THERE'S NOTHING WORSE THAN enjoying a great dish at a restaurant and coming to the realization that you'll never have it as good again. Unless you're able to hop in the car every time you crave a Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich from Chef Greg’s SOUL “N” The Wall in Detroit, or Grilled Steak Fajitas from the Original Ninfa's in Houston, you're left with the memories of those perfect bites, but no way to recreate them at home.
Understanding that home cooks don't have access to great food from every part of the country is one of the reasons that Staff Photographer Steve Klise and I hit the road a few times a year. We aim to find those hidden regional foods that are worth being highlighted and enjoyed by home cooks everywhere, anytime they want. Our pursuit of the best dishes the country has to offer has taken us to almost every corner of the country, from Maine to California, Wisconsin to Texas, and many places in between. With that said, take a look at a few of my favorite recipes inspired by restaurants we've visited around the country—then make them at home.