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Which U.S. States Are The Most “American?” (Ranked 1-50 for Bald Eagles, Guns, Astronauts, and More)

Most American Map

Surely every single state in our United States is as American as apple pie, but what if you had to choose which state is the most American? It’s an impossible question, but one we at Estately went ahead and answered. Using only the most sophisticated mathematical formulas and data analysis we ranked each state using eight separate indicators that represent the uniqueness of the United States of America.

  1. Bald eagles per square mile (source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
  2. Olympic gold medals won, per capita (source: I.O.C)
  3. Astronauts born in each state, per capita (source: Wikipedia)
  4. Fast food restaurants, per capita (source: Yellow Pages)
  5. Total Major League Baseball players born in each state (source: Baseball Reference)
  6. Percentage of homes with firearms (source: BRFSS)
  7. Percentage of Facebook users in each state expressing interest in the “United States of America” (source: Facebook)
  8. Google searches for “Bin Laden dead” (source: Google Trends)

 

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Want to learn more about what makes each state so American? We profiled all 50 of them below.

ALABAMA#4

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Alabama is home to 388,865 military veterans and 923 barbecue restaurants (most per capita in the country). On a scale of 1-10 Alabama’s Americaness is cranked way up to 11.

ALASKA—#41

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Bald eagles are so commonplace in Alaska the locals  think of them more as large pigeons. If you want an Alaskan to get excited in a patriotic way over some wildlife then you’ll need to produce a Russian submarine for a pack of grizzly bears to rip apart like a sardine can.

ARIZONA—#49

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Arizona came in second to last in our study, but our study didn’t factor in the Grand Canyon, the most beautiful and majestic of America’s millions of potholes.

ARKANSAS—#8

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You know which state Googles “Dancing with the Stars” more than any other? This one.

CALIFORNIA—#43

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Some states out there may question whether Californians even know the pledge of allegiance, but the state cracks the top ten for astronauts and gold medals won per capita, and it’s home to America’s sweetheart—Olympic gold medal-winning ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

COLORADO—#38

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If John Denver wrote a song about you then you’re definitely American, and having the fifth most astronauts per capita doesn’t hurt either.

CONNECTICUT—#43

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The brave beer drinkers of Connecticut never ratified the 18th Amendment (prohibition), which means this Bud’s for Connecticut. The rest of America will pick up the tab.

DELAWARE —#22

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Not a single Olympic gold medal, Delaware? It’s a good thing you were the first state to ratify the constitution you patriotic trendsetters.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

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Since the District of Columbia isn’t a state, residents of our nation’s capital endure taxation without representation. You know who else did? George Washington and the rest of the Founding Fathers. That’s pretty damn American.

FLORIDA—#31

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Every family has that one member who shows up drunk at family functions, makes a scene, and brings shame upon the family name. America is one big family, and Florida is that embarrassing family member. Sure, they botch elections and fill our news feed with the truly bizarre, but that hot mess is one of us, for better or worse.

GEORGIA—#26

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Georgia only came in 26th on our list, but we didn’t have a metric for inspiring Civil Rights leaders like Atlanta’s own Martin Luther King, Jr, one our country’s greatest Americans.

HAWAII—#48

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Sure, Hawaii may be located thousands of miles away across the Pacific Ocean, but if anyone messes with it they’ll face the entire United States of America (note: see Pearl Harbor, WWII)

IDAHO—#35

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America wouldn’t have tater tots and french fries without potatoes, and Idaho is the country’s largest producer of potatoes. And an America without tater tots or french fries wouldn’t really be America at all, would it?

ILLINOIS—#6

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Maine can keep clicking “like” on all those cat pics on Facebook (#1 in America), but Illinois is tops for “likes” for the old “U.S. of A.”

INDIANA—#11

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There are more miles of interstate highways passing through Indiana than any other state, and that long stream of cars and trucks just screams “America!” This is an encouraging statistic coming from a state that Googles “communism” more than other.

IOWA#1

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You know who’s number one? Iowa is. It’s where astronauts are born, and where the actual baseball field in the movie Field of Dreams is located. It produces the most bacon of any state, and Iowa corn farmers fuel our country’s obesity epidemic with sweet, sweet corn syrup. Instead of saying “It’s as American as apple pie” we should be saying “It’s as American as Iowa.”

KANSAS—#18 

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Hard to believe that the state that gave us Amelia Earhart once had a law on the books that forbid ice cream from being served on cherry pie. That law was thankfully repealed, but let’s all agree to keep an eye on Kansas going forward.

KENTUCKY—#12

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American Pharoah, the first racehorse to win the Triple Crown in decades, was born and trained in Kentucky. You know who else was born in Kentucky? Hunter S. Thompson, Robert Penn Warren, Muhammad Ali, Florence Henderson, Lee Majors, and Loretta Lynn. That’s an all-American lineup.

LOUISIANA—#20

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Americans love a bargain, and there was perhaps no better bargain than the Louisiana Purchase. And even if hadn’t included all the other states, Louisiana was well worth the purchase price.

MAINE—#36

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Some think Maine is just an isolated hunk of rock and forest gently tickling Canada’s underside. However, when it comes to the democratic process nobody rocks the vote like Maine, which votes in higher numbers than any other state. Compare that to Georgia, which simply can’t be bothered.

MARYLAND—#15

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In Maryland, instead of skeet shooting, locals just throw a blue crab up in the air and let one of their 1,000+ bald eagles snatch it out of the air. The do it out of love, they do it for America.

MASSACHUSETTS—#34

Paul_revere_rideLook, it’s got Plymouth Rock, and it saw some early Revolutionary war battles, and Paul Revere rode his horse around, and there was that Boston Tea Party, and lots of presidents were born there, and yada yada it’s as American as a 4th of July parade.

MICHIGAN—#17

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Due to its shape, Michigan’s lower peninsula is considered America’s fist, an uppercut just waiting to happen. And the upper peninsula is the club Michigan breaks off to beat America’s enemies with. No wonder Canada keeps to its side of the 49th parallel.

MINNESOTA—#28

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A recent study by Estately determined that the American dream is most attainable in Minnesota. So it’s got that going for it, which is nice. It’s also got a ton of bowling alleys, a bunch of lakes to fish at, and it gave us Prince.

MISSISSIPPI—#10

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Mississippi is the birthplace of a large number of legendary Americans, including Elvis Presley, Robert Johnson, William Faulkner, Oprah Winfrey, Walter Payton, Richard Wright, Faith Hill, Jim Henson, Tammy Wynette, and Jerry Rice. In addition, Mississippi has the fourth most Olympic gold medals per capita of any U.S. state. Not bad, Mississippi. Not bad at all.

MISSOURI—#9

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Missouri gave America Mark Twain, a nice sendoff for the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and the second most Major League Baseball players per capita in the country (including Yogi Berra). And all they’ve asked in return is we don’t judge them for all their meth labs.

MONTANA—#21

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Don’t let Montana’s natural beauty fool you, it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s also one tough S.O.B, just like America.

NEBRASKA—#27

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Being home to the most cattle in the country means Nebraska is also home to most cowboys and cowgirls, and that’s about as American as Aretha Franklin singing the National Anthem at a rodeo.

NEVADA—#50

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Despite leading the country in fast food eateries the state of Nevada still came in last place in this study, and not just because Celine Dion performs in Las Vegas on a near daily basis. The state has produced zero astronauts, few Olympians, and avoids voting probably like it avoids apple pie. For all we know the whole state prefers two-hand touch football to tackle football. Get it together, Nevada.

NEW HAMPSHIRE—#38

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It doesn’t get much more American than leading the nation in student loan debt. Every state is #1 in something—click here for proof.

NEW JERSEY—#30

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Perhaps the greatest flaw in this study is that New Jersey didn’t receive any points for producing Bruce Springsteen.

NEW MEXICO—#40

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According to the most recent Census data, 10.1% of New Mexico’s population are American Indian and Alaska Native—the highest of any state in the continental United States. It doesn’t get any more American than being descended from the original inhabitants of America.

NEW YORK—#23

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If you took all 31 New York-born astronauts and stacked them on top of each other it still wouldn’t be as tall as America’s greatest symbol—The Statue of Liberty.

NORTH CAROLINA—#29

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91 years before R Kelly sang “I Believe I Can Fly” a pair of brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina just went ahead and did it, pulling off the first successful powered flight by man. Another first place-win for America.

NORTH DAKOTA—#23

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Question:  Which state buys more pickup trucks and works more hours per day?

Answer:  North Dakota.

OHIO#2

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As an American, you’ve no doubt given or received a Hickory Farms gift basket, and if you haven’t you have a few short months to do so before the FBI shows up at your door with some questions. A holiday isn’t complete without tasty treats like smoked cheese and summer sausage, and all from a company that got its start in Ohio, just like the world’s best basketball player—Lebron James.

OKLAHOMA—#7

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You know what’s a delicious American dish? Chicken fried steak. You know the best way to make chicken fried steak? Fry it in a cast iron skillet.You know what state is shaped like a skillet? Oklahoma. You know which state eats the most chicken fried steak? Oklahoma. Boom! America.

OREGON—#45

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The Founding Fathers grew hemp and didn’t bath much either, okay?

PENNSYLVANIA—#19

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1876 — Published by Currier & Ives — Image by © Museum of the City of New York/Corbis

What state produced the most Major League Baseball players per capita? The same one that’s home to Rocky, the Liberty Bell, the cheesesteak, and American hero Benjamin Franklin.

RHODE ISLAND—#46

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To make up for its zero Olympic gold medals Rhode Island can boast of local song writer George M. Cohan, who wrote “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Okay, so let’s move on…

SOUTH CAROLINA—#16

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Thomas Edison created a lot of wonderful inventions, but shrimp and grits is probably America’s greatest invention, and South Carolina made it famous.

SOUTH DAKOTA#5

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Mt. Rushmore has the faces of four presidents looking out on the state of South Dakota, which is American enough, but the state is also home to American legends like Crazy Horse (Oglala Lakota war leader), Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of Little House on the Prairie), Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota chief), and Tom Brokaw (news anchor).

TENNESSEE—#14

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The Volunteer State is home to Dollywood, named for country star Dolly Parton, possibly America’s greatest living treasure. In addition to her, the state is the home of the highest number of people in the Country Music Hall of Fame, which is also in Tennessee.

TEXAS—#33

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Sure, Texans daydream about seceding, and they’re constantly on the lookout for someone trying to mess with them, and millions of its citizens are convinced the feds are about to invade it, but we’re all a little on edge these days, right? Also, this is a state that saw “Super Size Me” and thought, “Mmmm, I’d like to try that diet.” And it’s home to the Dallas Cowboys—America’s Team. So all in all it’s pretty dang American.

UTAH—#47

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Bigger is better in America, and Utah’s got one of the largest organisms in the world—an enormous grove of quaking aspens. The trees share a single root system, so they’re all clones of a single tree. The grove could be over a million years old, spans 107 acres, and weighs 6,615 tons.

VERMONT—#32

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Drinking beers with friends is supposed to be relaxing, but not the way they do it in Vermont. The state is tops for playing beer pong, a competitive drinking game growing in popularity.

VIRGINIA—#37

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Virginia is for more than lovers, it’s also for Founding Fathers like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and others.

WASHINGTON—#42

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Washington state is the only state named for an American president, so yeah, it’s American as hell. It’s still ranked 42nd, but American none the less. Does it belong in Canada? Possibly, but we’re not about to start redrawing borders now.

WEST VIRGINIA#3

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Are you thinking Arby’s? No? Well West Virginia is, and those folks are taking country roads to get there just as Thomas Jefferson planned. In addition, West Virginia watches more TV than any state, exercises the least frequently, and watches the most soap operas.

WISCONSIN—#13

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Guess which state has more bald eagles per square and Super Bowl trophies than Minnesota? Here’s a hint—it’s Wisconsin. And here are 29 reasons you should move there.

WYOMING—#25

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Rectangle-shaped Wyoming is a great example of American efficiency—all right angles, no squiggles. Not only that, it was also the first state where women gained the right to vote, and voting is pretty damn American, and so is fighting for the right to do it.

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Looking to buy a home in one of these 50 all-American states? Check out Estately.com or download the Estately App. Both are exceptional tools for home buyers searching for their dream home.

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10 Homes for Sale with Amazing Home Theaters

1.  Palazzo di Amore

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Price:  $195,000,000

Location:  9595 Lanai Lane, Beverly Hills, California

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2.  Casa Bella

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Price:  $16,995,000

Location:  14 Strauss Terrace, Rancho Mirage, California

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3.  Mummy Mountain Mansion

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Price:  $25,000,000

Location:  8055 North Mummy Mountain Road, Paradise Valley, Arizona

View the entire home HERE

 

 

4.  Deer Valley Ski Home

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Price:  $21,900,000

Location:  9806 Summit View Drive North, Park City, Utah

View the entire home HERE

 

5.  Anaheim Hills Home

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Price:  $5,999,000

Location:  5171 East Copa De Oro Drive, Anaheim Hills, California

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6.  Paradise Valley Home

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Price:  $24,000,000

Location:  5335 North Invergordon Road, Paradise Valley, Arizona

View the entire home HERE

 

7.  Wadsworth Estate

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Price:  $2,700,000

Location:  36881 Kimberwick Lane, Wadsworth, Illinois

View the entire home HERE

 

8. Waterfront Estate

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Price:  $5,999,000

Location:  1 Arbor Lane, Head of Harbor, New York

View the entire home HERE

 

9.  Atherton Home

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Price:  $18,350,000

Location:  132 Isabella Avenue, Atherton, California

View the entire home HERE

 

10.  Trophy Point Estate

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Price:  $15,900,000

Location:  1612 West Lake Drive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

View the entire home HERE

 

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Looking to buy a home with a great home theater? Check out Estately.com or download the Estately App. Both are exceptional tools for home buyers searching for their dream home.

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15 Reasons Seattle Restaurants Are Bad for Your Waistline

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Seattle routinely ranks as one of the best U.S. cities for foodies, which is no surprise considering that Pike Place Market, Seattle’s most well-known tourist destination, is a giant farmer’s market. While being a health-conscious city overall, those who call Seattle home will face challenges to their willpower… and their belt notches. However, for these deliciously decadent menu items in particular, it’s totally worth an extra lap or two around Green Lake.

 

Sam’s Bakon Bloody Masterpiece at Sam’s Tavern

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Dish: Bloody mary made with Bakon vodka and garnished with lime, celery, pickled asparagus, pepper jack cheese, a little smokie, and, to top it off, a slider. What.

Details: As any hungover brunchgoer will attest to, the problem with most bloody mary’s is not enough miniature cheeseburger. Not an issue at Sam’s Tavern, which is owned by the same family as Red Robin, thus explaining the putting burgers in stuff. The Masterpiece is consistently at the top of every “Best Bloody Mary” list in Seattle and it belongs there. Your hangover will say thank you and see you next weekend.

Dollars: $10

http://samstavernseattle.com/

 

Wild Boar Sloppy Joe at Quinn’s Pub

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Dish: Ground wild boar, fried onion, sage, and grilled fresno pepper on a buttery brioche bun with an optional fried duck egg (DUDE, GET THE DUCK EGG).

Details: Quinn’s is a dark wood filled neighborhood gastropub in Capitol Hill where folks belly up to the bar to drink Old-Fashioneds (they make an excellent one), discuss things like the stock market and read the New York Times. Oh, and eat the best thing that’s ever happened to a wild hog. When you finish the crossword puzzle, you can use it to wipe the delicious boar juices off your chin. Will Shortz would totally be fine with it.

Dollars: $13 (add $2 for the duck egg)

http://quinnspubseattle.com/

 

El Diablo at Tango

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Dish: A bittersweet cube of sinfully rich, dark chocolate graced with cayenne, spicy almonds, cocoa nibs and burnt meringue finished with a tequila caramel sauce.

Details: Tango Restaurant and Lounge has been a Capitol Hill cornerstone for over ten years. They serve tapas, paella, and other delicious Latin-inspired fare but room must be saved for the El Diablo. The thing has a well-deserved cult following of sweet-toothed Seattleites. Honestly, Tango could serve just this dessert, rename the place We Only Have the El Diablo Restaurant and they would be just as successful. It is the perfect melt-in-your-mouth harmony of sweet, spicy, salty, and smoky and will appear to you in your dreams afterward. Do whatever it says.

Dollars: $12 (smaller size available for $8.50)

http://tangorestaurant.com/

 

Whole Beast Feast at Radiator Whiskey

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Dish: A whole pig, weighing in at 50 pounds, plus assorted sides.

Details: Radiator Whiskey is located in Pike Place Market and they seriously know their way around some meat and brown liquor. The Whole Beast Feast is served to one large party of up to 20 just once a week and has a year-long waiting list. Get on it now, and put any unborn children you may or may not have on it also. If the year wait is too daunting, go for the smoked half pig head (this must be ordered in advance as well but the wait is much more reasonable) that comes with crispy fried ear, braised tongue and roasted loin. Can I get an oink?

Dollars: $300 ($48 for the half pig head)

http://radiatorwhiskey.com/

 

The Baller Tower at Trove

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Dish: An actual tower of raw beef, pork, seafood, and vegetables (totaling 44 ounces) to be grilled at your table.

Details: Trove specializes in Korean BBQ – the tables have built in grills for you to sear off your own marinated meats and whatnot, and the awesome-ly named Baller Tower is just that. It includes high quality cuts like Kalbi-marinated Waygu beef tri-tip and giant head-on Hawaiian prawns with nuoc cham. Ordering this is a surprisingly fun thrill, basically announcing to the world, “I, my name, am a legit-as-hell dining out badass. For questions, please refer to the Baller Tower I just ordered.” It just feels good. It’s perfect to share with friends (must be shot callers) or an equally Baller date.

Dollars: $100

www.troveseattle.com

 

Dirty Fries at the Hit it Here Cafe at Safeco Field

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Dish: Crispy french fries topped with pickled peppers, shaved Parmesan cheese, chopped bacon, parsley and… wait for it… hella chopped garlic.

Details: Safeco Field, home of Seattle’s beloved Mariners, is actually known for having some excellent food options beyond crackerjacks and ballpark franks. The Dirty Fries are definitely a standout but are NOT recommended for vampires or those who may breathe near another human being ever again. Totally worth it, though. Wash them down with one of Hit it Here’s signature “Beer Floats” (beer and ice cream all at once, it’s the American dream!) and maybe even glance at what’s happening on the field if you get a chance.

Dollars: $10

http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/sea/ticketing/hit_it_here_cafe.jsp

 

Seattle Dog at Po Dog

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Dish: Airy cream cheese and scallions on your choice of wiener (go for the Kosher beef for the most classic taste), nestled in a soft and buttery Brioche bun.

Details: Quietly put down the ketchup and step away. STEP. AWAY. Putting cream cheese on hot dogs is a Seattle thing and a glorious experience for all your buds of taste. Dress it up like a true local and add grilled onions, or go nuts and “accessorize your wiener” with macaroni and cheese (why have we never done this?!), peanut butter and banana, and scrambled eggs.

Dollars: Around $10

http://podogs.com/

 

The Burrito Grande, aka the “Baby Burrito” at Gorditos

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Dish: A grande burrito using 2 large flour tortillas filled w/ choice of meat or black beans, Mexican rice, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and fresh chunky salsa.

Details: At first you’re like, “Aww cute, they call it the baby burrito – it must be small…” and then you realize, no – it’s called that because IT’S THE SAME SIZE AS AN ACTUAL HUMAN BABY. Gorditos’ dining area and website are hilariously stocked with pictures of real babies next to the burrito, for scale. Order it “wet” for maximum gut-busting, meaning it comes topped with red salsa, melted cheese and sour cream.

 Dollars: $9.45, for “Wet” add $2.05

http://www.gorditosmexicanfood.com/

 

Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mason Jar at Hot Cakes

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Dish: Warm, ooey, gooey personal-sized chocolate molten lava cake you bake yourself.

Details: Hot Cakes bills itself as a “Molten Chocolate Cakery,” which is just the cutest thing we’ve ever heard and the little innovative take-and-bake dessert jars are the epitome of that cuteness. You can “dine-in” at the cakery (they also serve boozy milkshakes and other baked delights) but the fun lies in being able to enjoy the cakes on your couch with a side of Netflix. Pop one in the oven after dinner (or, for dinner) and indulge in the warm melty goodness while making excessive mmmmm noises. Note: your cat will judge you, but what’s new.

Dollars: $7-$8

http://www.getyourhotcakes.com/

 

Plain croissant at Café Besalu

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Dish: The most perfectly soft, flaky, buttery croissant this side of the pond.

Details: Café Besalu is a small, family-owned bakery in the Ballard neighborhood that gives any boulangerie in Paris a run for its Euros. How do you find it? Look for the line of drooling Seattleites anticipating the pastry nirvana they are about to experience. The smell wafting out of the shop alone is enough to fulfill all your Parisian fantasies, feel free to twirl about and say French-y things like “that last croissant is mine, you filth.”

Dollars: $4

http://cafebesalu.com/

 

Dick’s Deluxe Cheeseburger at Dick’s Drive-In

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Dish: Double 1/8 pound grilled patties, with melted cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise and pickle relish.

Details: Dick’s Drive-In has been a Seattle institution since 1954 and a straight-up godsend to the culinary phenomenon known as Drunk Hunger. Nothing, and I mean nothing, satisfies Drunk Hunger like the Dick’s Deluxe. In many cases, biting into the Deluxe induces the Drunk Hunger follow-up phenomenon, Happy Cry. The fries are good too (get ‘em with tartar sauce) and so is the parking lot people-watching.

Dollars: $3.10

http://www.ddir.com/

 

The Alaskan Seafeast at The Crab Pot

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Dish: King crab, Dungeness crab, snow crab, shrimp in the shell, steamed clams, Pacific mussels, andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and red potatoes in their jackets.

Details: Here’s how the Seafeasts work (there are four different variations to choose from) – you’re given bibs and mallets; then, a bucket of delicious delights is literally dumped out on your butcher-paper covered table. Then, you smash your dinner and have the best time ever while laughing maniacally and taking a million selfies (try not to smash your phone). The maniacal laughter cannot be helped because the whole thing is so awesome. Added bonus – The Crab Pot is located right on the bustling downtown waterfront overlooking the Sound, so you might say the view is… smashing.

Dollars: $41.95 per person

http://www.thecrabpotseattle.com/

 

The Flatliner at The Tin Hat

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Dish: A mountainous stack of tater tots—covered in bacon, peppers, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and cheddar and jack cheese.

Details: Seattle has seen a definite rise in the appearance of “totchos” around town (note: “totcho” would be an excellent cat name), but nobody does them better than The Tin Hat. Through some sort of double-secret witchcraft, the tots maintain their crispiness and the cheese doesn’t get all gloopy as you work your way through. The Tin Hat also fresh squeezes all their citrus, making the Greyhound (vodka and grapefruit) the perfect Flatliner accompaniment. Bring your own defibrillator… CLEAR!

Dollars: $12

The Tin Hat Facebook Page

 

Flora’s Cheese Ice Cream at Kurt Farm Shop

Dish: Fresh-made, buttercream ice cream with bits of feta-like, slightly tart cheese.

Details: Kurt Farm Shop, run by Vashon Island cheesemaker Kurt Timmermeister, is fairly new to Capitol Hill and an udderly welcome addition. His ice cream is rich, glorious stuff made from the sweet, fatty milk of his own Jersey cows. It’s true farm-to-cone and an udder delight. Other playful and interesting ice cream flavors include tomato jam, salted plum, and bay leaf but the udder uniqueness of Flora’s Cheese sets it apart. Udders.

Dollars: $5

https://www.kurtwoodfarms.com

 

Volcano Bowl at Hotel Albatross

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Dish: A gigantic vessel filled with exotic rums and island fruits. Oh, and it’s on fire.

Details: Hotel Albatross is a lively, tiki-inspired watering hole—their cocktails are referred to on their menu as “exotic libations” and the aptly named Volcano Bowl will have your sobriety running for its life like the poor citizens of Pompeii (never forget). This thing can easily be shared among 4 or 5 crazy people. Try to keep your eyebrows out of the flame in the center of this alcoholic behemoth, then try to keep your balance as you stagger out of the door.

Dollars: $36

http://www.hotelalbatross.com/page-ex/

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  |  Lists

10 Reasons You Should Definitely NOT Buy a House. Ever.

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Being a homeowner is constantly romanticized, with idyllic pictures of picket fences, sprawling lawns, and granite countertops. But it’s time to be honest: owning a home is a nightmare. Here are ten hellish realities of home-ownership that nobody ever talks about.

 

1.  The yard work never ends

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Non-homeowners look at a yard and see a verdant escape; homeowners look at a yard and see a living hellscape: freshly mowed grass that re-grows seemingly overnight, trees and shrubs that need constant trimming, and so many weeds – those little green Satans that never die, no matter how often you pull them.

 

2.  Houseguests will descend like locusts

Living in a small apartment or condo allows you to pull the old, “Sorry, we don’t have any extra room!” move whenever a guest asks to stay with you. Once you have a spacious house—with, god forbid, a guest room—you might as well install a revolving door. Before you know it, your creepy long-lost third cousin will “just be staying until he gets back on his feet.”

 

3.  Endless clutter

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When a new homeowner utters the words, “Finally, enough storage for all our stuff!” the housing gods laugh in their face! There is never enough storage. A dark force will subconsciously make you buy more and more junk until every inch of your home—no matter how large—is crammed with stuff you will never again use.

 

4.  Heating bills will drain your bank account

How much could heat cost, you might ask? Sunlight is hot, and that’s free, you might say. Well, prepare to be shocked when you get that first winter heating bill, especially in the Northwest, where insulation is often thought of as optional. Don’t be surprised if you end up turning off the furnace and wearing five sweaters at all times.

 

5.  You’ll wish you were color blind 

They say that painting is one of the easiest ways to spruce up a home, but “they” must be using a pretty warped definition of “easy.” After coating your walls with color samples, taping over seemingly endless and intricate trim, laying down paper to protect the floors and rolling on two coats, your spouse will walk in and say, “I think I liked the old color better.”

 

6.  You’ll share a home with evil spirits

Ever heard of a haunted condo? Didn’t think so. Houses, on the other hand, are frequently inhabited by ghosts, possessed by demons, or built on inter-dimensional portals. At least that’s why you’ll see in innumerable horror movies, which are always true to life.

 

7.  The roof and gutters will haunt your dreams

Having “a roof over your head” is one of life’s basic needs. But a roof and rain gutters are also sources of endless work, expense, and danger. There’s nothing less enjoyable than an afternoon spent balancing precariously on a roof while scraping off moss, scooping foul muck out of gutters, and realizing you have to drop $10,000 on new shingles.

8.  Meet your new housemates

 

Mice are sooooo cute in movies and cartoons, but when you see (or hear) one in your home, it’s anything but adorable. Let’s see one of those cartoon mice poop in someone’s pantry, make a urine-soaked nest and have babies inside a wall cavity, and see how cute they look then.

 

9.  Your weekends will be spent at IKEA

For most home buyers, the more rooms a house has, the better! Until you realize that all those rooms need to be filled with furniture. This will lead you to IKEA, which is Swedish for, “Here, take all my money.” After another weekend spent wandering this maze that seemingly has no exit you will arrive home a broken and broke person, and one who has to spend the following weekend assembling furniture. Free Craigslist couches with mystery stains and smells will actually start to look pretty appealing.

 

10. Trashy Neighbors

You can spend thousands of hours—and dollars—making your home into an immaculate dream palace, only to have your neighbors on the left abandon a rusted-out RV in their yard, and your neighbors on the right turn their entire property into an eye-blasting Christmas-light inferno.

 

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(Pssst… you can also search for houses if that’s what you’re into)

  |  Lists, Maps

Which States Have the Highest Taxation and Least Representation?

taxation representation

When American colonists declared their independence from Great Britain, one of their largest grievances was, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.”. With the obviously glaring exception of the District of Columbia, which still has no vote in Congress, no U.S. state can make that complaint anymore. However, that doesn’t mean each state is taxed equally, nor represented equally.

When it comes to taxes, some states receive far more federal dollars than they pay in taxes to the federal government. According to a study by personal-finance website Wallet Hub, South Carolina receives $5.38 for every $1.00 it pays to the federal government. Compare that to Delaware, which receives just $0.31 for ever $1.00 it pays.

As the Founding Fathers intended, states with smaller populations have greater representation in Congress than larger states. Even though California has a population over 65 times that of Wyoming both states have two U.S. Senators.

To create our overall rankings we ranked each state from 1-50 based on the number of federal dollars they receive to tax dollars paid to the feds. Then we ranked each state from 1-50 based on population divided by the number of Congressional Representatives and Senators. We then averaged those two rankings to determine our final rankings.

Taxation_Representation

Not surprisingly, states with larger populations tended to gravitate to the top, and smaller states to the bottom. Interestingly, blue states tended to appear higher on this list, meaning red states generally had lower tax burdens and greater congressional representation.

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Where Is The American Dream Still Alive?

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Each year millions of people come to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. Their goal is to work hard, get a job, buy a home, put their children through college, and build a better life for their families.

It’s a noble goal, and one that isn’t easy to achieve. That’s why Estately set out to find where the American dream is most attainable. To do that we set out to find which U.S. states offered the best chances for economic and educational success, home ownership, and political participation, as well as had high numbers of foreign-born people who’ve already achieved the American dream. Our final rankings were determined by ranking each of the 50 states using the eight indicators below and then averaged the results.

  1. Hard work:  The average number of hours worked per day by employed people (source: BLS America Time Survey)
  2. Attainability of college degrees:  Percentage of residents over age 26 with a bachelor’s degree or higher (source: U.S. Census)
  3. Home ownership: Rate of home ownership 2009-2013 (source: U.S. Census)
  4. Foreign-born residents:  Percentage of population born in other countries (source: U.S. Census)
  5. Median income:  The median income of each state (source: U.S. Census)
  6. Income equality:  Gini index for median income 2013 (source:  U.S. Census)
  7. Employment:  The state’s unemployment rate (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) 
  8. Voter turnout: Percentage of voting age people who participate in elections 1980-2012 (source: U.S. Elections Project)

American-Dream-Chart

While all U.S. states provide opportunities for newcomers, the hardest places to achieve the American dream seem to be in the South and Southwest. The best places appear to be the Mountain West, Midwest, Northwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic.  Check out the ten best states to achieve the American dream below.

1. Minnesota

With high rates of homeownership, employment, college degrees, and voter turnout, Minnesota came in as Estately’s top state to achieve the American dream. It’s a hardworking state that values education and offers a great chance at homeownership, and locals turn out for elections in far greater numbers than any state except Maine. Foreign-born residents don’t make up a large part of the local population, but that is starting to change, particularly in big cities like Minneapolis.

2. New Hampshire

The third hardest working state in the country, The Granite State’s work ethic is one reason it has the fifth lowest unemployment rate, the sixth highest median income, and the seventh highest rate of homeownership. New Hampshire is in the bottom of the country in being home to foreign-born residents, but there’s no denying there’s opportunities there.

3. Utah

In general, Utah residents don’t vote in high numbers or work extremely long hours, but the state does enjoy high incomes, solid income equality, and a high homeownership rate.

4. Delaware

Particularly when compared to neighboring New Jersey, Delaware is an ideal destination. It has a much higher rates of homeownership, employment, and income equality.

5. Colorado

Over 37% of Colorado residents over age 26 have a bachelor’s degree or higher—the second highest in the country. In addition to valuing education, the state is home to a high number of foreign-born residents, as well as workers who put in long hours. Homeownership isn’t particularly high, but the state offers better opportunities than the neighboring states to the south.

6. Maryland

With the highest percentage of foreign-born residents of any state in the top ten, Maryland has been a destination for those coming to the U.S. in search of the American dream. It has the highest median income of any state, but is only 19th for income equality. Nearly 37% of residents over 26 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and you really can’t beat the crab cakes.

7. Vermont

Just 4.1% of Vermont’s population is foreign born, far less than neighboring New York States’ 22.1%. New York City may have the Statue of Liberty to welcome immigrants, but Vermont has a dramatically better homeownership rate, greater income equality, and better opportunity for political influence.

8. Virginia

Most states in the South, or ones touching the Appalachian Mountains, do not post strong numbers in this study, but Virginia is the exception. The state ranks highly for bachelor’s degrees, income, and foreign-born residents.

9. Iowa

Homeownership and employment numbers are high in Iowa, and the state offers better opportunities than most of its neighbors.

10. South Dakota

South Dakota has very few foreign-born residents, but it has strong economic opportunities, affordable housing, and solid income equality. It might not seem as tempting as Hawaii, the #11 state in our study, but it has a much cheaper cost of living.

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  |  Real estate

13 Homes for Sale Built Before America Won Its Independence

1.  The Cartland Tavern

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Price:  $299,900

Location:  Lee, New Hampshire

Year built:  1774

View the entire home HERE

 

2.  Historic Lyndeborough Property

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Price:  $4,400,000

Location:  Lyndeborough, New Hampshire

Year built:  1751

View the entire home HERE

 

3.  The Thomas Rose House

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Price:  $5,600,000

Location:  Charleston, South Carolina

Year built:  1735

View the entire home HERE

4.  Historic Clarkston home

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Price:  $749,000

Location:  Clarkston, New York

Year built:  1720

View the entire home HERE

 

5.  Chappaqua Country Manor

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Price:  $6,200,000

Location:  New Castle, New York

Year built:  1775

View the entire home HERE

 

6.  The Lafayette House

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Price:  $1,449,000

Location:  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Year built:  1731

View the entire home HERE

 

7.  Old Stone Farm

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Price:  $8,750,000

Location:  Clinton, New York

Year built:  1768

View the entire home HERE

 

8.  The Solomon Lockwood House

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Price:  $3,999,999

Location:  Pound Ridge, New York

Year built:  1760

View the entire home HERE

 

9.  Burying Hill Farm

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Price:  $4,250,000

Location:  Greenwich, Connecticut

Year built:  1735

View the entire home HERE

10.  Historic Tide Water-Style Home

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Price:  $3,695,000

Location:  Glyndon, Maryland

Year built:  1713

View the entire home HERE

11.  Historic Home in Connecticut

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Price:  $3,750,000

Location:  Washington, Connecticut

Year built:  1750

View the entire home HERE

 

12.  Rutledge Farm

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Price:  $5,500,000

Location:  Middleburg, Virginia

Year built:  1740

View the entire home HERE

13.  The Big House

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Price:  $4,985,000

Location:  Orangetown, New York

Year built:  1735

View the entire home HERE

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  |  Features, Weird

10 Regional Foods That Will Probably Not Take Off

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Every few months a new regional food goes national and becomes a hot item at restaurants. However, there are some regional dishes that will never experience widespread fame on account of being disgusting. Here’s a look at a few regional foods that are embraced on a local level, and politely refused by everyone else.

1. Chitlins (South)

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It’s easy to be prejudiced against pig intestines, because eating something from an animal that was used to digest something it ate feels kind of weird. The word “chitlins” is very cute, a clever ruse to trick you into thinking they’re something adorably cute, and not the dark, rank hallway that leads to a pig’s backdoor. Sometimes people refer to their children as chitlins, as in, “Here are my little chitlins,” which sounds better than “Here are my little pig intestines.”

Though somewhat popular in the South, chitlins are difficult to clean and contain a pungent odor when cooking, so they’re not likely to be the next hot food trend. You probably won’t see artisan chitlin eateries opening up next to cupcake shops, nor will they become the next super food like chia seeds.


2. Fried-brain Sandwich (St. Louis)

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Usually made with cow or pig brains, the fried-brain sandwich is obviously problematic because of the word “brain.” No one has any problem with the words “fried” or “sandwich.”

The sandwich traditionally features a heaping slice of fried brain, served in a bun with pickles and onions. When you eat it, you will find yourself sympathizing with animals more, and one day thousands of cows and pigs will show up at your door, expecting you to lead the revolution. And you will, but you will lose the war with the humans, and so eventually your brains will be served in a victory sandwich to the President, who will eat it on live television. Anyway, just a warning.


3. Koolickles (Mississippi)

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Photo source: Flickr user I Believe I Can Fry

Koolickles are less a food and more a thing to do when you’re bored. Sometimes you lick a battery or stick a paperclip in an outlet, and sometimes you fill a pickle jar with Kool-Aid and let the pickles soak. It’s hard to tell which is more dangerous.

A somewhat recent invention from Northern Mississippi, koolickles are the easiest item to make on this list, and yet it’s hard to foresee people rushing to their local pickle and Kool-Aid store to try it out. But you never know. It may become so popular that McDonald’s will change that slogan to “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, koolickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.”

If you really want to eat sweet and sour together you should probably just stick to Sour Patch Kids.


4. Coddies (Baltimore)

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Coddies are know as the “poor man’s crab cake,” a title that, like its ingredients, limit its chances of achieving national popularity. That’s the same reason why Gary Busey—the poor man’s Nick Nolte—is not as famous.

Adorably named (picture it as an animated cod searching for its father), coddies are a mixture of mashed potatoes, crumbled crackers, and a little bit of cod that is fried and served between two saltine crackers, just like Ritz Bits Sandwiches.

Coddies just seem like something that the Ally Sheedy character in The Breakfast Club would eat, so if you related to her, by all means dive in.


5. Lutefisk (North Dakota)

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North Dakota didn’t invent lutefisk, the gelatinous fish product made from dried whitefish treated with lye can trace its origins to Norway and Sweden. However, North Dakota does harbor lutefisk, so they’re complicit in this culinary atrocity.

The best description of lutefisk came from Logan C. Adams, an assistant editor at The Jamestown Sun. “It’s sort of like really thick water,” he said, before spitting it out. Easily the least visually appealing food on this list, lutefisk has an air of punishment about it. It looks like something our future alien overlords will make us eat, but that’s also what will unite humanity to revolt.


6. Pepperoni Roll (West Virginia)

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Originally a lunch for coal miners in West Virginia, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the pepperoni roll, and I’d be suspicious of any American who criticizes it. You take fresh pepperoni, roll it in dough, and bake it, allowing the oil from the peperoni to ooze into the dough. There’s not much that can go wrong there.

It’s the resemblance to other superior foods, like calzones and pizza, which may prevent it from taking off. Peperoni rolls can stand on their own, but you’ll have the urge to dip them in marinara, and then wonder why there isn’t any cheese involved. It’s like a band performing without its most popular members. “Where’s Slash?” you’ll ask.


7. Livermush (North Carolina)

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A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The same cannot be said about livermush. Say it with out loud: livermush! Just feel those beautiful vowels and consonants rolling around your tongue! It’s easily as beautiful as “Cellar door.”

Livermush is made from pig liver, head parts, and cornmeal, then cooked in a skillet. That may sound gross, but it really depends on what head parts you use. In this case, it’s the part of the pig’s head that’s scared of becoming livermush.

This southern delicacy is such a staple of North Carolina that it hosts the Livermush Expo, a celebration of all thing livermush. You can have expos for anything.


8. Watergate Salad (Midwest)

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The Watergate scandal was an unfortunate event in American history, but it’s been kept alive with this odd culinary concoction that manages to create the same feeling of anger and outrage. Here’s a salad that features pistachio pudding, canned pineapple, Cool Whip, marshmallows, and whatever else is gathering dust at the back of your kitchen cabinets.

Watergate Salad has other names, none of which help its case, including Pistachio Delight, Shut the Gate Salad, and Green Goop. There isn’t a single combination of the above ingredients that work, and none should be allowed to touch on a plate. Putting them all together only makes things worse, and is yet another stain on the legacy of Richard Milhouse Nixon .


9. Scrapple (Pennsylvania)

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Scrapple is a mush of pork scraps combined with corn meal, turned into a loaf, and then sliced and pan-fried. Pork scraps involve the leftover, nosebleed parts of the pig, which could include anything from pork snouts and naughty bits, to even the Hawaiian shirt it was wearing when it was slaughtered.

Scrapple looks like spam but without the festive pink color, so it’s not likely to electrify the culinary world. That being said, someday someone might open an eatery called Scrapple in Seattle. It could do well. Sometimes you don’t need good food when you have a clever name.


10. Cincinnati Chili (Cincinnati, obviously)

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Cincinnati chili has long been a punching bag for the food media, probably because it looks like what would remain if you sealed someone inside a punching bag for ten years. Combining the unlikely pair of chili and spaghetti, it’s frequently derided by everyone outside Ohio and defended by about thirty people in the Cincinnati area.

Before dismissing it, however, consider this line from The Assassination of Jesse James, in which Brad Pitt turns to Casey Affleck and says, “You know what this stew needs? Noodles. You eat yourself some noodle stew and your clock will tick all night.” He wasn’t exactly describing Cincinnati Chili, but that’s as strong an argument for it as has ever been made.

Sometimes the reason certain foods have city names in front of them is because they will never leave the confines of that city, and that’s certainly the case here.

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  |  Real estate

9 Awesome Pools and Grottos in Homes for Sale

1.  55 Penwood Road, Bedford, New York

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Price:  $9,975,000

Features:   Most noteworthy would probably be the fact that this 90′ glass-tiled pool is shaped like a violin.

View the listing HERE

 

 

2.  172 Bliss Canyon Road, Bradbury, California

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Price:  $48,800,000

Features:  Enormous infinity edge pool, 15-person spa, pool house, temperature controlled trout pond with two story waterfall, and even a subterranean firing range.

View the listing HERE

 

 

3.  19400 Countrywood Drive, Yorba Linda, California

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Price: $ 3,998,999

Features: Outdoor area with rockscape pool, dual waterslides, spa, mini kitchen, barbecue center, and bar

View the listing HERE

 

 

4.  31412 Broad Beach Road, Malibu, California

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Price:  $25,000,000

Features:   Infinity pool that seemingly cascades into the ocean and offers a spectacular view.

View the listing HERE

 

 

5.  1100 Wall Road, Sonoma, California

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Price:  $22,900,000

Features:   The 65-foot infinity edge pool is guarded by a fairly regal looking stone hound.

View the listing HERE

 

 

6.  4745 Green Crest Drive, Yorba Linda, California

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Price: $8,800,000

Features:   The pool and spa with great views are fantastic, but can they match the wonder of the home’s ice cream parlor?

View the listing HERE

 

 

7.  1101 E Warner Road Unit 112, Tempe, Arizona

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Price:  $6,949,800

Features:   The pool is Batman themed, as is much of the house, and it features a cave, waterslide, soccer field, car elevator, and more. As a bonus, those who schedule a viewing of the luxury estate will get a courtesy limo pickup.

View the listing HERE

 

 

8.  6019 Avenida Cresta, La Jolla, California

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Price:  $8,895,000

Features:   The home was designed by renowned architect Thomas Shepherd, and it’s hard to take your eyes off the glass mosaic pool.

View the listing HERE

 

 

9.  14750 Roxbury Terrace, Rancho Santa Fe, California

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Price:  $8,900,000

Features:   This sprawling lagoon and grotto has multiple cascading waterfalls, an infinity edge, and a hidden cave.

View the listing HERE

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  |  Lists

10 U.S. Places That Inspired Video Games

lombard-donkey

Not all video games take place in far off lands, strange and exotic. Some take place right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. For your reading enjoyment we’ve gathered up some of the most iconic games that were inspired by the most iconic of places.

1. Los Angeles, CA

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You know it, you love it. It’s the sprawl that has it all, and it’s the muse for Grand Theft Auto 5. Developed by Rockstar Games and originally released in 2013, this game has sold over 52 million copies (13 for every resident of Los Angeles). While the fictional city of Los Santos doesn’t match the City of Angels 1:1, it does include all the fun parts. Santa Monica pier (called Del Perro), Whiskey A-Go-Go (Tequi-la-la), & the Griffith Observatory (Galileo Observatory) are but a few that make an appearance. Oh, and truly a marvel of imagination, you can do the impossible: drive from LAX to the Hollywood in under 3 minutes.

2. The Olympic Peninsula, WA

Cold, wet, and green. No, it’s not your kale smoothie—it’s the place of inspiration for Deadly Premonition. In a game that places story over graphics, it’s basically some strange sort of cross between Twin Peaks and a Monster-Of-The-Week X-Files episode. The trees may be pixely, and the community members a little robotic, but the fictional town of Greenvale is about as Northwest-y as it gets.

 

3. Wyoming

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In the upcoming indie game Firewatch, you play a lone fire lookout in the Wyoming wild. And being alone and isolated has never looked so good thanks to the team at Campo Santo and designer Olly Moss. Although details are still few and far between, rumor has it that Firewatch will be based around exploration and ambiance. Since this game is making the environment one of the most compelling parts of the narrative, it’s great to see that they picked somewhere so damn good looking.

 

4. Boston, MA


It isn’t modern Boston that’s featured in Fallout 4. It isn’t even colonial Boston. It’s alternate history, post-apocalyptic Boston. But it’s Boston nonetheless! It has all the necessities: Scollay Square, the Massachusetts State House. Heck, it even has Fenway Park turned into some sort of Bartertown-type place. It’s all the best parts of Boston, made Mad Max-y!

 

5. Seattle, WA


While the designers may have played fast and loose with the exactly layout, Infamous: Second Son definitely takes place there. Space Needle, Pink Elephant Car Wash, and the Pacific Science Center all make an appearance. They’ve even included the amazing rain. Unfortunately there aren’t enough craft breweries and coffee joints around to really hit all the Seattle stereotypes, but you get the picture. Fortunately, you’ll be viewing the city through the lense of a superhuman fighting an evil government, so it’s got that going for it.

 

6. Detroit, MI

No that’s not a typo, and yes, Deus Ex: Human Revolution does in fact take place in Detroit, just not a present day Detroit. Instead, it’s the year 2027, and people are upgrading themselves with robotic attachments! But this creates conflict and blah blah plot lines and such, so you play as an augmented detective who gets to stroll around this black and gold dystopia. This portrayal of Detroit’s future is one of hope: a dirty, criminal, pseudo-Blade Runner kind of hope.

 

7. Kentucky


As the name suggests, Kentucky Route Zero does take place in Kentucky, but it takes you on the backroads. In this point and click adventure, you’re on your own to figure out the mystery and eeriness of the abandoned truck stops and shrouded figures. It’s a minimalist take on Kentucky that relies on the rural areas and the space between stops on a roadmap. If Kentucky IS in fact this strange, then we’re all long overdue for a roadtrip.

 

8. The Southern United States


This one is kind of vague, but that’s because Left 4 Dead 2 does a roadtrip across it! Sure, it’s not a roadtrip most folks would want to be on, but there you have it. Starting in an alternate version of Savannah, GA, the “Green Flu” has broken out and it’s up to four survivors to band together and kill their way out of the city. Or small town. Or carnival. Or plantation. Or jazz club. The common theme is “shoot your way to safety”, and that’s about it. Oh, and zombies. Because that’s who you’re shooting. Lots and lots of zombies. So if you enjoy muggy climates and eviscerating the undead, definitely check out Left 4 Dead 2’s version of Georgia and Louisiana (and assumably Alabama, Mississippi, and maybe Florida).

 

9. The Suburbs Near You


That’s right! This video game may have been inspired by the suburbs YOU live in (or near, or know of)! In Octodad: Dadliest Catch you play a loving father and husband who just happens to be an octopus that wears a suit. One of the great parts of this game is the…unique means of controlling your character, which makes even the most seemingly simple task immensely difficult. If you’re looking for a new way to view your sleepy suburban life, you can try out this game to see the world through the eyes of a dapper cephalopod that walks like a drunkard.

 

10. Centralia, PA


This is one of the few places on this list that might be just as creepy as it’s video game counterpart, the town of Silent Hill. The real-life town has had a coal fire burning beneath it for over 50 years, leading to a total evacuation of all the residents. Just like the fictional town of Silent Hill, it’s constantly engulfed in a thick smoke, giving it that perfect “we shouldn’t be here” atmosphere.

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