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James Beard Foundation Announces 2019 America’s Classics Awards

Five restaurants made the cut

Strawberry pie
Jim’s Steak & Spaghetti/Facebook

It’s that time of year again — James Beard Awards season is officially here. This week, the James Beard Foundation announced the recipients of its annual America’s Classics awards, those “regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.” The restaurants on this list are typically institutions open for more than 10 years. And while they’re not necessarily ineligible for the James Beard categories announced during the big ceremony, they’re usually overlooked by other restaurant awards.

This year, the James Beard Foundation opted to roll out the America’s Classics awards one at a time over the course of the week, lending the honor its own kind of ceremony. Here’s the list of all five of these winners:

Pho 79, Garden Grove, California: Located in Orange County’s Little Saigon, Pho 79 is credited with introducing the area to beef pho when it opened in 1982.

Jim’s Steak & Spaghetti House, Huntington, West Virginia: The family-run restaurant has been serving spaghetti and steaks since 1945, earning a reputation for stellar service and an annual strawberry pie week that draws thousands.

A&A Bake & Double and Roti Shop

A&A Bake & Double and Roti Shop, Brooklyn, New York: Owners Geeta and Noel Brown opened their Trinidadian doubles shop in 2002 and expanded into a bigger space just last year.

Sehnert’s Bakery & Bieroc Cafe, McCook, Nebraska: The Sehnert family has been baking bierocs — beef-filled yeasted dough pockets — for more than 100 years. They’ve been running this particular bakery since 1957.

Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, Washington, D.C.: Annie’s has been a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community since the 1960s and continues to support LGBTQ causes today.

The James Beard Foundation will announce the semifinalists for the 2019 awards will on February 27, and the final list of nominees one month later. The James Beard Awards Gala, where the America’s Classics winners will be acknowledged along with the other winners, will take place on May 6 in Chicago.