U.S. Food Crazes


6 minutes

Sweet

cronut
cronut

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Cronuts

The highly coveted Cronut is a Dominique Ansel Bakery signature creation. It is known as a doughnut-shaped croissant that is rolled in sugar, filled with cream and topped with glaze. It is recommended that Cronuts be eaten immediately. There is only one flavor every month. People start lining up as early as 5:30am before the store opens at 8am (the store opens at 9am on Sundays) to guarantee a Cronut purchase. It is also possible to pre-order Cronuts by phone or place an order of 50 via email, but weeks of advance notice is needed for each method.

  • Price: $5 each (pre-tax).
  • Location: Dominique Ansel Bakery - Soho, New York

Froyo

In recent years, frozen yogurt has been widely popular in the United States. Brands such as Red Mango and Pinkberry took the country by storm featuring their original, tart frozen yogurt flavor and endless choices for toppings such as blueberries, mangoes, raspberries, graham crackers, chocolate chips, mochi, caramel syrup and more. Frozen yogurts from these establishments provide health benefits, as it is all natural, nonfat or low fat, kosher and gluten-free. It also has calcium, protein and live & active cultures. Over the years, frozen yogurt flavors such as Pomegranate, Madagascar Vanilla, Cinnamon Apple Pie have been featured. Some stores might also let you take home a pint (or larger) size of froyo.

Savory

Ramen Burger

The Ramen Burger is beating the Cronut as the next New York food craze, innovated by Keizo Shimamoto. It is composed of a juicy beef patty topped with scallions and arugula, held together by ramen noodle "buns" with a special shoyu sauce. One of their new flavors is the Miso Pimento Cheese burger. Keizo, creator and cook, only makes about 100 burgers a day so start lining up early!

Chicken Pizzagiana

If you love chicken parmgiana and pizza, you will love this creation. Executive Chef Scott Tacinelli cooks up this round, 13 inch-diameter sized chicken (or veal) Parmesan dishes that are encrusted with breadcrumbs and topped with tomato sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and fresh basil leaves, resulting in the delctable Chicken Pizzagiana. Make sure you have a big appetite and full wallet!

  • Price: $50 (Dish can be shared among 2-4 people, depending on appetites)
  • Location: Quality Italian - New York, New York

Deep-Dish Pizza

People travel far and wide to try to find this unique style of pizza, but none can compare to those made at Gino's East in Chicago or Uno's. Try Gino's East traditional deep-dish pizza with their famous golden crust and chunky tomato sauce. The two most popular pizzas are the "Cheese & Famous Sausage" or "Gino's East Supreme," which comes with sausage or pepperoni with fresh onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Uno's has a pizza that is quite similar to "Gino's East Supreme," but they also make a vegetarian version with caramelized onions, spinach, sun-dried & plum tomatoes, eggplant, pesto, feta, mozzarella, and Romano on nine-grain crust.

  • Price: Varies by location
  • Location: Uno’s locations throughout the U.S. Gino’s East locations throughout Chicago, Illinois

Philly Cheesesteak

Philadelphia natives, Pat and Harry Olivieri, invented the Philly Cheesesteak in the 1930s. Pat at first had a hotdog stand near Italian Market in South Philadelphia. He invented the Cheesesteak by accident when he decided that he wanted something a bit different for lunch. A cab driver, curious about what Pat was eating requested that he make him the same sandwich. In the end, the cabbie told Pat, "Hey… forget 'bout those hot dogs, you should sell these." It is a sandwich made from thinly sliced pieces of steak, caramelized onions, and melted cheese in a long roll. Pat's original restaurant, Pat's King of Steaks, is still operating in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, so it is worth a try if you are in the area. Today, thousands of restaurants and diners across the country serve Philly Cheesesteaks.

  • Price: $7.50 cheese steak at Pat’s King of Steaks. Price varies for Cheesesteaks elsewhere
  • Location: Pat’s is located on East Passyunk Avenue at the intersection of Wharton and 9th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is open 24/7.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Inspired by the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991) starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Mary-Louise Parker, this popular starter dish is a favorite among restaurants, particular in the Southern United States. It consists of sliced green tomatoes that are battered and fried, and garnished with various toppings, depending on the restaurant. Mudtown Eat & Drink serves their "World Famous Green Tomatoes" that are topped with corn relish and served with a side of savory white sauce. Eat New Orleans serves a "Fried Green Tomato Remoulade," which comes with a small salad portion and three large shrimps. In addition to "Fried Green Tomatoes" as a side dish, Southern Fried Green Tomatoes offer various green tomato dishes such as "Pimento Cheese Fried Green Tomato Sandwich," "Fried Green Tomato Burger," and "Fried Green Tomato Salad."

  • Price: $8.00 at Mudtown Eat & Drink, $8.00 at Eat New Orleans, price varies by dish at Southern Fried Green Tomatoes.
  • Location: Mudtown Eat & Drink: Birmingham, Alabama; Eat New Orleans: New Orleans, Louisiana; Southern Fried Green Tomatoes: Greenville, South Carolina

Sweet & Savory

Shake Shack

Want to know the reason for those insanely long lines outside of Shake Shack? It might be the 'Shroom Burger (vegetarian), which has a crisp-fried Portobello mushroom infused with Muenster and cheddar cheeses, with lettuce, tomato and their irresistible ShackSauce. Combine that and their classic roadside "Shack Burger" and you can have a ShackStack. People might also be lining up for their Flat-Top Dogs, which is what the original Shake Shack establishment was first known for. Their hamburger patties and hot dogs are all 100% natural with no hormones or antibiotics. You can also find frozen custard, beer and wine at Shake Shack.

  • Price: Varies by location
  • Location: New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington DC, Massachusetts

Wafels & Dinges

Belgian waffles with “dinges” are the new craze. Dinges are special toppings such as strawberries, bananas, Belgian hot fudge, whipped cream, walnuts, and more! Wafels & Dinges's famous Spekuloos spread is a customer favorite – it is a Dutch spiced shortbread cookie spread. The Wafels come in two varieties: the Brussels wafel, which is light and crispy, or the liege wafel, which is soft and chewy. Special savory wafels include the BBQ Pulled Pork Wafel, Bacon & Syrup Wafel, and Chili Con Carne Wafel. The Royal Dinges Factory is located in Brooklyn, New York. If you take the grand tour, you can watch how the bakers make the dough and sample the dinges.

  • Price: $5 for a wafel, $1 for first dinges, $2 for unlimited dinges.
  • Location: Wafels & Dinges trucks are located throughout the New York City area at different locations daily. Check the "Find us" feature to locate them.

In-N-Out Burger

Something about the burgers at In-N-Out Burger makes them irresistible. It might be the fact that the hamburger patties are made with 100% pure beef, without any additives, fillers or preservatives. Their burgers are cooked as orders come in and the franchise never uses microwaves, heat lamps, or freezers to prepare the food. Some of the most popular items on the menu are the Grilled Cheese (which comes with two slices of melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions on a baked bun), 4x4 (four beef patties with lettuce, tomato, spread, four slices of American cheese, and onions on a baked bun), and Protein Style (which is your favorite burger wrapped in lettuce in lieu of a bun). You can also order French fries, shakes (made with real ice cream), and other beverages.

  • Price: Varies by location
  • Location: Locations throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Utah
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