The Great American Menu

Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 07:27 am
Ranked, by state.

I don't agree with his #1, but I'm pretty much on board with his top 10. Some of these are laugh out loud funny.

Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 07:41 am
I'm glad to finally find someone that agrees with me about skyline chili...

"For the mercifully unacquainted, "Cincinnati chili," the worst regional foodstuff in America or anywhere else, is a horrifying diarrhea sludge (most commonly encountered in the guise of the "Skyline" brand) that Ohioans slop across plain spaghetti noodles and hot dogs as a way to make the rest of us feel grateful that our own ****-eating is (mostly) figurative. The only thing "chili" about it is the shiver that goes down your spine when you watch Ohio sports fans shoveling it into their maws on television and are forced to reckon with the cold reality that, for as desperately as you might cling to faltering notions of community and universality, ultimately your fellow human beings are as foreign and unknowable to you as the surface of Pluto, and you are alone and always have been and will die alone, a world unto yourself unmarked and unmapped and totally, hopelessly isolated.

But wait! This abominable garbage-gravy isn't just sensorily and spiritually disgusting—it's culturally grotesque, too! What began as an ethnic curio born of immigrant make-do—a Greek-owned chili parlor that took its "Skyline" name from its view of the city of Cincinnati—is now a hulking private-equity-owned corporate monolith that gins up interest in its unmistakably abhorrent product by engineering phony groups of "chili fanatics" to camp out in advance of the opening of new chains, in locations whose residents would otherwise see this ****-broth for what it is and take up torches and truncheons to drive it back into the wilderness.

Whatever virtue this bad-tasting Z-grade atrocity once contained derived from its exemplification of a set of certain cherished American fables—immigrant ingenuity, the cultural melting pot, old things combining into new things—and has now been totally swamped and consumed by different and infinitely uglier American realities: the commodification of culture; the transmutation of authentic artifacts of human life into hollow corporate brand divisions; the willingness of Americans to slop any horrible goddamn thing into their ******* mouths if it claims to contain some byproduct of a cow and comes buried beneath a pyramid of shredded, waxy, safety-cone-orange "cheese."

Cincinnati chili is the worst, saddest, most depressing goddamn thing in the world. If it came out of the end of your digestive system, you would turn the color of chalk and call an ambulance, but at least it'd make some sense. The people of Ohio see nothing wrong with inserting it into their mouths, which perhaps tells you everything you need to know about the Buckeye State. Don't eat it. Don't let your loved ones eat it. Turn away from the darkness, and toward the deep-dish pizza."
Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 11:47 pm
He doent know **** about crab cakes. While what he says is basically true (that you need a lot of crab IN a crab cake), the body part of the crab from which the "cake" is made is eyremely important, as are the slight additives that on;y enhance the overall CRABBINESS.
And I don't ,mean Old Bay red dyed salt.

A crb cake. born of Sen Barbara Mikulskis fmous recipe(look it up) is THE BEST FOOD ON THE PLANET.
Course Id have a slice a peach crumb pie for dessert
Reply Sat 19 Oct, 2013 11:50 pm
In PA, we tie-up and threaten the tourists with scrapple to rob them of their possessions. Scarpple is, indeed, an acquired taste and its common to SE Pa, Delaware, and Eastern Shore Md (pretty much that's it)
There is a small outlier of " fried meat pudding" out in Pittsburgh but that stuff is best used for carp bait
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Reply Sun 20 Oct, 2013 10:49 am
It's telling that the author prefers the taste of being hit by a car more then he'd consider Cincinnati Chili as edible food. Laughing
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Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 03:11 pm
I disagree with his opinion of Indiana's signature dish, the pork tenderloin sandwich ("it is neither particularly interesting nor particularly original") and the Michigan pasty ("essentially a calzone for people who hate and fear things that are good"), both of which I like, and I also happen to like Cincinnati-style chili. His estimation of Chicago-style pizza, on the other hand, is right on the money.
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Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 03:24 pm
I always thought to pork tenderloin sammiches as the American version of schnitzel. As with anything else, whether or not it's good depends on the place that is serving it. I like 'em . . . especially with fancy brown mustard.
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Reply Sat 9 Nov, 2013 04:15 pm
California features the mission style (Mexican) burrito in the certain ranking, which makes me think about cultural access to "cuisine couture." California does, after all, border Mexico.

The new capitalism archaeological video game "Diner Dash" (GameLab) suggests that alterations in fast food menus (i.e., health-conscious Burger King menu alternatives) reflect cultural creativity.

Who can deny that the American tapestry demands a menu adventure?
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