Alabama: BBQ chicken with Alabama white sauce
> Restaurant: Big Bob Gibson’s
> Location: Decatur
Alabama-style barbecue is known for its white barbecue sauce, which is mayo-based and kicked up with plenty of vinegar and black pepper. This sandwich pairs this sauce with its perfect counterpart: smoked chicken.
Alaska: Reindeer dog
> Restaurant: Smokehouse BBQ
> Location: Anchorage
When in Alaska, why not eat as the locals do and sample a local delicacy: reindeer, in sausage form.
Arizona: Torta del Rey
> Restaurant: Los Reyes de la Torta
> Location: Phoenix
A torta is a Mexican specialty, served on a round roll and usually loaded up with a variety of meats, melted cheese, and garnishes including tomato, onion, and avocado. Tortas are a standby at Arizona Mexican restaurants, and the epic Torta Del Rey (loaded with ham, pork, breaded beef, a sausage-chorizo omelette, tomato, caramelized onions, fresh avocado, and chipotle sauce) is exemplary.
Arkansas: Fried catfish
> Restaurant: Kraken Killer Seafood
> Location: Springdale
The original Kraken was a Scandinavian sea monster (it’s also the name of Seattle’s NHL team, and a term attached to a recent election conspiracy theory), but in this bustling Ozark city – home of Tyson Foods, among other enterprises – Kraken just means a wide variety of fresh seafood, including a fried catfish po’boy with house-made tartar sauce that gets regularly praised as among the best in the state.
California: French dip
> Restaurant: Philippe’s the Original
> Location: Los Angeles
The French dip, thin-sliced roast beef on a roll dunked in beef jus, may be a national restaurant mainstay, but it wasn’t invented in France — it was born in downtown Los Angeles. Legend has it that it was invented by accident in 1918 at Philippe’s, when a roll was accidentally dropped into a jus-filled roasting pan.
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