The Endless Road Trip: Our Top 5 Favorite Cities for Eating

At Endless Simmer, we love to travel, and when we travel, we love nothing more than eating. In fact, when we do visit a new place we almost can’t think of anything to do except for EAT. Museums? Um, sure…maybe if you need to kill some time in between meals. In our travels across six continents, we’ve sampled street food and Michelin-starred cuisine in hundreds of cities. But these five stand out as the very best for foodies.

5. Melbourne

australian hamburger with the lot

Australia often gets a knack for having bland food, but that bad rep is not deserved. From deep-fried dagwood dogs to burgers with the works—which redefine what the works are—those Aussies come up with some pretty crazy concoctions. And super-hip Melbourne, more than anywhere, makes good use of the upside-down continent’s year-round harvest, with over-the-top farm-to-table meals on seemingly every street corner.

4. Paris

macaroons
People (whiny Americans like us, mostly) love to complain about how Paris cuisine ain’t what it used to be. You can’t get a good steak frites anywhere these days; the croissants are often of middling quality; and the bistro are too packed with…well, whiny Americans like us. But despite the perception, eating in Paris has never really been about the fancy restaurants. It’s about popping into random boulangeries, grabbing a fresh-baked loaf of bread and a stinky hunk of cheese from the nearest fromagerie, and sitting in an otherworldly pristine park all day. Oh, and it’s about the macaroons. Obviously.

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Welcome Spring! (And Pork Season!)

cornbread

Even though it was only like 58 degrees in New York this weekend, it’s still the closest thing we’ve seen to spring yet this year, which means most of us did a classic warm-weather overreact, heading outside for picnicking, playing, outdoor drinking etc…before realizing that it really isn’t THAT warm yet. For me, warm-ish weather got me thinking about summer cooking, which in my house means BBQ. And since I was pretty much legally required to go out and enjoy the weather, I needed something I could basically set and forget.

I decided to make slow-cooker pulled pork from my Smithfield rosemary and olive oil marinated pork sirloin, but instead of loading it up with a heavy, wintry sauce, I relied on only a fresh tomatoes and onions to bring the flavor here. I started with a layer of onions at the bottom of the slow cooker, placed the pork on top, and sliced tomatoes above it all, so that when the veggies broke down over the course of a few hours, they developed into a fresh (but still quite porky) sauce.

Of course, there’s not much at the farmers market yet to herald spring, so aside from the aseasonal tomatoes I snagged at Trader Joe’s, I had to make do mostly with winter vegetables. However, I took it as my last chance of the season to play around with turnips – IMO one of the most underrated veggies of all. But I didn’t want the turnips to break down into mushy stew, so I added them close to the end of the cooking time, just long enough to soak up all that porky goodness. I served it all with a slice of Serious Eats’ cast-iron cornbread recipe.

Yellow Tomato Pulled Pork with Cornbread and Pork-y Turnips

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This Exists: Poutine Burger

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It pretty much had to happen.

We’ve seen poutine potato skins, poutine tater tots and poutine just about everything. A few years ago it was just an obscure French-Canadian specialty, but now it’s America’s favorite over-the-top comfort food.

And now, Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Austin is serving a burger topped with a full serving of poutine: French fries, gravy, cheddar cheese (although apparently, NOT authentic curds) and for good runny measure, a fried egg too.

Take that, Canada. Anything you can do, we can do unhealthier.

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Cocktail O’Clock: Happy Snowy Spring

Honeydew Cucumber Sour - Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

OK SERIOUSLY?!? Four to six inches of snowfall in New York today…on the first day of spring?

I don’t care what the weather says, we are ready for some springtime drinks.

Here’s an enticing recipe that comes to us all the way from elements restaurant at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, a place where I would really like to be right now, because I am pretty sure that it is not freaking snowing there.

Honeydew Cucumber Sour

· 1oz Martin Miller’s Reformed Dry Gin

· .5oz fresh lemon Juice

· 1.5oz fresh honeydew juice

· ¼oz  Clover Honey Syrup (here’s a recipe)

· 1 dash Regan’s No. 6 Orange Bitters

·Shake, pour and add sliced cucumber as garnish. Eff the snow.

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Points for Pittsburgh: The Pierogi Hot Dog

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I love talking about crazy sandwiches (clearly) but what I don’t like is when they cross over the border from genius to gimmick (it’s a fine line, people!)

For example, if you serve a hamburger with giant onions ring on top, but then even an extra-large-mouthed person has to deconstruct the burger and take the onion rings off to get any kind of decent bite in, then that’s not really that crazy of a dish. It’s actually just a burger with onion rings on the side, but presented crazily, with more work involved for the eater. #foodaddictproblems

In Pittsburgh this weekend, home of the great Primanti’s french-fry-on-a-sandwich, I was fortunate enough to stop in Franktuary and be offered a hot dog served “Pittsburgh style” — topped with housemade, slaw and a housemade cucumber-y ranch dressing on top. Now, this could easily fall into the gimmick category if they overloaded that dog with so many pierogies that you have to pick them off and eat on the side. But with just two crispy pierogies on top it’s just crazy enough that you can actually pick the whole thing up and get a taste of each element — dog and dumpling included — in each bite.

In fact, they didn’t even offer me a fork. Bravo, Pittsburgh.

 

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Warm It Up: Salt-Roasted Pork, Beets and Sunchokes

pork

Man, spring is sooooo close I can feel it. I think all of us (on the East Coast, anyway) are ready to be done with this particular winter, but before we bid adieu to constant snowfall, we’ve got time for the only thing I really love about the coldest time of year: winter-warming recipes!

As I set out to make this particular warming winter meal, I had triple endless inspiration from previous meals. The first was a recent experimentation with salt-roasted beets. This method of cooking whole beets over a thick bed of sea salt doesn’t make them particularly salty, but the NaCL does act to seal in all the beet’s good flavor and juiciness — it’s a simple and straight-forward method, but they’re the best beets I ever had. My second inspiration came from back seven years ago (!?!) when 80proof cooked up that delicious-looking salt-crusted red snapper. Similarly, cooking the fish in a salt crust doesn’t make it super-salty; it just works to seal in all the flavor and juiciness.

I had a  beautiful slab of Smithfield rosemary & olive oil marinated pork tenderloin on hand, and I wondered whether I could do the same thing — roasting it in salt in order to keep in all that juicy pork flavor. I also came across a lovely batch of sunchokes at the coop this week, and since good fresh vegetables have been few and far between these past few months, I jumped on them.

That all might sound complicated, but it really wasn’t. All-in this dinner took 30 minutes to prepare, and all three elements came out deliciously juicy, tender, and flavorful…perfect for a snowy day (hopefully one of the last ones!)

Salt-Roasted Pork, Beets and Sunchokes

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