4 . Arkansas: Fried Pickles
In 1963, Bernell “Fatman” Austin of the Duchess Drive-In first battered and deep-fried dill pickle slices and sold them for 15 cents for a basket of 15 to employees of the nearby Atkins Pickle Plant. Though both the restaurant and its proprietor are long gone, fried pickles have become an Arkansas mainstay, and the wafer-thin versions served at Sassy’s Red House in Fayetteville is one of the finest. They’re usually served with ranch dressing, though you can also find remoulade or ketchup, depending on the restaurant.
5 . California: Avocado Toast
Californians are fiercely proud of their incredible avocados; they’ve turned the creamy green fruit into an everlasting fad. Aside from the ubiquitous guacamole throughout the state, avocado shows up in everything from burgers to ice cream, but one of the most-popular ways to enjoy avocados is mashed high on top of toast. There are endless ways to modify avocado toast topped with caviar, feta, radishes and then some, but keeping it simple can be just as delicious. At Dinette in Los Angeles’ trendy Echo Park neighborhood, an order of avocado toast gets you a Texas-toast-size slice of rustic bread topped with a limey, fresh heap of crushed avocado seasoned with chile flakes, parsley and delicate snowflake-like flecks of salt. You’ll need a fork and knife to cut through this toast steak.
6 . Colorado: Lamb Chops
Lamb is one of Colorado’s most-famous foods. So while the steaks at Elway’s, a quartet of carnivorous emporiums named for the former Denver Broncos quarterback, are exceptional slabs of beautifully seasoned beef well worth a splurge, set your sights on the lamb chops and fondue. The bucket-list starter parades a trio of lightly gamy chops – the lamb is sourced from Mountain States Rosen, a ranch in Greeley – that expose remarkably tender flesh throttled with flavor. The chops really don’t require a sidekick, but the warm cheese fondue, creamy with pepper Jack and peppered with a variety of fresh chiles, sort of makes you want to snort it. It’s been said by many that Colorado lays claim to the best lamb in the world; Elway’s chops are proof positive that they’re right.
7.Connecticut: White Clam Pizza
Few other pizzas are as revered as Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana’s white clam pizza. Pepe has served its charred and chewy pizzas since 1925 on New Haven’s historic Wooster Street. The elder statesman of New Haven’s well-regarded pizza scene, Pepe’s continues to draw long lines trailing down the block for a chance to enjoy a taste of New Haven’s history from its coal-fired brick ovens. The clam pie, in particular, has inspired hundreds of imitators with few matching the intoxicating combination of Romano cheese, fresh garlic, olive oil, parsley and clams. Combining the Connecticut shoreline’s love of seafood with Pepe’s signature chewy and charred crust, Pepe’s is the place for an authentic Connecticut pizza experience.