Eat Like a Local: America
If you could recommend one restaurant in your town, what would it be? We're looking for great, quirky details and, of course, why you love the food. What's that one dish you always order? The best recommendations will be featured in our 10th anniversary issue.
To whet your appetite, here are three reader submissions that caught our eye:
RJ's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers
Housed in a cramped concrete building, RJ's consists of four booths, a cold-drink dispenser, and a TV that's usually turned to MASH. Whether you're a hamburger person or not, your gastronomical life isn't complete until you've tasted an RJ's burger: glorious, juicy, meaty perfection. RJ is always there, and he almost never has help, so be prepared to wait for your food. But not to worry—RJ will keep you entertained. And when your food comes, all else disappears—sort of like how women say that when they hold their new baby, the pain of childbirth fades away. —Jessi Whitby, Denton, Tex.
DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies
What is a tomato pie, you ask? To those in the know (anyone from Trenton), it's the best pizza ever: a thin crust topped with high-quality olive oil, tomatoes, and cheese. When the pie comes out of the oven with its heavenly crust slightly charred, it's on your table in seconds, still bubbling and steaming hot. That first bite—the snap of the crust, the gooey cheese, the tang of the tomato sauce, the richness of the olive oil—tells you it's the pinnacle of pies. The main part of the restaurant, in a converted row house in the city's Chambersburg neighborhood, was once the owner's living room and now holds several booths and a pizza oven. Regulars know to sit near the pizza oven in the winter and far away from it in the summer. —Jill Costigan, Trenton, N.J.
Tasty China looks like a typical suburban Chinese restaurant: your standard fish tank, Chinese lanterns, and tapestries. But chef Peter Chang is, as his bio on the back of the menu says, a Jedi knight of Szechuan cuisine. He cooked at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and at a restaurant in New York before the owner of Tasty China offered him half ownership in the restaurant if he would be the head chef. Some of the best dishes: fish and green onions, sharp pepper fish, golden powder ribs, hot and numbing beef rolls, and coriander fish rolls. It takes massive effort to explore the menu instead of ordering your standard favorites. —Morgan Eubanks, Marietta, Ga.
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