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hi --

i am a food writer doing some research about coleslaw and i'm looking for unusual versions from the south. ideally i would love to find restaurants serving coleslaw that make use of some local ingredients and flavors. i am not looking for recipes, but specifically need restaurants or take-out places.

thanks for your help.

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  1. I personally have not found a cole slaw that i like, and i was born and raised in the south (I know, blasphemy), but everyone i know loves the slaw at the Lucky Otter in West Asheville. It's a burrito joint, so not really southern, but they do use local ingredients, and everyone raves over their slaw. It's quite unique and very different than the traditional white, mayonnaise-y stuff. Even though i never eat mine, someone always does.

    1. Allen and Son in Pittsboro, NC has a pretty good version. My wife, who hates slaw, loved it once I got her to try it. The unique thing about it is the bite provided br what I think is white pepper.

      1. Wintzell's Oyster House in Fairhope AL has one of the best cole slaw versions I have ever tried. Very nice with celery seeds.

        1. I love the Slaw at Pat James Full Moon Bar-B-Que (http://www.fullmoonbbq.com/index.html) in Birmingham, Alabama. I still fondly remember it, even though I have not eaten there in 10 years or so. Though I am a southern man, born and raised in Birmingham, I do not enjoy the mayonnaise dressing largely associated with southern slaw (at least in Bama). The Full Moon slaw is a sweet and tangy vinegar based slaw. The acidity of this type of slaw pairs perfectly with the fatty (and delicious) pork BBQ served at Pat James.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RobiePC

            I wholeheartedly second the recommendation for Full Moon BBQ's slaw in Birmingham, AL. It is the best in the South. Hands down.

          2. Watts Grocery in Durham, NC makes buttermilk coleslaw, and is very much into using local providers whenever possible.

            The Flying Fish in Hillsborough, NC (sadly closed now) made coleslaw with red cabbage and black pepper - no mayo at all. Very zippy - my husband loved this version.

            Sage vegetarian restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC makes a vegan coleslaw with balsamic vinegar that I really like - though they'd have to be considered a restaurant located in the south as opposed to a southern restaurant :).

            1. We recently had the cole slaw at 12 Bones in Asheville and it was wonderful. Not made with mayo and very tasty!

              1. Ridgewood BBQ near Bluff City TN has two different slaws.
                One that goes on their Q, the other, a sweet and not vingary that is stand alone.

                If you are looking at the western part of south, some Arkansas restaurants serve a sweet (with vidalia onion) type salad dressing on cabbage that I really like. Their dressing is similar to Mt Vernon Restaurans Sweet Celery Dressing in Chattanooga.

                1 Reply
                1. re: shallots

                  anyone know of a specific place that serves slaw made with vidalias? thanks.

                2. RO's bbq in Gastonia, NC has a really unique slaw. A slaw sandwich was a popular item when I was a kid.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: blewgo

                    Here's a clip from a FoodTV story on RO's slaw. It may be an acquired taste.


                  2. I like blue cheese coleslaw. The Boathouse Restaurants in the Charleston area serve it (among other places, I'm sure), but I think my recipe is better. ; )

                    1. Love the blue cheese slaw at Poes on Sullivans Island outside Charleston.

                      1. Cock of the Walk in Ridgeland, MS has the best slaw in the world, bar none. I think that they have a few other locations throughout the south, but the slaw isn't the same anywhere else. They keep trying to change it at the Ridgeland location to bring it in line with the others, but their loyal clientele won't hear of it and always cause such a ruckus that they have to stick with the original.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Clarkafella

                          Amen, Clarkafella! Nothing else compares.

                          1. re: Sister Sue

                            I love that stuff! Now I'm going to have to make a trip to the Res.

                          2. re: Clarkafella

                            Please help ndl by recommending places with great coleslaw in this area. Recipes are off topic for this board: We've split off one to our Home Cooking board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5709... .

                            1. re: Clarkafella

                              i'd love to know more about what makes this slaw so good. is it a mayo-base, vinegar? does it have any unusual ingredients? thanks!

                              1. re: ndl

                                I think that it is mayo based. But it isn't just your run of the mill cole slaw. When you try it for the first time you realize that you are at the pinnacle of all the slaws in the world- and all others will fail in the comparison! Here is their number if you want to find out more about it:

                                (601) 856-5500

                                I would like to stress that though there are several CotWs around, they are all individually owned, and as far as I know, the Ridgeland location is the only one that has stuck to the original recipe. For years, they also stuck with the original concept of offering only catfish as a main course. They reluctantly added chicken nuggets a few years back (didn't even put them on the menu until much later- just had them in case someone came in who refused to eat catfish), and that is where they stand now. I was shocked to see the menu from another location- shrimp? crabcakes? tilpia??? What is up with that?

                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                  I always notice the pepper.

                                  Any way that we can get that recipe? I keep thinking I'll write to Bon Appetit or whatever magazine that has that column that requests restaurant recipes for readers.

                                  1. re: JaneWinston

                                    If you do get the recipe, please share- that stuff is the crack of cole slaw...

                            2. It is a chain but I think the marinated(vinegar) slaw at bojangles is pretty good. I have not found a restaurant mayo slaw that I really like

                              1. Mr.B's BBQ in White Post Va. Just about 1.5 hours west and slightly south of DC. It's a take out joint along RT 340. Had the best squash pie there today-and the ribs are always good. The cole slaw is just perfect with a balanced mix of spice and sweet and crispy. You don't ask how he makes it----you never look a bull in his eyes but his cooking is darn tasty.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ditsyquoin

                                  One style of slaw found in BBQ joints and diners in the Carolinas is served on top of burgers and BBQ sandwiches. It is a sweet slaw and often slightly drier than slaw made to be served as a side dish.

                                2. John's Restaurant in Birmingham had a ketchup-based coleslaw dressing, simply served over angel-hair cabbage, which is now sold by the bottle in local stores. John's successor, named John's City Diner, has its own version of the slaw, not quite as sweet with more of a garlic kick.

                                  1. Try Hudson's "seven day slaw" on Hilton Head Island. It doesn't use mayo, and can be "kept" for seven days. http://www.hudsonsonthedocks.com/