Seattle and its Amazing Sandwiches
Even better was the roast pork sandwich at Caribbean joint Paseo (4225 Fremont Ave N, map): marinated slow-roasted pork, a little sloppy, a little sweet, joins thick rings of caramelized onions on a chewy Macrina Bakery roll, spread with a punchy garlicky spread. (We not only went back the next day for seconds, but went back a third time to cart a roast pork sandwich back to New York.)
And while we'd already thought Tom Douglas's Dahlia Bakery (2030 5th Avenue, map) one of the best breakfast sandwich spots in the nation, a breakfast wonderland where brown sugar sausage patties and English muffins are made from scratch, we found it outdone by his new Seatown Snack Bar (2010 Western Ave, map)—with nearly a dozen breakfast creations. Best of all were one with sablefish and cream cheese and one called The Three Little Pigs (porchetta, premium Kassler ham, and whipped lardo—that’d be pure pork fat.)
The Burgers of Detroit
The burger we recently had at Motz's (AHT review) was extraordinary. Soft, gooey, well-seasoned, and light with an intense aroma of sweet caramelized onions, it's everything a slider should be.
Boston's Sichuan Food
The Oxtail and Tripe with Roasted Chili Vinaigrette from Sichuan Garden II (Serious Eats review) in Brookline is perhaps our favorite appetizer in Boston. Spicy toasty, complex, and surprisingly refreshing.
San Francisco's Ice Cream Scene
Salt Lake City's Breakfast Pastries
But best of all, and pictured above, was the locally famous kouign-amman from Les Madeleines (216 E 500 S, map). So popular the bakery imposes a limit of six per person without advance order. Absurdly buttery, flaky dough is layered into a spiky, muffin-sized package, a maze of caramelized edges cloaking a soft interior and wells of butter and sweet, gooey pockets within.
Portland, Oregon's Really Good Pizza
You may already know about Apizza Scholls and about Ken's Artisan Pizza, but in addition to those old-guard new-wave pizza joints, there are four or five pizza carts making pizza from scratch on board, and the list of pizzerias making pizza nerds happy seems to grow by the week, including Portobello (specializing in vegan pizza), La Pizza Perla, Lovely's Fifty-Fifty, Gladstone Coffee & Pizza, and Firehouse.
What a city. Where else can you pair such a wide variety of great small-batch beer with an emergent crop of some fine, fine crusty, saucy, cheesy stuff?