> Restaurant: Rainbow Drive-In
> Location: Honolulu
Yep, you read that right: Spam. The legendary canned meat was introduced to Hawaii during World War II, and the locals fell in love with it and have since claimed it as their own, in sandwiches and just about every other form imaginable.
Idaho: Basque chorizo
> Restaurant: Bar Gernika
> Location: Boise
Boise is the historic home to a thriving Basque community, mostly descendants of ranchers and shepherds who emigrated here from Spain in the 19th century, and Basque culinary traditions are kept alive locally. This typical sausage (made by the 76-year-old Gem Meat Packing Co.) on a French roll with grilled onions and peppers is a good example.
Illinois: Italian beef
> Restaurant: Al’s #1 Italian Beef
> Location: Chicago
The Italian beef is the signature Chicago sandwich, with countless shops specializing in it. It’s made by slicing slow-roasted beef super-thin, loading it into an Italian roll, giving it a dunk in the cooking juices, and finishing it with giardiniera, a spicy pickled vegetable relish.
Indiana: Pork tenderloin
> Restaurant: Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant
> Location: Indianapolis
A huge patty of breaded and fried “pork tenderloin” (actually pork loin) served on a burger bun and complemented with a variety of toppings including pickles, onions, lettuce, mustard, ketchup, and mayo is a Hoosier State staple.
Iowa: Taylor’s Maid-Rite
> Restaurant: Maid-Rite
> Location: Marshalltown
The Maid-Rite, also sometimes called a loosemeat or tavern sandwich, is similar to a sloppy Joe but without the sauce. It’s an old-school sandwich served on a burger bun and usually topped with mustard, onion, and pickles. It was popularized at Taylor’s Maid-Rite, a Marshalltown institution since 1928, and today it’s found all over Iowa.
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