Pacific Catch, San Francisco, CA
Thai Coconut Shrimp
Pacific shrimp dipped in coconut milk batter, coconut flakes & five spice with Thai sweet chili sauce
Pacific Catch is a little fish house joint with four locations throughout NorCal - they combine Asian, Latin American & Hawaiian cooking techniques to whip up some truly unique dishes. I’ve eaten here quite a bit, but just recently tried their Coconut Shrimp. This is a dish hand-crafted for the coconut fiend! Often times when you see “Coconut Shrimp” on a menu, it’s served missing a very key taste, the coconut? THIS Coconut Shrimp is the real deal.
The golden brown coconut flakes were the first indication that these were packing some serious flavor. The crispy flakes have just the right amount of sweetness and provide a great texture to the shrimp. The coconut milk batter helps kick the coconut flavor up even more, but it does so without making the dish too overwhelming. There is a nice spice to the shrimp that contrasts very well with the delicious Thai sweet chili sauce.
Overall, a fantastic dish for the coconut lover. Not a coconut fan? Try their Korean Barbecue Pan-Asian Rice Bowl with Sticky Ribs - out of this world!
Pacific Catch, San Francisco, CA
Nana’s House, Bloomfield Hills, MI
22 lb Whole Turkey
Turkey Baste - 1 Stick Butter, Natural Turkey juices, Chicken broth, Soy sauce, Orange juice, Paprika
I don’t know about you, but this glorious, gluttonous holiday is my favorite meal of the year! There’s something about loading a plate with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli & spinach casserole, cranberry sauce, and a warm buttered roll that makes me weak in the knees. After dishing out this feast for close to 50 years now, my Nana has perfected the art of cooking this bird and, well - it’s better than your Nana’s.
Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria, Metro Detroit, MI
4 Square Pizza
Wisconsin Cheese, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Onions
This may sound biased coming from a Detroit native, but Buddy’s is the best pizza on the planet, bar none! Their pizza resembles a Sicilian style pizza, but unlike your typical pie, the sauce is poured over the cheese. Between the crunchy blackened crust, thick slices of pepperoni hidden beneath melted Wisconsin cheese, & fresh basil tomato sauce, it’s not hard to understand why Buddy’s has been a staple in Detroit for more than 65 years. Their recognition doesn’t stop in Detroit - Buddy’s Award-Winning Pizza has been honored by The Food Network, GQ Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, & The National Restaurant Association. Be sure to try their famous Minestrone soup & Antipasto salad as well!
Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoked Salmon, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Style Red Lox Sandwich
Fresh Red Lox served open faced on fresh Acme Sourdough with homemade Cream Cheese Spread, thinly sliced pickled Red Onion, thinly sliced Roasted Red Peppers, shaved Fennel, fresh Dill, & a Sprinkle of Lavender Salt
Located in San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, this gem of a stand lived up to its “Best Smoked Fish You’ve Ever Had” proclamation. Cap’n Mike’s fish is caught straight from the waters of California’s north coast and is smoked to absolute perfection with no chemicals, preservatives, or nitrates. Add a piece of their tender smoked salmon to a thick slice of Acme sourdough bread with all the market fresh fixings listed above and you’ve got the finest breakfast sandwich you’ll ever have. Don’t believe me? Read what the The New York Times & GQ Magazine had to say - www.holysmokedsalmon.com
The Bagel Deli & Restaurant, Denver, CO
#12 The Classic Reuben
Hot corned beef, sauerkraut & swiss cheese on marble rye
Being a Detroit native, there’s two restaurants Detroiters never get wrong - delis & coney islands. A deli all the way out in Colorado had me a little skeptical, however, my worries were quickly put to rest as I pulled up to this joint. The smell of Lox, cream cheese, challah, matzo ball soup, corned beef, & smoked turkey hit me square in the face as I walked through the door. Felt like home. The owner and staff were so thrilled to hear that I’d be putting them on my blog that they went ahead and made me this epic Reuben on the house. Classy establishment. Phenomenal food.
Dottie’s True Blue Cafe, San Francisco, CA
Dottie’s Famous Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Whole wheat buttermilk chocolate chip cakes spiced with ginger & cinnamon
I’m not one for waiting in line when I’m hungry, but Dottie’s was well worth the wait! Let me start by saying that the girlfriend loves her some chocolate chip pancakes and she went on record saying these were the best she’s ever had, and I have to agree. With dishes like a Lamb & Goat Cheese Omelet & their Grilled Cornbread with Jalapeno Jelly, you can’t go wrong. If you find yourself in San Francisco, be sure to wait in line for Dottie’s breakfast.
IN-N-OUT Burger, Western United States
Double-Double, Animal Style
Two 100% mustard cooked pure beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, pickle, two slices of American cheese, extra spread, grilled onions, stacked high on a freshly baked bun
Born & raised in the Midwest, I wasn’t afforded the full-body experience of an IN-N-OUT burger until only days ago. The picture says all you need to know about this joint. Needless to say, I feel cheated that my childhood fast food burger was limited to McDonald’s and Burger King…
P.S. - Order your burger “Animal Style”. You’ll thank me later.
Roast, Detroit, MI
Pork Shank Confit
Sweet and sour cabbage, grapes, walnuts
Ahhhh, nothing like writing about a place in my hometown of Detroit. First thing you need to know is that this restaurant is owned by world-renowned chef, Michael Symon. Secondly, it’s located in the heart of the best city in America. Lastly, the food is the creme de la creme. I typically order a gargantuan steak that knocks me into a coma at gourmet restaurants like this, but the waitress talked me into this mammoth pork shank. As Guy Fieri would put it, this dish was an “orchestra of flavors”! The fall-off-the-bone meat mixed with the cabbage, crunchy walnuts, and grapes was spectacular. I highly recommend this fine establishment.