We've been on a mission to find the Manliest Restaurant in the United States and last week you helped narrow down the nominations. We started with 20 testosterone-packed truck stops, restaurants, burger joints and steakhouses from all across our country. Thousands of votes later, we have four grub depots -- one from each section of the country -- that would please even the swarthiest of palettes.
The Final Four are:
Northeast: Blue Ribbon BBQ -- a beloved bastion of barbecue in Boston.
South: Ray's the Steaks -- an affordable, no-nonsense steakhouse in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Midwest: Hilltop Inn -- a legendary Indianan restaurant famous for fried brain sandwiches.
West: Zeitgeist -- San Francisco's rowdy burger haven.
To help you decide, we're going to explain why they were nominated below. Unlike regular "democracy," your vote counts. On Thursday, August 27, we're going to bestow "Manliest Restaurant in America 2009" to one of these four chow bunkers. There will be no argument. This will be settled ... for this year. Vote here.
Manliest Restaurant in the Northeast: Blue Ribbon BBQ
Great barbecue north of the Mason-Dixon? It's here at this Boston mainstay, where the portions are ginormous and the proprietors purportedly lay claim to having invented all forms of slow-cooking meat. You've been warned, North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City and Texas -- it's time to step up or shut up.
Chris of Manlyeats writes: "Unlike other BBQ joints, this one is actually good. You might still feel disgusted with yourself afterward."
Manliest Restaurant in the South: Ray's the Steaks
Location: Arlington, Va.
The name of this steakhouse is a pun, and you know why the owners can resort to puns? Because Ray's the Steaks will own your mouth. They can make all the bad jokes they want -- you'll be too busy Hoovering their cuts to care. This affordable house of meat is one of the best inside the Beltway, if not the country. The proof is in the bone-marrow pudding, which is actually pure, beefy fat.
Jason Storch of DCfoodies.com raves: "Perfectly cooked, flavorful and the best damned steak deal in the area, period."
Click here to check out our other two finalists and vote.
Manliest Restaurant in the West: ZeitgeistLocation:
You want a burger? Well, do you, punk? Then you better shout your order loudly at this rowdy burger spot with a great garden, bloody Marys and, of course, burgers. These patties are the real San Francisco treat. And as if to answer prayers, the Tamale Lady shows up at 7 p.m. Davina Baum
writes: "When hunger strikes, the hamburgers and home fries do the trick (if you can hear your name barked over the din)." Manliest Restaurant in the Midwest: Hill Top InnLocation:
In the old German part of Evansville is the quaint Hilltop Inn, where you can get a plate of delicious comfort food. You can also get a bowl of "burgoo" which is an Irish stew that's basically "liquid meat." Or ... you could order up Hilltop Inn's fried brain sandwich. Zombie want. (And if you don't want brains, they're also famous for their Icelandic cod.) Fun Fact:
What do you put on a fried brain sandwich? That's easy: mustard, onions, pickles and dreams.The final tallying for the mantastic restaurant is now upon us, and the top eateries from each region have been chosen. Vote now.See the rest of the nominations:Vote for the Manliest Restaurant in America -- Round 1
Vote for the Manliest Restaurant in America -- Round 2Vote for the Manliest Restaurant in America -- Round 3Vote for the Manliest Restaurant in America -- Round 4Vote for the Manliest Restaurant in America -- Round 5