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On the Road
Cook's Country Takes America
Where we went, who we met, what we ate, and what it means.
Cook's Country

FOUR TO FIVE TIMES a year, Cook’s Country’s executive food editor Bryan Roof and staff photographer Steve Klise catch an early morning flight out of Boston in search of the best traditional and down-home fare across the USA, along with American takes on cuisines from around the world. They're inspired by the home cooks and regional dishes in every region of the country—and they're determined to get to know them all.

Executive food editor Bryan Roof on the job in Alabama.
Staff photographer Steve Klise on a photo shoot.


Here you'll find stories about the places they’ve been and the dishes they’ve discovered that now have a special place in our hearts and stomachs. We encourage you to stop by every now and then to learn more about our country's food and the people bringing these dishes to life. In addition, you'll find tips for when you're on the road and travel recommendations from our community. And if you have your own road trip story, destination recommendation, or favorite roadside food, leave us a comment at the bottom of the page. (We might travel to your hometown on our next trip!)

On The Road Stories

Read about executive food editor Bryan Roof and staff photographer Steve Klise's trips around the country in search of creative home cooks and memorable roadside restaurants, from California to Tennessee, New Mexico to New York.

VFW Hall in Cranston, Rhode Island

Many patrons go for the polenta, but they end up staying for the tight-knit sense of community. 

Ninfa’s in Houston, Texas

We were already big fans of fajitas, but it turns out there’s a lot more to this sizzling-platter favorite than fast-casual chain restaurant hype.

Veselka in New York, NY

Before we developed our own blintz recipe we could make at home, we had to taste the best. So we hopped a train to New York City to dine at the city's most reputable blintz joints.

Magpie Artisan Pie Boutique in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Could a specialty baker with a background in marketing hold the key to a Philly favorite? We quickly learned the answer to this question is yes. 

Villa Di Roma in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

They make 145 meatballs a day, 6 days a week, and they've been at it for 25 years. That’s more than a million meatballs—Rocky Balboa would be proud. 

Pierogies Plus in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania

We were after Polish dumplings in the Steel City, but ended up finding so much more. 

Red’s Little Schoolhouse in Grady, Alabama

We ate our way through the Heart of Dixie, starting with fried chicken at Red's Little Schoolhouse. 

Phil’s Fish Market & Eatery in Moss Landing, California

The most popular item on the menu is cioppino, which the owner, Phil DiGirolamo claims gets its name from everyone “chipping in” to the pot depending on what came in from the sea that day.

John’s Roast Pork & Tommy DiNic’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

To develop a recipe for Philadelphia's roast pork sandwich, we had to start wit’ a trip to the city.

Cochon de Lait Festival in Mansura, Louisiana

We crashed the event of the year in the slow-cooked pork capital of the world. It didn't disappoint.

Ruddell’s Smokehouse in Cayucos, California

This small fish taco shack gives Los Angeles a run for its money.

Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama

We joined thousands of people with a common love of shrimp and live music along the stunning cotton-white sand beaches of coastal Alabama. 

Mom’s Grill in Washington, North Carolina

In North Carolina, you can get cheese-stuffed biscuits without ever getting out of your car. It doesn't get better than that. 

Carnitas Uruapan in Chicago, Illinois

Discover how a tiny kitchen in Chicago sells 8,000 pounds of pork each week.

Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, Texas

Before we developed our own brisket recipe, we traveled to Texas to learn from the experts.

Trusted Recipes

Cook's Country Magazine

Each issue is full of foolproof recipes for easy, weeknight meals, regional favorites, pull-out cards for 30-minute meals, and lots more.

Road Trip Tips, Inspiration, and More

Before you fasten your seatbelt and put your car in drive, check out some of our articles for tips and inspiration from the people that know the road and food best. 

Recipes From The Road You Can Make at Home

It might be tough to find a restaurant outside of North Carolina that serves dipped chicken, or a pizza joint outside of the Motor City that serves Detroit-style pies. But with our foolproof recipes, you can make these dishes at home. We've reengineered some of the very best bites and recipes from our travels so that home cooks anywhere in the country can prepare them in their own kitchens.

We are proud of this collection of recipes and hope that they become a part of your culinary repertoire. Below you'll find the recipes we've tasted on the road and then recreated in the kitchen, split out by region.

Northeast-Inspired Recipes

From Rhode Island Fluffy Polenta with Red Sauce

How do we get the polenta so light and fluffy? ¼ cup of half and half and the right amount of water keeps the texture light and rich.

From Massachusetts New England Pork Pies

Ground Ritz Crackers added to the pork filling give it richness and help keep it tender. For the finishing touch, we pour gravy into the pies right through the vent holes in their crusts.

From New York City Cheese Blintzes

Our raspberry sauce couldn’t be easier: frozen fruit, sugar, and salt simmered for 10 minutes. This bright, quick-cooking sauce will balance the rich, lightly sweetened blintz filling.

From New Hampshire Puritan Backroom–Style Chicken Tenders

To get a thicker marinade like the one we had at Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire we grabbed some duck sauce to marinade chicken. In return, we got deep golden brown tenders.

More Recipes

Looking for other recipes inspired by our road trips from the Midwest? Don't worry, we've got you covered! You'll find everything from Dutch Apple Pie to Transylvanian Goulash.


Midwest-Inspired Recipes

From Michigan Detroit-Style Pizza

This kind of pizza takes cheese first and sauce later—that’s the highlight of this Michigan favorite.

From Illinois Chicago Thin-Crust Pizza

When most people hear “Chicago-style pizza,” they think doughy deep-dish. But deep-dish pizza is not the only pie in town.

More Recipes

Looking for other recipes inspired by our road trips from other regions? Don't worry, we've got you covered! You'll find everything from Texas-Style Smoked Brisket to Potato-Cheddar Pierogi

Southern-Inspired Recipes

From Texas Texas Thick-Cut Smoked Pork Chops

Big chops demand big flavor; we get it from brining, seasoning, smoking, and saucing these massive chops.

From Tennessee Tennessee Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

We salt the turkey a day ahead to ensure juicy, thoroughly seasoned meat. Our Alabama-style white sauce adds even more flavor to these sandwiches.

From Alabama Fried Peach Pies

Fresh or frozen peaches both work to create this sweet (but not too sweet), peachy pie filling.

From North Carolina Eastern North Carolina Fish Stew

No one knows for sure when cooks began cracking whole eggs directly into the pot, but locals speculate that they were originally added so that a small day’s catch could still feed a large crowd.

More Recipes

Looking for other recipes inspired by our road trips from down South? Don't worry, we've got you covered! You'll find everything from North Carolina Dipped Chicken to Texas Breakfast Tacos with Potato.

Western-Inspired Recipes

From California Garlic Fried Chicken

Don't sweat the saucy stuff! The garlicky herb butter is what takes the chicken over the top. 

From California Basque Green Beans

Bacon, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic turn these beans into a memorable side dish. 

From California Citrus-Braised Pork Tacos

Our slightly sweet, superspicy habanero sauce gets its vibrant orange color from an unexpected ingredient: carrot. 

From California Monterey Bay Cioppino

This cioppino is richer, darker, and more complex than more-common renditions. 

More Recipes

Looking for other recipes inspired by our road trips from other regions? Don't worry, we've got you covered! You'll find everything from Shrimp Po’ Boys to Grilled Bourbon Steaks

Cook's Country TV On-the-Road Episodes

There's nothing quite like seeing a recipe made right in front of you! Join hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison, our cast of cooks, taste testers, and equipment experts on Cook's Country TV. We explore everything from family-friendly weeknight dishes to comforting home-style favorites to holiday showstoppers. Our kitchen is your kitchen. Welcome home.

SEASON 10, EP. 1

Bryan Roof teaches host Julia Collin Davison the secrets to tackling authentic Pittsburg-style Potato-Cheddar Pierogi at home.

Test cook Ashley Moore shows host Bridget Lancaster how to tackle Texas-sized, Thick Cut Smoked Pork Chops.

Test cook Bryan Roof demonstrates how to make Fried Peach Pies at home.

Julia Collin Davison fires up the grill for host Bridget Lancaster, demonstrating the ultimate Grilled Bourbon Steak recipe.

Julia Collin Davison reveals the secrets to making show-stopping Citrus-Braised Pork Tacos.

Bryan Roof teaches host Julia Collin Davison how to make the perfect South Carolina Smoked Fresh Ham.

Bridget Lancaster shows host Julia Collin Davison the steps to preparing the Central California regional favorite, Garlic Fried Chicken.

Test cook Bryan Roof teaches host Julia Collin Davison how to make a spectacular Fluffy Baked Polenta with Red Sauce.

Smart Cooks Shop Here

The Complete Cook's Country TV Cookbook, 14th Anniversary Edition

In celebration of the diverse and delicious dishes originating across the U.S., we’ve compiled some of our favorite recipes for you to cook along with the cast of the hit TV show Cook’s Country. With plenty of new-to-you takes on old favorites plus flavorful dishes you may never have heard of, there's so much to be discovered within this comprehensive cookbook.

Cook's Country Eats Local


Enjoy 150 foolproof recipes that have flown under the national radar for far too long. No matter where you live or where you're going, in this cookbook, we have a recipe for you.

Where do you think we should go on our next trip? Does your hometown have some of the best food? Leave us a comment and let us know where we should go and what we should eat when we get there. Thanks for stopping by!