One great thing about working for HuffPost Food is that when we're not talking about the stories we're writing, we're probably talking about what restaurant we went out to, or what we cooked for dinner last night. We're thankful for the fact that we get to write about what we love, and that when the workday ends, we're never tired of the subject matter. We're thankful too, that readers share this passion, and they like to read about topics we find so fascinating. In the office, we've been known to argue about if we prefer bone marrow cut length-wise or cross-wise, and have lengthy discussions on the glory of pig ears. We're also not above diving into some fast food french fries.

In honor of Thanksgiving, we've rounded up a few of the dishes, restaurants and other assorted scraps that have made us really thankful for such a vibrant food culture in the United States. We wish everyone a great Thanksgiving and let's raise our glasses to some especially good food.

-Carey, Joe & Rachel

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  • The Fried Quail At State Bird Provisions

    Sometimes you hear about a dish so much, that when you finally get the chance to taste it, you're bound to be disappointed. But when you try it and it actually lives up to the hype, if not exceeds it, that's when you know that a restaurant has really created something awesome. The fried quail at <a href="http://statebirdsf.com/">State Bird Provisions</a> is one of those dishes. This San Francisco restaurant was thrust in the spotlight this year thanks to accolades from <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/17/bon-appetits-hot-10-best-new-restaurants_n_1776568.html">Bon Appetit</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/esquire-best-new-restaurants-2012_n_1941008.html">Esquire</a> and many more. So why is the quail -- which is in fact the state bird of California -- so great? It all comes down to balance. It's not too salty, not too greasy, and the fry is crispy and just right. You don't feel gross or heavy after eating it. Actually, I felt pretty darn elated. <em>-Carey Polis</em>

  • Victory Moonglow Weizenbock

    True confession: When I volunteered to write a profile of the heads of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/victory-brewing-company_n_2008689.html">Victory Brewing Company for HuffPost Taste</a> in October, I had an ulterior motive. I knew that in order to get my hands on this year's bottling of the Downingtown, Penn.-based craft brewery's Moonglow Weizenbock, my favorite of their dozens of beers, I would have to go to the company headquarters. Because this year, the entire batch was being sold on draft in the Victory brew pup -- apparently, it just doesn't sell nearly as well as signature Victory beers like HopDevil and Prima Pils. Which is a shame -- because in my humble opinion, this high-alcohol, high-ester wheat beer is by far the best beer they, or any other East Coast brewer, has on offer. It tastes like an intoxicatingly beautiful love-child of banana bread, mango sorbet and rye whiskey. The only thing I'd change would be to make it available all year long in every beer vendor across the country. <em>-Joe Satran</em>

  • Soup dumplings at Nan Xiang Dumpling House

    Eating a soup dumpling (xiaolongbao) for the first time, as I recently did, isn't as easy as it looks. One misplaced bite on the wrong dough fold will sent the dumpling's hot, fatty juices spurting out in all directions. To prevent disaster, take a modest nibble at the top and drink vigorously until the liquid is gone. Then set to work on the dumpling itself. I love the ones at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/nan-xiang-dumpling-house-flushing">Nan Xiang Dumpling House</a> in Flushing, Queens, which are criminally cheap for their quality. <em>-Rachel Tepper</em>

  • The Ethiopian Restaurant On My Block

    Everyone needs a restaurant where they can go for take-out when they get home late and don't feel like cooking. It's the restaurant they go to when you had a bad day, or the restaurant you go to when you're just really hungry. Often people define comfort food as the type of food they grew up with, or classic American fare such as macaroni and cheese or chicken pot pie. My comfort food is neither of those things. It's Ethiopian food. I think it started when I lived in Italy a few years ago, and I noticed an Italian restaurant owned by an Eritrean man. They had one dish on the menu that I recognized that featured injera, the famous spongy bread found in Ethiopia and Eritrea. I ordered it, and he was confused, because no one ever ordered that. I grew up outside Washington D.C. though, a city with a huge population of Ethiopians, and once I explained that to him, he immediately understood. To me, eating an Eritrean/Ethiopian dish in Italy reminded me of home. Several months ago, a new Ethiopian restaurant opened on my block on Brooklyn and I've found myself addicted to scooping up the spicy lentils, lamb and collard greens with the injera. It most definitely is comfort food, but the kind of comfort food I enjoy learning more about each time I try something new. <em>-Carey Polis</em>

  • Oaxaca Taqueria

    One of the joys of living in New York City is certainly the availability of excellent tacos nearly any time day or night. I'm lucky to live nearby an outpost of <a href="http://www.oaxacatacos.com/">Oaxaca Taqueria</a>, a small joint that whips up amazing fish tacos (flash fried and dressed lightly with lime juice), succulent braised pork, or carnitas (tender to the bite and wonderfully complemented with fresh cotija cheese) and slew of other specials that constantly make ordering a challenge. <em>-Rachel Tepper</em>

  • Microplane Graters

    Total foodie cliche, I realize, but absolutely essential. I got my first one as a gift from a family friend years ago. That one got dented when I was moving from one apartment to another; I kept using it for a while, but it didn't do the trick. But I recently replaced it with a fresh new one, and my faith was restored. I end up using it most often to grate Parmigiano-Reggiano (over almost anything), but it has so many other uses. Don't leave home with out one! <em>-Joe Satran</em>

  • La Tur Cheese

    I wear my turophile badge with honor -- I often will eat cheese for breakfast, or as a snack before I go to sleep. And La Tur is one of the cheeses that works great, no matter what time of day it is. A mix of cow, goat and sheep milk, La Tur is creamy, oozy and extremely spreadable. It just the slightest bit of "animal" taste to it, along with flavor notes you might recognize from a fresh chevre. I actually don't buy this cheese too often, because when I do, it disappears too fast. <em>-Carey Polis</em>

  • Buffalo Pig Tails at Animal

    Who doesn't love buffalo wings? Nobody. Who doesn't love pig tails? Way too many people! They're cheap, they're incredibly succulent and fatty, and they embody sensible nose-to-tail butchery. The solution, as imagined by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the genius chef-owners of <a href="http://aroadatree.com/twodudes/animal/">Animal in Los Angeles</a>, is to treat pig tails as if they were buffalo wings, deep frying them into crisp perfection, coating them in a bright red sauce eerily reminiscent of Frank's Red Hot and then serving them, with a sprinkle of celery leaves, on a bed of blue cheese dressing. I admit that I am a little late to this particular game -- but that just makes me more grateful for the fact that I made it out to LA this spring to finally try it. <em>-Joe Satran</em>

  • OXO V-Blade Mandolin Slicer

    No, not the string instrument. In the kitchen, a mandolin is a tool for slicing potatoes or apples or anything else into perfectly uniform slivers, which help me make impressive gratins or pies that look much more complicated than in reality. My <a href="https://www.kohls.com/product/prd-298272/oxo-v-blade-mandoline-food-slicer.jsp">OXO V-Blade Mandolin Slicer</a> cost about $50 and remains one of my best investments to date. <em>-Rachel Tepper</em>

  • Smoked Meat Poutine at Mile End

    Regular poutine -- frites doused in gravy and melting cheese curds -- is one of the great vernacular foods of the Western World. Certainly Canada's greatest contribution to the world this side of Justin Bieber. But once you add yjr Quebec delicacy smoked meat -- which is somewhere between pastrami and brisket -- it becomes divine. I find it hard to fathom the fact that I'd never tried the smoke meat poutine at <a href="http://www.mileenddeli.com/">Mile End</a> in NoHo and Brooklyn until this fall. But recently, I've had to put my romance with the gluttonous dish on hold. Not because I've gained too much weight as a result of eating it -- though I have -- but because one small but significant victims of Hurricane Sandy was the Mile End smokehouse in Red Hook. The restaurants have been smoked meat-less for weeks. We hear that the pipeline will finally be restored on Monday. And for that I am deeply thankful. <em>-Joe Satran</em>

  • Ricotta Pancake At Woodberry Kitchen

    <a href="http://www.woodberrykitchen.com/">Woodberry Kitchen</a> is a ways from my apartment -- a few states away, in fact. But when I head to my home state of Maryland I make sure to stop by, preferably at brunch when I order the Cherry Glen ricotta pancake with blackberries, butter and maple syrup. Judging by size alone, it's hardly a normal pancake. Just look at it! Despite its massive size, the pancake is light and airy courtesy of the creamy ricotta. <em>-Rachel Tepper</em>

  • Jitlada

    I've had my fair share of Thai food -- or the American rendition of Thai food -- but it wasn't until I visited <a href="http://jitladala.com/">Jitlada</a> in Los Angeles this year that I completely fell in love with the cuisine. Jitlada, which specializes in southern Thai food, offered such a range of flavors and combinations that I had never tasted before. I only wish I lived closer, as there are so many more dishes I want to work my way through. <em>-Carey Polis</em>

  • My Canon Rebel t2i And 50 mm Lens

    My iPhone is lovely and all, but it's no substitute for a real camera. My <a href="http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/subCategory_10051_10051_-1_77752?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=canon%20rebel%20t2i&utm_campaign=Canon+2+EOS+Brand">Canon Rebel t2i</a> is indispensable when it comes to documenting my most delicious meals. Of course, a good camera is only half of the equation -- good light is essential. The t2i isn't Canon's newest camera on the block, but even at a few years old it more than gets the job done. <em>-Rachel Tepper</em>

  • Kung Fu Girl Riesling

    For beginners, wine tasting is often extremely challenging. Sometimes I simply cannot taste the cassis notes that you claim are there. That makes the moment all more exciting when you discover a wine on your own that you finally go "Yes! I love this! This is great!" Kung Fu Girl Riesling was that wine for me. It's everything I want from a Riesling -- a little on the sweet side without being overpowering, and the kind of wine you can drink several glasses of. It's great for summer, but I'd drink it year-round. <em>-Carey Polis</em>

  • Wo Hop

    There's a certain Time of Night, After Going Out -- That ravishes, like a hike Up a tall Mountain -- Ungodly Pangs, it gives us -- We can hear the sounds, Loud Internal Rumblings, Where our stomachs, are -- One may quench it -- <a href="http://events.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/dining/reviews/07dinbriefs.html?_r=0">Wo Hop</a> -- Down on dark Mott Street A duck chow fun Purveyor Open until Six -- When we go, we order Amply -- Wontons -- come out fried -- When we leave, 'tis like the Gladness On the taste of <em>Foie</em>. (With thanks to <a href="http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15390">Emily Dickinson</a>) <em>--Joe Satran</em>