CHIL OUT: New Mexico’s green chile cheeseburger at The Goose.

1. Alabama

Fried green tomatoes at Bernie's Southern Bistro, 2904 NE Alberta St., 282-9864,

Fried Green Tomatoes, the 1991 movie, is based on

Irondale, Ala.'s Whistle Stop Cafe, which still makes a mess o' maters.

Bernie's version is buttery but still fresh and light. More.

2. Alaska

Alaskan reindeer sausage sandwich at Beez Neez, 440 SW 3rd Ave., 547-7213,

Mmmmm, Rudolph. More.


3. Arizona

Chimichanga at Taqueria Portland, 820 SE 8th Ave., 232-7000.

Someone in Arizona—Phoenix's Macayo's and Tucson's El

Charro both make claims—accidentally dropped a fully stuffed burrito

into a deep fryer. Eventually, actual Mexicans started making this

staple, as you'll find at this inner-Southeast taqueria. More.


4. Arkansas

Fried pickles at Crown Q, 445 NE Killingsworth St., 281-0373,

Bernell "Fatman" Austin of Atkins, Ark., started

battering, frying and selling pickles out of his Duchess Drive In in

1963. The family still has a secret recipe, served only at the Atkins

Picklefest. Crown Q does a nice version with sliced dill and creamy

sauce for $5. More.

5. California

Korean tacos at Koi Fusion, various locations,

The version of the Korean taco we know came from the

nation's most diverse city, Los Angeles, where in 2008 chef Roy Choi

began stuffing corn tortillas with beef bulgogi and barbecued short

ribs. Portlander Bo Kwon opened Koi Fusion in May 2009, with a concept The New York Times described as "borrowed from Mr. Choi's in the manner that 50 Cent sampled Biggie Smalls." More.


6. Colorado

Coma pot brownie at Pure Oregon Dispensary, 2410 N Mississippi Ave., 954-3902,

Colorado will forever be known as the first state to serve

up legal weed brownies as treats instead of medicine. In Oregon,

they're still medicine. But, as they say, a spoonful of sugar helps it

go down. More.

7. Connecticut

Apizza at Apizza Scholls, 4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-1286,

Apizza, New Haven's famous riff on Neapolitan, is often

regarded as the best pizza in the world, with a thin, chewy and tangy

crust that's cooked hot and fast, often over coal. Apizza Scholls' pies

come out of a super-hot electric oven crisp but pliable and kissed with

char. After that crust and bright sauce, the toppings are almost

superfluous. More.

8. Delaware

Scrapple at the Woodsman Tavern, 4537 SE Division St., 971-373-8264,

Scrapple is a relic of colonial days, when people couldn't

afford to waste meat. It's a loaf of slurried pig—snout, eyeball, liver

and heart—made mealy with corn and served fried. Nonetheless, the

weekend brunch scrapple served with maple glaze at the Woodsman Tavern

is a remarkably civilized experience. More.


9. Florida

Key lime pie at Palio, 1996 SE Ladd Ave., 232-9412,

Fun fact: Traditionally, cooks didn't even bake Key lime

pies, simply allowing a chemical reaction between sweetened condensed

milk and acidic citrus juice to cook the eggs, like a meringue ceviche.

The best we've had in town is cooked by a mysterious couple and

delivered to this wonderful little Ladd Circle coffeehouse three times a

week. More.

10. Georgia

Brunswick stew at A Little Bit of Smoke food cart, Southwest 9th Avenue and Alder Street.

A tangy, spicy, smoky, one-pot meat dish with beans,

tomatoes and corn, all simmered in stock, Brunswick stew makes

appearances at church suppers and hunting camps throughout the South.

The hearty $7 version at this downtown food cart has smoked chicken and

potatoes. And they even throw in a mini moon pie. More.

11. Hawaii

Plate lunch at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, 4328 SE 82nd Ave., No. 1500, 200-5599,

The plate lunch isn't authentic Hawaiian, but it's what

you get after a trip to the beach. There's white rice and/or macaroni

salad with meat, usually pork, katsu or teriyaki beef or chicken.

L&L actually comes from the islands, with restaurants in every

neighborhood on O'ahu. More.


12. Idaho

P.R. Nelson milkshake at Blueplate Lunch Counter, 308 SW Washington St., 295-2583,

This old-school diner blends ice cream made with Idaho's

state fruit, the huckleberry, with housemade Purple Haze hibiscus syrup

for a shockingly sweet shake, with bits of fruit skin and a mountain of

whipped cream. More.

13. Illinois

Italian beef at Bridge City Pizza, 5412 SE Woodstock Blvd., 777-4992,

This staple of Chicago's South Side is a thin-sliced,

sauteed roast beef sandwich drenched in meat-dripping "jus," with

giardiniera hot peppers on top. Bridge City's comes wetter than an

otter's pocket, and chock-full of meat and jus that's been prepped for

days. Hunch forward or plan on changing your shirt. More.

14. Indiana

Pork tenderloin sandwich at the Burger Guild, 4926 SE Division St., 401-287-4373,

According to legend, Nick's Kitchen in Huntington, Ind.,

was the first to make this spaceship of a sandwich. It features a large,

buttermilk-soaked, breaded pork cutlet that extends well beyond the bun

meant to house it. This cart's version has everything Indiana's does

except tomatoes. More.

15. Iowa

Maytag blue cheese at Cheese Bar, 6031 SE Belmont St., 222-6014,

Acclaimed by some as America's finest blue cheese, the

Maytag's first "wheels" were made in 1941 at Maytag Dairy Farms in

Newton, Iowa, with homogenized cow's milk instead of sheep's milk.

Cheese Bar's Steve Jones serves it with pride: His father used to work

at Maytag Dairy Farms. More.


16. Kansas

Meat Lover's pizza at Pizza Hut, various locations,

The famous barbecue comes from Missouri, sorry. Kansas

invented not a food but a means of producing it—from the first

train-supplied chain restaurant, Harvey House, to the original White

Castle, to Pizza Hut in 1958. To this day, when you call Pizza Hut for

delivery, you're actually calling a Kansas call center. Kansas? Are you

there? Please bring extra peppers. More.


17. Kentucky

The Double Down at KFC, various locations,

Two strips of bacon, two slices of cheese and some of the

Colonel's secret sauce sandwiched between two fried chicken fillets in

lieu of bread. Lick as you may, your fingers will never again be clean. More.

18. Louisiana

Beignets at the Parish, 231 NW 11th Ave., 227-2421,

Beignets are a deep-fried Creole dessert pastry that are

light, airy and covered with heaps of powdered sugar that, when inhaled

through the mouth, will induce coughing fits in novice tourists. The

Parish's Sunday brunch beignets are the closest you'll get in Portland

to those served at New Orleans landmark Cafe du Monde. More.


19. Maine

Lobster roll at Maine Street Lobster, 8145 SE 82nd Ave. (Cartlandia pod), 770-480-3437,

Maine's most famous roadside food is wicked simple: a heap

of juicy lobster bits doused in butter and served cold on a toasted

roll. The owners of the Maine Street Lobster cart fly in lobster twice a

week. More.


20. Maryland

Blue crab cakes at Ruth's Chris Steak House, 850 SW Broadway, 221-4518,

Crab cakes are a secondary religion in Maryland. Only the

plentiful Chesapeake blue crab is in the dish, served as lumps with a

little bit of cracker crust. It's basically heresy to serve a blue crab

cake in Oregon, where we're proud of the more delicate flavors of

Dungeness. But Ruth's Chris has no such pieties—it'll cost you $10 per

cake. More.

21. Massachusetts

Fried clam strips at the Fishwife, 5328 N Lombard St., 285-7150,

Clams are an integral part of summer in coastal New

England, just as important as tall ships, widow's walks and sipping a

dark 'n' stormy next to 10 men in Red Sox caps. The unassuming

Fishwife's clam basket is a heaping mound of plump fried clams atop

waffle fries, served with generous helpings of tartar sauce, coleslaw

and seasoned ketchup. More.

22. Michigan

Coney dog at Roake's, 1760 NE Lombard Place, 289-3557; 18019 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie, 654-7075.

The "wet" chili has the consistency of pasty biscuits and

gravy, and the bun's dry, but this 10-inch hot dog has the perfect snap.

You gotta know what matters. Detroit what! More.


23. Minnesota

Lutefisk at Newman's Fish Market in City Market, 735 NW 21st Ave., 227-2700,

This Nordic dish of cod dried in lye until gelatinous is

loved and hated in Minnesota, where the burg of Madison claims to be our

nation's lutefisk capital, and where the dish is popular in church

basements. It seems to be more texture than taste, at least the way we

cooked it. More.

24. Mississippi

Fried catfish at Miss Kate's Southern Kitchen, 4233 N Mississippi Ave., 724-7878,

Mississippi Avenue is the place for Mississippi cuisine in

Portland. Miss Kate's food cart owner Charlie Hudes' Grandma Kate was a

bridge-playing socialite in Vicksburg. She would be proud of his

catfish: The batter is crisp and peppery, while the meat inside is

sweet, white and flaky. More.

25. Missouri

Toasted ravioli at Alameda Brewhouse, 4765 NE Fremont St., 460-9025,

Created when an Italian chef in the Hill neighborhood of

St. Louis dropped ravioli in hot oil, toasted ravioli in St. Louis means

a plate of big, breaded pasta pillows stuffed with provolone and beef

or veal, served around a bowl of dipping marinara. Alameda's version

doesn't have meat, but it's the only reliable source in town. More.

26. Montana

Elk burger at Deschutes Brewery Portland, 210 NW 11th Ave., 296-4906,

Elk is higher in protein than beef, but it doesn't taste

much different when ground—milder and slightly sweeter. The Deschutes

brewpub serves it on a brioche bun with Gruyere cheese, roasted shallot,

thyme mayo and lettuce. More.

27. Nebraska

Reuben sandwich at Goose Hollow Inn, 1927 SW Jefferson St., 228-7010,

The mighty Reuben sandwich—rye, kraut, swiss, corned beef

or pastrami, secret sauce—was purportedly invented by Lithuanian

transplant Reuben Kulakofsky of Omaha, Neb., as part of a weekly poker

game from 1920 to 1935. If there's a 15-year poker game going on with

Reubens in Portland, it's certainly at Goose Hollow Inn. More.

28. Nevada

Strip-club steak at the Acropolis, 8325 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 231-9611,

It's hard to beat the sheer Vegas-ness of the "Acrop," a

legendary strip club with gaudy décor and a convenient highway-side

location. An 8-ounce steak is $6—with baked potato. More.


29. New Hampshire

Clam chowder at Chowdah in the cart pod at Kruger's Farm Stand, 7316 N Lombard St., 867-2475.

Even on the hottest days, you'll find people lined up in

front of Chowdah. The signature soup is creamy, steaming and salty, with

generous chunks of potatoes, bacon and two types of Atlantic clams. More.

30. New Jersey

Pork roll at Tasty N Sons, 3808 N Williams Ave., 621-1400,

This processed-pork product is called a "roll" because a federal law passed the year Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

was published (1906) stopped Taylor Provisions Company from selling it

as "ham." In Jersey—and at Tasty N Sons—that pork roll is pan-fried, put

on a hard roll with egg and cheese, then garnished with ketchup and

mustard. More.

31. New Mexico

Green chile cheeseburger at the Blue Goose, 2725 SE Ankeny St., 235-2222.

The green chile cheeseburger best brings New Mexico's

Latinos, Native Americans and chuckwagon-fare cowboys together on one

plate. The Blue Goose's thick slab of beef is served on a soft bun with

super-sweet tomato, ground chile peppers and a layer of crispy cheese.

It's one of the best things we've eaten during the course of this whole

crazy 50 Plates project. More.


32. New York

Buffalo wings at Fire on the Mountain, 3443 NE 57th Ave., 894-8973,

At Buffalo's Anchor Bar in 1964, someone had the crazy

idea of taking the chicken wings marked for the soup pot and turning

them into an icon. The Anchor Bar's owner deep-fried them, slathered

them in Frank's RedHot, and gave birth to an American classic now found

in every town in this big country. More.

33. North Carolina

Pulled pork at Tails & Trotters, 525 NE 24th Ave., 477-8682,

Pulled pork is usually served with vinegar-based sauce,

but there's sort of a civil war being waged in North Carolina whether

the sauce should have ketchup mixed with that vinegar. You needn't pick

sides. Nonetheless, Tails & Trotters serves its excellent, tender,

vinegared pork with garlic aioli and no ketchup. More.

34. North Dakota

Lefse at Viking Soul Food in the Good Food Here cart pod, 4262 SE Belmont St.,

Lefse is a thin flatbread made from potatoes, cream and

butter that's hand-rolled and cooked on a griddle, then served, most

commonly, with butter and sugar. They love them in North Dakota, which

like neighboring Minnesota, is heavily Scandinavian. This cart has crazy

salmon or rhubarb concoctions, but stick to the simple: butter and

sugar. More.

35. Ohio

White Castle sliders, available in the freezer case at Fred Meyer, various locations,

There's one thing pretty much everyone in Ohio agrees on,

and that's the burger. It was invented in Akron, and the best burgers

there are small and topped with only rehydrated onions, dill pickle

slices and yellow mustard. Don't screw around with Portland's

ketchup-contaminated, fresh-onion sliders. Because those aren't sliders.

At least not in Ohio. More.

36. Oklahoma

Chicken-fried steak at the Country Cat, 7937 SE Stark St., 408-1414,

Chicken-fried steak is an integral part of Oklahoma's

insanely complicated state meal—though, like former Sooner football

stars Adrian Peterson and Greg Pruitt, it's from Texas. The dish is made

with a cheap cut of steak and bread and fried like chicken, then sopped

with gravy. The Country Cat has one with kale on the side. More.

37. Oregon

See here.

38. Pennsylvania

Pierogi at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 8014 SE 16th Ave., 235-7129,

Pierogi are Eastern European dumplings filled with

potatoes, sauerkraut and/or meat, widely available back in the Rust

Belt. Some very nice ladies sell their own from the basement of this

Sellwood church every Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm. They're $7 a dozen

(cash only), served hot with sour cream and caramelized onions, or

frozen to go. More.

39. Rhode Island

Coffee milk made with Dave's Coffee Syrup at Quin, 1022 W Burnside St., 971-300-8395,

Little Rhody has, mile for mile, double the number of

exotic foodstuffs found in any other state—pizza strips, gaggers,

johnnycakes, stuffed quahogs—none of which makes it past Woonsocket.

Make your own version of its official state beverage with an $11 bottle

of coffee syrup, basically a hyper-sweet coffee concentrate. More.

40. South Carolina

Shrimp and grits at Bernie's Southern Bistro, 2904 NE Alberta St., 282-9864,

Coastal fishermen—particularly in Charleston, S.C.—have

been waking up and frying "breakfast shrimp" in bacon grease and tossing

them on grits for generations. South Carolina even named it the

official state food. Bernie's offers a wonderfully piquant take on the

dish—albeit after traditional breakfast time, since Bernie's opens at 4

pm. More.

41. South Dakota

Fry bread at Teepee's food truck, 4926 SE Division St., 971-777-1315.

Native American author Sherman Alexie called this

deep-fried staple "the story of our survival" because it helped stave

off starvation on the long walks to, and lean years in, reservations.

It's the official state bread of South Dakota, which has a huge Sioux

population. More.

42. Tennessee

Nashville hot chicken at Cackalack's Hot Chicken Shack in the Good Food Here cart pod, 4262 SE Belmont St., 891-8093.

Authentic Nashville hot fried chicken is hot. Very, very

hot. Not warm, not

spicy—sweat-pours-out-of-your-ears-dear-God-don't-touch-your-eyes fiery.

And that's if you order "medium." No one in Portland is attempting real

hot chicken, but this is the closest you'll find. More.

43. Texas

Frito pie at Podnah's Pit, 1625 NE Killingsworth St., 281-3700,

Podnah's Pit makes a killer Texas red chili—so spicy, so

beefy—and then Rodney Muirhead honors Lone Star tradition by making an

authentic in-bag Frito pie. Because if you're using a bowl, you might as

well piss on the Alamo. More.

44. Utah

Pastrami burger at Kenny & Zuke's, 1038 SW Stark St., 222-3354,

Nick Zukin, who has probably eaten more hamburgers than

any man in Portland, went to Utah for the model of Kenny & Zuke's

burger: the pastrami-topped, fry-sauced monstrosity invented by the

Greek family who ran Crown Burgers in Salt Lake City. More.


45. Vermont

Phish Food ice cream at Ben & Jerry's, various locations,

Here's everything Vermont is famous for (jam bands, Ben & Jerry's, fudge) in one scoop. More.

46. Virginia

Virginia country ham at the Bent Brick, 1639 NW Marshall St., 688-1655,

Virginia's famous country hams are from peanut-fed pigs,

salt-cured for months and then aged until they're a true New World

prosciutto. The Woodsman Tavern and the Bent Brick both order from the

highly regarded Edwards Country Hams in Surry. At the Bent Brick, it

comes prosciutto-thin on a swanky board. More.

47. Washington

Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino at Starbucks, various locations,

Once home to Nirvana, Singles and Windows 95,

Seattle is now known for Macklemore, Amazon warehouses and this

coffee-dusted milkshake with "rich mocha sauce, vanilla syrup, and

Frappuccino® chips, blended together with Frappuccino® roast, milk, and

ice. Topped with chocolaty whipped cream and Chocolate Cookie Crumbles." More.


48. West Virginia

Pepperoni rolls at East Glisan Pizza Lounge, 8001 NE Glisan St., 971-279-4273,

Southern Italians who came for the opportunity to work in

Appalachian coal mines invented this basic dish: salty, greasy pepperoni

baked in puffy dough until the bright red spices soak into the bread.

East Glisan's version is stingy with the pepperoni, but the best you'll

find in town. More.

49. Wisconsin

Cheese curds at Savoy Tavern, 2500 SE Clinton St., 808-9999,

Originally a byproduct of the

cheesemaking process, these bite-sized globules of salty, springy cheese

became a staple of Wisconsin's state fair and now make for a nice

happy-hour snack. More.


50. Wyoming

Bison burger at Buffalo Gap, 6835 SW Macadam Ave., 244-7111,

Where the buffalo don't roam no more. South Portland's

40-year-old Buffalo Gap has buffalo wings, its own barrel-aged Buffalo

Trace bourbon and the option to make any of its stacked, half-pound

burgers with bison instead of beef. More.

Pennsylvania Maine Louisiana Texas West Virgina Nevada NC Colorado Alaska Mississippi Washington Minnesota Tennessee Nebraska Missouri Massachusetts Michigan Wisconsin Ohio Arizona south carolina newyork Connecticut rhode island Wyoming New Mexico Kentucky Idaho alabama new jersey georgia kansas california iowa montana oklahoma indiana vermont hawaii utah arkansas maryland Virginia oregon Illinois Florida New Hampshire South Dakota Delaware North Dakota

By Martin Cizmar, Matthew Korfhage, Tree Palmedo, Katherine Marrone, Rebecca Jacobson, Adrienne So, Matthew Singer, Pete Cottell, Mary Romano, Ap Kryza, Aaron Spencer and John Locanthi.