Travel & Features Editor Jennifer V. Cole shares her personal favorite restaurants, both new and old, in her most frequented towns. This list is always evolving, so follow @jennifervcole on Twitter for her latest stops.
What to Order: Rabbit 3 Ways. Chef Edward Lee’s flagship restaurant is Louisville’s most sought-after reservation in town. And each plate
showcases his ability to combine bold personality (something he’s developed a reputation for) with the best of the seasons.
Go for the trio of Ridgecrest Rabbit (confit leg, rack of rabbit, rabbit sausage), served with his blueberry-jalapeño gnocchi,
celery root, local beans, and nasturtium.
610 West Magnolia Avenue; 610magnolia.com
What to Order: No Menu Monday. On the last Monday of every month, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman go totally off script and create a multi-course
$45 prix fixe menu. The theme changes each time, from a porcine ode to an all-vegetable rundown. No Menu also means diners
aren’t told what they are eating when dishes arrive at the table, making each course a food lover’s guessing game: is that rhubarb in the ketchup? Black pepper and honey in the gelato? At the end, handwritten menus are passed out to decode the experience.
712 West Brookhaven Circle; andrewmichaelitaliankitchen.com
What to Order: Chicken-Fried Steak. At a place named Barbecue Inn, you’d expect to order a lot of, well, barbecue. But the cooks at this
1946 Houston landmark know their way around a fryer. They turn out some mean yardbird, but it’s the superb chicken-fried steak
that gets my vote: cooked-to-order, crispy, meaty, and shrouded in a cloak of country gravy.
116 West Crosstimbers Street; thebarbecueinn.com
What to Order: Rainbow Trout with Buttermilk Consommé and Watercress
1471 West Millers Cove Road; blackberryfarm.com
What to Order: Fried Chicken and Waffles. Birch & Barley, known for its tremendous beer selection (the pride of place beer taps resemble
a pipe organ), seemed an odd choice for brunch the first time I went. But that was before I understood the deft skills of
pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac and her husband, chef Kyle Bailey. Her airy waffle supports his rich fried chicken, all pulled
together with maple-chicken jus and buttered pecans. It eats like a food lover’s one-two punch. Pair it with a Cottonwood
Frostbite Black IPA from North Carolina.
1337 14th Street. Northwest; birchandbarley.com
What to Order: Lamb Saddle. Chef Billy Allin, who really shines through his inventive work with produce and great meats, isn’t afraid to
play around with flavors. The Middle Eastern-inspired saddle of lamb (big enough for two), served with cracked wheat, cucumber,
and minted yogurt, manages to portray a global perspective without sacrificing his Southern sensibility.
155 Sycamore Street; cakesandalerestaurant.com
What to Order: L.A. Burger. This corner pub in the Oakleigh Garden District of Mobile makes a limited number of L.A. Burgers (Lower Alabama,
naturally) each day at lunch, and locals know to arrive early. The patty, a mix of ground beef and Conecuh sausage (Alabama’s
unofficial state link), is so flipping good it’ll make you wonder why most places limit themselves to an all-beef burger.
916 Charleston Street; callaghansirishsocialclub.com
What to Order: Kerala Railways Beef Curry. The banana leaf-wrapped parcel—beef curry perfumed with cinnamon bark atop yogurt rice—imparts
a seesaw of flavor, alternating between deep spice and a cooling tartness. For her Kerala-style Indian restaurant, chef Asha
Gomez takes the ingredients and flavors she found in her mother’s southern Indian kitchen (okra, green beans, beef, pork,
curry leaves) and applies them to her current home in the American South.
1700 Northside Drive Northwest; cardamomhill.net
What to Order: 7-to-11-Course Tasting Menu. This is dinner theater, plain and simple. In an austerely white dining space, Erik Anderson,
a protégé of both Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and René Redzepi of Noma, delivers immaculate courses to diners at a U-shaped counter surrounding the
open kitchen. With only 32 positions, the Catbird Seat is a hard table to snag (new spots open each day for reservations 30
days out). But for modernist cooking with real personality, there’s nothing like it. One particular amuse-bouche, called simply
“Hot Chicken” in tribute to the city’s most recognized dish, showcases cayenne-scented fried chicken skins with dill salt
and a puree of white Wonder Bread.
1711 Division Street, thecatbirdseatrestaurant.com
Photo: Instagram, @lydianka
What to Order: Steak Frites. In a city sharply divided by political leanings and agendas, the C.F. Folks' 11-seat Formica lunch counter
offers delicious, non-partisan respite. Open since 1981, it’s a bit campy, has walls lined with decades-worth of cookbooks,
and gives seats on a first-come, first-served basis. The daily specials span the globe (crab cakes, falafel, jerk chicken),
but when I go, I keep my fingers crossed for the steak frites, expertly cooked and sauced with a classic bordelaise.
1225 19th Street Northwest; cffolksrestaurant.com
What to Order: Hamburger Fonfon or Trout Amandine. Chef Frank Stitt’s French bistro, with a boules court out back, ranks as my favorite
local drop-in spot. I like to grab a seat at the bar, order the burger (a study in perfection, topped with rich Comté cheese)
or the trout amandine in brown butter (crisp and tangy, bistro fare at its best), get a carafe of wine, and catch up on my
own thoughts. If I’m really indulging, I add in a slice of coconut cake, splendid with it’s many creamy layers and encased
in fresh coconut shavings.
2007 11th Avenue South; fonfonbham.com
What to Order: Belly Ham Pizza. Tandy Wilson gets a lot of credit for giving Nashville its current reputation as a food town. His inventive
antipasti (bresaola with blueberries and pecorino; scrapple with pepper sauce), fresh pastas, and brilliant cocktail list
(e.g., the Junior, a mix of moonshine, créme de violette, and Dr. Enuf soda) puts a progressive twist on Tennessee staples.
The Belly Ham pizza, a simple showcase of house-cured ham with mozzarella, Grana Padano, oregano, and chile flakes, blows
my mind every time.
1222 Fourth Avenue North; cityhousenashville.com
What to Order: Fried Livers with Pepper Jelly and Toast. Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski, revered as Louisiana’s pork kings, buy whole
hogs and make use of every part they can. They’ve built a cult following around hogshead cheese, cracklins, trotters, fried
pigs' ears, and every type of sausage possible. And I love it all. But I swoon for the fried livers. Sometimes chicken, sometimes
rabbit, the rich and nutty nuggets come perched on toast, swathed in pepper jelly, and finished with shaved onion, fresh parsley,
930 Tchoupitoulas Street; cochonrestaurant.com
What to Order: Oyster & Absinthe "Dome." Tory McPhail, this year’s winner of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South, doesn’t
shy away from tradition. But he has decidedly put his own mark on the menu of this NOLA institution. For example, try the
bourbon-braised fig-and-foie gras beignets with a chicory coffee mist. The rich Oyster & Absinthe “Dome,” a medley of Gulf
bivalves poached with bacon, artichokes, tarragon, absinthe, and cream under a pastry shell, masterfully combines the Crescent
City tradition of fresh seafood and the town’s delicious cocktail history.
1403 Washington Avenue; commanderspalace.com
What to Order: Speckled Trout. Michael Stoltzfus’s menu changes regularly, including the $23 prix fixe lunch (possibly the best deal in
town). On my last visit, I fell hard for the speckled trout served with burst cherry tomatoes, perfectly cooked pattypan squash,
and a fluttering of Brussels sprouts leaves, finished with delicate satsuma butter.
2800 Magazine Street; coquettenola.com
What to Order: Jack Daniels Barrel-Smoked Quail. Subtly sweet, smoky, with an of-the-land essence, this fowl nests in truffle-Parmesan
100 South Side Square; cottonrowrestaurant.com
What to Order: Cornish Hen. In a land of top-notch barbecue, Desiree Robinson’s appropriately named Cozy Corner is the stuff of legend.
Everyone in town does pork (including Desiree), but here, the specialty is barbecued Cornish hen, a small bird with blistered
skin and juicy drip-down-your-chin meat.
745 North Parkway; cozycornerbbq.com
What to Order: Atlantic Beach Pie. Chef Bill Smith honorably carries the torch for this beloved destination restaurant, where he and his
team continue to be the standard bearers for classics such as shrimp and grits and Hoppin’ John, and have arguably influenced
just about every kitchen in the South. But it’s the Atlantic Beach Pie that causes eyes to roll back in heads each and every
time. With its saltine cracker crust and lemony sweetened condensed milk filling, this throwback dessert borders on tacky
in that made-every-year-by-Aunt Sue-for-the-family-reunion kind of way. Nothing short of delightful.
610 West Franklin Street.; crookscorner.com
Note: Get the recipe for Crook's Corners phenomenal Shrimp and Grits.
What to Order: Fried Green Tomato Plate. Taylor Bowen Ricketts certainly doesn’t bow to cliché, but her rendition of this Southern classic,
served with comeback sauce (a tangy Mississippi staple akin to rémoulade), reminds you why folks across the nation rightfully
associate fried green tomatoes with the South.
117 Main Street; deltabistro.com
What to Order: Spicy Lamb Meatballs Pizza. Alon Shaya, one of the Crescent City’s newest golden boys, produces some serious pies at Domenica,
such as the Spicy Lamb Meatballs, disks of spiced ground lamb atop tomatoes, ricotta, rapini, and mint.
123 Baronne Street; domenicarestaurant.com
What to Order: Gumbo Z’Herbes. Leah Chase only serves this green gumbo once a year, on Holy Thursday, as a traditional Easter meal. It
combines nine different greens (always an odd number for good luck), such as collards, Swiss chard, cabbage, even carrot tops,
all ground finely. As Miss Leah likes to say, “If you eat [my gumbo z’herbes] you will acquire a new friend for every kind
of green I have in the pot—and we hope one of them’s rich.”
2301 Orleans Avenue; dookychaserestaurant.com
What to Order: Grilled Chorizo Meatloaf. Under the guidance of Brian Somershield, a Frank Stitt acolyte, this kitchen turns out thoughtful
interpretations of modern Mexican fare, such as the grilled meatloaf, made with a robust chorizo, served atop Cotija cheese-mashed
potatoes, and crowned with ranchero, a piquant tomato-based sauce spiced with chiles.
2211 Second Avenue North; elbarriobirmingham.com
What to Order: Pimento Cheese with Bacon Marmalade
999 Peachtree Street Northeast, Suite 140; empirestatesouth.com
What to Order: Chicken Fried Pork Cheeks with Sour Cherries & Cucumber
240 Market Street; fearrington.com
What to Order: Coddled Sea Island Farm Egg
232 Meeting Street; eatatfig.com
What to Order: Boiled Peanut Hummus
1073 South Milledge Avenue; fiveandten.com
What to Order: Jumbo Royal Reds. You’d be forgiven for scratching your head on this pick. The Flora-Bama, a beachfront dive bar that straddles
the Florida-Alabama line, is better known for its annual mullet toss (the fish, not the hairstyle) than its culinary prowess.
But the royal red shrimp, an oversize deepwater Gulf variety with a sweetness and firmness similar to lobster, is about the
best I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s because the shrimp comes from the waters just offshore. Or because the kitchen doesn’t do much
of anything to it (a simple boil, and then served with melted butter). But this shrimp is the perfect expression of the Gulf.
17401 Perdido Key Drive; florabama.com
Photo: Instagram, @mauxfo
What to Order: Seared Sea Scallops with Crawfish Tails served with artichokes, fingerling potatoes, corn, and andouille
1728 Soniat Street; gautreausrestaurant.com
What to Order: Crawfish. Located on a private island off the coast of Georgia, accentuated with touches like gold-and-crystal chandeliers,
The Cloister is swank. On its menu, described as “Refined Southern,” you can expect to find dishes like the simply named Crawfish,
an elegant preparation of crawfish étoufée atop a Georgian grits soufflé with pickled hominy. Think: Old-World refinement
meets New-South expression.
100 Cloister Drive; seaisland.com
What to Order: Pastrami Sandwich
Emory Point, 1540 Avenue Place, Suite B-230; thegeneralmuir.com
What to Order: Wood Roasted Clams with house-made chorizo sausage, sweet peppers, and onions
4 Cannon Street; thegrocerycharleston.com
Photo: Instagram, @mjburchfield
What to Order: Korean Spicy Pork Sandwich, smoked shoulder dressed in gochujang (sweet chile paste) with kimchi on a sweet potato bun
2243 Akers Mill Road; heirloommarketbbq.com
What to Order: Stone-Ground Baked Grits with country ham, mushrooms, fresh thyme, and Parmesan
2011 11th Avenue South; highlandsbarandgrill.com
What to Order: Red Eye Pizza. Simple yet decadent, this pizza arrives piled with chunks of pork belly around a soft-cooked egg on sugo (a
tomato-pork sauce) and Taleggio cheese with fragrant celery leaves scattered like confetti. But you really can’t go wrong
with any of the menu: wood-fired pizzas, drippingly messy neckbone gravy poutine (fries studded with cheese curd), and earthy
cauliflower roasted with brown butter. Even a simple romaine salad feels like an indulgence with its rich pecorino vinaigrette
and generous scattering of fried chicken skins instead of croutons. At this unlikely East Memphis spot, surrounded by office
buildings, strip malls, and chain restaurants, Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman demonstrate their low-key prowess of merging
classic technique and pitch-perfect ingredients. They continually prove that a glorious meal has nothing to do with a tufted
dining room and a hefty tab.
707 West Brookhaven Circle; hogandhominy.com
What to Order: Poached Farm Egg and Duck Liver with griddled bacon, johnny cakes, and sorghum syrup
2277 Peachtree Road Northeast; holeman-finch.com
What to Order: Shrimp & Grits
207 Rutledge Avenue; hominygrill.com
What to Order: Hot and Hot Tomato Salad. This namesake salad, a wobbly tower of fresh heirloom tomatoes, bacon, and fried okra pods atop
a pile of field peas, epitomizes Chris Hastings' efforts to showcase Alabama’s bounty: grown, caught, or foraged.
2180 11th Court South; hotandhotfishclub.com
What to Order: Raw Oysters. Located in an old commissary, the Indian Pass Raw Bar is quite possibly the best seafood shack in existence:
live music, a constant crowd, and oysters straight from the waters of the Apalachicola Bay.
8391 C-30A; 850/227-1670
What to Order: Organic Milk-Fed Pork Chop with Grilled Peaches, Bourbon Jus, and Potato Purée
309 Middle Street; theinnatlittlewashington.com
What to Order: Pan De Recapte Con Anchoa, traditional Catalan toasted bread with peppers, tomatoes, and salt-cured Spanish anchovies
480 Seventh Street Northwest; jaleo.com
What to Order: Ale-8-One Braised Pork Belly
120 West Second Street; jagp.info
What to Order: Spicy Kettle Corn with Lardo
61 Locust Street; knifeandforknc.com
What to Order: Multi-course Tasting Menu ($135). Lest you think fine dining is dead (there’s no denying that casual restaurants have experienced
a major resurgence), just pay a visit to Komi, an homage to modern Greek fare. With its bare tables and youthful staff, it
might not appear like the white-tableclothed temples of yore. But pay attention and you’ll see that the service is exquisite
(the staff moves with graceful ease without acting overly familiar), the wine list is full of interesting bottles (and the
young sommelier can speak to the qualities of all of them), and the food arrives with orchestrated precision. And each bite
(after beautiful bite) tastes like your new favorite dish. That is, until the next dish arrives.
1509 17th Street Northwest; komirestaurant.com
What to Order: Seafood Hotpot with lobster dumplings, wild shrimp, blue crab, Bogue Sound clams, spring rain noodles, fresh lime leaf,
and pea greens in a shellfish broth
423 West Franklin Street; lanternrestaurant.com
What to Order: Fried Chicken, smeared with an arbol chile paste and brined, fried, then splashed with a house-made vinegar made from morita
and habanero peppers
2821 Central Avenue; thelittledonkey.com
What to Order: $45 Prix Fixe Menu. Johnny Monis’ jewel box of a restaurant delivers fiery Thai flavors that tend to just get hotter with
each of the seven courses. They don’t take reservations, so get there early (by 5 p.m.) and expect to wait in line—it can
stretch down the block.
1511 17th Street Northwest; littleserow.com
What to Order: Sapelo Island Clams Casino Pizza
1520 Woodland Street; lockelandtable.com
Photo: Instagram, @bambou34
What to Order: Bone Marrow Bread Pudding
479B King Street; themacintoshcharleston.com
What to Order: Fried Chicken and Fried Whiting
1068 Morrison Drive; 843/577-9583
Photo: Instagram, @cswebbspun
What to Order: Redneck Taco. Patrick Martin’s tongue-in-cheek name for this menu staple demonstrates his playful nature. But if loving
this dish makes me a redneck, so be it: It’s the perfect marriage of a griddled hoecake, pulled smoked pork, tangy coleslaw,
and his tomato-vinegar sauce.
7238 Nolensville Road; martinsbbqjoint.com
What to Order: A Taco, Tortilla Soup, and an Agua Fresca
732 McFerrin Avenue; 615/543-6271
What to Order: Huevo Diablo. At this Spanish-inspired cantina, in the heart of downtown Durham’s revival, Matt Kelly masterfully blends
the flavors of the South and Spain. His Huevo Diablo (deviled egg) arrives neatly halved, wrapped in chorizo, and piled high
with a satiny egg filling, the seeming culinary offspring of a demure Southern mama and a swarthy Spanish father. But don’t
stop there. Put simply, Matt’s food is mind-blowingly good. Bowls of Manila clams and boiled peanuts surrender to a sherry-laced,
garlicky broth. Meaty pork ribs, lacquered in Espellette pepper jelly, seem just the thing you’d eat at a barbecue joint in
Basque Country. Luckily, his tapas-style menu encourages sharing.
109 West Chapel Hill Street; mateotapas.com
What to Order: Berkshire Pork, from Adam Musick of Appalachian Heritage Foods, Virginia, with Butterbean Chow Chow, Pole Beans, and Oyster
2 Unity Alley; mccradysrestaurant.com
What to Order: Crispy Sweet and Spicy Pork Belly. Chef Michael Schwartz is a Miami revolutionary. And the food at his flagship restaurant,
opened in 2007, is so memorable I have inflicted serious travel hurdles on myself simply to eat there. No joke. I have regularly
planned Miami layovers just long enough to grab a quick bite (yes, that means an unnecessary trip through MIA security). Once,
en route from Key West to Naples, I drove 40 minutes out of my way at 10 p.m., in a blustering thunderstorm, to catch the
kitchen before it closed. And that pork belly is a dish I catch myself going back to over and over again. Beautifully glazed,
topped with kimchi, crushed peanuts, and fresh pea shoots, it perfectly balances sweet and savory, crispy and unctuous, fresh
130 Northeast 40th Street; michaelsgenuine.com
What to Order: Miso Smothered Chicken or Organic Pork Burger. At chef Edward Lee’s newest restaurant, located inside Louisville’s Actors
Theatre, he thoughtfully layers the Korean flavors of his childhood with his reverence of Southern food. His take on traditional
smothered chicken, served with buttery Carolina rice, gets added depth from miso. His four-napkin pork burger comes piled
with kimchi and cracklins.
316 West Main Street; actorstheatre.org/milkwood
What to Order: Seasonal Vegetable Plate or Country Captain.
999 Brady Avenue; millerunion.com
What to Order: Barbecue chicken. Miss Myra’s does a lot of things superbly. But at the top of that list is barbecue chicken, smoked over
wood coals and finished with a dip in white barbecue sauce, a mayonnaise-based concoction that reigns over other sauces in
the northern parts of Alabama. Don’t skip the meringue-topped banana pudding.
3278 Cahaba Heights Road; 205/967-6004
What to Order: Fresh Tagliatelle Pasta in a ragu of braised chicken, pancetta, pearl onions, picholine olives, and Grana Padano cheese.
2713 Culver Road, ollieirene.com
What to Order: Whole Georgia White Shrimp a la Plancha, “Sopping” Toast, Arbol Chile, and Lime
914 Howell Mill Road; theoptimistrestaurant.com
What to Order: Oyster Sliders. At chef Mike Lata’s high temple of Neptune’s bounty, these sliders are the perfect spicy-sweet, crispy,
tender combo: fried oysters are tucked inside Hawaiian rolls, topped with cabbage, pickled carrots, homemade Sriracha hot
sauce, cilantro, and jalapenos.
544 King Street; eattheordinary.com
Photo: Instagram, @cameronbya
What to Order: Tasting Menu. Justin Yu’s Houston hot spot is a champion of casual dining. Guests retrieve their own silverware and cooks
double as waitstaff. But his tasting menus inspire. He has elicited tears of rapture with his deceptively simple beet salad,
dressed with lemon blossom vinegar, quinoa, and almonds.
1302 Nance Street; oxhearthouston.com
What to Order: Smothered Catfish or Whole Grilled Fish. The latest project from the team behind Cochon and Herbsaint (Donald Link, Stephen
Stryjewski, and Ryan Prewitt), this open-fire emporium in the New Orleans Warehouse District was inspired by a trip to Uruguay,
where every restaurant, farmhouse, and even rest stop seems to have a wood-burning parrilla.
800 Magazine Street; pecherestaurant.com
What to Order: The Daily Special. This little house on Bay Street in my hometown might be the very first restaurant I ever frequented.
The procedure was simple: You entered the home (hallways covered in family photos), fixed your plate of comfort food (fried
chicken, pork chops, creamed corn, butter beans) off the make-shift serving counter at the kitchen entryway, sat at one of
the folding tables scattered throughout the house (at whatever seat was available), and left your money in the basket by the
door (making your own change). I’ve never seen another place like it. And happily, the experience remains the same today.
512 Bay Street; 601/656-3478
What to Order: The Pharmacy Burger
731 McFerrin Avenue; thepharmacynashville.com
What to Order: Brussels Sprouts Pizza. Durham-native Gray Brooks has brought his years of wood-fired pizza experience at Seattle’s Serious
Pie, part of the Tom Douglas empire, to his hometown. He perches seasonal highlights (fiddlehead ferns, spring onions, rapini)
atop a crust that’s simultaneously crispy and a little chewy. My favorite: a white pizza with Brussels sprouts, house pancetta,
and cippolini onions.
105 East Chapel Hill Street; pizzeriatoro.com
What to Order: Chilled Poached Shrimp with Smoked Tomato. Last year at the Southern Foodways Alliance Symposium, Ashley Christensen cooked
the ballsiest meal ever: an all-vegetable lunch at a barbecue-themed weekend. It was so good that when she emerged from the
kitchen she received a standing ovation, and I saw grown men silently weep. This Poole’s dish channels a highlight of that
meal (smoked tomato pie with corn cream). Ashley tosses chilled poached shrimp with rich tomatoes that have been smoked over
embers, then crowns it all with—the best part—whipped cream made from sweet corn. That whipped corn cream is the stuff of
dreams. At SFA I professed my love immediately, and my tablemate, writer Wright Thompson, offered to perform on-the-fly nuptials.
426 South McDowell Street; ac-restaurants.com/pooles
What to Order: Hot Chicken.
123 Ewing Drive; 615/226-9442
What to Order: Broadbent Country Ham Falafel.
702 West Main Street; proofonmain.com
What to Order: Cresta di Gallo pasta with Hen of the Woods mushrooms, roasted yeast, and Parmesan
807 Taft Street; passandprovisions.com
What to Order: Multicourse prix-fixe menu that includes dishes such as smoked salmon rillettes, balsamic grilled quail with figs, and grilled
Akaushi strip steak, a Texas-raised breed of Wagyu
2669 County 422; rancholoma.com
What to Order: Black cod marinated in honey and dill with star anise and red wine vinegar
633 D Street Northwest; rasikarestaurant.com
What to Order: Roasted grouper with braised collards, pecan-shallot cracklins, and potlikker jus
2600 Travis Street; reefhouston.com
What to Order: Seasonal Vegetable Plate
2277 Peachtree Road; restauranteugene.com
What to Order: Salad of Virginia Asparagus with Poached Polyface Farm’s Chicken Egg and Parmesan Vinaigrette
110 South Pitt Street; restauranteve.com
What to Order: Rod Bailey’s Raviolo with Brown Butter and Mushrooms
2146 Monroe Avenue; restaurantiris.com
What to Order: Almond Gazpacho. Michael Schwartz’s latest outpost delivers everything you want Miami to be: al fresco elegance, a hint of
the tropics, and confidence without too much swagger. The almond gazpacho alone—garlicky, cool, creamy, and nutty—merits a
1775 Collins Avenue; raleighhotel.com
What to Order: Lamb Ribs with Sorghum Glaze
2201 Crystal Spring Avenue Southwest; riverandrailrestaurant.com
What to Order: Garganelli Verde with Heritage Pork Ragout and Parmesano or Squid Ink Canestri with Gulf Shrimp, Squid, and Chorizo
700 Taylor Street; rolfanddaughters.com
What to Order: Coriander Crusted Gulf Yellowfin Tuna with Compressed Melon, Tapénade, Shiso, and Fried Boquerónes
3161 Cahaba Heights Road; satterfieldsrestaurant.com
What to Order: Whole Hog Barbecue with a side of extra cracklins
2734 Hemingway Highway; thescottsbbq.com
What to Order: Tuna Old Fashioned, a Bourbon Country-inspired twist on a classic tuna ceviche. Chef Anthony Lamas marinates rosy chunks
of fresh tuna in locally made soy sauce and Kentucky bourbon with orange and a little pineapple. He calls it Southern Latin.
I call it Worth a Road Trip.
1538 Bardstown Road; sevicherestaurant.com
What to Order: Chopped Pork Sandwich
4618 South Lee Street; skylightinnbbq.com
What to Order: Chicken Cafreal. At John Currence's Snackbar in Oxford, chef Vishwesh Bhatt merges a Southern point of view with an Indian
pantry in this dish of Goan spiced pan-fried chicken thighs, stewed okra and tomatoes, and cardamom grit cakes.
721 North Lamar; citygroceryonline.com
What to Order: Burnt Ends, chopped and sauced brisket tips on a bun
2020 Demere Road; southernsoulbbq.com
What to Order: Smoked Boudin, with local figs, homemade mustard, pickled peaches, and peppers
12 Benson Mill Road; springhouseatcrossroads.com
What to Order: Stone Crabs
12306 46th Avenue West; starfishcompany.com
What to Order: Fried Catfish
4 County Road 338; taylorgrocery.com
What to Order: Cheesy Western
114 West Church Avenue; texastavern-inc.com
Photo: Instagram, @barebonesstudio
What to Order: Confit Chicken Thighs, with Parmesan-crusted Brussels sprouts and a mushroom vinaigrette
845 N Carrollton Avenue; toupsmeatery.com
What to Order: Shoo Grill Cheese, Have Mercy. The ultimate grilled cheese sandwich combines Havarti, pimiento cheese, caramelized onions,
maple peppered bacon, ham, fried green tomatoes, and fresh basil on sourdough wheat bread.
12 College Street; tupelohoneycafe.com
What to Order: Pork Scrapple Sandwich, on a hard roll, with aged Cheddar and a silky farm egg cooked over-easy
186 Coming Street; twoboroughslarder.com
What to Order: Machi Cure, a cold preparation of smoked yellowtail with a yucca crisp, marcona almond, Asian pear, and garlic brittle
801 South Lamar Boulevard; uchiaustin.com
What to Order: Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings. Without a doubt, Houston is the most interesting, far-ranging, delightful food city in
the South—strike that, in America—right now. There’s a confluence of a post-Katrina Creole population, traditional Southern
staples (biscuits, barbecue, pimiento cheese), diverse multinationals (Vietnamese, Korean, Pakistani, Mexican), fertile farmland,
easy access to the Gulf, and a general yearning to make a culinary mark. Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly might as well be
the town’s pied piper, leading diners deeper into the flavors of the city. His Korean Braised Goat and Dumplings pairs tender
braised goat with dense rice-flour dumplings, fiery with gochujang (red chile paste), moody with fish sauce, and flecked with toasted benne seeds. Also notable: Chris’ use of Gulf bycatch
(often called “trash fish,” or the fish caught when you’re actually going after something else, say shrimp). A recent highlight
built on bycatch was whole Vermilion snapper, fried as if midswim, topped with green chile-cilantro chutney, served over garam
masala-scented green beans and okra.
1100 Westheimer Road; underbellyhouston.com
What to Order: Selection of house-made Salumi or Aged Spinalis (cap of the rib eye) Steak. Chef James Lewis will change the way you think
about meat at his newly unveiled Vittoria Macelleria, a small-plate homage to the art of butchery.
2901 2nd Avenue South; 205/315-4366
What to Order: Redfish Anna with Lump Crabmeat
3016 North State Street; walkersdrivein.com
What to Order: Inside Out Hot Brown sandwich
3854 Old Frankfort Pike; wallacestation.com
What to Order: West Indies Salad
605 Dauphin Street; wintzellsoysterhouse.com
What to Order: Ramen. Tucked in an old gas station in Charleston, Xiao Bao Biscuit has given the Peninsula a new take on the lunch counter
with their Asian comfort foods, such as Tenri-style ramen (thin, straight noodles in a soy-based broth) with pork belly, kimchi,
stewed greens, and a slow-cooked farm egg.
224 Rutledge Avenue; xiaobaobiscuit.com
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