The book that I am loving right now is The Southern Foodie: 100 Places To Eat In The South Before You Die. I pick it up every time I have a few minutes or half an hour. I love learning about “bests” in any category. Especially best places to eat. Especially in my favorite region on earth – the South.
The table of contents is a simple list of the 13 southern states. Beginning with Alabama and ending with West Virginia, author Chris Chamberlain highlights the best places to eat in each state. He shares a history and overview of each featured restaurant along with a summary of its cuisine, atmosphere, specialties, and “insider tips.”
The book shares one or two of each featured restaurants’ famous recipes, some of which are unlike any I’ve seen online or in cookbooks. Some that I have bookmarked to try are Monell’s Strawberry Lasagna (Monell’s in Nashville, TN); Old Chickahominy House Buttermilk Biscuits (Old Chickahominy House in Williamsburg, VA); Sweet Corn Succotash (Hot And Hot Fish Club in Birmingham, AL); and Jack Chops (Old Firehouse Restaurant in Hollywood, SC).
A particularly intriguing restaurant featured in the book is Oxford, Mississippi’s, Big Bad Breakfast, an outpost of Oxford’s popular City Grocery. BBB’s menu features playful and over-the-top sized dishes such as Cathead Biscuits – (biscuits the size of a cat’s cranium). A featured recipe is BBB’s version of French toast, Pain Perdu. The toast is brandy spiked (as in 1/3 cup) and dusted with confectioner’s sugar, strawberries, and Chantilly Cream (a featured recipe).
Rumor has it… A friend with close ties to Ole Miss and Oxford recently shared that a Big Bad Breakfast may show up on Birmingham’s 280 corridor in the near future. I certainly hope this friend is right so that all of us in Birmingham can enjoy a Cathead Biscuit before we die:-)
This book is fun, informative, and intriguing and a fabulous resource to have for travel to the southern states. “Eating like a local” requires insider info, and hotel concierges don’t always deliver. For a user’s guide to the best places to eat in the South, this book is required reading.