North America’s Essential Eats 2015

By ExtremeFoodies on January 16th, 2015

ExtremeFoodies, formerly known as Chowzter, is one of the world’s largest collections of food experts. It announced the Tastiest Fast Feasts in North America 2015 at a ceremony in New Orleans, Louisiana. The awards revealed a list of the best dishes in North America which were selected by experts from key cities across the continent, including San Francisco, Portland, Montreal and Seattle. A team of hand-picked passionate food guides and writers, named "Food Experts" were asked to nominate the must-try dishes in their city, considering the quality of ingredients, local relevance, history and flavor. The nine categories for North America were: pizza, burger, barbecue, pasta, sandwich, Asian, Latin, bakery and regional specialties. There also was an award for the foodiest city, which went to New Orleans. The winners, listed below, all moved forward to the global awards, which took place in London on Saturday, May 31.

The winners are:

Bakery: Raw Honey and Sea Salt Doughnut - Pip's Original Doughnuts, Portland


Pip's Original, a neighbourhood café in northeast Portland, opened less than two years. But word quickly spread. Their mini, made-to-order doughnuts are served straight from the fryer and have the perfect ratio of golden brown exterior to soft cake inside. Drizzled with raw honey and Himalayan sea salt, customers often order a dozen and chase them with fresh-brewed coffee, espresso or a house-made chai tea latte.

Raw Honey & Sea Salt Doughnut at Pip’s Original was nominated by Beth Reddekopp, Erin Carrock-Godfrey and Omeica Hudson, Food Experts for Portland.

Pizza: Pepperoni Pizza - Buddy's, Detroit


In 1946, owner August Gus Guerra turned his historic speakeasy into a tavern and introduced his version of Sicilian pizza. The rest, they say, is history. His signature, Detroit-style pie has been lauded in numerous national "best pizza" lists. Prepped in a square, well-seasoned buttered pan, the dough is covered with brick cheese and topped with a sweet tomato sauce. Fresh from the oven, the thick, melted cheese corners give off a buttery crunch while thin slices of pepperoni curl and char around the edge.

The pizza at Buddy’s was nominated by Joe Hakim, Food Expert for Detroit, The Hungry Dudes and Jason Feirman, ExtremeFoodies's Global Pizza guru from I Dream of Pizza.

Burger: Burger - Holeman and Finch Public House, Atlanta


Holeman and Finch Public House in Atlanta is a modern gastropub that combines creative cuisine with the South’s British culinary roots. Linton Hopkins is behind this gastropub, and the burger is legendary. The Burger tucks double patties of rich brisket and lean chuck into a mini loaf toasted to a buttery sheen. House-made ketchup, pickles soaked in spices, a Kraft American single and kosher salt crown the creation.

The burger at Holeman and Finch Public House was nominated by Erica Keys, Food Expert for Atlanta.

BBQ: Ribs Combo - Pappy's Smokehouse, St. Louis


Pappy’s Smokehouse has landed on the top of nearly every “best of” barbecue poll in St. Louis. Their Memphis-style ribs are dry-rubbed and cooked for 14 hours over apple and cherry wood, resulting in a sweet, sugary glaze and tender meat with a rich smoked flavor. Fans top the meat-lover's feast with any or all of the four house-made varieties, including Holly's Hot Sauce and Jane's Sweet.

The Ribs Combo at Pappy’s Smokehouse was nominated by Ann Lemons Pollack, Food Expert for St. Louis.

Sandwich: Lasagna Bolognese - Paesano's, Philadelphia


Chef Peter McAndrews is renowned for his Philly-style sandwiches with Italian inspiration. The Lasagna Bolognese is layered with provolone and smoked mozzarella, brushed with sauce rich in ground beef, bacon, tomato, onion and herbs, then lightly breaded and fried. Slipped between a sesame seed-encrusted roll, it is joined by sweet peppers and a perfectly fried egg. The result is a warm, crunchy, ewey gooey, pulls-on-your-heart strings sandwich.

The Lasagna Bolognese sandwich at Paesano’s was nominated by Bradd and Kristy DelMuto, Food Experts for Philadelphia

Pasta: Ricotta Ravioli - Rino's Place, Boston


This tiny restaurant in East Boston, run by Italian natives, offers enormous ravioli that are part soft cooked and part al dente. They are stuffed with a cloud-like stuffing of seasoned ricotta, served with a simple and tangy tomato sauce and sprinkled with pecorino cheese.

The ricotta ravioli at Rino’s Place was nominated by Fiona Chandra, Food Expert for Boston.

Asian Dish: Dry-Fried Chicken Wings - San Tung, San Francisco


Served wet or dry at this mother-and-son restaurant, these wings are an extraordinary combination of sweet, salty, spicy and tangy flavours. Sautéed in soy, ginger, honey and chilli paste, green onions and peppers, the skin is transformed into a crispy shell coated in an intoxicatingly sticky lacquer, and the meat is succulent inside.

The Dry-Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung were nominated by Sandy Wada, Food Expert for San Francisco.

Latin Dish: Empanadas - Empanada Mama, Manhattan


One of Manhattan’s most beloved late-night snacks, in more than 40 innovative varities of piping hot empanadas are available at this popular hole-in-the-wall. Aficionadas top them with the house-made red and green sauce. Dessert lovers enjoy pockets oozing with rich Belgian milk chocolate with bananas, or go wild with such unique fillings as figs, caramel and cheese or sweet plantains with mozzarella cheese.

The empanadas at Empanada Mama were nominated by Yvo Sin, Food Expert for Manhattan.

Regional Specialty: Smoked Pork Gumbo - Coquette, New Orleans


At Coquette, a two-storey Garden District building with gleaming floors, crisp linens and warm exposed brick walls, Chef de Cuisine Mason Hereford polishes his riff on the classic southern Louisiana stew with tender mustard greens and salty bacon goodness, topped with strips of crispy pig ear and a poached egg.

Foodiest City: New Orleans


New Orleans is a city drenched in its cuisine -- from spicy gumbo, smoky jambalaya and crawfish boils to buttery pralines and king cakes. Fans flock to its golden-fried oyster po’boys, crispy chicken platters and powdered beignets. Five of the oldest restaurants in the country still serve in New Orleans, including Commander’s Palace -- helmed by a James Beard-winning chef – and Antoine’s, which continues to awe with its secret recipe for oysters Rockefeller. Awash in tiny Creole, Cajun, Vietnamese and Italian spots, New Orleans visitors could eat all day, all week in the “Big Easy” and never get a bad meal or fully grasp the cuisine melting pot that fills the city.