The Hat is one of those local LA fast food spots that has been around forever and seems to be in no rush to change. It has “World Famous Pastrami,” but is not limited to just one meat, because the place also serves burgers, roast beef dip and crazy big portions of sides. I mean crazy. Just look at that order of chili cheese fries on the left and try to comprehend how small the individual fries look.
It’s not often you get the opportunity to traverse the entire state of Utah, but when you do you should probably stop for Crown Burger. Or so I hear, but unfortunately that place doesn’t exist south of Salt Lake City. Yet through the magic of the internet I learned that Crown Burger is not the only place in Utah to serve pastrami burgers and one of the alternatives was Arctic Circle, which I found in Cedar City.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard has long had a place on my national to-eat list – relegated for a long time to bottom with the thought that I would never find such a place. Yet, as I made my way through the state of Kansas I found one such location in the town of Hays. I entered unsure of what I would find. And what I found was shockingly popular for what looked on the outside like any generic fast food spot.
While staying at an Airbnb (in Fajardo) for the first time, I felt there would be no better way then to get a food recommendation than by asking our hosts. While we had a panaderia from Yelp in mind, they pointed us to a place called El Meson, which we were told had great sandwiches for breakfast or otherwise. When we walked in, the first thing my buddy said was that it looked like a Puerto Rican Panera Bread. This was hardly a compliment, but the place was pretty crowded so we figured we should give it a shot.
Puerto Rico has its fair share of fast food chains, including probably more Church’s Chickens than I have ever seen. But one thing that I had never seen before was Pollo Tropical. Pollo Tropical does appear to have locations in the mainland United States, but I had never seen it before stopping in Fajardo.
BBQ seems to be a pretty big deal in the South, and this is just as true in New Orleans despite the French influence. Supposedly the best place for it is The Joint, but for some stupid reason The Joint has chosen to not be open on Sundays. As a current business school student I can’t comprehend this, but we had a backup plan and made our way to VooDoo BBQ in the Garden District/Uptown.
New York is known for many things. One of these things is not fries, especially the poutine variety of fries that is much more closely associated with Canada. So while driving through Ontario, Canada between Detroit and Buffalo, I was surprised to find a chain called New York Fries slinging poutine. Despite my reservations, I decided to give the place a chance instead of grabbing poutine at Wendy’s instead.
Duff’s Famous Wings may not be the original wings, but they sure do have a reputation. Nearly everyone from the area agrees that Duff’s has earned the distinction of best wings in Buffalo, and after trying out a couple other local wing spots, I felt it was my duty to make my way to Duff’s. There are a few locations around town, and I opted for the one on Orchard Park Road.
In the land of Western New York, a great battle is being waged over Americanized Mexican fast food. In one corner there is Taco Bell, perennial favorite around the country. In the other is Mighty Taco, a local favorite with just about as much connection to Mexico as general stability (read: none). Yet, I knew I had to try it out to see what kind of competition it is to the first love of my life.
Buffalo might have a few specialty foods, but BBQ is not one of them. In fact, one of their supposed best spots isn’t even home grown, coming in from world famous BBQ hotspot Rochester. It’s called Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and despite having absolutely no actual dinosaur on the menu (what the hell?!), the little paleontologist inside of me was still eager to find out how good it was.