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Feb 7, 2007 08:43 AM

Best New Gourmet Southern Food?

I'm touring the south and looking for the best new southern gourmet southern food. I use the term "gourmet" loosely, but what i'm really after is the best new southern cuisine in the south, from Texas to Virginia. Diner-grub and home-cookin places are great and I'll take the suggestions, but anything that's an upgrade from that is mucho appreciated too.


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  1. The Stone Ground Baked Grits at Highland's Bar & Grill in Bham are exquisite! Made with parm cheese & country ham, mmmmmm! Also, their crab cake served with a beurre blanc sauce are the best I've ever tasted!

    2 Replies
      1. If you get to Atlanta, don't miss Athens! Sunday brunch at The Last Resort, (706) 549-0810
        184 W Clayton St, Athens, GA, is worth writing home about. Try the Bloody Mary. Five and Ten in five points, Harry Bissets on broad street, and Del Palmas are also worth the time.

        5 Replies
        1. re: moorek

          Five and Ten is a wonderful restaurant. It does not, however, serve specifically "Southern" food.

          The Last Resort, Bissett's, and DePalma's are emphatically NOT worth driving out of one's way, to put it very mildly. And they don't serve "Southern" food, either. Bissett's serves a mostly-mediocre version of New Orleans-style food, but I would classify that as a different style of cooking than "Southern". At any rate, these three restaurants would surely disappoint any true Hound who visited with high expectations. I am unaware of any Athens restaurant serving truly awesome "Southern" food, actually.

          I really liked Hominy Grill in Charleston, and that fair city has several fine restaurants serving variations on Low Country quisine, but Hominy is darn good "classic Southern" kicked up a bit with locally-grown, high-quality ingredients.

          1. re: uptown jimmy

            Five and Ten doesn't serve exclusively Southern food, but some dishes are squarely in that camp. Boiled peanut beurre blanc!

            1. re: hillarybrown

              Sure, they make a point of including Southern touches here and there. But it ain't Southern food. It's California quisine with the occasional bit of Southern flair.

              That peanut beurre blanc was awesome, and I hate boiled peanuts.

              I love 5&10. Very much. Thank you, Hugh.

          2. re: moorek

            I concur that you should come to Athens if you stop in Atlanta. Although, Five & Ten may not be exclusively southern, most of the ingredients are southern however the technique used to prepare the food very likely won't be. Either way, it's an incredibly unique experience and easily worth the trip.

            There is also a newish restaurant called Mama's Boy which is a very unique southern food place. It's hard to describe, but it is mainly twists on southern classics. For example, they have ice tea brined fried chicken and a mojito marinated pork chop.

            Last Resort, Bissett's and Depalma's are not worth the trip from out of town. They are not bad if you live here, but don't make a trip to visit them, especially Depalma's.

            1. re: Awall25

              Actually, tea-marinated fried chicken has been around for a while, at least in deeper parts of the South. FWIW. I've heard it's awesome, and I gotta get me to Mama's Boy to find out.

          3. If you make it to the SC coast Louis's at Pawley's would be a good place to stop for a bite. If you're there on a Sunday around noon get his Sunday lunch plate. His grits are transcendent.

            Louis's at Pawley's
            At The Hammock Shops
            10880 Ocean Highway
            US 17 Pawley's Island,
            South Carolina 29585

            11am - 11pm 7 days
            4 - 7 Happy Hour



            1. The next time I am in the Atlanta area I plan on checking out the Watershed. http://www.watershedrestaurant.com/ I had the opportunity to meet Scott Peacock several months ago during brunch/book signing in Ponte Vedra Beach. The cookbook he co-authered with Edna Lewis "The Gift of Southern Cooking" is fabulous. He is also very involved with the Southern Foodways Alliance http://www.southernfoodways.com/.

              Any Atlanta hounds care to comment?

              1 Reply