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Hungry Magazine - All Things Tasty
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04.23.06

Eating My Way Through the East Coast

Bites: News and Miscellany


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lobster tail

When the folks at Hungry Magazine offered to let contribute to their site, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I figured with the original writers all based in Chicago, I could bring another angle to the site with some East Coast flavor.

East Coast food and cuisine means different things to different people. To me, it automatically brings to mind hot, crusty bagels, thin New York-style pizza, and, of course, let’s not forget all the delicious, fresh lobster and clams from Maine and Massachusetts. Some McDonalds along the East Coast even have Lobster Roll sandwiches. Don’t laugh – they’re not half-bad when a craving hits. When my sister was in Colby College in Maine, we often took road trips to visit her, lugging along an empty cooler just to stock up on fresh lobster; definitely a nice perk to the 14-hour car ride!

Interestingly enough, when I asked readers of my site sweetnicks.com what “East Coast food” meant to them, I got a wide array of answers, including things I had never even heard of! “French fries on sandwiches?” Haven’t had a chance to try that, or even seen it offered anywhere, but in the name of research, bring it on! My sister grew up stuffing potato chips in her sandwich, and to this day, still does, now getting my 3-1/2 year old son hooked on the concept. But I digress… I don’t think that’s as much an “East Coast” thing, as it is a “my sister” thing. So what else did people think was “East Coast food?”

“Roast beef on rye stacked really high…”

“Philly cheesesteak, and a warm, soft pretzel…”

“New England Clam Bake…”

“New York-style cheesecake, crabcakes, expensive drinks, cranberries, celebrity chefs…”

“Steamed clams, specifically Ipswich soft shell steamer clams with drawn butter in the summer… fried clams with tartar sauce and a vanilla shake … clam chowder that is never, ever red. Ever. … tiny Maine blueberries in pancakes with maple syrup in August … fiddleheads and ramps in the Spring…”

“…a plethora of restaurants from just about every country in the world. We even have a Bosnian take out place opening up down the road from our house, Bosnian!…”

“… black and white cookies…”

“…Sandwiches with french fries on them (must be homemade fries) and coleslaw. Can’t visit Pittsburgh without having one…”

“…as a restaurant trend, African food…”

The celebrity chefs mention was interesting. Until I stopped to think about it, I didn’t realize how many celebrity chefs actually WERE from the East Coast … Emeril, Ina Garten, Martha Stewart, Anthony Bourdain, Dave Lieberman, Bobby Flay, Warren Brown, Mario Batali, and Rachael Ray just to name a few … quite a smattering of talent! In my research, I did find that Gale Gand hales from the hallowed Hungry Magazine ground … Chicago!

I hope you guys will join me as we discover more East Coast flavor! In the meantime, how about letting me know what says “Chicago” or “West Coast” to you…?

7 Comments on "Eating My Way Through the East Coast"

paula

Chicago has Jay’s potato chips; “Garden on a Bun” hot dogs [David Berg, please!]; Super Dawg with a pickled green tomato on the side; Eli’s Cheesecake [so smooth and creamy]. I understand that, compared to other parts of the US, Chicago has good meat [steak, chops, etc.].



Drunken Chef (aka D. H. Lee)

Chicago’s also got Italian Beef that people go nuts over, as well as that unbelievably over-the-top deep dish pizza, a lactose-intolerant person’s nightmare of deliciousness.

Welcome to the team!

D.



Cate O'Malley

Sounds like you guys have lots of delicious stuff … and Eli’s is actually the only thing I’ve heard of!



kalyn

Go Cate! Great article.



Stacey

A Chicago native now in New York City I must say I do miss the deep dish pizza (there is NO comparison to the garbage you find out here), the good Vienna beef hotdogs covered in ‘kraut and onions and all the BBQs covered in kielbasa and burgers all summer long (not that we don’t have those in NYC) but come on, Chicago is practically the beef capital! One thing Chi-town needs to bring in, sister to those black and white cookies (can’t live without) are the black and white milkshakes…. (vanilla ice cream w/ chocolate sauce). Superb. And I must add having been to Pitts, those french fry sandwiches are amazing!



Sarah

East Coast food to me is New York thin crust pizza, like you mentioned, garlic knots, clams casino, clam chowder (New England and Manhattan), lobster any way, giant soft pretzals with a crispy outside and absolutely no butter, roast beef sandwiches piled high with spicy barbecue sauce, pastrami on rye and pickles…oh and New York bagels and lox.

Great article, Cate!



Monday - Recipe Recap | Food & Life

[...] of Hungry Magazine. Some of you guys actually helped write my first article, which you can read here. And lastly, my next article is up on Food Bounds’ site, featuring a wonderful Panzanella [...]



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