There's a ton of BBQ joints in Texas, so it's saying a lot that The Salt Lick is among the best. Founded in 1967 — and since expanded to locations in Round Rock and the ATX airport — this institution still cooks its meat on the same open pit that was used when it opened, offering brisket, ribs, turkey, sausages, chicken, and sides, all as tasty as anything you'll find elsewhere. Oh, and this location is BYOB and cash-only — so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.
In a city best known for its barbecue, it's sometimes refreshing to have a meal that's a bit more sophisticated. Which is exactly what you'll find at Bluestem. The dinner menu is split into five courses, most with several options each, and diners can choose to purchase three to ten courses, with wine pairings optional. No matter if you order the chilled asparagus, butter-poached salmon, or hanging tender of beef — or all three — you can expect the presentation and service to be on par with the outstanding flavors. And should you feel a little less fancy, they also offer a lounge menu that's more affordable while not skimping quality.
As you might expect from the name, The Grape offers quite the wine list, including two dozen options available by the glass. What you might not expect is that it's routinely hailed as offering one of the best burgers in the state. While the dinner menu typically offers more refined offerings like mustard-crusted salmon, beef tournedos, mussels, and rack of lamb, on Sundays at brunch and Monday evenings you'll find the classic cheeseburger listed, a 10 oz. freshly grilled patty with homemade peppered bacon, Vermont white cheddar, Nathan's horseradish half-sour pickles, and dijonaise, with a side of homemade fries. As for what wine to pair with it, we suggest you ask your server.
Sure, it's housed in a Hilton — but Iggy's is far from your typical hotel fare. Long considered one of the best restaurants in all of Asia, this minimalist restaurant offers both degustation and a la carte options, either of which is sure to impress with its avant-garde dishes that blend a number of influences to create a truly memorable experience. A separate bar menu is equally impressive, as is the wine list, which is heavily focused on Pinot Noir and Burgundies, but is well-rounded enough that anyone should be able to find something they like.
Don't be alarmed if the mass of meat and bun at The Company Burger looks a little familiar — it should, if you've ever been to Atlanta's Holeman & Finch. After a stint at H&F, owner Adam Biderman opened this epic burger joint in his home town, offering up a short list of burgers that feature freshly-baked buns, housemade mayo and pickles, and house-ground patties. The fries are hand-cut and double-fried, the onion rings are hand-battered, and they're joined on the menu by tots, sweet potato fries, pork rinds, a market salad, grilled cheese, a hot dog, turkey and lamb burgers, and an excellent selection of American sodas, beers, spirits, wines, and cocktails. [via]
You might have to wait a while — a long while — to score a reservation, but the food at Rich Table is well worth it. Nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant, this largely unpretentions spot in Hayes Valley is surprisingly affordable for an eatery of its pedigree, with highlights including the bread — yes, bread — sardine chips, and spaghetti with pancetta, seaweed, and sunflower seeds. A healthy drink list with beers, cocktails, and a ton of wines rounds out the offerings. And should you not have time to wait for a reservation, you can always try to get a seat at the bar, which is reserved for walk-in customers.
Memphis is one of the biggest BBQ cities in the nation — so if you've been open there for 29 years, you must be doing something right. At Corky's Bar-BQ, that means slow cooking your meats over hickory wood and charcoal, hand-pulling your pork shoulder that's been cooked for nearly a day, and trimming your ribs to exact specifications. It also means tasty sauces, classic sides like baked beans, slaw, corn on the cob, and hushpuppies, a simply-decorated interior, and excellent service. And don't worry if the original is a bit too far away — they have a couple other locations spread across the area.
Traditional English food can be great when done right, but it can also get a bit boring after a while. Spice up your trip to the Isles with a stop at Tayyab's. Family owned and operated since its opening in 1972, this Whitechapel spot was originally a complex of four eateries that have since been combined into one sophisticated space offering fantastic Punjabi cuisine. Highlights include the wonderfully spicy dry meat, lamb chops, and naan flatbread; also worthy of note is the fact that the place is unlicensed and doesn't charge a corkage fee, meaning you can enjoy a far better bottle of wine for far less money than if you had to order it off a house wine list. [via]
Common wisdom holds that if you're really good at something, you should stick with it — and that certainly seems to be the belief of the folks behind with Skylight Inn. So much so, in fact, that this self-proclaimed "BBQ Capitol of the World" doesn't really serve anything else. You can get their slow-roasted, cleaver-chopped pork as a sandwich with coleslaw, or in a dish with corn bread and cole slaw. That's seriously it — yet the always-crowded parking lot should tell you that it's more than enough for those who've tried it.
It's not exactly what we'd describe as "fancy" — the vibe is much too laid back for that — but that doesn't mean the food coming out of Woodberry Kitchen isn't every bit as good as you'll find somewhere else. The converted warehouse location gives the restaurant plenty of room to stack wood for its brick oven, store its preserved produce, perform its own butchery, and even have room for a dedicated coffee station, which deals out fresh French presses to awaiting diners. As for the food, it's nearly all sourced locally from sustainable farms, and varies from dishes as simple as sour cream & onion dip with potato chips to freshly-caught seafood and wood-roasted sausages. Oh, and don't worry about finding a spot for your car — the valet parking is free.
Depending on your familiarity with the Steel City, you might not expect to find excellent Japanese food there. Yet here it is, at Fukuda. This small Bloomfield eatery serves up uber-fresh sushi made using fish shipped straight from the Tokyo Tsukiji Market, as well as the city's best ramen, takoyaki, and a satisfying selection of green teas. Should you be in the mood for something stronger, simply pick up your own selection on the way in — it's BYOB, and thanks to a reasonable $2 bottle fee it won't break the bank to bring your own booze.
A beer and a burger — one of life's perfect pairings. Apparently, the guys behind Motorburger agree. The menu isn't exactly what we'd call extensive — a list of a dozen or so half-pound burgers dominates, with options ranging from a traditional hamburger to a "Shrimp Fuel" that's made with ground shrimp, chilies, avocado, and mango salsa — but it is satisfying, and fittingly automotive-themed. And while the shakes and cocktails are delicious, you really need to try a beer — after all, the place brews their own on-site. [Scouted by J]