'American' on Serious Eats

Quick and Easy Skillet Tamale Pie With Brown Butter Cornbread Crust

Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! Just imagine how great it could be if we took the time to make a real, deeply flavored, meaty chili from scratch, eschewing the dump-and-stir approach and instead building up layers of spices and aromatics. Now imagine that chili topped with tender, moist, crisp-edged, buttery cornbread with those chili juices seeping up into it as it bakes in the oven. That's the kind of meal I'd love to come home to after a long day out in the cold. Wouldn't you? More

American Chop Suey (Macaroni, Beef, and Cheese Skillet Casserole)

Beefaroni, macaroni and beef, chili mac, Johnny Marzetti, or American chop suey, call it what you will, but whatever its origins, there's one thing for sure: the stuff is delicious. Tender pasta with a rich tomato and beef sauce flavored with garlic and oregano, cooked together with onions and peppers, and finished with cheese, this is Italian-American comfort food at its finest. Not only that, but it's a ridiculously easy dish to put together, cooked 100% on the stovetop, and requiring nothing more than a pot, a bowl, and about half an hour of your time. More

Ultra-Smashed Cheeseburgers

Classic smashed burgers are all about maximizing that deep, brown crust. But I found myself wondering, what if I were to take this to the extreme? Is there a way I could pack even more flavor into a burger? And thus, the ultra-smashed burger was born. Same burger size, but twice the amount of crisp, browned crust. More

Bar Eats: The Wayland

The innovative and sometimes quirky drinks of The Wayland have catapulted the renovated dive bar into the latest cocktail mecca of the East Village. Chef/co-owner Robert Ceraso has come up with a great selection of shareable plates for his partner Jason Mendenhall's libations. More

Bar Eats: The Vault at Pfaff's

The basement space at the corner of Broadway and Bleecker has taken many forms throughout its existence, but perhaps none as interesting as its original: a mid-19th century hangout for America's original bohemians. Charles Pfaff's beer cellar was long a waterhole for a group of literary thinkers such as Walt Whitman and Henry Clapp Jr., who were promoting such radical ideas as abolitionism during the Civil War era. (Gives a whole new meaning to "countercultural," doesn't it?) More

Bar Eats: Williams & Bailey

Much like its sister bar Royale in the East Village, the recently opened Williams & Bailey successfully toes the line between posh and pedestrian, balancing between pseudo-speakeasy (think faux tin ceilings and fancy whiskeys) and local watering hole (think $3 beers and Giants games on the big screen). More

Bar Eats: t.b.d.

With rows and rows of heavy wooden picnic tables and a full outdoor barbecue setup that includes a grill and smoker, Greenpoint's t.b.d. is Destination Summer. Easily accessible by East River Ferry or a short bike ride from the Williamsburg Bridge, the expansive bar and beer garden boasts the "biggest, baddest backyard in Brooklyn." More

Bar Eats: Astor Room

What used to be a private commissary to the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios has been recently transformed into the Astor Room, a traditional American supper club complete with the long marble bar and baby grand piano. With a hint of imagination, it's easy to picture hobnobbing with the movie stars who once used to wander the halls, from Gary Grant to Woody Allen and everyone in between. More

Breakfast at Untitled

Danny Meyer's newest venture, a cafe for the Whitney called Untitled, takes the coffee shop of the '60s as its inspiration but manages to incorporate what's best about most of Meyer's operations: locally sourced, seasonally fresh fare, prepared by talented hands and offered at reasonable prices. More

Date Night: LIC Market

'Tis the end of the school year. So, in that spirit, we'd assign the risotto an A, the sliders a B, the octopus a C+, and the spaghetti an A+, for an overall 3.4 FPA (flavor point average). A few glasses of wine, a few dishes, and you might feel up for a walk around Gantry Plaza State Park or the graffiti mecca that is 5 Pointz, both 100% Queens. LIC Market is best for: a date with interborough connotations. More

Bar Eats: Post Office

The brilliantly sourced American whiskeys and Charles Bukowski-inspired stylings of nightlife wunderkind Alla Lapushchik—a Death & Co. founding member at the pre-legal age of 19—are already enough of a draw to her new bar Post Office, but it's the brash yet simple cooking of chef Sam Glinn (Brooklyn Star, Momofuku Ssam Bar) that will have you coming back again and again. More

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