsparber, I need to look you up the next time I am in St. Paul. Such meals we would have!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:25 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]

This thread, combined with the New Mexico thread, really brings home how different parts of the U.S. are even in this day of supposed homogeneity.

I have lived in 7 states, almost all in the southern half of the country, and been to probably 30 states total; most the west and south, a little of the northwest, and very little of the midwest. Reading a lot of this thread, and many discussions on MF, is like reading about a foreign country.
posted by bongo_x at 1:39 PM on December 3 [4 favorites]

I lived in Columbus, OH for the first twenty eight years of my life and I have never even heard of sauerkraut balls. I agree with the poster above that cream puffs and Bahama Mama sausages from Schmidt's are the specific delicacies.
posted by Kwine at 1:49 PM on December 3

I just bought lefse this weekend, but my favorite Minnesota food is Old Dutch Gourmet White Popcorn. I seriously miss it when I am out of town. Seconding Pearson's nut rolls, but I have started to love their Nut Goodie more.

As far as restaurants go, I love the Manohmin Porridge at Hell's Kitchen.
posted by soelo at 2:00 PM on December 3 [2 favorites]

I've never heard of paczki in Pittsburgh. Google tells me that they're a kind of donut which we have lots of here but I've never seen that word before.

It's also pronounced like pownch-key if you were wondering.
posted by astapasta24 at 3:15 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]

Oddly, this is my experience as well, in Chicago. I asked my Chicago raised fellow grad students where to get some my first year, and they looked at me like I was insane. Clearly there are many options, it just blew my mind that people who had Pulaski day off hadn't heard of Paczki.

Uhhh what? I was indoctrinated in the wonder of paczki my first year of college in Chicago! I got weird looks when I asked locals in the Raleigh area where to find them! They looked at me like I was crazy when I told them I usually had to pre-order them weeks before at my local bakery AND be at the shop by 6AM for pick up if I didn't want to wait a couple of hours in line.
posted by astapasta24 at 3:18 PM on December 3 [2 favorites]

Paczki are in Cincinnati, too! The best place to get them is Bonomini Bakery. SO GOOD.
posted by cooker girl at 4:26 PM on December 3

@Alvy The Honey Dill sauce was weirdly made famous by Mitzi's Chicken Finger Restaurant. The 'Peg though has some other very local foods - Jeanne Cake (one of my favorites and my wife always brings back one for me every time she visits family), the Fat Boy, smoked Goldeye, my in-laws always want someone to bring back Pioneer Meat farmer's sausage.

Pouding Chômeur is pretty typical for most French Canadians (who aren't health conscious). We ate it at least once a month when I was growing up.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:51 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Oh right, my favorite donut place mentioned previously also makes paczki now at certain times of year. So good!
posted by limeonaire at 5:47 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]

I cannot leave New England because then how will I eat Greek pizza?

Ugh, I know. There is actually lots of very good pizza in NC, but I haven't seen any Greek style. It's not perfect, but Little Caesars deep dish scratches some of that itch.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:29 PM on December 3

More Minneapolis doughnut news:

I forgot to mention that Sarah Jane's bakery also has good packzi (when I was looking for a house, I had a friend who was really trying to get me to move to NE with the promise of old Polish grannies selling homemade pierogies out of the Catholic churches).

Bogarts is currently selling sufganyoat, for your seasonal religious jelly doughnut needs. There's less lard in them than in packzi, for obvious reasons.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:46 PM on December 3 [5 favorites]

I've been craving sufganiot. Going to have to hit up the bakery tomorrow.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:13 PM on December 3 [1 favorite]

Metafilter: for your seasonal religious jelly doughnut needs.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:03 PM on December 3 [3 favorites]

Ugh, I know. There is actually lots of very good pizza in NC, but I haven't seen any Greek style. It's not perfect, but Little Caesars deep dish scratches some of that itch.

Things New England (especially Rhode Island) has too many of: pizza variants, words for what's basically a milkshake, types of bowling.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:42 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]

posted by Rock Steady at 4:52 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]

Re: pizza variants, there's a few restaurants here serving New Haven-style pizza. One of their online menus typo'ed it to "New Heaven pizza."
posted by lazuli at 6:10 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

posted by Rock Steady at 7:52 on December 4

posted by duffell at 6:27 AM on December 4 [4 favorites]

Atlantic Canada here! The easy answer is donairs and garlic fingers.

I was pretty surprised to find that garlic fingers weren't a standard thing at pizza places, they're definitely a concept most people can immediately get behind. Slather some pizza dough in garlic butter and maybe some dried herbs like parsely, top it with pizza mozzarella, add bacon if you desire, and bake it. When it's out of the oven it's not cut into slices or pieces like pizza, but rather into small thin "fingers" that are about three bites each. The reason it's served in strips is to make it the ideal size for dipping, because they are often served with a little cup of donair sauce.

Donair (pronounced with a long "o", like in "own") sauce is, of course, the sauce used in donairs. Donairs are a variation on "doner kebabs" and they were invented in Halifax. Seasoned beef is cooked vertically on a spit. The meat is shaved with a knife onto flatbread along with raw onions, tomatoes, and lettuce and it's all wrapped up so it can be eaten while wandering drunk around downtown.

Some of you might be thinking, well - this just sounds like a gyro - but you would be wrong, because of the aforementioned donair sauce. It is a thin white garlic sauce made with condensed milk, and it is very sweet compared to the tangy tzatziki sauce used in gyros. I feel like the sweetness "enhances" the flavour of the meat rather than overpowers it like tzatziki does, and I'd pick donairs over gyros any time.
posted by one of these days at 6:47 AM on December 4 [5 favorites]

Oh, and chicken bones! They're a pink cinnamon candy around a chocolate "marrow" and they show up around Christmas. I hate them but the wife is obsessed.
posted by one of these days at 6:54 AM on December 4 [3 favorites]

So...are garlic fingers the pre-cursor or something to Italian fries or I-fries, the only instance of which I am aware of was at Macalester College (I didn't go there, but was taught the recipe - Boboli pizza crust, Italian dressing, cheese, garlic powder I think)? or is it just that that sort of thing is delicious?
posted by wellred at 7:04 AM on December 4

I was pretty surprised to find that garlic fingers weren't a standard thing at pizza places, they're definitely a concept most people can immediately get behind. Slather some pizza dough in garlic butter and maybe some dried herbs like parsely, top it with pizza mozzarella, add bacon if you desire, and bake it. When it's out of the oven it's not cut into slices or pieces like pizza, but rather into small thin "fingers" that are about three bites each.

I grew up with these in Western New York; they were usually called something like "garlic bread sticks" instead of "fingers."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:09 AM on December 4

This thread is very confusing for a Polish person because pączki are jelly doughnuts and paczki are parcels. (Packzi is not a Polish word at all.)

Incidentally, Dunkin Donuts recently pulled out of its second attempt to invade the Polish market. I assume Blikle put the cursed doll in storage until attempt #3.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 7:10 AM on December 4 [6 favorites]

The word "breadstick" makes me think of something more rounded, baked individually, rather than something served flat in a pizza box, but on image searching it it seems like it may well be about the same thing under a different name.

I'm not sure about the Italian fries! I think the dressing would make it taste quite a bit different, but they definitely sound good. Wikipedia lists those explicitly as being similar as well.

You really can't miss with a bread, garlic, cheese combo. (The king of the garlic finger is, in my opinion, Greco Pizza.)
posted by one of these days at 7:23 AM on December 4

Mmmmm. Bread, garlic, cheese.

Making latkes tonight or lunch would need to be bread, garlic, cheese.
posted by wellred at 7:50 AM on December 4

I can't say I really miss it, but this thread also has me thinking about Superman ice cream, and how weird it was that that was a thing.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:55 AM on December 4

Superman lives! I'm pretty sure the ice cream stand by my parents has it every summer. And Meijer's* has their own version still.

*Yes, I know there's no s. But that's how we say it.
posted by ghost phoneme at 10:58 AM on December 4 [2 favorites]

Really late on this, but for NJ:

Fat sandwiches. I know they've caught on everywhere, but the 'real' ones are from New Brunswick, NJ. You can't even get them from the original spot, since Rutgers hates happiness and tore down the spot where the 'grease trucks' (food trucks) used to park and put up fancy-ass high-rise student housing. The next best place is Jimmy's, on Easton Ave.

Bagels. There is fucking nothing like a dozen hot, fresh bagels tucked into a big brown paper bag on a Sunday morning. My family gets them from Boxcar Bagels in Bogota, NJ, where they're about as big as two adult-sized fists each.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:46 AM on December 4 [1 favorite]

*Yes, I know there's no s. But that's how we say it.


Nice job with the copyright-lawsuit-avoidance, Meijer's.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:48 PM on December 4 [4 favorites]

it totally blew my mind 15 or so years ago when I learned from my brother, who was living in Los Angeles at the time, that Dunkin Donuts wasn't a thing there.

But something I find interesting is how many freakin donut places there are in L.A. mostly small independent stores.
They are everywhere. I've never seen a place with more donut shops, but no one ever talks about.
Do people not notice? Does it just not fit the narrative?
posted by bongo_x at 2:14 PM on December 4

bongo_x - I don't know as much about L.A., but there are lots of great donut shops in Northern CA as well. In my personal experience, we never talked about it as a "thing" because we didn't realize it was unique - I'd always assumed that ubiquitous good donut places were commonplace everywhere. It may be why Dunkin' Donuts has been slow to expand in California. Kind of like how Dunkin' was unable to successfully expand into Canada due to the heavy dominance of Tim Horton's.

Do I get some sort of extra donut judging cred coming from the apparent land of many delicious donuts? If so I would like to state that though I have nothing against Tim Horton's (please don't bar me from Canada), Dunkin' has superior donuts.
posted by photoelectric at 3:47 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]

Timmy’s donuts are not good. We do not seem to care. It’s a thing.
posted by wellred at 5:56 PM on December 4 [2 favorites]

> He likes them ultra-traditional like his grandma used to make them (beef, rutabaga, potato, and onion ONLY), which as a result are rather dry because modern beef is so lean compared to cheap cuts of miner beef 100 years ago.

A good butcher will sell you tallow or chunks of suet (beef fat). If they don't have tallow, buy the suet and render it to tallow yourself. Mix sparingly into the pasties filling; you need less than you think you do. (NB: I haven't done exactly this. But I have done something similar in adding lard to a pork mixture where the pork was too lean. Same principle, different animal.)
posted by ardgedee at 6:35 PM on December 4

Dunkin' Donuts are also bad, but they're cheap and also it's just incredibly weird to move from Massachusetts to an area where there are no Dunkin' Donuts. Even if you never go into one you always just sort of expect one or two to be in the background somewhere, and it's a little unsettling when you realize they're just missing.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:08 PM on December 4 [4 favorites]

I've never seen a place with more donut shops, but no one ever talks about.
Do people not notice? Does it just not fit the narrative?

There are a lot, but I didn't find it any more concentrated than when I lived in Dallas/Fort Worth where there's also one in every other shopping center, and they just quietly get on with it. Here in SoCal, just like in DFW, donut shops seem to be overwhelmingly Asian immigrant mom-and-pop-shops - it's hard work, you have to start at 2-3am, margins are slim, but barriers to entry are low and you're not expected to offer ambience or even any special services until recently, when coffee has become more significant in the donut space, but there are some ways in which Asian food-service interests have been experienced in the coffee/drink space/equipment a lot longer than McDonald's has had fancy coffee.

Proximity is a big deal in the donutconomy. The biggest bulk consumers of donuts are offices, and you're not driving out of your way to pick them up, you want them directly on the way and you'll favor the one that doesn't require an awkward left turn or difficult parking. And depending on exact proximity, a well-placed donut shop will pivot late-morning to a sandwich shop, which you can do with the same suite of equipment if you're smart.

It is interesting how much people's eyes will glide past a donut shop, though. It's definitely something we're willing to treat as negligible.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:25 PM on December 4

Jeanne Cake (one of my favorites and my wife always brings back one for me every time she visits family)

I lived in Winnipeg for 16 years and, like The Forks or Hal Anderson, the popularity of that sawdust log rolled in bland frosting has always bewildered me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:48 PM on December 4 [1 favorite]

Something of a transition week; several smaller projects finished up, and two larger and long-term writing-oriented projects beginning, with rather a lot of lifestyle adaptations to accommodate.

The small tree I obtained late last night - which is sort-of not mine but "resting" here - is up in the west kitchen (bad pictures front and below). The lights are on, and the blue orb made utible atop. All Christmas cards despatched, presents bought and wrapped, (slow) TV programme times and dates noted, the bowl stocked by the travelling oporopolist, alms apportioned for expected carol singers, fireside scrubbed, drawbridge chains greased, and foods with a long eat-by date stashed away. I think we are ready.

Wishing all MeFites a peaceful Christmas/Yule/Solstice/whatever your festivity or occasion of choice is, and a fulfilling 2019 to come.
posted by Wordshore at 12:49 AM on December 5 [4 favorites]

the popularity of that sawdust log rolled in bland frosting has always bewildered me.

It was fit for the Queen and Monty Hall so it is fit for me! I will admit that they can vary in quality (best place to get them is from the bakery fresh rather than at the Safeway) and are an acquired taste (they are a very old school kind of cake). I think they changed the recipe for the icing recently as it doesn't seem to have vegetable shortening in it anymore (which depending on how you feel about that is either good or bad).
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:00 AM on December 5

Okay, it's only the 5th day of December and the novelty of winter has worn off.

My truck started to slide on the road to work this morning. I took my feet off the pedals and turned into the skid...and then I started to spin. I took my hands off the wheel and said WHEE!!, knowing that I was going 25mph at the most and that there wasn't much of anything to run into that would hurt me. So I ended up doing 3 elegant 360s, before sliding backwards into a ditch and through a fence.

Luckily my work BFF happened to be driving behind me, saw the whole thing, pulled over to make sure I was okay, called my mom to come get me, and let everyone at work know what happened.

Then the homeowner came over.

Me: I'm so sorry! I'm insured! My name is elsie and this is Work BFF! We work next door.

Homeowner: Oh that's all right, it's snow! And I work next to next door, I'm the ____ manager.

Me: Oh! My stepdad was the ____ manager next door! His name is Step Dad!

Homeowner: Yeah, I know Step Dad. I used to work for him.

Me: ...I hope you liked him!!

Turns out she does like him and they are still friends. I also think she was at my parents' wedding. So basically we exchanged numbers, I took some pictures to illustrate the weather conditions, and left my truck in the ditch while my mom took me to work in her 4wd SUV with studded tires. The homeowner says I can leave it there for as long as I need to -- even if that's until spring.

The novelty of small town living has NOT worn off yet.

Also because there's only one road into work EVERYONE knows about it. Woo! I'm famous!
posted by elsietheeel at 8:47 AM on December 5 [14 favorites]

Yikes, elsietheeel. I'm glad everyone is ok!
posted by lazuli at 9:54 AM on December 5 [1 favorite]

I've lived in a lot of places now and thought I'd list what foods I miss most about specific places. That is, when I go there its one of the first things I grab:

San Diego: Mexican food (especially tamales) and BIG American breakfasts, like proper pancakes and eggs and bacon and coffee in a thick white mug.
San Francisco: Mission Burritos (unlike anywhere else even San Diego). Dim sum. It's Its - I have a mild addiction.
New England: Clam chowder, Tootsie rolls (they're fresher in New England)
UK: Sticky toffee pudding with hot custard - best dessert in the known universe. Sausage rolls (no good ones in London), Scotch eggs.
Lisbon: Pasteis de Nata, All Goan food, Clams a la Bulhao Pato.
Amsterdam: Live here now but if I move away I know I'll miss herring from a haringhandel

By the by, my grandmother turns 106 today. Her carer had a flu that took her a couple weeks to get rid of and she passed it on to my grandmother. My grandmother recovered in a couple days so her body is some sort of fighting spirit.
posted by vacapinta at 10:02 AM on December 5 [11 favorites]

vacapinta - I had THE WORST damn tamales last night that I have ever had (what was I thinking buying tamales at the supermarket????) and now I must go out tonight and get excellent tamales to destroy the memory of the shitty tamales.
posted by Sophie1 at 12:41 PM on December 5 [3 favorites]

Okay, I actually did NOT turn into the skid, I turned away from it because NO ONE HAS EVER ADEQUATELY EXPLAINED WHAT TURNING INTO THE SKID MEANS. So I'm going to do that now.

"Turn into the skid" means to turn the steering wheel toward the direction that the back of your car is sliding. It does NOT mean to turn your car in the same direction that it's spinning. It's more like turning it away from the direction that you (you being the person) are moving.

For instance, this morning the rear end of my truck slid to the right, causing the truck to spin in a counter-clockwise direction. Mistakenly, I turned the wheel with the spin of the car, not toward the skid of the wheels. Instead of turning the steering wheel to the left, I should have turned it right.

Eh, I probably would have spun out anyway and likely would have ended up in or through the chain link fence on the other side of the road (and possibly into the windbreak made of giant trees), rather than being gently stopped by an old wooden ranch fence.

Note: I drive a 20-year-old 1/2 ton pickup, with rear wheel drive, a manual transmission, and--supposedly--ABS. Your vehicle and skidding experiences may vary.
posted by elsietheeel at 1:39 PM on December 5 [4 favorites]

I found out I'm one of the top two candidates for the promotion I applied for, and the wait is making me streeeeeessssssed

posted by lazuli at 6:56 AM on December 6 [40 favorites]

posted by elsietheeel at 7:49 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]

(Oh! Quick cat update! Older cat has settled into his new digs nicely. My sister sends me pics and videos of him, and tells me about all of his weird little behavioral quirks that she's discovering [that I already knew about] and it's great. She loves him AND it's become a path to a good friendship between us [she's actually my stepsister of about 6 years] so that's wonderful. Also younger cat doesn't seem to be looking around for him anymore, and has returned to sleeping under the covers with me at night. So far things look all good in the cat hood.)

((Also my mom is having the truck towed out of the ditch while I'm at work today so it will all taken care of by this afternoon. Awesome moms are awesome!))
posted by elsietheeel at 7:59 AM on December 6 [8 favorites]

Ctrl-F "parmo"

No one? Really?
posted by winterhill at 8:03 AM on December 6

Yay for happy cats and tow trucks!
posted by lazuli at 8:12 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]

WOO HOO to lazuli!
posted by bookmammal at 8:14 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]

Frickin' malasadas, man.

Also, I don't know how local it actually is, but I've only ever seen a haddock reuben on the menu at exactly one restaurant ever and anyway they're AMAZING. Arguably even better than a conventional reuben?
posted by tobascodagama at 11:27 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]

tobascodegama: I had a grouper Reuben in Tampa once. Revelatory.
posted by wellred at 11:34 AM on December 6 [2 favorites]

"It is noscible that the oporopolist is a papacolist." Supposedly that line appears somewhere within the first two paragraphs of the second chapter of Speak, Memory, by Vladimir Nabokov. I love how Wordshore is always teaching me something new about language.

The dark, gloomy Swedish winter has me down, down, down. Today I was at a mall looking at the menu of a Mexican cafe that included "Mission District" burritos. Such blasphemy! There is exactly one place you can find delicious, wonderful Mission District burritos. That would be in the Mission District. In San Francisco. Not in a frickin' Swedish mall.

If you like meatballs, however, you can get extremely tasty meatballs here in Stockholm, especially if my kid's dad is doing the cooking. I also love fried herring with mashed potatoes, fresh cucumbers in a little vinegar, and lingonberries. That is my favourite Swedish dish, hands down, and I drag as many visitors as possible to the herring wagon in Gamla Stan so they can sample it. There is fancy food here, too, and I have had some. But this working-class meal, which has kind of become hipster food at some places, just really speaks to me. Well, my stomach.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:05 PM on December 6 [2 favorites]

It is so dark. I hate it.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:06 PM on December 7 [3 favorites]

I worked as the house manager (sort of the person in charge) for a holiday party that happened at our local music hall. The party was loud and ran a little late. I went up to make sure people were cleaning up (they were) and people offered me food, like a LOT of food. I passe don taking home half a tray of shepherd's pie (tempting) but did take home some meatballs (quite good) and many little toothpicked venison wrapped in bacon which is now my favorite food in the entire world. i had picked them up thinking maybe they were figs or something. My word.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 6:45 PM on December 7 [5 favorites]

Today I realized that I don't need an excuse to skip my terrible office Christmas party. I can just not go. If someone asks, I can say that I had other plans. (My other plans are to sit around my house in my PJs.) I feel so liberated!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:47 PM on December 7 [11 favorites]

ArbitraryAndCapricious—good for you! When I realized this it was so freeing! “Other plans” can mean many things...
posted by bookmammal at 7:35 AM on December 8 [1 favorite]

OK I made this local food and scurvy treatment a coupla days ago. When it was gone. I licked the plate clean. I don't usually do this. Here is the list of ingredients, directions to follow.

Smallish cast iron skillet
2-3 Tablsepoons extra virgin olive oil
One fat garlic clove chopped
Small handful of sprigs fresh licorice basil or basil
6 Brussels sprouts cut into sixths
Spike seasoning salt or other mix you like
1/2 medium small yellow squash cut into half circles
7 cherry tomatoes cut in half or a couple of salad sized tomatoes (the more
diifferent colors the prettier)
1/2-3/4 cup chopped cooked chicken, or tofu if vegetarian
The juice of 1 Lemon
Three splashes of tabasco
Feta cheese for top garnish upon serving

The list of ingredients is the order of cooking, unless you use tofu, then sautee the tofu hot with the garlic up front then turn down for the rest of the additions. This dish comes together quickly, and is finished when the Brussels sprouts are tender. The heat is medium and something about the lemon in with the sprouts opens up their flavor, yet decreases the sulphery quality that people either love or hate. After getting everything in the pan and once the tomatoes have started to cook, mash them on the bottom of the pan to release their juice then add the lemon. Put a lid on this and cook medium low for 4-5 minutes. When the sprouts are al dente it is done. Turn out onto a flat bowl and sprinkle with feta. This is good with noodles on the side or underneath, rice, potatoes on the side or whatever. I just had it solo. I was shocked at how good the combination of things was. The licorice or Asian basil I found in the Asian market really added to this. It is a meal for one or two, a little more chicken or tofu, with a starch would make it enough.
posted by Oyéah at 8:51 AM on December 8 [4 favorites]

Chile Verde in Southern CO and New Mexico.

There's a lot of decent vegan soul food here in DC. Also, oysters.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:41 PM on December 10 [1 favorite]

winterhill it is now incumbent on you to describe "parmo," especially since I have to wait till tomorrow to pay Jimmy Wales his tithe.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:06 AM on December 11

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