25 Things Southerners Never Order At Restaurants

Mama'n'em don't do vegan. Or cream of wheat.

SL Cream Of Wheat
Photo: Southern Living

When it comes to food, Southerners can be a finicky lot. We all have strong opinions about what should and most certainly should not go into everything from potato salad to grits to chicken casserole. And when we're dining out, we scrutinize that menu for foods to avoid before we commit. If a restaurant serves CRAYfish, for example, we bail. It's CRAWfish, and if they don't know that, they can't be trusted.

Generally, we don't order food that's staring back at us, like prawns with the heads still on. No, no, no. We tend not to eat fish and seafood that could be used to catch fish and seafood (crawfish and shrimp being the obvious exceptions).

On the other hand, if you can name a Southern cousin to an unfamiliar dish, we'll keep an open mind. Once we found out pierogies were dumplings, we were all in. Korean barbecue? If it comes with a side of coleslaw, we'll give it a whirl. Brats? Hey, show us anything in the Conecuh sausage family and we'll throw it on the grill.

Despite our broadening culinary horizons, there are still some things you'll never hear Southerners order in a restaurant—like "a pie" in a pizza joint. Pie is dessert, something you enjoy after your pizza. Some of us have embraced sushi. Others still think it would taste a lot better battered and fried, with maybe a dash or two of Tabasco.

We're holdouts in a few other areas, as well. Here's what not to order in a restaurant, according to our Facebook friends. Let us know if we missed anything:

  1. Hot Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea, or any tea that's not sweet tea, iced
  2. Fish & Chips
  3. Eel or anything snake-like
  4. Cauliflower Faux "Mashed Potatoes"
  5. Quinoa
  6. Escargot
  7. Mashed Rutabagas (because there's such a thing as mashed potatoes, so . . .)
  8. Veggie Burgers
  9. Vegan Lasagna
  10. Grilled Tofu
  11. Elk Burgers, Bison Burgers . . .
  12. Quiche
  13. Foie Gras (Liver & Onions are one thing, but . . .)
  14. Borscht (It looks like a distant cousin to tomato aspic, which Mama says we're supposed to like, but we really, really don't.)
  15. Mincemeat Pie
  16. Corned Beef Hash
  17. Cream of Wheat
  18. Avocado Toast
  19. Turkey at a BBQ Joint
  20. "Just A Salad" At Cracker Barrel
  21. Poached Pears for Dessert
  22. Poached Eggs for Breakfast
  23. Great Northern Beans
  24. Grits or Rice Topped with Sugar
  25. Chowdah

There's a place in this world for fast food, but there's no place in fast food for the South's beloved fried green tomato. No, those should be fried up in cast iron on a stove that has seen its share of Crisco.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles