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America’s Best Fish and Chips

America’s Best Fish and Chips

On the surface, fish and chips sound like they should be pretty easy to make. At these 20 restaurants, the fish and chips are anything but soggy; they’re the best in the country.

America’s Best Fish and Chips (Slideshow)

But first, a little history. Deep-fried fish was probably first introduced to Britain by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain in the 1500s. In 1860, Joseph Malin opened the first fish and chip shop — chips, of course, being what the Brits call plump French fries — in Oldham, Manchester. A combination of mass trawl fishing in the North Sea and the construction of railways connecting the ports to the major cities made fish cheap and readily available, and it became a staple working-class food. By the end of the 1800s, chip shops (or chippers or chippys, as they came to be known), were ubiquitous. From there, the meal began to rise in popularity in neighboring Scotland and Ireland, and eventually spread to the United States.

The “fish” in fish and chips is generally cod or haddock, but other white fish, like pollock, plaice, and skate, aren’t uncommon, along with halibut, flounder, and tilapia in the United States. It all comes down to what’s available — many restaurants will let you choose from several options (be wary of a restaurant that can’t tell you what kind of fish goes into the fish and chips). The batter for this dish is generally just flour and water with some baking soda and vinegar added, but some restaurants replace the water with beer or milk. As for the chips, British fries are usually thicker than their American counterparts, with a super crunchy exterior and light and fluffy interior. The whole platter is served with a wedge of lemon and some malt vinegar on the side, and in the United States you’ll usually get tartar sauce as well. A popular side dish is mushy peas, which is exactly what it sounds like: peas cooked down until they’re mushy (it tastes better than it sounds).

It wasn’t so long ago that you’d be hard-pressed to find better fish and chips in most of America than what’s offered by the Long John Silver’s chain. Recently, however, some astoundingly delicious fish and chips have found their way onto menus at English-style pubs and seafood shacks alike, joining other classic institutions that have been serving the dish for years. In order to be considered for our ranking, the fish needed to be super fresh and fried to order, made with high-quality local fish (preferably your choice of several options), and supremely crispy. The chips should be crispy and perfectly complement the fish.

Read on to learn which 20 restaurants serve America’s best fish and chips.


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Book Excerpt From 1995 Edition:

America's Best Recipes showcases over 400 of the highest rated recipes from over 200 current community cookbooks representing every state across America. The recipes take you on a cook's tour of regional cuisine, family traditions, and community concerns of the people who compiled the cookbooks. All the recipes were rigorously tested by our test kitchen home economists, and each recipe received a quality rating. Only the very best recipes were chosen for inclusion in the book.

The long history and continued appeal of certain community cookbooks led us to salute the "best of the best" by establishing "The Southern Living Community Cookbook Hall of fame". We've spotlighted the 20 winners of this distinction in a special section called "Cooking with the Classics" that begins on page 5. The books nominated for this program were scored by a panel of experts on the basis of recipe content and clarity, design and graphic appeal., book story line, longevity, and volume of sales. Browse through the pages of this special chapter and you'll enjoy:
· A bird's eye view of each of the organizations that compiled one of theses award-winning cookbooks
· Sample recipes from each book, many characterizing the theme of the book and reflecting the ingredients inherent to the region
· Helpful tips for producing your own community cookbook

And don't miss our "Quick and Easy" chapter (beginning on page 47) featuring recipes that beat the clock. From delectable nibbles to scrumptious finales, all of the recipes are easy to prepare, call for just a handful of commonly used ingredients, and go from counter-top to tabletop in 45 minutes or less.

We're excited about this year's selection of recipes and cookbooks, and think you will be too. You'll find an alphabetical listing of cookbooks, including mailing addresses, in the Acknowledgments (beginning on page 320) if you'd like to order copies to explore further. You'll receive great new recipes plus the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are helping the fund-raising efforts of the volunteer organizations. --- The Editors of America's Best Recipes

Book Excerpt From 1995 Edition:

America's Best Recipes showcases over 400 of the highest rated recipes from over 200 current community cookbooks representing every state across America. The recipes take you on a cook's tour of regional cuisine, family traditions, and community concerns of the people who compiled the cookbooks. All the recipes were rigorously tested by our test kitchen home economists, and each recipe received a quality rating. Only the very best recipes were chosen for inclusion in the book.

The long history and continued appeal of certain community cookbooks led us to salute the "best of the best" by establishing "The Southern Living Community Cookbook Hall of fame". We've spotlighted the 20 winners of this distinction in a special section called "Cooking with the Classics" that begins on page 5. The books nominated for this program were scored by a panel of experts on the basis of recipe content and clarity, design and graphic appeal., book story line, longevity, and volume of sales. Browse through the pages of this special chapter and you'll enjoy:
· A bird's eye view of each of the organizations that compiled one of theses award-winning cookbooks
· Sample recipes from each book, many characterizing the theme of the book and reflecting the ingredients inherent to the region
· Helpful tips for producing your own community cookbook

And don't miss our "Quick and Easy" chapter (beginning on page 47) featuring recipes that beat the clock. From delectable nibbles to scrumptious finales, all of the recipes are easy to prepare, call for just a handful of commonly used ingredients, and go from counter-top to tabletop in 45 minutes or less.

We're excited about this year's selection of recipes and cookbooks, and think you will be too. You'll find an alphabetical listing of cookbooks, including mailing addresses, in the Acknowledgments (beginning on page 320) if you'd like to order copies to explore further. You'll receive great new recipes plus the satisfaction that comes with knowing you are helping the fund-raising efforts of the volunteer organizations. --- The Editors of America's Best Recipes


1 oz (about 18 chips): 120 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 135 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2 g protein

Coming in at our top ranking spot, Lay's Oven Baked Potato Crisps may add unnecessary sugar, but other than that, they're low in calories and sodium and have a simple list of ingredients. Also a plus: These chips are baked, not fried, so they have 65% less fat than regular potato chips, deeming this bag one of our healthier snacks.


The Best Kids Menu In America Contest WINNERS

BUD'S GRUB: Burgerville offers a kids menu that includes high-quality local products. It also features cartoon characters with Northwestern roots.

SMITTEN: Hard Rock Hotel's kids menu is printed on an oven mitt that kids can play with before and after they order their meal.

Those who attended RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY'S Kids Marketing Conference in April were treated to the site of legendary chef Rick Bayless cooking with his daughter, Lanie. The keynote presenters discussed their worldly culinary discoveries while preparing on stage two sure-fire recipes that kids love—Mexican Creamy Corn Soup and “The World's Best Chili.”

The father and daughter emphasized that in nearly every part of the world they've traveled, kids simply eat what adults eats, but in smaller portions. The concept of a kids menu, particularly a dumbed-downed kids menu, is relatively non-existent.

It was also apparent from listening to Lanie that kids will rise to the culinary level you set for them. Is it okay to have chicken fingers on a menu? Of course, but you do kids and your bottom line a disservice if you don't provide more sophisticated (and pricier) menu items.

Of course, there's the whole issue about the growing obesity problem among children. That was tackled well by a number of speakers at the conference (see the June issue). But here's a tip: Besides chicken fingers, put more healthful and kid-sized adult items on your kids menu. There's never been a better time to make kid menu improvements. America's ready for it. What you'll find on the following pages are restaurants that have made the leap. We have honored their efforts with our Kids Menu Awards, sponsored by Kraft Foodservice.

RED LOBSTER Winner, Casual/Theme

Talk about rising to the occasion! Red Lobster introduced a new kids menu this year that beautifully addresses the growing concern that kids are not eating as well as they should. The 670-unit chain took a twopronged approach: It added more fish dishes to comply with the American Heart Association's suggestion that everyone eat fish twice a week as part of a lowfat, heart-healthy diet. It also added more fruits and vegetables in response to studies that show 91 percent-of children ages 6-11 are not consuming enough of either.

The result was new, interesting and healthful kids menu items such as Snow Crab Legs & Steamed Veggies and Grilled Mahi-Mahi & Steamed Veggies. According to John Altomare, senior v.p. of concept development, Red Lobster asked more than 3,000 kids and parents in four restaurant markets to rate each new dish according to appearance and taste. They were also asked to rate the overall menu. The new menu received the highest ratings in the history of Red Lobster, he said. Kids (and parents) love the kids menu, says Altomare, because their palates are more sophisticated and adventurous than ever before.

The menu items, in line with what Bayless said, align better with what parents are eating on the adult menu. On top of all that, Red Lobster introduced a new menu/ activity booklet and has a website that features a “Fun Zone” with games and such for kids. Overall, Red Lobster has an excellent kids menu package.

BURGERVILLE Winner, Fast Casual

In comparison to Red Lobster's national presence, this privately owned and familyrun operation has established a solid Northwest presence and brand. This 39-unit, Portland, OR-based burger concept has set a high-water mark for the quality and freshness of the products it serves, most of which come from local suppliers with the same commitment.

In addition to burgers, Burgerville also offers North Pacific halibut (fish and chips, a fillet sandwich) and more healthful menu items such as a low-fat grilled chicken sandwich, a lean, free-range turkey burger and the Gardenburger.

The regional chain increased its kids menu business by 15 percent in the last year by creating a new kids meal program centered around five characters who are part of “Ranger Bud's Northwest Adventures.” To support the program, Burgerville developed kids' meal bags, comic books, plush characters, key chains, bobble heads, Popsicle molds and garden tools with seed packs. It also created point-ofpurchase materials and a kids section on its website with animated cartoons.

Burgerville demonstrates that if you're going to create a kids menu program, then jump in with both feet. There is nothing half-hearted about its commitment to kids, and the program has produced dramatic financial results.

HARD ROCK HOTEL, ORLANDO Winner, Hotel/ Resort/Club

With a name like Hard Rock, kid customers expect a hipper experience than they would at a family restaurant, and Hard Rock Hotel delivers.

An area in the restaurant, called The Kitchen, is set aside for kid customers who can hang out in the “kid crib” coloring, watching DVD's and playing games.

What caught the judges' eyes with this entry was the funky kids menu, which is printed on a red oven mitt. The mitt is stuffed with crayons and a kitchen magnet that, after it's colored by a kid customer, is displayed on the hotel's “fridge doors” at the entrance of the restaurant. Kids also have the option of taking home the magnet.

The kids menu accounts for 35 percent of total sales, and that doesn't include revenues the hotel gets from sales of the oven mitt (if kids want to take it home, mom and dad have to pony up cash to do so).

Hard Rock Orlando has also discovered that parents will pay a premium for quality kid menu items, such as its Grilled Little Rockers Steak with mashed potatoes ($8.25) and its White Chocolate Guitar Puzzle with cookie & vanilla ice cream ($4.75).

Given a choice between eating at an average restaurant or being treated like a junior rock star at Hard Rock, what do you think most kids would choose? Yeah, that's exactly what we thought.

DENNY'S Winner, Family Category

Year in and year out Denny's proves that it caters to kids as well as any restaurant operation in the country. Its kids program is a finely tuned machine.

Denny's kids menu is nicely organized and each menu item has a picture that shows exactly what will arrive at the table. It's a simple point-and-order system that parents with very young kids appreciate. Many of the kids menu items are the same as what an adult may get, but with a fun twist. For example, adult pancakes are turned into Smiley-Face Hotcakes that kids find irresistible.

The kids menu is part of an activity book that is so well done, that the wait between ordering and getting the food is not a danger zone like it is at so many other restaurant operations.

With its 1,615 units nationwide, Denny's has the muscle to partner with Hollywood and some of its big blockbuster movie hits, including SpkyKids2 and Inspector Gadget. These partnerships result in premiums for Denny's customers and the use of images for its very popular activities book.

Denny's recently announced further changes to its kids menu that will greatly improve the healthful profile of many kids menu items. These changes will certainly position it well for the future.

SKIPJACK'S Winner, Upscale

What would be considered a gimmick or cheap theatrics on an adult menu is, simply put, a fantastic idea for the kiddies. A case in point: Skipjack's 3D Kids Menu.

This three-unit, Newton, MA-based concept provides each kid with the aforementioned menu and a pair of 3D glasses (one lens blue, the other red). Before a kid even begins to look at the menu, they've already been won over by the novelty of such a ploy.

As theatrical as this may all be, it serves a purpose. The kids menu pictures each item on the menu, which kids study because they're checking out the very-well-done effects. By doing so, kids get a very good idea what they want and exactly how it will arrive at the table. It's the same ploy Denny's uses, but notched up to another level because of the 3D and because each menu comes with a take-away toy pictured next to the menu item.

Beth Senior, who does marketing for Skipjack's, said the 3D menu was created to deter kids from writing on tables. Of course, it goes well beyond that. The menu, 3D or not, is smart and creative. Hot Poppin' Popcorn Shrimp Basket actually comes in a movie theater-style popcorn box. And though the Moby Dick Crispy Fish and Chips Basket is its best seller, Skipjack's also offers more healthful items, such as the Kid's Caesar (or green salad) with grilled chicken and Today's Grilled Fish with Veggies.

This is the kind of kids menu you wish existed when you were knee-high to a bullfrog.

ISLIP HIGH SCHOOL Winner,Self-Operated School

This secondary school in Islip, NY, has become a model for other school districts, a point reinforced by its designation last year as a New York State Best Practice Award-Winning Cafeteria. Its foodservice director, Jane Steigerwald, has tripled the number of lunches sold since she took over. She also launched the district's first breakfast program.

Befofre Steigerwald, the system sold about 250 lunches, with a la carte snack sales the most popular choice. Now, more than 750 meals a day are served, and complete nutritious meals easily outsell the purchase of chips and drinks.

The quality of meals served was not the only improvement at the high school. The cafeteria's traditional two-serving-line setup was replaced with a four-station food court, something just about everyone wanted based on several surveys and meeting with students and staff.

With the new setup came menu items that resembled those of a restaurant and not a school. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad and Maple-Baked Turkey and Vegetables on a Sundried Tomato Wrap are two examples of items that are prepared fresh each day. The staff's new philosophy: “service with a smile.”

A 12th grade student, who is free to leave campus for lunch, was spotted in his car eating a burger and fries he bought in the cafeteria and not at some fastfood joint. Why? “The food is cheaper and it tastes better,” he explained. Testimonials don't get much better than that.

  • RedLobster (Casual Theme)
  • Burgerville (Fast Casual)
  • Denny's (Family)
  • HardRockHotel,Orlando (Hotel/Resort/Club)
  • Skipjack's (Upscale)
  • IslipHighSchool (Schools)

Merit Award Winners

WORTHY: In addition to the top prize, several operations won merit awards, including Chandler's, California Pizza Kitchen and Fudpucker's Beachside Bar & Grill.

Selecting the best of the best is not always easy. Close on the heels of the winnners you've just read about were several others, which we've given Merit Awards. They are:


No. 3. Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets

Van de Kamp's Beer Battered Fillets (Photo: Van de Kamp's)

Product description and type of fish: 100% whole fillet/wild caught pollock
Price: $4.49 for 10 fillets
Rank: 4

Tasters didn't detect any beer flavor, but gave high marks to the crunchiness of the batter. “More of a classic fish taste,” one said. Another thought the fish had the “perfect ratio (of fish) and crunch.”


America's best French fries

18. Frjtz Fries, San Francisco: The fries are the specialty at Frjtz — they're available in original, white truffle oil, spicy, and garlic. They also come with the option of more than 22 varieties of dipping sauces, available in flavors like Kalamata ketchup, ginger orange mayo and Parmesan peppercorn ranch. They're fried up golden brown and delicious, just like they're done in Belgium, and don't even need any of the outstanding toppings. (Photo: Flickr/Matthew Hine)

Even though the name may sound foreign-inspired, French fries are about as American as any food can be — they're deep-fried, they're the quintessential vehicle for ketchup (America's favorite condiment, hands down), and they're made from one of the country's most bountiful crops, potatoes. However, while French fries are so popular in the U.S. that they can be found on most menus, those who know fries know that an outstanding example of a fry is easily distinguishable from the mediocre. From a Burlington, Vt., fast-food institution to a Chicago sausage mecca, we've tracked down the best fries in America.

So what makes a perfect fry? There's the crunchiness element for sure — that crisp exterior texture that holds up against the impending threat of sogginess. Then, the soft, fluffy interior, filled with potato that's cooked through but not dried out or raw-tasting. The color also comes into play — the best fries have that undeniable golden-brown hue. When all of these elements come together, they create the perfect fry, no condiments necessary.

Creating this list was no easy feat, as fries are so prevalent in the U.S. and there are so many varieties to consider. To start things off, we compiled the "best of" fries lists from publications across the country and noted fries that have won awards for their excellence in the past. Then, we consulted The Daily Meal's knowledgeable editorial staff and network of acclaimed experts and contributors to get their take on the nominations and help to narrow down the choices. From there, the best fries in America emerged.

For the purposes of this list, only standard potato fries are being considered. While sweet potato, yucca, avocado and other alterna-fries are certainly delectable, this list accounts only for the classic spud-derived variety. By the same token, some fries on this list may come doused in white truffle oil and accompanied by the likes of smoky tomato ketchup, but they made the list because the fries are outstanding on their own.

1. The Breslin Bar & Dining Room, New York City

This funky gastropub from chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman has perfected the classic British-style chip, and in the process they've also perfected the French fry. The fries here (identified on the menu as "thrice-cooked chips") are in fact fried three times, resulting not in an overcooked fry but one that has about twice the "crust" of other fries, encasing a perfectly-cooked, creamy potato center. Thick-cut and addictive, they pair well with the cumin mayo that they're served alongside, but these are good enough to eat on their own. These fries are unlike any other while still maintaining its basic DNA, doesn't need duck fat or truffles to stand out, keeps the potato at the center of the action, and are the best in America.

2. Balthazar, New York City

A restaurant that maintains its status as a place to "see and be seen" despite having been around for so many years, Balthazar is known for serving French bistro classics. One of the signature items, on a menu filled with quite a few, is the pommes frites. The constant line of people waiting to score a table may appear to be due to the chic clientele, but really, it's all about the fries.

One of the Windy City's most renowned restaurants, famed for its wide selection of stellar sausages, also turns out what very well might be its best fries. Served in a paper tub with no frills, the plain fries will definitely have you compulsively reaching for more until they're all gone, especially if you get them doused in cheese. If you should decide to brave the lines on a Friday or Saturday, though, reward yourself with the duck fat fries, which are only available on those days. You'll be glad you did.

4. Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, D.C.

These are about the thickest fries you're likely to ever see, but it's no gimmick. Their hand-cut signature BDT Triple fries are first boiled, then fried in oil, then finally fried one more time in duck fat before being tossed with salt and herbs and served upright in a measuring cup. A great fry lets the potato shine, and these do just that.

5. Bourbon Steak, Miami, Fla.

It wasn't so long ago that world-class chefs wouldn't spend time perfecting a recipe for burgers or fries, but all that's changed, and now chef Michael Mina has come close to creating the perfect French fry. These hand-sliced, skinless fries are slightly thicker than your average fast food version, and a quick fry in duck fat adds an extra level of crispiness and richness. One order will win you three different iterations of the same fry: rosemary-herb fries with spicy ketchup, onion-dusted fries with sour cream sauce, and smoked paprika-dusted fries with smoked barbecue sauce.

6. The Spotted Pig, New York City

The gastropub was still a foreign concept when chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman opened The Spotted Pig more than 10 years ago, and now their style of cooking — classic and refined but casual and fun — is the norm. The restaurant's burger is one of the best that you'll ever have, and so are the shoestring fries that are served alongside it. A mound so heaping that it seems to defy gravity, these are sliced thin for max surface area, and tossed with fried rosemary and garlic that kicks it up about another 30 notches. They're a meal in themselves, but seriously, order that burger too.

7. The Original Hot Dog Shop, Pittsburgh

If your vision of the perfect order of fries involves a giant mound of fries spilling out of the sides of a paper boat, surrounded by cups of gravy, cheese, sauce and ketchup, all served on a cafeteria-style tray, than The Original Hot Dog Shop, located on the University of Pittsburgh's campus, is for you. These would still get fry lovers' mouths watering even if they were pre-made and frozen, but the fact that these fries are hand-cut fresh daily and twice fried in peanut oil really puts them over the top.

8. The Hungry Cat, Los Angeles

This is ostensibly a seafood restaurant, but hiding on the menu are an outstanding burger and even better fries. Kennebec potatoes are soaked overnight and twice-fried, then tossed with salt and chopped parsley. Full of flavor and super-crispy, you'll devour the whole serving without even realizing it.

9. Thrasher's French Fries, Ocean City, Md.

In a city known for its beachside fries, the ones at Thrasher's stand head and shoulders above the rest. If you're visiting Ocean City in the height of the season, expect to wait quite a while for your fries, and don't be concerned when you notice a sign telling you that they don't serve ketchup (just go with it, the apple cider vinegar they offer instead will work wonders). Order up a bucket of freshly fried potatoes, sprinkle with salt and vinegar, and then chow down while you make your way down the boardwalk.

10. Father's Office, Los Angeles

There are a couple of fries options on the menu at Father's Office, but the classic matchstick fries are the way to go. One of the cardinal rules at Father's Office is that they don't offer ketchup, so their fries are accompanied by a small pot of homemade garlic aioli for dipping.

A meal in itself, the heaping serving of fries served at Lydia Shire's famous Scampo hit all the right notes. Fresh-cut potatoes cut to about the same size as fast-food fries are fried in duck fat before getting tossed in truffle oil and served with a sprinkling of fried herbs and a drizzle of truffle aioli. For those who say that truffles and duck fat are the best things to ever happen to potatoes (and let's face it, they are), you need to try these.

12. Chickie's and Pete's, Philadelphia

In Philly, the Crabfries® are nothing short of legendary. Notice the capitalization and the trademark symbol? That's how legendary they are. Sold at the various Chickie's and Pete's locations as well as out of a food truck, at the airport and at just about every major sporting venue, these crinkle-cut fries are thinner than your standard Nathan's-style crinkle-cuts, super-crispy, and dusted with a magical spice mixture that's the icing on the cake.

13. Pommes Frites, New York City

Given the matchbox size of the restaurant (in fact, there are no seats available, just a countertop and a window out front for walk-up ordering) and the constant stream of East Villagers in a fry-eating mood, expect to wait when you're visiting Pommes Frites. The fries are crafted in the traditional Belgian style, which means they're thick-cut and of the steak variety. There are only two items on the menu, fries and sauces, but the sauce options are wide and varied — think pomegranate teriyaki mayo and curry ketchup especial (a combination of frite sauce, curry ketchup and diced fresh onion).

14. Eamonn's A Dublin Chipper, Alexandria, Va.

This little restaurant in the nation's capital serves up authentic Irish chips (which are the equivalent of fries in the States for those who don't know). They come in two sizes — "single" and "large" and are hand-cut and double-fried to achieve the perfect level of crispness.

15. Le Tub, Hollywood, Fla.

GQ once named the burger at Le Tub as the best in the country, but for the purposes of this list, the focus remains on the patty's famed side dish. The fries at Le Tub are of the steak variety, meaning they're thick-cut and full of soft potato inside the crispy exterior. They deep-fry the spuds in peanut oil and serve them up piping hot — no frills necessary.

16. DMK Burger, Chicago

Michael Kornick rose to fame in the Chicago dining scene thanks to his elegantly executed fare and upscale atmosphere at his restaurant MK in the city's Near North Side neighborhood. So when Kornick decided to open up a burger-and-fries joint a few years ago, the venture seemed like quite a departure — but not so surprisingly, he created another success. The fries at DMK come in a variety of flavors and combinations, but the standard sea salt and black pepper hand-cut ones, made from russet potatoes, are the claim to fame.

17. Tavern, Los Angeles

The fries at Suzanne Goin's restaurant, Tavern, are fresh-cut, double-fried and tossed with delicate fresh herbs. Does it get any better than that? Simple and straightforward, the fries are a perfect reflection of Goin's culinary philosophy.

18. Frjtz Fries, San Francisco

The fries are the specialty at Frjtz — they're available in original, white truffle oil, spicy, and garlic. They also come with the option of more than 22 varieties of dipping sauces, available in flavors like Kalamata ketchup, ginger orange mayo and Parmesan peppercorn ranch. They're fried up golden brown and delicious, just like they're done in Belgium, and don't even need any of the outstanding toppings.

19. Pike Street Fish Fry, Seattle

Pike Street Fish Fry is like a cross between a Pacific surf shack and an authentic British fish and chips shop. The French fries are extra-crispy and medium-cut, and the golden-brown hue is so pronounced that it rivals the color of the expertly fried fish they're often paired with. Plus, every Friday is free fry night.

20. Al's French Frys, Burlington, Vt.

If you live in Burlington, Vt., you've heard of Al's French Frys. The sprawling burger joint, located just south of downtown, started as a French fry stand run by Al and Genevieve Rusterholz in the late 1940s, and over the years it just kept growing. The latest incarnation still has a distinctly 1950s vibe, and a menu that appears to not have changed (in both offerings and price) in years. Burgers are still just $1.60, and fries (or frys) cost even less than that. The potatoes are scrubbed and hand-cut on a daily basis, double-fried, and are the Platonic ideal of the French fry. They're crispy, the inside is pillowy soft, and no ketchup is necessary. But if you choose to pour some nacho cheese and chili on top, you certainly won't regret it.


Best Local Food in New Orleans — Po’ Boy Sandwich

New Orleans is a food lover’s paradise. Nobody agrees on how the famous New Orleans po’boy sandwich was created. The story I’ve heard most often is that the po’boy was made by a couple of restaurant owners named Benny and Clovis Martin. It’s said they created the cheap and filling sandwich in order to feed striking streetcar workers in the 1920s.

Almost anything can be used as filling in a po’boy, but the most common choices are either roast beef or fried seafood. The crucial ingredient is the special style of baguette: crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. If you want the bread to be really authentic, it needs to come from Leidenheimer Baking Company.

There are two classic places at which to get a roast beef po’boy: Tracey’s and Parasol’s. They are both located in the Irish Channel neighborhood and there is a bitter rivalry between the two joints. If you prefer a fried seafood po’boy, the best destinations include Domilise’s for the special half oyster/half shrimp, Parkway Bakery and Tavern where Obama got his po’boy, or the Rampart Food Store. If you desire a less conventional or even vegetarian po’boy, Killer Po’boys in the French Quarter is the spot to beat.

Since you’re exploring the most popular food in America, you might as well also see the best places to visit in the USA.


3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 pounds shell-on jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed, shells reserved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 teaspoon cornstarch
8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart cold water in large container. Submerge shrimp in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from brine and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn spotty brown and skillet starts to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and carefully add wine and thyme sprigs. When bubbling subsides, return skillet to medium heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Strain mixture through colander set over large bowl. Discard shells and reserve liquid (you should have about 2/3 cup). Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

3. Combine lemon juice and cornstarch in small bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, pepper flakes, and pepper in now-empty skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant and just beginning to brown at edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved wine mixture, increase heat to high, and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium, add shrimp, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to bowl.

4. Return skillet to medium heat, add lemon juice-cornstarch mixture, and cook until slightly thickened, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and parsley until combined. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices to skillet and toss to combine. Serve, passing lemon wedges separately.


Bank of America , Senior Resources and Harvest Hope Food Bank (Columbia): “We are facing a critical time at Harvest Hope,” says Wendy Broderick, Harvest Hope CEO. “We are so grateful to Bank of America for their support in helping to provide hope and food to our neighbors in need.” Bank of America generously supports Harvest Hope throughout the year, and additionally donated $85,000 to help the food bank keep up with the rising demand for food during the pandemic. More here.

Senior Resources recently received a $50,000 donation from Bank of America to help fund their Emergency Senior Nutrition Program. Within the first few weeks of this program, 30,000 seniors have been served. “The senior citizens in our community continue to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Andrew Boozer, Executive Director of Senior Resources. “The disease itself is particularly dangerous to older adults, but so are the side effects of current economic hardship and distancing from family and friends. Bank of America’s commitment to providing emergency needs, especially in the form of nutritious meals, is not only meeting basic needs, but it is also keeping seniors healthy during a time of uncertainty.”

Using His Stimulus Check for Good

From WLTX: An Indian Land, SC man gave all of his stimulus check to help others in need. He isn’t rich. Davin Sanderson works at Jersey Mike’s and felt fortunate to have a job when so many do not, and wanted to help those in need, so he posted his wish on social media, asking for people to request $ for diapers, pizza or a tank of gas. He was able to assist about 30 people. He is hopeful that his action will inspire others to do something good with the stimulus money. We love this guy!


American recipes

Get inspired by Stateside favourites, from burgers and hotdogs to pancakes and pies.

Buffalo chicken

These spicy wings are ideal party food for any celebration. The chicken is brined to make it extra juicy and the smoky sweetness of the sauce adds heat

Texas BBQ medley

Once you've tried smoking and slow cooking your chicken, you'll be totally converted. The dry brine seasons the meat to the bone and keeps it succulent during cooking

Pecan pie with maple cream

Wow family and friends with this golden pecan pie and silky, sweet maple cream. Making the pastry is optional, but the recipe is particularly good

BBQ chicken platter

Roast or barbecue these BBQ chicken pieces then serve on a platter with onion rings, coleslaw and mac ‘n’ cheese for an all-American banquet

Truffled mac ‘n’ cheese

Indulge in Tom Kerridge's ultimate truffle mac 'n' cheese, an amalgamation of all his favourite versions of this classic American dish

S’mores dip

A sized-up, super chocolatey twist on the classic American campfire treat. This s'mores dip will be gone before you can say 'mini marshmallow'

Hot gumbo dip

Serve this smoky, chunky veg gumbo dip with Tom Kerridge's Southern-fried prawns. It makes an excellent condiment for an American-themed platter

Fully loaded Cajun chicken burgers

Grilled Cajun-spiced chicken breasts topped with bacon, avocado and cheese. set to become a Friday night favourite

Tomato, avocado & corn salad with migas & buttermilk dressing

Try this tasty American-style tomato, avocado and corn salad alongside roast chicken or barbecued meat. Buttermilk in the dressing adds a hint of sourness

Easy pickled onion rings

Feast on these lager-battered pickled onion rings as a snack, or serve as part of an American-themed spread, with BBQ chicken pieces and mac ‘n’ cheese

Sticky bourbon BBQ wings with blue cheese dip

The cool blue cheese & soured cream dip takes the edge off the heat in the sauce. Dip in the chicken wings or the celery and radishes – or do both!

Southern-fried prawns

Experiment with Southern-style coating on prawns, instead of chicken. These moreish prawns have a crispy, spicy coating and taste great with a hot gumbo dip and lemon wedges

Spicy pies with sweet potato mash

This pie is loosely based on the flavours of an American sloppy joe, but we've topped it with mash as an alternative to the traditional cottage pie

Cheesesteak hot dogs

Take the humble hot dog to another level by using steak, complemented by melted cheese, fried green peppers and crispy onions. Easy to make and so good

Creamed corn

The best side dish in the States, this addictive, creamy, cheesy mix goes well with pretty much everything, but pairs particularly well with barbecue dishes

American pancakes

Easy, American-style, fluffy pancakes are great for feeding a crowd at breakfast or brunch. Top with something sweet like fruit, jam or syrup, or rashers of crispy bacon.

Baby back ribs with Carolina baste

This American pork rib recipe is sure to satisfy at a barbecue - roast until tender, then finish with a sticky glaze for melt-in-the-mouth meat

Choc chip pecan pie

An indulgent chocolate and pecan treat with buttery pastry and a gooey filling everybody can get stuck into

American burnt onion dip

A tasty veggie dip with a mayonnaise and soured cream base, great for raw veggies or toasted pitta bread

Smoky braised brisket

This cheap, flavourful cut of meat is perfect for the smoky flavours of American and South American barbecue, ideal comfort food for a cold winter’s night

Stickiest ever BBQ ribs with chive dip

Slow cook these American-style pork ribs so they're really tender then coat in an irresistibly sweet, sticky sauce

Sloppy joes

Sloppy joes are a simple, American staple the whole family can get stuck into. Add a dash of spicy chipotle or smoky barbecue sauce to the minced beef filling for some zing.

Edible cookie dough

Our easy cookie dough mixture is totally safe to eat and can be made in minutes. Keep a batch in the fridge, eat it by the spoon, serve it with ice cream, or mould it, shape it and colour it with&hellip

All-American T-bone

For a special supper, try this classic American cut from the sirloin. The steak has a T-shaped bone with meat on each side, perfect for sharing