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MustTry

32 Must-Try Dishes From Countries Around The World

Your foodie bucket list starts here.

Food is more than just sustenance. Every dish tells a story about different cultures, histories, and identities, and there’s nothing more exciting (and delicious) than trying new flavors from around the world.

1.

Vietnam: Bun Cha and Bánh Xèo


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“When people think of Vietnamese food, they assume pho and banh mi. Of course, these are staples, but you should also try bun cha, caramelized pork meatballs, when in Hanoi.”

u/blackmagic999

“It’s a savory, crispy rice pancake stuffed with pork, prawns, green onion and bean sprouts. It’s best served hot from a street stall. A big plate of bánh xèo served with lettuce and fresh herbs will cost you less than 50 cents.”

carenseal

2.

China: Jianbing


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“You can find this dish at many street food stalls in Beijing. It’s a very thin crepe with your choice of delicious fillings. It’s folded into a pocket shape that you can hold and eat as you walk, so it’s great for a meal on the go.”

fayealroy1234

3.

Poland: Zapiekanka


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“This popular street food is basically a toasted, open faced sandwich that’s made on baguette bread. It’s usually topped with mushrooms, cheese, ketchup, and green onions, but there are many different ways to make it.”

u/pylinka

4.

Japan: Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki and Ramen


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“There are so many amazing Japanese dishes, but my favorite is Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki. Unlike the Osaka style (which is like an omelette) this kind of okonomiyaki is a thin layer of pancake, cabbage and bean sprouts, soba noodles, and an egg, all topped with a special sauce and mayo. It’s to die for.”

notsosane1991

“I’m not talking about the American word for two minute noodles. I’m talking authentic Japanese made-from-scratch ramen, with broth that takes all day to make, a boiled egg, perfectly cooked chashu pork, and fresh egg noodles. It’s incredible.”

u/deleted

5.

Argentina: Empanadas


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“Try our empanadas, which are filled with ground beef, carmelized onions, green olives, hard boiled eggs and raisins, and seasoned with cumin. Yum!”

catdoctor·

6.

Portugal: Pastéis de Nata and Bacalhau


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“If you visit Portugal you should try both pastéis de nata (a sweet custard-filled pastry made best by the famous bakery Pastéis de Belém) and pastel de bacalhau (deep fried cod fritters).” 

—u/SirTommy94

7.

East Africa: Chipsi Mayai


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“It’s a popular street food — an omelette made of French fries, eggs and spices.  Pair it with spicy sugarcane juice.”

—u/globalsouthschild

8.

Italy: Neapolitan Pizza


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“The original Italian Neapolitan pizza. Your taste buds will explode in pleasure.”

—u/Nik02003

9.

Colombia: Chocolate Santafereño


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“It’s our version of hot chocolate, and I know you’re probably thinking, “what’s so special about plain old hot chocolate?” Our hot chocolate has a richer concentration of cacao. The result is a beverage that is less cloyingly sweet and more rich and flavorful, with a deep aroma that both sweet and nutty. Also, we put cheese in our hot chocolate. We use soft, fresh, unsalted cheese (also known as farmer’s cheese or white cheese) that has a chewy texture like unsalted mozzarella. Drop a few pieces in your hot chocolate and fish them out once they’re soft.”

—u/machu_pikacchu

10.

Germany: Käsespätzle and Döner Kebab


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“I love käsespätzle with speck and röstzwiebeln, which translates to egg noodles with cheese, bacon and crispy fried onions.”

u/SirKomlinIV

“I recommend trying Doner Kebab, which is extra delicious if you’re having it after a night of drinking.”

u/duckface_killah

11.

Mexico: Birria and Mole


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“It’s like beef stew but with a little twist. You can eat it as tacos.”

—u/noodleAc173

“All moles are different, but they’re always good. Yucatan is was my favorite because it’s spicier than it is sweet with a big dose of poblano flavor.” 

—u/StrangeCrimes

12.

Romania: Sarmale


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“They’re heavenly boiled cabbage rolls filled with minced meat that are served with sour cream.”

u/Knightsdawn

13.

Australia: Meat Pie


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“In Australia, treat yourself to a good meat pie with tomato sauce on top.”

u/_Liezee

14.

Singapore: Kaya Toast and Chicken Rice


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“It’s toast that’s warm and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and it’s served with butter and soft-boiled eggs. There’s nothing else like it.”

—u/someoneyoudontknoww 

“Chicken rice is a staple everywhere. You can choose either steamed or roasted chicken and it’s served over fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth. It’s accompanied by sweet soy sauce and chili-garlic-lime sauce, which makes the whole dish.”

—u/Saturnaiden

15.

India: Pani Puri and Biryani


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“I would recommend you try every “chaat,” but pani puri tops the list any day. It’s a popular street food:  fried puffed dough balls that are hollow and filled with mashed potato or chickpeas, flavored water, and spices.”

u/smart_madafaka

“There are at least 15-20 distinct styles of biryani, each with their own unique twist based on the region and the sub-culture.” 

—u/zydar·10m

16.

Indonesia: Nasi Goreng and Martabak


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“If you visit Indonesia, you should try everything here. The food is simply delicious. Don’t miss nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and my favorite, martabak. It’s similar to a thick pancake filled with chocolate and crushed peanuts or cheese and condensed milk.”

—u/JeremyJRP

17.

Philippines: Pancit, Lumpia, and Adobo


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“There are so many great Filipino dishes, but some must-tries are pancit (stir-fried noodles with vegetables and meat or seafood); lumpia (deep fried spring rolls filled with ground pork and minced vegetables); and adobo (pork or chicken marinated and simmered in soy sauce and garlic).”

u/shanimarki99

18.

Hungary: Paprikás Krumpli


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“It’s a traditional Hungarian food loaded with goodness like potato, sausage, and vegetables. Instead of using a spoon, we just use bread to sop it all up.”

u/Keytamy

19.

USA: Barbecue


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“American BBQ is very regional with different styles and flavors depending on which state you’re in. Texas style brisket gets a lot of love, but Carolina whole hog barbecue is a must try.”

u/TigernetSucs

Anyone who comes to American needs to try several different regional barbecue styles including Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and Carolina.”

u/Romantic_Carjacking

20.

England: Fish and Chips and Sunday Roast


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“I haven’t been home to England in nearly two years, and there aren’t many English foods I crave, but I truly miss a proper Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding and a Bakewell tart.”

u/riarum

“For the real experience, you should eat fish and chips straight out of the paper by the sea on a cool day.”

u/silentspeck

21.

Nepal: Dal-Bhat-Tarkari


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“If you ever end up in Nepal, Dal-bhat-tarkari (vegetable curry with lentils and rice) is a must-try. Every Nepali chef makes it differently and it is always incredibly delicious. Oh,  and Nepali momos (dumplings) are to die for.”

—u/Razwog

22.

Sweden: Meatballs with Lingonberry Jame


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“I’m not talking about that defrosted stuff you get at IKEA. There’s nothing like homemade Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam. It’s one of the best dishes in the world.”

u/blubull—u/blubull

23.

Greece: Gyro


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“A gyro with tzatziki sauce and French fries is perfection. If you don’t like fries, I’d recommend eating gyro with tomatoes and onions. It’s amazing.”

u/seeweed13

24.

Serbia: Karađorđeva šnicla


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“It’s a pork steak stuffed with kajmak (a creamy spread similar to clotted cheese ), rolled, breaded, and fried until crispy.”

u/Mazarini1389

25.

South Africa: Biltong and Boerewors Roll


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“Biltong is South African jerky — dried beef made with roasted coriander seeds and black pepper. Boerewors roll is a type of beef sausage (like a hot dog) that’s grilled and served on a roll with fried onions and tomato gravy.”

u/WatercoloredLife

26.

Lebanon: Shish Barak


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“This Lebanese dish is little fried dumplings about the size of a quarter that are stuffed with spiced meat and pine nuts. They’re served in a yogurt sauce with garlic, cilantro, and mint.”

u/deleted

27.

Denmark: Flæskesteg Sandwich


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“It’s what I miss the most about living in Denmark. It’s a hamburger bun topped with roast pork and cracklings and is usually garnished with cabbage, mustard, or remoulade.”

—u/shortestyeahboi

28.

Hong Kong: Egg Waffles


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“I’d say any type of street food is a must-try in Hong Kong, but my favorite are egg waffles.” 

u/Liz-z819

29.

Korea: Budae-Jjigae


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“It translates to military stew, and it dates back to the days after the Korean War when there wasn’t much meat available. People made stew with leftover hot dogs, spam, etc… Nowadays, Koreans still make this stew but with a mishmash of fresh ingredients. It’s nostalgic and extremely delicious.”

u/MCA2142

30.

Spain: Tumbet and Tortilla Española


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“Most people associate Spain with paella, but most don’t know the Majorcan dish called Tumbet. It’s stacked layers of fried eggplant, zucchini, and potato, with bay leaf and tomato sauce on top. It’s absolutely amazing.”

u/Appletackle

“Tortilla Española might as well be the national dish. It’s an omelette with potatoes that can be found in just about every bar and restaurant across the country.”

u/politegreeter·

31.

The Netherlands: Stroopwafel


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“It’s like a sweet, round waffle stuffed with molten caramel. It tastes especially delicious when you warm it up on a cup of coffee or tea. I think it’s one treat that is impossible to dislike.”

u/BrainConfigurated

32.

Malaysia: Nasi Lemak and Char Kuay Teow


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“Malaysian food is a melting pot of different cultures. Make sure to try nasi lemak, which is rice cooked in coconut milk with chili, anchovies and nuts. I’d also recommend char kuay teow, stir-fried flat noodles with seafood and Chinese sausages. It tastes best when it’s cooked on a wok.”

u/_TadStrange

Do you have a favorite dish from your home country that every traveler should seek out? Tell us in the comments below!

12 Must-Try Dishes on Memphis Menus

It seems everyone has a go-to favorite meal in Memphis, but with all the amazing options available, it’s hard to narrow down the choices. To help you when you are looking for a sure-fire dinner winner (or any meal, really), we’ve rounded up 12 must-try dishes from a few of Memphis’ finest locally owned restaurants.

12 Must-Try Dishes on Memphis Menus

Ribs at The Bar-B-Q Shop

1782 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 272-1277
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Home of the famous Dancing Pigs BBQ sauce and seasoning, The Bar-B-Q Shop has your craving for ribs covered. “We specialize in real-pit barbeque delivered to you with a smoky flavor,” says owner Eric Vernon. “The Bar-B-Q Shop’s award-winning sauces are made from scratch, and our ribs are specially cut for our restaurant.” Voted #1 in America by the Food Network’s Top Five Restaurants, the ribs are served with barbeque beans, slaw, and Texas toast. If you’ve got room, add a helping of their famous barbeque spaghetti!

The Bar-B-Q Shop ribs, one of the must-try dishes in Memphis

Dry-rub ribs with a slathering sauce at The Bar-B-Q Shop are a Memphis must-try! Image: Mark Voitik, The Bar-B-Q Shop

Grilled Romaine Salad at The Beauty Shop

966 Cooper Street, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 272-7111
Hours: Lunch — Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner — Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Brunch — Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Beauty Shop’s Grilled Romaine Salad is a classic with a twist. The lightly grilled Romaine lettuce is topped off with rosemary-spiced pecans, cherry tomatoes, crumbled gorgonzola, green onions, crispy bacon, and a house-made Tabasco blue cheese dressing. It’s a favorite among Memphians who love the hip and happening Midtown eatery. You may want to kick off your meal with the ever-popular Watermelon & Wings appetizer, another huge hometown favorite.

Grilled Romaine from The Beauty Shop

This salad is unmatched! Image: Jacob Rodgers

RELATED: 5 New Memphis Restaurants To Check Out (Updated June 2021)

Sunshine Burrito at City Silo Table and Pantry

5101 Sanderlin Avenue, Suite 104, Memphis, TN 38137 • (901) 729-7687
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

7605 West Farmington Boulevard, Suite 2, Germantown, TN 38138 • (901) 236-7223
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you are looking for clean, healthy eating that is also super delicious, City Silo has a tasty selection of creative, primarily plant-based items to satisfy your taste buds. A must-try on their menu is the Sunshine Burrito, and like every item on their breakfast menu, it’s served all day. The burrito is a yummy combo of crumbled Silo burger patty, two scrambled fresh farm eggs, seasoned sweet potato, red quinoa, brown rice, sharp cheddar, cashew ranch, and sriracha aioli, all wrapped in a chili tomato tortilla and served with a side of pico de gallo. Dairy-free cheese options are available, too.

City Silo Table and Pantry's Sunshine Burrito, one of the must-try dishes in Memphis

The Sunshine Burrito at City Silo is beloved by meat-eaters and vegetarians alike! Image: Justin Fox Burks

Shrimp and Grits at Edge Alley

600 Monroe Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 425-2605
Hours: Breakfast — Wednesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Brunch — Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Lunch — Wednesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner — Wednesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Shrimp and grits are a Southern staple — but according to Edge Alley chef and proprietor Tim Barker, it’s a dish that’s rarely about the shrimp or the grits. All too often, the dish is overwhelmed by a salty, spicy, meaty sauce. What makes Edge Alley shrimp and grits unique? “No meat!” Tim says. “Our sauce gets depth of flavor from deeply roasted vegetables, and richness from whole butter. The shrimp are marinated overnight, and the pimento cheese grits take nearly 72 hours to prepare.”

Edge Alley's shrimp & grits

These shrimp and grits are like none you’ve ever tasted! Image: Edge Alley

Filet Mignon at Folk’s Folly

551 S. Mendenhall Road, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 762-8200
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.

For a celebratory cut, turn to Folk’s Folly’s filet mignon, hands down. Steak lovers, get a load of this: Their finely marbled and aged filet is a hand-carved, complete trim from the center of the delicate tenderloin. It speaks for itself — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pair it with a side of spinach casserole and your favorite among nine gorgeous potato preparations.

Filet Mignon Must-Eat Dishes in Memphis

Folk’s Folly has carried a Memphis tradition for the finest prime steaks since 1977. Image: Folk’s Folly

Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo at Lafayette’s Music Room

2119 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 207-5097
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Brunch, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you like great local music paired with yummy food, Lafayette’s Music Room is the perfect spot for you. The extensive menu has plenty of appetizing choices, from small plates to wood-fired pizzas to burgers and sandwiches. A must-try is the Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo; pair this New Orleans-inspired creation with a BLT Chopped Salad or a Classic Burger when soup alone just isn’t enough.

Lafayette's Music Room's Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, one of the must-try dishes in Memphis

Enjoy authentic New Orleans flavors with the Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo at Lafayette’s Music Room. Image: Lafayette’s Music Room

Ruby Red Trout at Magnolia & May

718 Mt. Moriah, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 676-8100
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“The Ruby Red Trout at Magnolia & May is special because it combines some of our customers’ favorite individual components in one dish,” says Amanda Dunham, who co-owns the delightful brasserie with the chef, her husband Chip. With crispy sautéed fish, fried green tomatoes, crab meat, and hollandaise, we can see why it is a standout. Start the meal with one of the most popular appetizers in the city, the Buffalo Broccoli — one of the best ways we know to get your vegetables!

Ruby Red Trout from Magnolia & May

The Ruby Red Trout at Magnolia & May is absolutely divine! Image: Amanda Dunham

Grilled Pork Tenderloin at Majestic Grille

145 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 522-8555
Hours: Dinner — Wednesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Lunch — Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Brunch — Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sometimes the classics are the best. The Majestic Grille’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin is a must-try creation of Chef Patrick Reilly, combining simply seasoned grilled pork tenderloin, Vichy carrots, and garlic mashed potatoes. “The maple sauce is a little sweet, and the textures all come together with crispy onions on top. The key is to get a little of every ingredient in every bite,” he tells us. If you are in the mood for an appetizer, their deliciously crispy pile of onion rings will hit the spot.

The Majestic Grille’s Grilled Pork Tenderloin, one of the must-try dishes in Memphis

The secret to success in every bite is to get a little bit of everything in each bite. YUM! Image: Chef Patrick Reilly

Filet Paulette at Paulette’s

51 Harbor Town Square, Memphis, TN 38103 • (901) 260-3300
Hours: Breakfast — Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Brunch — Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Lunch — Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Dinner — Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

For a more dressed-up filet, elegant Paulette’s serves up its signature Filet Paulette: sautéed black pepper-encrusted filet mignon, butter cream sauce, fresh julienne tomato, onion, bell pepper, and potato purée. This cooked-to-perfection entrée has been a must-have item on Paulette’s menu for years! Pair the dish with a choice from the carefully curated wine list, and save room for the K-pie.

Paulette’s Filet Paulette

You can almost taste how easily this dish will melt in your mouth by simply looking at it! Image: Jay Adkins

Duck Hash at Bounty on Broad

2519 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112 • (901) 410-8131
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. until close ; Brunch — Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

For Sunday brunch devotees, Bounty on Broad is an absolute must. Offering up farm-to-table cuisine in an intimate atmosphere, they’re checking all kinds of boxes — starting with their duck hash, a decadent take on the brunchtime favorite that begins with confit duck, chorizo, and vegetables, and finishes with two poached eggs perched on top. In keeping with the intimate atmosphere, reservations are recommended!

Chilled Duck Noodle at Salt | Soy

2583 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112 • (901) 207-1531
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The newly opened Salt | Soy has already made its mark on the Memphis dining scene thanks to creative and flavorful dishes like the Chilled Duck Noodle. You’ll enjoy every mouthful of the smoked duck breast with chilled soba noodles, carrot, cucumber, Serrano, hoisin molasses vinaigrette, and spiced peanuts. Since the restaurant serves small plates, you’ll want to sample other tasty treats and find more favorites to recommend. A recent addition is a scrumptious dessert: Miso Chocolate Chess Pie with a sesame seed crust and sesame sorghum brittle, topped with Suntory Whiskey whipped cream.

Salt | Soy's Chilled Duck Noodle, one of the must-try dishes in Memphis

The Chilled Duck Noodle dish is one you’ll quickly fall in love with. Image: Philip Murphy

RELATED: Meet 3 Women Running Legendary Memphis Restaurants

Cacio e Pepe pizza at Tamboli’s Pasta and Pizza

1761 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 410-8866
Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tamboli’s Cacio e Pepe pizza may seem simple at first, but the ingredients are complex and bring the flavor. Traditionally a classic pasta dish that translates to “butter and pepper,” the Tamboli creation takes the minimalist, ingredient-focused approach to pizza to highlight the restaurant’s wood-fired pizza crust and house-made cheeses. “It starts with dough that’s undergone a 24-hour cold fermentation process. The sauce is a house-made whipped ricotta topped with two types of mozzarella. We bake our pizza in a wood-fired Neapolitan-style oven, then finish it with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of really good white truffle oil,” explains owner Miles Tamboli.

Tamboli’s Cacio e Pepe pizza

The Cacio e Pepe pizza at Tamboli’s brings together complex flavors in one amazing and approachable pizza. Image: Becky Githinji

We hope you’ve discovered a new dish to try!

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To explore more of the Memphis culinary scene, visit our archives.

The must-try national dishes from countries around the world

The must-try national dishes from countries around the world






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8 Droolworthy New Must-Try Dishes for March 2021

Local chefs took advantage of COVID’s forced planetary pause with exciting new dishes.

If nothing else, the pandemic has provided us with lots of leisure time at home.

Some of us have tried to take it easy and wait the nightmare out. Others have seized the opportunity to master the irksome necessity of Zoom. We’ve tried out (and often immediately rejected) arcane hobbies, stretched out at least a few pairs of elastic-waisted pants, and tested the bounds of our kitchen skills (not necessarily in that order).

Local chefs took advantage of the planetary pause too, emerging from their chrysalises with exciting new must-try dishes. Here we present eight of our favorite new menu items in the Tucson area. What are yours?

New Must-try Dishes

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Bumsted’s at Wonderwall
6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon at Bumsteads

6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon at Bumsteads (Photo by Adam Lehrman)

After a torturous four-year wait, Bumsted’s partner Scot Shuman is proud finally get to serve his 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon sandwich, which is one of the tastiest new menu items in the area, and one of the most anticipated. Some of the best local food news of 2020 is that Bumsted’s is back in business after four years of being closed. They’re now located within a karaoke bar/hotel lounge (with an uber Pulp-Fiction-esque diner vibe) and have added a couple new varieties of the sandwiches for which they are so beloved. Luckily for fans of puns and dad jokes, they’ve kept their witty menu item naming conventions.

Witness 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, a sandwich that Shuman introduced to the menu right before their Fourth Avenue location closed. It’s a toasty stack of house-cured and smoked pastrami, salami, peppered bacon, provolone, lettuce, and tomato on bread. As the story goes, Shuman was at the legendary Katz Delicatessen in New York City some years ago, and he and his sister were splitting one of their signature sandwiches – a warm, house-made pastrami and salami with mustard. Shuman looked at his sister and said, “this would be even BETTER with peppered bacon,” and … it is. “We added the lettuce and tomato for color and health purposes,” Shuman said.

Bumsted’s at Wonderwall is located at 1003 North Stone Avenue. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays; opens at 7 a.m. on weekends. Dine-in, takeout, and delivery through Postmates available. More info at
wonderwallbar.com.

Korean Cauliflower Tacos

Jackie Tran at El Torero
Jackie Tran's Korean Cauliflower Tacos at El Torero

Jackie Tran’s Korean Cauliflower Tacos at El Torero (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Full disclosure: yes, we’re talking about that Jackie Tran. The one who used to work for Tucson Foodie. Like so many of us, he “pivoted” during the pandemic, which in his case means he pursued an aspiration to serve his own food and not just document other people’s. Presently you’ll find him cooking at El Torero, which is where you can try his vegan Korean cauliflower tacos … that is, until he opens his own food truck – Tran’s Fats – where the cauliflower will be a star a la carte menu item.

Until then, he’s serving the cauliflower at El Torero in taco form. Tran adapted the cauliflower from one of Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recipes (definitely NOT to be confused with The Cheesecake Factory’s version, he noted). The dish is two massive tacos, each with a double corn tortilla base with a leaf of butter lettuce, crunchy vodka-battered cauliflower, gochujang glaze, avocado salsa, avocado, scallion, cilantro, and sesame seeds. It’s spicy but not unmanageable, sticky but not gooey, and by far one of the best new menu items in town. In fact, it’s so good that it tends to sell out, so if you want to try them (which you do), call El Torero ahead of time to make sure they’re still available at that time.

El Torero is located at 231 E. 26th Street and is open Tuesday through Thursday from 12:30 to 7 p.m.; Saturday 12:30 to 8 p.m.; and closed Sunday and Monday. More info at eltorerotucson.com.

Pearl Hart

4th Avenue Delicatessen

Sandwiches sure are comforting as we collectively begin the post-pandemic healing process. It’s not over yet, of course, but dishes like the Pearl Hart at 4th Avenue Delicatessen warm the heart. Many of the sandwiches on the deli menu are named after gangsters and mafiosos from the 1920s (like the Valachi and the Bugsy Seigel) and the Pearl Hart is too – but with a twist. It’s named after a woman.

“The inspiration for the name came from some research I did on female outlaws from the past,” said deli partner Kylie Myers. “I recently added a new menu board called Dangerous Dames featuring notorious female outlaws beside our other menus, the Mob Bosses, Outlaws, and Wise Guys.”

Hart was a Canadian-born stagecoach robber who ended up jailed in Tucson (though she busted out in 1899. Her story is worth a read!).

So, what is the sandwich? A bacon and brie grilled cheese with cranberry sauce on your choice of bread. “This sandwich is my favorite combination of flavors,” Myers said. “(It’s) sweet and savory, salty, and a little tart, all in one.” Not unlike Hart herself.

Available to go, dine in, or through various delivery services from

4th Avenue Deli is located at 425 North Fourth Avenue and open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. More info at 4thavedeli.com.

Bara-chirashi

Yoshimatsu

Hinamatsuri, or Girls’ Day, is celebrated on March 3 in Japan. This holiday honors the health and happiness of young girls everywhere. Chef Yoshimi Tashima, owner of Yoshimatsu and Maru Japanese Noodle Shop, created a special to add to the Yoshimatsu menu to commemorate that festive day. The dish will be available for the foreseeable future – just ask.

Tashimi’s is not your predictable chirashi, which many Japanese restaurants offer in the form of sashimi on white sushi rice. Rather, Tashima is serving the dish a la her home town of Osaka, Japan. The dish still features the white sushi rice and a choice of finely chopped sashimi. It’s topped with shitake mushrooms, carrots, and beans sauteed in tare, a sweet soy-based sauce. A thin egg and dashi crepe is draped over the ingredients. (Diners may also select eel or tofu instead of the sashimi, and inari instead of the egg crepe if you prefer a vegan dish.)

Another concept that Tashima is working on involves crafting traditional Italian dishes with Japanese noodles. Starting in mid-March, Yoshimatsu will serve udon or ramen carbonara, or with pepperoncini.

Yoshimatsu is located at 2741 N. Campbell Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, closes at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. More info at yoshimatsuaz.com.

Smoked Chicken Flautas

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ continues to add new events like their new Friday Fish Frys to alleviate the residual trauma that 2020 left us with. They’re also switching up their menu a bit. Added to the menu in July, one of the most successful recent selections of their new must-try dishes is the house-smoked chicken flautas. This dish is made of Phoenix-based Red Bird Farm’s chicken rolled in corn tortillas, fried up crisp, and topped with queso fresco, sour cream, house-made guacamole and salsa verde.

The notion for the recipe started one day when co-owner John Aldecoa (Brother John himself) was smoking some whole turkeys over Arizona pecan and applewood smoker and decided to fashion the leftovers into tacos. The idea occurred to him that these would be even better if 1. Another smoked poultry was used, specifically chicken, and 2. Said poultry was rolled into flautas instead. It didn’t hurt any that the restaurant was already smoking chicken for each meal period and can’t reheat or resell the leftovers, and this was a perfect solution to solve the problem of excess food. Now, the smoked chicken flautas are so popular, they have to smoke more than they ever did!

 Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ is located at 1801 North Stone Ave and is open daily for dine-in and take-out from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays). More info at brotherjohnsbbq.com.

Breakfast Sandwich & Everything Croissant

Time Market
Breakfast Sandwich at Time Market

Breakfast Sandwich at Time Market (Photo courtesy of Time Market)

It’s a toss-up which of these two new Time Market dishes is the best, so we’re just going to include them both on our list. First, the eatery’s chef Ian Sugarman has graced the menu with a breakfast sandwich. This is a fried egg, sharp cheddar cheese, spicy mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato atop Time Market’s fresh-baked seeded brioche bun – plus your choice of maple breakfast sausage, Neiman Ranch bacon, or avocado. Sugarman’s been at the kitchen’s helm since August and has worked with Time Market owner Peter Wilke for more than a decade. Of his inspiration for the dish, he said, “God invented the breakfast sandwich, (I) invented the recipe for the house sausage, and fate brought them together.”

Another of the new must-try dishes at Time Market is the Everything Croissant – naturally leavened and laminated croissant dough filled with cream cheese and topped with everything bagel seasoning. Head baker Katie Morris made up these delightful dough babies on a whim, inspired by the everything bagels at Black Seed Bagels she enjoyed during trips to New York City.

You can enjoy the breakfast sandwich and croissant with a hot coffee on Time Market’s patio or take them to go.

Time Market is located at 444 E. University Blvd. Open daily for dine-in (patio only) and take-out from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. More info at timemarket.xyz.

Fried Tofu Sandwich

Cup Cafe
Fried Tofu Sandwich at The Cup Cafe

Fried Tofu Sandwich at The Cup Cafe (Photo by Jeaninne Kaufer)

Brian Smith, Executive Chef of Maynards Kitchen, has scootched over to join the team across the street at Cup Café, and with him has brought a lovely vegan option that the menu was rather lacking. The $14 fried tofu sandwich, dressed with cabbage slaw, pickles, and secret sauce, is served on a potato bun. As with every menu item at the Cup now, you can get the sandwich all day long, because fried tofu sandwiches for breakfast is a thing in these topsy-turvy post-apocalyptic times.

“I’ve had Southern fried tofu in the past and have always loved the similarities between it and fried chicken when done correctly, “said Smith. “The Cup menu was really needing a vegan sandwich, and this felt fun and approachable. The sandwich is meant to resemble a classic spicy fried chicken sandwich.”

Cup Café is located inside Hotel Congress at 311 E. Congress Street. Open for dine-in and take-out daily at 8 a.m.; closes at 3 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, 1 p.m. on Thursdays, and 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. More info at hotelcongress.com.

Got one or more new must-try dishes you think we should know about? Let us know in the comments!

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