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The Best of New York’s Big Apple BBQ

The Best of New York’s Big Apple BBQ

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The sun was hot, the sauce was sticky, and the ribs were plentiful at the twelfth annual Big Apple BBQ festival this weekend at Madison Square Park, where Southern rock and pop bands like The Roosevelts played, and BBQ joints from across the country showed off the best brisket, ribs, and pulled pork they had to offer, including New York’s Blue Smoke and Hill Country Barbecue, Texas’ Salt Lick Bar-B-Que, and St. Louis’ Pappy’s Smokehouse.

Some places, like Que in Durham, North Carolina, were even serving a whole hog.

Que's hog. Photo by: Joanna Fantozzi

Lines were long this weekend at one of the biggest food festivals in New York, but Danny Meyer, who started the feast 12 years ago, remembers when it was just one block long in front of Blue Smoke.

Madison Square Park was filled to the brim both days of the festival. Photo by: Karen Lo

“My favorite thing to do here is watching people eating BBQ; it makes me so proud as one of the founders of the event,” said Meyer. “BBQ builds community irrespective of what walk of life you come from, just look around everyone’s happy.”

Cutting pulled pork for Skylight Inn BBQ. Photo by: Karen Lo

Meyer’s Blue Smoke was serving sizzling Andouille sausage last weekend with yellow mustard chow chow, prepared by chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois.

There was certainly a bit of healthy competition this weekend. It’s tough not to compare the illustrious vendors — are 17th Street Bar and Grill’s smoky and crispy ribs with a sweet sauce better than Pappy’s generous helping of meaty and succulent baby back ribs? Or maybe it was the pulled pork sandwich from the Skylight Inn.

The pulled pork sandwich from Skylight Inn BBQ. Photo by: Karen Lo

According to Salt Lick pitmaster Scott Roberts, even though they were all smoking similar dishes (like his brisket, Andouille sausage, and slaw on the side), the vibe between pitmasters is usually friendly.

“We don’t try to say we are better than them, when you say best it’s subjective, otherwise there’d be 250 million best BBQ restaurants,” said Roberts. “We just try and judge if we did a good job by how our customers feel.”

Even so, Roberts would not give the secret away to his Cajun-inspired BBQ sauce. That’s the kind of thing that pitmasters guard fiercely.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi

New York cheesecake: an indulgent taste of the Big Apple - but which is best?

You can't beat a slice of New York cheesecake to end a meal in style. Traditionally, it should be made up of a creamy, tangy top layer on a crisp biscuit base. Our team of expert taste testers, led by GHI food specialist Helen Wainwright, munched their way through nine cheesecakes from the supermarkets. Find out why we think Marks & Spencer makes the best.

Score: 76/100

The Marks & Spencer New York Cheesecake costs £4.50 and is large enough to serve six people.

This cake has a generous amount of deep soft cheesecake filling with a light moussey texture. It's delicately flavoured with sweet vanilla.

Score: 73/100

The Waitrose New York Cheesecake is a baked vanilla cheesecake on a digestive base. It serves six and costs £3.99.

This cake is beautifully light and creamy. The base is crumbly but soft and buttery, and it has a perfect sweet vanilla balance.

Score: 73/100

The Tesco Finest New York Cheesecake costs £3 serves six. It is a baked Madagascan vanilla cheesecake on a digestive biscuit base.

It has a lovely creamy vanilla layer with real seeds. Rich vanilla flavour, creamy with a nice acidic tang. Biscuit base is crunchy with good digestive biscuit taste.

Score: 72/100

The Sainsbury's Taste the Difference New York Cheesecake is a 700g baked Madagascan vanilla cheesecake topped with sour cream on a digestive biscuit base, it costs £5.

This cake has an authentic vanilla aroma and visible seeds. It's tart tasting with a hint of sourness, and both creamy and satisfying with a good crunch to the base.

Score: 70/100

Morrison's M Signature Madagascan Vanilla New York-Style Cheesecake is a baked vanilla cheesecake on a digestive biscuit base, it serves six people and costs £4.

This cheesecake is sweet and creamy with a pleasant tartness. It has a lovely, light moussey texture and a really crisp base.

Score: 67/100

Lidl's Deluxe New York Cheesecake costs £2.99 serves six people. It's a Madagascan vanilla cheesecake on a biscuit base.

Lidl's cheesecake has a good proportion of cake filling to base. It also has a sweet vanilla taste with a sour tang, but the base is crumbly and without any crunch.

Score: 66/100

The Asda Extra Special baked New York Vanilla Cheesecake is a Madagascan vanilla baked cheesecake on a biscuit base - it costs £4 and serves 6 people.

There's a lovely addition of real vanilla seeds here, with a good baked cheesecake texture. It's crumbly yet smooth with a plesant tangy flavour, although unfortunatly the soft base lets it down slightly.

Score: 66/100

The Co-operative's New York Vanilla Cheesecake costs £2 and is large enough to serve six people.

This cheesecake has a very dense topping and a good flavour with plenty of vanilla. The base is a little too soft though, and it lacks flavour.

Score: 54/100

The Aldi New York Cheesecake costs £2.69 and is only available in Aldi stores.

This thin cheesecake has quite a dry, crumbly base. It has a good tangy smell, but is overly sweet and creamy and slightly bland and powdery in texture.

Krispy Kreme Is Opening A New Flagship Store In NYC, and It's a Place Where Doughnut Dreams Come True

The new Krispy Kreme store opens Sept. 15, and Woman's Day got an exclusive look at the doughnut heaven.

On September 15, Krispy Kreme will open a new flagship store located in Times Square, i.e. the heart of New York City. But before opening its doors to the masked masses, I was able to take a tour of the new spot, which is what I imagine doughnut heaven would look like.

When I stepped through the green doors, my eyes landed on a decorative light-up conveyor belt that wrapped around the ceiling of the shop, mimicking the real deal, which moved the sweet smelling doughnuts toward their rightful owners. Colorful Krispy Kreme merchandise, including a line of T-shirts exclusive to the store, was set out in neat stacks. There were even pools of &ldquoglaze&rdquo painted on the floor, as if there&rsquod just been a sugary spill.

Of course, I gravitated to the main event: the conveyor belt that sat behind a wall of glass, upon which the doughnuts would go through each stage of their life cycle. I watched a platoon of doughnuts gently wade into a pool of oil to be fried, excitedly flip halfway through, and glide under the two-foot-tall glaze waterfall.

Across the room from where the doughnut-making magic happens is a stadium-style seating area, the perfect vantage point to spend an afternoon relaxing and watching the doughnuts go by. Sitting on the risers under the world&rsquos largest &ldquoHot Now&rdquo light, you feel the sort of rah-rah atmosphere of giddy youth and excitement that you might feel in a stadium in which the main event involves more athleticism than fried dough.

The back of the store is where the hard decisions are made. Cream-filled or raspberry-filled? Oreo topping or Reese&rsquos topping? Chocolate icing or sprinkles (or both)? Dozens of flavors are displayed proudly behind a glass case, each one whispering &ldquoPick me! Pick me!&rdquo Rest assured if you&rsquore too indecisive to handle the coliseum of doughnuts in the back of the store, you can pop by the 24-hour window to quickly grab an original glazed and a cup of coffee without being distracted by the multitude of flavors.

But if you are looking to try something new, there's the Big Apple doughnut. Only available at the new flagship store, the $11 doughnut was inspired by the city this shop calls home. It's a doughnut is filled with apple-flavored cream and coated with a glossy red icing that's shinier than your favorite tube of lip gloss. Each one is served in a large dark green box embossed with a gold logo and polka dots that looks more like it's holding a luxury watch, not a luxury doughnut. It's a Krispy Kreme experience like no other.

Of course, opening the new store during a global pandemic was never the plan, but the store has various features to make sure things are as safe as possible. There are hand sanitizer stations around the store, and signs advising customers to keep a safe distance, sanitize, and wear masks. But the safety precautions don&rsquot take away from the joy and whimsy of the Krispy Kreme store. In fact, if there&rsquos anything the pandemic has taught me, it&rsquos the importance of finding joy in the simple things. And what could be more delightful in a world filled with so much worry than a warm, fresh doughnut that makes no promises other than being the best thing you&rsquoll eat today? I&rsquoll take a dozen.

Want more Woman&rsquos Day? Subscribe to Woman's Day today and get 73% off your first 12 issues. And while you&rsquore at it, sign up for our FREE newsletter for even more of the Woman's Day content you want.

The barbecue king of New York City

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Hugh Mangum's fondest memories of Houston are eating barbecue with his father.

In the late 1990s, Mangum was the drummer in a Los Angeles-based band called Maypole. They toured around the country opening for The Wallflowers and performed in Houston once or twice a year. His father, the late Hugh Mangum III, lived in the Heights.

"The band loved barbecue, so (my dad and I would) drive out to Dozier's and buy racks of barbecue ribs to take back to the band," Mangum says. Dozier's, a traditional Texas meat market in Fulshear that serves barbecue for lunch, was his dad's favorite.

Barbecue had been a constant in Mangum's life. His dad, a native Houstonian who traveled the world as a federal employee, was a "weekend warrior" who grilled and smoked meats in his backyard father and son bonded over the activity. Still, back then Mangum had no idea how important barbecue would be in his future.

Like many aspiring musicians, Mangum loved his job but struggled to find a steady income. He decided to move from L.A. to New York City (where his mother was from) and attended the French Culinary Institute to follow his passion for cooking.

He graduated in 2001 and began working as an apprentice in some of the Big Apples's top restaurants. He met his future wife Laura in school and they had three sons over the next few years - Quinn, Lucas and Henry. Mangum was faced with supporting a wife and three kids while living in Manhattan and working as a sous chef. The income was steady, but not enough to make ends meet.

Mighty Quinn's - East Village

He decided to take a chance and pursue the passion for smoked meats he developed while growing up cooking with his dad at home. In 2011, he and his wife opened a barbecue booth at Smorgasburg, a flea market of food stalls in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that has become well-known for fostering culinary talent in the New York City area.

"I had no idea if anyone would even show up," Mangum says. His booth would eventually become known for having the longest line at the market.

The next year, he partnered with stepbrother Micha Magid and Magid's brother-in-law Christos Gourmos to open a brick-and-mortar barbecue joint in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood. Ironically, though perhaps not coincidentally, the restaurant is located in the building that formerly housed the Fillmore East, one of the city's most storied music venues. Mangum named the restaurant Mighty Quinn's after his oldest son.

The big break came in 2013 when Pete Wells, restaurant critic for the New York Times, gave Mighty Quinn's a glowing review. Crowds of barbecue-neophyte New Yorkers descended on the restaurant. Mangum's Texas-influenced barbecue became the toast of the town.

After several years of perfecting recipes and operations at the East Village location, Mangum and his partners sought to expand. They opened a central commissary that now services four location in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn and one in New Jersey (the original location still cooks on-site). Recently, Mangum and his partners were approached by a restaurant group in Taiwan and will be opening an outpost in Taipei next year.

I've been going to the East Village location since it opened and, if anything, it just keeps getting better. On a recent visit, Mangum's brisket was easily some of the best in New York City and rivaled the brisket at many Texas barbecue joints.

Though his barbecue is mainly Texas-influenced, Mangum has added his own personal touches including an excellent pulled pork, Kansas City-influenced burnt ends and a memorable slow-cooked and smoked pork cheeks dish.

However, it's the meaty, smoky pork ribs that may be my favorite dish here. They are a fitting tribute to the trips to Dozier's he used to make with his father. Mangum's mini-empire of barbecue continues to grow in New York and around the world, with a nod to his family's roots in Houston.

The Best Thing to Eat In Every State

With its wood-paneled walls and daily specials, City Cafe in Northport offers soothing Southern-style mains, like chicken-fried steak and fried chicken livers, partnered with three or four comfort sides, including fried green tomatoes and stewed squash. On most menus here, you'll find tangy West Indies salad—a cold seafood affair starring lump crabmeat, chopped yellow onion and a liberal dose of vinegar. Mobile's 75-plus-year-old Wintzell’s Oyster House marinates theirs for a thorough 24 hours, resulting in a sweet-sour dish as refreshing as an afternoon on a porch swing.

In tiny Craig, on the western coast of Prince of Wales Island, Shelter Cove Lodge is a rustic landing for sports folk looking to reel in halibut taller than they are. But the real catch is the lodge's restaurant, Latitude 55°North. With an imposing stone hearth and wide windows looking out on the ocean, it serves unspeakably fresh salmon lacquered with a birch syrup glaze and a meaty mac and cheese studded with reindeer sausage.

Don't call sibling chefs Sandra and Suzana Davila rivals: Even though both manage Mexican restaurants in Tucson, the pair couldn't be more different. Like her upscale bistro Café Poca Cosa, Suzana is "classic and elegant," says Sandra, and creates an ever-changing menu of fresh takes on traditional dishes, including mole verde. "I love the nutty texture," says Sandra, "and that you can taste all the ingredients, from roasted peppers to sesame seeds." Two blocks over, Sandra, who describes herself as "loud and casual," runs (with their other sister, Marcela) the tiny, festive, cash-only The Little One, where the speakers blare everything from reggae to rock and plates are piled with Mexican breakfast and lunch classics, as well as vegetarian options that go far beyond rice and beans. Her secret to main-dish-worthy veggies: fire roasting, as in the vegan taco made with dried Jamaican flowers and anchored by roasted fresh beets. "I also love Sandra's cream soups," says Suzana, "like fire-roasted poblano chili with butter-roasted pecans. They're velvety, rich and so delicious!"

At Phoenix's plastic-chair-chic Chicago Hamburger Co., owner and former Chicagoan Bob Pappanduros brings a taste of the Midwest to the Southwest. His gloriously greasy sliders (many of which he flips himself) can come oozing with cheese, are coated with grilled onions and practically beg for German mustard his hot dogs hail from his hometown and, by request, bear the Windy City's customary sprinkle of celery salt and pile of hot-sour peppers.

After Rhoda Adams began successfully selling her sweet potato and pecan pies 40-plus years ago to raise money for her congregation, she was inspired to open Rhoda’s Famous Hot Tamales, the modest Lake Village spot where she's sold savory and sweet treats ever since. Adams keeps her recipe cards close to the vest, but you don't need an ingredients list to know her moist but firm spicy chicken and beef tamales are exquisite. And her pies come in so many flavors, only a masochist would choose just one—luckily, she sells a pecan-on-one-side, sweet-potato-on-the-other circle of heaven. "Folks come from everywhere, and I'm very thankful," says Adams. "I love people, and when they come, they treat me with love."

The thought of a shake from cozy Fremont Diner in Sonoma, California, fills one O editor's eyes with homesick tears.

When visiting Ikeda's California Country Market in Auburn, chef Craig Koketsu (of New York City's Smith & Wollensky and Quality Meats, among others) doubles down on pie—as in, chicken pot and marionberry à la mode. "Both use the same flaky pastry, and the fillings brim to the top crust," he says. Sonoma's countrified Fremont Diner (above) is where dairy dreams come true: The buttermilk shake's tangy base is enhanced with a deluge of clover-vanilla ice cream, a combination that evokes a delicate crème faintly infused with barely bitter molasses. Order a sandwich from the counter at Bell Street Farm in Los Alamos, near the Santa Ynez wine region, then enjoy it on the sunny back patio. Two options: crusty olive-bread tartine smeared with goat cheese and rotisserie pork tucked into crispy-edged, soft-centered ciabatta. Make like chef Masaharu Morimoto and stop by L.A.'s Chinchikurin for okonomiyaki. The Japanese staple is a hot savory pancake stacked with noodles, meat and a sweet sauce. "From the technique to the taste to the Hiroshima dialect spoken by staff, it's authentic in every way," Morimoto says.

The Fort, in Morrison, is so Old West, you'll half expect a gunfight to break out, and the menu's a paean to bygone times, too. The showstopping appetizer: roasted bison-marrow bones, or "prairie butter." Scoop it, smear it onto crostini then douse it all with green jalapeño sauce. At Pueblo's Mauro Farms & Bakery, you'll find a rugelach-like Slovenian bread called potica, a sweet dough spread with fillings like walnut paste or cream cheese, then rolled into a spiral, like a cinnamon bun's rustic cousin.

The Place Restaurant in Guilford is big on natural charm: Diners perch outside on tree stumps. The food is equally simple, yet extraordinary: meaty lobsters, wine-fragrant mussels and corn charred over an 18-foot fire pit. The menu at Traveler Restaurant, a warm, woody haven in Union, features tempting diner fare—hot chocolate crowned with whipped cream, bacony grilled cheese, crispy sweet-potato fries—made even more delicious by the postmeal treat: your choice of a free book from the shelves lining almost every wall.

Photo: Little Outdoor Giants

The ice cream at
It may look like a mere fruit stand, but Mama's Boy in Athens. Or head to the college town's quirky White Tiger Gourmet, housed in a 112-year-old space with colorful mismatched tables and chairs its smoky Tofu Q sandwich, which features barbecue sauce, coleslaw and a toasted kaiser roll, is a worthy alternative to the fan-favorite pork version.

You're likely to encounter a line at either of Honolulu's two Waiola Shave Ice locations, where the treat, ultrafine like powdery snow, packs so much flavor. And oh, the flavors! Opt for li hing mui (salty sour plum) or POG (passion orange guava), and ask for syrupy condensed milk on top. Chewy, gluey and altogether wonderful, Japanese mochi is sticky rice pounded into a paste and wrapped around a sweet filling. Call ahead to order the glutinous orbs from the tiny, screen-doored Two Ladies Kitchen in Hilo, where owner Nora Uchida sells a rainbow of flavors. Strawberry (stuffed with a whole berry and mashed sweet adzuki beans) is a must—if it's not sold out.

Dish, perched on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, is a shorts-and-sandals waterside grill, but the food is serious business, says Michael Stern, coauthor of Road Food: An Eater's Guide. The café takes full advantage of seasonal produce in specialties like the earthy vegetarian Eat Mo' burger (meat eaters, don't pass this by—you can always top it with spiced bacon) and the huckleberry margarita, made with local fruit, which Stern calls "wine deep and just this side of sweet."

Photo: Courtesy of Company

Walker Bros. in Wilmette has been flipping flapjacks since 1960, and the apple version takes the 'cake: crispy edges, nutmeg-y center and a smothering of cinnamon-spiced, faintly tart Granny Smiths. The Italian food (served on paper plates) at Freddy’s Pizza in Cicero is as good as any in Chicago. "Yes, the pizza's great," says Michael Stern, "but you also have to try the very citrusy lemon chicken, the baked eggplant stuffed with veal and pork and the cheesy Timballo di Pasta," a lasagna-style wedge, served with fresh, fruity tomato sauce by request.

In the self-serve line at Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville, you'll find a cornucopia of homespun mains, sides and desserts. While the German chocolate cake will call to you, hold out for sugar cream pie (a.k.a. Hoosier pie)—its supple crust cradles a divinely pure and simple blend that includes butter, sugar and cream. Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis offers tastings of its ales, both cream and pale, along with several other brilliant brews sold only in Indiana. Various words or phrases are stamped on the bottom of the cans a 2015 prank hatched by an especially ardent Indianapolis Colts fan who worked at the brewery sent thousands of brews into the marketplace emblazoned with TOM BRADY SUX.

BPT (breaded pork tenderloin) is a regional mainstay, and in 2003, Darrell’s Place in Hamlin—a yellow shack in a town with fewer than 300 residents—won the distinction of best in the state by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. The sandwich is an airy roll filled with double-battered crispy pork that's neither too thick nor too thin, ensuring an ideal meat-to-bread ratio and maximum juiciness. Top it with grilled onion, tomato, pickles and lettuce and you're in business. A $1.50 side of fries won't hurt, either.

Barto’s Idle Hour in Frontenac hosts polka dancing on Friday and Saturday nights, but the fried chicken dinner, which you can enjoy with coleslaw and onion rings, is an even bigger draw. Each garlicky, breaded piece is cooked to order—and trust us, the crunchy outcome is worth the wait.

Which dish has been satisfying Louisville's wee-hour tipplers since the '20s? Born at the The Brown Hotel, it's known as the hot brown: a humble open-faced turkey on white elevated by its toppings, including bacon, Roma tomato, a broiled pile of shredded cheese and Mornay sauce with Pecorino Romano and whiffs of nutmeg and pepper.

Photo: Little Outdoor Giants

Gayle King takes her pizza very seriously, and she beams when talking about Buddy's in Michigan. The hefty but not too heavy slices do not disappoint.

Boudin is a spiced Cajun sausage made of rice and pork (and often onions and peppers, too). Chef Alon Shaya, who owns Israeli spot Shaya in New Orleans, fell in love with the version at The Best Stop Supermarket in Scott. "It felt like a rite of passage: When I had it, I knew I was finally becoming a Southerner. " Once you've blissed out on New Orleans' beignets and po'boys, take a tip from Toups' Meatery chef Isaac Toups and head to Vietnamese joint Tan Dinh for suon chien xa ot (lemongrass ribs): "They have an explosive garlicky flavor that's so deep and savory."

On U.S. Route 1 in Waldoboro, travelers in the know brake at the sign for Moody’s Diner. The 80-plus-year-old institution, whose walls are bedecked with old photos, has perfected the fine art of pie. Feast your eyes on strawberry rhubarb, peanut butter cream and more—but order blueberry, which makes one O staffer's pulse race: "It's not some fussy, artisanal concoction it's simple and perfectly tart. They treat blueberries the way they should be treated."

You can find Smith Island cake—traditionally eight to 14 ultrathin layers of yellow cake caressed with fudge frosting—throughout its namesake island, but the slice at Bayside Inn Restaurant in Ewell is tough to top, especially when eaten with your legs dangling off the dock.

The roast beef sandwich at Everett truck stop Mike’s Roast Beef does the North Shore specialty proud: extra-rare meat sliced paper-thin and slathered with the traditional three-way topping (mayo, barbecue sauce, your choice of cheese). Sam’s Bakery in Fall River is a one-room Lebanese spot known for mouthwatering meat pies. We also love the spinach pie, a triangular dough pouch stuffed with lemony fresh spinach leaves and onions.

Rejoice, labneh lovers! Thanks to the several hundred thousand Arab Americans in and around Dearborn, Middle Eastern cuisine here is among the best in the country. Al-Ameer Restaurant's Beirut hummus, for example—the chickpea puree encircles a bracing mince of tomato, parsley and jalapeño. The squinty grin of mascot Cherry Jerry was first carved into the Cherry Hut's pie crust in 1922. The Beulah eatery goes all out for its namesake: Come for the cherry salsa–adorned burger, stay for the cherry hot fudge brownie. Detroit-style pizza, square and cheese laden, is deep-dish made deeper—a study in crust density. And at hometown fave Buddy’s, they're as bulky and buttery as they come—our own Gayle King is a megafan.

Photo: Little Outdoor Giants

Don't worry if you can't get enough of the sweet sauce at Missouri's C&K Barbecue—owner Daryle Brantley sells bottles of it on-site.

Mild and sweet, walleye (Minnesota's state fish) should be roasted over a campfire. Your next-best option: feasting on flaky grilled fillets amid the log cabin–style decor at Tavern on Grand in St. Paul. El Triunfo in Northfield is a teeny, cluttered Mexican market selling authentic tacos (the carne asada and al pastor are spicy and succulent) made even better by their top-secret sauce: a fiery, creamy green concoction that keeps aficionados coming back for more.

New York City chef Floyd Cardoz deems Big Bad Breakfast's biscuit sandwich—oozy fried egg, gooey cheddar and sausage, country ham or bacon—one of the best he's ever eaten: "I dream about the flavor and texture. The biscuit is spot-on, and the sausage has the perfect amount of salt and spice."

There's one outdoor table at C&K Barbecue in St. Louis, and most days, you can bet your brisket it's taken. That's because owner Daryle Brantley's signature spicy-sweet sauce—served on juicy ribs and pork—is peppery, tomato-heavy barbecue bliss. "Barbecue is much more than a meal," says the 65-year-old Vietnam vet. "It's a coming together of people, food, fun, family and fellowship. The Thanksgiving of summer."

In Great Falls, Ford's Drive-In, its obelisk-like sign a beacon of nostalgic delight, looks like a place you'd hit up after a sock hop. Care for a shake? Green apple, butterscotch, eggnog and almond are just four of your 50-plus options. If you've never had Native American fry bread—a deep-fried, puffy disc of goodness—do so on hallowed ground: Custer Battlefield Trading Post Cafe in Crow Agency serves it up as a taco bursting with beef and beans.

Photo: Little Outdoor Giants

Trendy doesn't always equal tasty, but Brooklyn's juicy, drippy, splendidly pretzel-bunned Emmy Burger lives up to the hype.

Whether it's called a bierock, a runza or a cabbage burger, the idea—brought Stateside by 19th-century German settlers—is always the same: yeasty dough lovingly packed with ground beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions and, depending on the cook, a little spice. At Sehnert's Bakery, opened in 1957, these pillowy bundles of joy (some with good ol' American cheese) are baked fresh every morning. Should you require further carbs, a peanut butter roll, drenched in thick nutty frosting, is a fine finale.

Award-winning L.A. chef and restaurateur Mary Sue Milliken fantasizes about the nam kao tod (crispy rice salad) at Lotus of Siam, located in an unassuming Las Vegas strip mall. An herby Thai jasmine rice is tossed with cilantro, green onions, ground dry chilies, ginger, peanuts and cubes of sour pork sausage. "The chef masterfully balances heat with tang, crunch and a touch of sweetness. Sometimes I order two: one to eat there and one to take home since I'll be dreaming about it all night anyway."

New Hampshire
Biederman's Deli (formerly the Cellar Pub) has been a Plymouth staple since 1973, and its Balboa sandwich deserves a chunk of the credit: It comes with your choice of meat and extra cheese heated on a sub roll spread with garlic butter, a condiment rightly beloved by locals.

New Jersey
When Jerseyans claim their bagels beat New York City's, they often hold up the Bagel Nook in Freehold as evidence. They're crisp on the outside, toothsome on the inside and dolloped with a generous schmear of cream cheese in admittedly unorthodox small-batch flavors, including birthday cake and maple bacon. You never know what you'll find in the cases at the Little Chef Pastry Shop in Princeton: pear-vanilla tarts, cream puffs, a bavarois cake composed of vanilla sponge layered with strawberry or raspberry mousse and ringed by ladyfingers. Yes, yes and yes, please.

Courtney Foley always dreamed of farming, so when she and her husband, Brian, decamped from New York, they bought a seven-acre property in western New Jersey. To set themselves apart from other local farms selling produce or eggs, they landed on buffalo mozzarella—a food they were curious about. Funny thing, though: Foley didn't realize how buffalo mozzarella was made. "I always thought it was just a name," says Foley. "I didn't know it actually came from a water buffalo's milk." Undaunted, they bought a few of the weighty ruminants from Vermont and got busy. Now, more than ten years later, they're producing some of the only authentic buffalo mozzarella in the U.S.—and selling it, along with yogurt, at local greenmarkets—thanks to the 40 milk-producing water buffalo that live on Riverine Ranch, the Foleys' expanded property in Asbury. "This definitely isn't a get-rich-quick scheme," says Courtney, "but it's all worth it." The delicate mozzarella is sumptuously dense, with subtly grassy notes, while the yogurt somehow tastes even richer than Greek-style.

New Mexico
When in New Mexico, one eats green chile—chopped green peppers roasted until dark and smoky. The adobe-style Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio offers the spicy delicacy over crispy fries, in hot and hearty chili bowls, or piled onto cheesy burgers too big for their buns.

New York
Remember when you thought you were over cupcakes? Direct your taxi to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where the megamoist, never-cloying cupcakes at Two Little Red Hens country-style bakery will win you back (the peanut butter fudge swirl is salty-sweet, melt-in-your-mouth ecstasy). Upstate, the half-moon cookie at Harrison Bakery, in Syracuse, is a cakey confection akin to New York's beloved black and white cookie, but with buttercream frosting instead of glaze. Gayle loves a beefy burger (don't even talk to her about turkey and veggie patties), and she's given her blessing to Brooklyn spot Emily and its Emmy Burger: dry-aged meat, Vermont cheddar and caramelized onions, all doused in a creamy, Korean-inspired sauce and sandwiched in a pretzel roll.

The Legend: Mike Mills & the Barbecue Life

In the world of barbecue, Mike Mills is a living legend. Inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2010, his 17th Street Barbecue joints in Southern Illinois are a keystone pilgrimage for the barbecue faithful and Memphis Championship BBQ, his outposts in Las Vegas, have established themselves as top destinations in a city of destination restaurants. As a competition barbecue cooker he led the most triumphant team in history and is a founding pitmaster of the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, an annual New York City tradition that draws over 120,000 people to sample the country’s best barbecue over one weekend in June. Restaurants & Institutions magazine calls him “America’s most revered pit master.”

As barbecue guru, Mills consulted with Danny Meyer to create Blue Smoke, one of New York City’s pioneering barbecue restaurants and his book, Peace, Love, and Barbecue was nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award.

That book title should tell you something: for Mills, barbecue is about more than just great meat, smoked right. It’s about friendship and craft and tradition. His award winning Original Barbecue Sauce was passed down from Mama Landess, his grandmother, and he learned to barbecue from his daddy, who used to smoke meat for PTA meetings and city holidays, then mop on the family’s special sauce.

This is what Mills started with: Mama Landess’s sauce and his daddy’s expertise at the pit. He barbecued all his life for family events and for friends’ celebrations. He smoked in the parking lot at his first bar and later at 17th Street as an impetus to sell libations. Taking it a step further, he formed the Apple City Barbecue team, pioneered the use of apple wood in barbecue, developed his Magic Dust® dry rub, a mouthwatering blend of spices, and started storming the competition cooking circuit. The team took 64 first place wins in 69 competitions and won championships and grand championships at contests across the country, including a Grand Championship at the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest (where his sauce also won the Jack Daniel’s Sauce Contest that year) and four World Champion and three Grand World Champion wins at Memphis in May, known to many as the Super Bowl of Swine.

Since that first store, Mills has opened more restaurants in Illinois, stretching south to Marion and Sparta. His ribs, smoked for up to six hours over apple and cherry woods, were called Best in America by Bon Appetit magazine and he’s been featured on Good Morning America, ABC The Chew and Fox and Friends as well as has made appearances on the Food Network and Martha Stewart Radio and been hailed by the New York Times. Whether it’s Barbecue Chicken cooked slow for four hours or succulent Barbecue Pork Shoulder or Beef Brisket with 16 to 20 hours of smoke on them, Mills’s Magic Dust, his secret special spice rub, keeps people coming back. Topped with his award-winning sauce, it’s hard to get enough. And many can’t, which is why all the 17th Street Barbecue locations offer catering and have space available for private parties – a special occasion demands special barbecue.

Preaching the gospel of barbecue, Mills took his signature style and Magic Dust to Las Vegas and quickly established Memphis Championship BBQ as a go-to spot. His blend of gracious hospitality and great food garnered him spots on Bon Appetit’s Best of Las Vegas list in 2007, Bobby Flay featured it on BBQ with Bobby Flay and the Las Vegas gaming magazine called a visit to Memphis Championship BBQ “one of the top 10 things to do in The City of Lights.”

In 1988, Mills created Praise The Lard – the Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Off, one of the cornerstone events in competition cooking. The event celebrated its 26th Anniversary in 2013. Praise the Lard is an old-fashioned tent revival celebrating the almighty pig with $25,000 in prize money and a weekend full of fun. This is the only one-day, dual-sanctioned contest on the circuit. Simultaneously judged by MBN and KCBS, the two official bodies of barbecue – it draws top barbecue talent from near and far.

Mills’s barbecue chops are honed butcher-knife sharp and he continues to soothe souls with his sweet and smoky swine. Mills is invested in barbecue whole hog, creating great food and community everywhere he goes. In the man’s own words, “Life’s too short for a half-rack.”

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The Big Reward: From Racing to Jazz

The first mention of New York City as "The Big Apple" was in the 1909 book "The Wayfarer in New York." In the introduction, Edward Martin writes about the dynamic between NYC and the Midwest, using the apple as an extended metaphor:

The term only started gaining traction when sports writer John J. Fitz Gerald began writing about the city's horse races for the New York Morning Telegraph. In his column, he wrote that these were "the big apples" of competitive racing in the United States.

Fitz Gerald got the term from African American stable hands in New Orleans jockeys and trainers who aspired to race on New York City tracks referred to the money prizes as the "Big Apple. He once explained the term in an article for the Morning Telegraph:

Although the audience for Fitz Gerald's articles was markedly smaller than most, the concept of "big apple" representing the best of the best—or most-sought-after of rewards or accomplishments—began to popularize across the country.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the nickname started to become well known outside of the northeast, as New York City's jazz musicians began referring to New York City as the "Big Apple" in their songs. An old saying in show business was "There are many apples on the tree, but only one Big Apple." New York City was (and is) the premier place for jazz musicians to perform, which made it more common to refer to New York City as the Big Apple.

Whether we're firing up the grill or tossing the world's easiest dinner into a pot of boiling water, hot dogs have a very special place in our hearts and tummies. So when it comes to.

In our book, summer is synonymous with ice cream season. We crave it in all its glorious forms, whether it's plain in a cup, sprinkle-clad in a cone or whirled into a shake . But it.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Take a Bite Out of the Four New Apples of 2019

If your home has fans of sweeter-than-usual apples, the new apple varieties for 2019 will be winners. They're hitting shelves now or coming soon, so keep an eye out.

You can always count on piles of Pink Lady, Honeycrisp (when the season hits), Red Delicious, and Granny Smith apples to be well-stocked every grocery trip. But new apple varieties are released every year to upgrade our apple tarts, apple cakes, and apple butters—not to mention apple pie. If you want to mix up your fall baking or even just the apple you pack in your lunchbox every day, keep your eyes peeled for these new types of apples. In 2019, some of the highlights include apples that are slower to oxidize (aka turn brown), and crossovers that are part Honeycrisp. Here are the new apple varieties that we know of for 2019, so you can be on the lookout on your next grocery trip.

We&rsquove been hearing a lot of buzz about Cosmic Crisp apples, and it sounds well-deserved. This new apple is a cross between Honeycrisp (we know how much you love these) and Enterprise apples. It's described as having a sweet and tart flavor with lots of juice. Another reason for the Cosmic Crisp buzz is that this apple is slower to oxidize and turn brown than other apples after it&rsquos been sliced, which makes it a top choice for fruit platters and cheese boards, but we'd use them in Apple-Brown Butter Bars, too.

You may have seen Envy apples at the grocery store in past years, but they&rsquove recently had a revamp. Originally imported from New Zealand, this cross between Braeburn and Royal Gala apples is now grown on the west coast in Washington, so we can get faster and fresher fruit. You can use them in cooking or baking (we'd happily try them in this apple poke cake), but their crisp texture and sweetness are best appreciated raw for snacking.

Fresh from orchards in Washington state, crisp SugarBee apples should be arriving in grocery stores in limited supply this fall. Its name comes from its sugar-sweet flavor and its top pollinator, the honeybee. SugarBees are yet another apple derived from Honeycrisps, and they&rsquore expected to become a favorite of raw apple snackers.

You&rsquoll &ldquorave&rdquo about this new apple variety thanks to its juiciness, crisp texture, and sweeter-than-most flavor. Like many other new varieties we&rsquore seeing, Rave apples are a cross with Honeycrisp and another variety (MonArk in this case). Stick to snacking or marbled caramel apples for this apple&mdashit doesn&rsquot hold up well at high heat, so baking may turn it to mush.

Now that you know your way around the new apples coming this fall, it’s time to start adding a few to your grocery list and including them in your fall recipes. Putting a tasty twist on your best apple pie recipe could be as simple as trying out a new apple!

Watch the video: Big Apple BBQ Block Party 2015!