Image courtesy of jplpagan via Flickr.
Former CNN talk host Larry King is opening a bagel shop
in Beverly Hills. A Brooklyn native, King complains that there are no good bagels in Los Angeles. He aims to change that by using an emulation of Brooklyn water to make the bagels at his shop.
People love to complain that there's no good (type of food
) available in (city
), and that you just have to go to (other city
) if you REALLY want to eat that food. For whatever reason--maybe some concept of "authenticity"--people are especially prideful when it comes to their city's cheap or street foods.
Here are some cheap local foods that various U.S. cities are known for.
Besides bagels, people's chief food complaint about Los Angeles is
that there's no good pizza. (This is especially true of people who have
visited or lived in, but are not from, Chicago. Tell me I'm wrong.) Chicago-style pizza
, a deep-dish, thick-crust pie, is often argued to be the best in these United States. For those interested, Masa
in Echo Park is rumored to have the best Chicago-style pizza in Los Angeles.
New Orleans: Po' Boy
A po' boy is a sandwich that traditionally consists of roast meat or fried seafood served on Louisiana French bread, which is similar to a baguette. Although accounts of the po' boy's origins
vary widely, we know that the sandwich--whose name is a shortening of "poor boy," if you haven't guessed--has working-class roots. Traditionally, po' boys are a cheap, quick, and no-frills meal. Cincinnati: Chili
Cincinnatians, I learned, consume chili in a way that seems downright foreign to us Los Angeles folk. Cincinnati chili
is made with spices like cinnamon, allspice, and cloves, and is often served over spaghetti. As the article explains, one can order Cincinnati chili as a two-way (spaghetti and chili
), a three-way (spaghetti, chili, and shredded cheese
), a four-way (spaghetti, chili, cheese, and diced onions) or a five-way (spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans
). It should be noted that in a four-way, one can substitute beans for the onions. I find this baffling, as onions and beans have nothing in common flavor-wise. Someone please explain this to me.Philadelphia: Philly Cheese Steak
A Philly cheese steak consists of thinly-sliced steak and melted cheese, served on a roll. Onions and peppers are commonly added. Although it's often tough to get a concrete answer about a food's origin, most people seem to think that the Philly cheese steak was invented by Pat and Harry Olivieri, brothers and restauranteurs, in the 1930s. Today, the sandwich is ubiquitous in Philadelphia, and is popular in other parts of the country as well. There are even some nationwide fast-food chains that specialize in Philly cheese steaks.Los Angeles: Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog
This is going to be a controversial choice, for a couple of reasons. One, Los Angeles has too much famous street food to choose from. For example, there were taco trucks here long before the "nouveau" food trucks of today came into existence. Second, the bacon-wrapped hot dog, like much of southern California cuisine, actually originated in Mexico
. However, I would argue that with vendors selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs on every LA street corner on weekend nights, it has become an iconic Los Angeles food. Some people even refer to it as a "downtown dog
What cheap food is your city known for?