On America’s Best Cook, Sundays at 9|8c, home cooks battle it out for the chance to win the title of America’s Best Cook, all while representing their specific region of the United States. The cooks are split into teams from the North, South, West and East. Each of these regions has its characteristic foods that make up an integral part of its identity. To celebrate the new competition show, each week during the season, FN Dish has the top 10 reader-recommended eats from one of the regions. This week it’s all about the North.
When you think of the North, meat is one of the first things that come to mind — lots and lots of beef and pork especially. But the North is also known for ethnic cuisines, including eastern European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. Many now long-established restaurants were originally opened by immigrant families and have been passed down through the generations. There you’ll find foods like gyros, goulash, sauerbraten, lasagna and so much more.
Take a look at the top 10 reader-recommended eats, in no particular order, from Food Network On the Road, and vote in the Regional Foods Face-Off, the show’s bracket challenge, to make your favorite regional food known.
Chicago Brauhaus — Chicago
Chef Harry Kempf has brought classic and comforting German dishes from his homeland to Chicago. Try the tender, flavorful sauerbraten and the rindsrouladen, a beef roll. Loyal customers also enjoy the liver dumpling soup. And while you’re there, catch the live polka band.
Polish Village Cafe — Hamtramck, Mich.
Polish Village Cafe offers a taste of the old country with its eastern European dishes. The Hungarian pancakes are fried and topped with pork-butt goulash. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, try the dill pickle soup.
The Nook — St. Paul
At The Nook in St. Paul, they serve The Juicy Nookie Burger and hand-cut french fries. As their tagline says, they’re a “small place with big burgers.”
Emily’s Lebanese Delicatessen — Minneapolis
In downtown Minneapolis, Emily’s has been serving family-style Lebanese food for more than 38 years. Their signature dishes include lamb shish kebab, hummus, stuffed grape leaves and kibbi, which is made with raw ground beef and spices.
Woodyard Bar-B-Que — Kansas City, Kan.
Woodyard had been supplying wood to Kansas City BBQ restaurants since 1913 when, in 2005, owner Frank Schloegel decided that if it was good enough for everybody else, he’d start cooking on it too. The smoked chicken and Burnt Ends sandwiches are local favorites.
Grinders — Kansas City, Mo.
Go to Grinders in Kansas City, Mo., for some truly unique pizzas like the Bengal Tiger and the Chili Cheese-Tater Tot.
Amato’s Restaurant — Omaha
Sammy Amato has been making his family’s Italian sausage recipe since he was a child. What started as a small fair stand soon turned into a full-fledged restaurant, Amato’s. You won’t want to leave without trying the sausage. Other customer favorites include the chicken-fried steak and the ricotta-stuffed pancakes made with homemade ricotta cheese.
Steve’s Gyros — Cleveland
You’ll want to get in line for this Cleveland specialty. The beef-and-lamb gyros include a secret tzatziki sauce. Get the jumbo size, which packs two pounds of the spiced meat.
B Spot — Woodmere, Ohio
Visit the the B Spot, Michael Symon’s bistro in Woodmere, Ohio, for The Fat Doug Burger (with pastrami, coleslaw, mustard and Swiss cheese), voted the No. 1 Burger in America at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Other popular burgers include The Yo! Burger (pictured above), which is made with fried salami, capicola, hot peppers, shasha sauce and provolone cheese.
Melt Bar & Grilled — Lakewood, Ohio
It takes a special genius to make a grilled-cheese lasagna sandwich. That genius is Matt Fish, who opened Melt Bar & Grilled with his lasagna Godfather sandwich. But if you want an even more over-the-top sandwich, try The Monster, a grilled cheese made with 13 different cheeses on three slices of bread.