Eat the Street will take us on a tour of the most famous streets in America – by way of the food available on them! Be it Walnut Street in Philadelphia or Mission Street in San Francisco or Magazine Street in New Orleans – our host Chuck Hughes will experience the food, history and lore behind these famous streets.
Austin, TX, doesn't quite crack the top ten in size for US cities. It's number eleven, but for its food scene, a lot of people think Austin is number one. For a cross section of its culinary creativity, Chuck heads to Lamar Boulevard. His first stop is at Uchi, where he meets chef de cuisine Jeramie Robison who oversees a stunning collaboration between black cod, white chocolate, and olive candy. Next, Chuck heads to Odd Duck, where sous chef Sam Hellman-Mass and his crew like to have fun with their food. Chuck joins in, and they prepare the pork belly slider with citrus cabbage slaw that draws in huge crowds from miles around. At El Meson, chef Marisela Godinez makes a chile nogada, stuffed with beef, pork, dried and fresh fruit, and nuts, using her family's recipe straight from Puebla, Mexico. Last, Chuck stops at the craft-style barbeque joint, Stiles Switch, where Lance Kirkpatrick puts the "master" in pitmaster and teaches Chuck how to stoke the fire for his famous smoked beef ribs.
Standing tall above the beautiful Arizona desert surrounding Phoenix is Camelback Mountain, and, at the base of it, sits Camelback Road and the heart of the Phoenix food scene. Chuck first visits the guru of innovative cooking when he samples chef Beau McMillan's Red Dragon shrimp with sesame rice, avocado, and kimchee mango prepared high up on the mountain at Elements, a luxurious restaurant surrounded by stunning vistas. Chuck gorges on the Sasquatch Burger that chef Aaron May turns out at The Lodge. It's a 10 oz beef burger sandwiched in between bacon and two grilled cheese sandwiches. Next, chef Mark Tarbell shows Chuck how to forage for local cactus, called nopales, from the back of an ATV for delicious vegetarian tacos at his restaurant, Tarbell's. Last, Chuck gets an unexpected treat at FuFu Cuisine, where chef Ester Mbaikambey specializes in hearty comfort food from her native Africa, including a goat stew called sombe and a starchy side called fufu which is made from yam flour. What a feast!
Minnesota is called the "land of 10,000 lakes," but there's only one lake that Chuck is interested in...Lake Avenue in Minneapolis, home to the city's most delicious and diverse cuisine. His first stop is at Manny's Tortas where chef Manny Gonzalez makes what many believe are the best sandwiches in the whole city - piles of mouthwatering steak, onion, jalape?o, avocado, cheese, mushrooms, chipotle mayonnaise, and refried beans piled on top of buttered French bread. Next, Chuck samples the Japanese Fried Chicken at Moto-I, the only sake brewery outside of Japan where chef Omar Gillego invents fresh adaptations of Asian street food. Before visiting Craftsmen, Chuck and chef Ryan Swaim go ice fishing for the walleye they prepare along with sauteed mushrooms and potatoes in a cream sauce made from popcorn. Last, Chuck pays homage to the city's Scandinavian history with a stop at an iconic outpost, Ingebretsen's, where owner Steve Dahl explains how old-school favorites are made, like a flatbread called lefse and lutefisk cured with lye.
Houston started small - just a seaside village back in the 1830s - but now, with over two million people from every possible background, Houston is huge. To meet its equally huge community of world-renowned chefs, Chuck heads to Westheimer Road. His first stop is at Underbelly, where James Beard award winning chef, Chris Shepherd, is known for his crispy ham ribs with sorghum mustard glaze, a dish inspired by his own signature hog. Chuck meets the sire, Earl, at Black Hill Farms. At Osteria Mazzantini, chef John Sheeley uses red snapper straight from the Gulf of Mexico to create a recipe with squash and cabbage handed down to him from his Italian family. Next, Chuck samples a unique Indian breakfast crepe topped with veggies and a fried egg at chef Anita Jaisinghani's beautiful restaurant called Indika. No trip to Houston would be complete without Mexican food, and Chuck gets his fill at Hugo's, where chef Hugo Ortega prepares handmade blue tortillas filled with salsa, guacamole, and chapulines...aka grasshoppers. Bugs never tasted so delicious!
A hundred miles up the Hudson River from Manhattan is the little village of Rhinebeck, New York. It has less than 3,000 people but dozens of delicious eateries that offer the best ingredients in the Hudson Valley. Along a former stagecoach road called Route 9, Chuck tastes the bounty. At the charming Le Petit Bistro, Chef Joseph Dalu draws his inspiration from around the world and his ingredients from the Northeast with an Asian Fried Oyster with tobiko mayonnaise and cucumber salad. Chef Josh Kroner, from Terrapin, takes Chuck on an excursion to pick up maple syrup direct from the tree at Crown Maple Farm. It's the key ingredient for his maple-brined pork chops with Apple Jack demi-glace and maple-bacon almonds. Next door at Gigi Trattoria, chef Laura Pensiero creates healthy dishes that taste decadent. Case in point: her Neapolitan-style pizza that she calls skinny pizza or "skizza" is the delivery vehicle for delicious toppings like butternut squash, kale pesto, roasted tomato, and Parmigiano Reggiano. On the edge of town, in place of the usual roadhouse diner, Chuck finds Cinnamon where owner Shiwanti Ridyarathna and her chef husband, Charminda, make South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, like Chicken Madras that starts with freshly-ground masala powder.
Iron and steel put Birmingham, Alabama on the map, but these days, it's known for great cooking, especially in the historic neighborhood of Five Points South. Chuck starts his foray into southern cooking at Highlands Bar and Grill, where the chef/owner, cookbook writer, and James Beard award winner, Frank Stitt, treats Chuck to his signature dish of baked grits with baked grits with parmesan-thyme sauce, wild mushrooms, and country ham. Next, chef Jan Moon shows Chuck how to make ice cream sandwiches with oatmeal cookies at her delectable food truck called Dreamcakes. At the French-inspired Chef Fon Fon, chef Adam Grusin prepares a kale and egg salad tartine after playing the quick game of boule. Chef James Boyce showcases Gulf seafood at Veranda on Highland, where he and Chuck prepare a crab, avocado, and blood orange salad. Last, Chuck stops at Melt, a food truck where Paget Pizitz and Joey Dickerson make over 25 different grilled cheese sandwiches, including the Black & Blue featuring steak and blue cheese.
In West Los Angeles, there's a gem of a neighborhood called Little Osaka. Japanese businesses still anchor the main street that runs through it, Sawtelle Boulevard, but a new world of influences is turning it into a hotbed of California cuisine. First, Chuck does a little swish-swish at a shabu-shabu restaurant. At Mizu 212, owner Irene Paek teaches him how to cook his own beef, seafood, and veggies in a pot of bubbling seaweed broth using chopsticks and an array of fun condiments. Next, Chuck indulges his sweet tooth on snow cream at Blockheads Shavery where Alex Yu and his partners use taro, black sesame, and green tea to create low-fat yet incredibly tasty frozen treats that combine the best qualities of shaved ice and ice cream. At Bar Hayama, home to California Sushi Academy, chef Toshi Sugiura teaches cooking students how to make authentic Japanese sushi. Chuck joins the class and tries his hand building the Haneda roll, which includes tempura shrimp, lobster, avocado, and eel sauce. Last, Chuck visits Primo's Donuts, where Ralph and Celia Primo have been making buttermilk and cake donuts since the Eisenhower administration, and they're not showing any signs of slowing down...delicious news for everyone!
Nashville will always be known as Music City, but it's not just a place for troubadours to make their name. Artists whose instruments are skillets and stoves have turned Nashville into one of the country's most up-tempo food scenes, and 8th Avenue is center stage for their performance. Chuck starts with the fiery soul food favorite called hot chicken at Bolton's Spicy Chicken and Fish where Bolton and Dollye Matthews firmly believe that their special blend of delicious spices and fried chicken will perk you up and cure your sinus problems. Near downtown, at the restaurant called Flyte, chef Matthew Lackey celebrates Tennessee produce with seasonal cooking, like fresh radish, carrot, and onion grilled alongside local, organic steak. Next, Chuck stops in at 8th & Roast where Lesa Wood and her highly trained baristas have perfected the art of coffee by painstakingly roasting every coffee bean inside the shop. Finally, at Bella Nashville, chef/owners Dave Cuomo and Emma Berkey not only show Chuck how make artisanal pizza with heirloom grains and 15-year old starter, they treat him to a concert by their folk band, Chicken Little.