How it all began

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dan Angell, and I’m a sportswriter in Davenport, Iowa. Ever since graduating college and taking my first job in Idaho, I’ve discovered that in addition to sports, I love both travel and food. When they’re together, there’s almost no better experience, especially because I can usually involve a sporting event, fulfilling all of my passions.

When I first discovered Man vs. Food, I was intrigued to learn about the specialty foods of each city that appeared on an episode. I had always loved finding specialty foods in each location, but in most places, it was simply a generic food, with no idea what was the best that served it or what the signature dish even was in some cities. For instance, I’d never heard of a Juicy Lucy, a Minneapolis staple, or coffee milk, served in Rhode Island. Thanks to MvF and some of my own research, I had a guide to what I wanted and where to get it, and that led to me deciding to try visiting some of these iconic restaurants whenever I could.

As that continued, naturally, some friends started to get envious of the places I was able to see (thank you, Idaho State basketball beat) and the foods I was able to try. After hearing about several of them, one asked me to start taking pictures of the places I was visiting and post them online. Step two had been taken, and I began taking pictures in Tucson, Arizona, one year after getting the job in Idaho.

That was when I realized that trying these places had developed into more than just pictures for my friends. It had become a real hobby, and as the show kept visiting new places, I saw more and more things I wanted to try. Travel Channel followed Man vs. Food with their 101 Best Places to Chow Down, giving me even more restaurants that I wanted to experience for myself. Step three was the formation of my map, keeping track of every place I’d visited.

Now that I’m approaching having reached 70 of the show’s restaurants, it’s time to describe my experiences and share them with the public. That’s what this blog will be.

Each post will be about a restaurant I’ve had the pleasure to visit, some on MvF, some from the Chowdown Countdown and some from neither show but worthy of inclusion because it was a great experience not to be missed. Many will have pictures. Some will not. Some of the places I’ve visited were so long ago that I will not review them, as it’s been too long for me to give a good review. Sure, I’ve been to Chunky’s Burgers in San Antonio and Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City, but that was almost four years ago. I’d need another visit to properly review it.

Three more things before we get going. First, I’m always open to suggestions. If you know of a place that I need to visit, please leave a comment or e-mail me at to let me know. I can’t promise I’ll get there immediately, but I’ll put it on my list and I will try to get there when the opportunity arises.

Second, as I make each post, I’m going to tag them with the type of cuisine and the geographic location, including city, state and region. For example, a place with standard American food in Missouri will get a Midwest label. The geographic groups will be as follows: New England, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Rocky Mountains and Pacific.

Third, since I’ve been to 66 MvF places, I’ve got a lot of posts that will be coming. As I add more and more restaurants, if there’s a certain one I’ve been to that you want to see reviewed sooner rather than later, let me know. 

How do you know which places I’ve visited? Here’s my map, with all the information you need: Dan’s food map 

Welcome to my ultimate hunger quest. This is Dan vs. Food.


About nighthawk2005

A hungry guy in the land of the Hawkeye discovers America's best restaurants for himself.

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  1. Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans | Dan vs. Food - June 1, 2014

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