While I was in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa over the holidays, I made it a point to suck down as many local eats as possible. I thought I would share with you some notable edibles from around that area. Some are specific to the QC, while others are statewide or Midwestern. Harris Pizza #4 (Quad-Cities)
By far, the crown jewel of my trip. To the extent that "Quad-Cities style pizza" exists, it has a malty crust, a salty spicy sauce, and a finely-ground fennel sausage that's generously applied under a thick layer of cheese. The taste of the sausage dominates, and my, what a taste. Casey's General Store (general Midwest)
You can do better for regular pizza, but there is one thing they do wonderfully: breakfast pizza. I've also had this at Hy-Vee and the University of Iowa, way back before they converted the Burge Hall cafeteria into a food court, and it seems to be an unknown concept in Connecticut. I've seen other interpretations, such as using fried eggs instead of scrambled, but to me breakfast pizza means white sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, cheese, and maybe additional sausage, bacon bits, and onion. Maid-Rite (general Midwest but mostly Iowa)
Boy was this underwhelming. I couldn't remember having had one of these before, actually, and there seems to have been good reason. When unformed ground beef is supposed to be the star of your sandwich, it had better taste incredible, and this did not. The traditional mustard and pickles offered no assistance, and the fries were frozen, lackluster sticks of sadness. I ate at the location on Division Street in Davenport; some of the others might be better, but that one I can strongly recommend avoiding. Whitey's Ice Cream (Quad-Cities and Iowa City)
Their reputation among locals is pretty much untouchable, and deservedly so. From their German Chocolate Cake flavor to their turtle sundaes to their Chipper sandwiches, they are the best goddamned ice cream in the region and possibly the galaxy. The location on Locust Street in Davenport is, to me, the definitive one.
Honorable mention #1: Hungry Hobo for excellent subs. They use a wonderfully tangy Italian dressing.
Honorable mention #2: Rudy's Tacos for Americanized Mexican. These were chicken soft tacos.
And here were some things I picked up that are either difficult or impossible to find in New England:
Places I did not
manage to hit included Happy Joe's for taco pizza (I went on my last two trips), Jim's Rib Haven, Fat Boy's Pizza, Grinders and Spaghetti House, Gumby's for Pokey Stix, Panchero's, Iowa Machine Shed, the West Street Deli and Flying Burrito in Ames, and Falbo Bros. and Molly's Cupcakes in Iowa City. But that's what next time is for!
<message edited by Ketteract on Tue, 01/7/14 5:47 PM>