The James Beard Foundation has announced the winners of what is perhaps the organization’s most charming category, American Classics. In order to be nominated, each restaurant must be locally owned, at least 10 years old, and “serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities.”
This year, the James Beard Foundation selected Hansen’s Sno Bliz, masters of frozen desserts in New Orleans; Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville, Ore., which has served serious Italian cuisine since 1977; Rhode Island’s Olneyville New York System, where coffee milk and “french fries beef stew” have reigned for 60 years; Perini Ranch Steakhouse, the quintessential Texas steakhouse that offers legendary grilled steaks and “chuck wagon favorites” in Buffalo Gap, Texas; and Sokolowski's University Inn, Cleveland’s beloved Polish comfort food restaurant.
The chosen restaurants will be honored at the James Beard Awards in New York on May 5, joining Matt Haley, Sirio Maccioni, and other nominees from the list of semifinalists in other categories, to be announced on Mar. 18.