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What's the furthest North you have ever found grits?

Other than in the private homes of displaced Southerners, how far north have grits been spotted being offered, for sale or at least for consumption? I know they have been regularly served in student cafeterias of Syracuse University (New York being the grits hotbed that it is :-) ). How much further north than that have grits been seen?

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  1. The local, small, greasy, urban diner with very long lines serves either grits or home fries. I'm in Boston.

    1. I've never had them. What's the appeal?

      8 Replies
        1. re: Boudleaux

          They're delicious! Addicting, really, with butter and freshly ground pepper...yummy.

          1. re: bayoucook

            I'll second that. This RI-born hound would much rather have grits with my eggs than the crappy potatoes most eateries dish out.

            1. re: Bob W

              I agree -NY hound here-but even in the south, i've been served watery slush. So it varies a lot. In near by (for the winter at least) Boca Raton a popular place serves the grits sooo watery ... But then Florida is not true south so I have to excuse them and order differently.

            2. re: bayoucook

              I like grits with velveeta cheese melted in and then a fried egg or two (fried in bacon grease) slapped on top. Then I violently mash my eggs and stir in the yolks leaving semi firm yolk pieces. MMMMMMM. When we had our restaurant I would go in every morning and get a bowl of grits and then dump sausage gravy over the top and then flat top a biscuit top until it was crisp and crumble it over the top.

              I will probably die early and I am sure some people's faces while reading that were all full of holier than thou smirky bad food joojoo recrimination. Others who know what is good are smiling in affirmation.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Sal- that's what my husband does with his grits and eggs, then a ton of butter and black pepper. We love our grits!

                1. re: bayoucook

                  I have grits and eggs about 3 times a week. Salt, pepper, butter and runny yolks.

                  I however, live in a Velveeta free zone. That stuff looks as if someone melted down a traffic cone.....

                  1. re: bkhuna

                    bkhuna, down your way, waffle house has some nice grits -- on the coarser side, as i like them.

        2. There are several places in Central Vermont (and I think one or two in northern Vermont) that have grits as regular items on their menus. Though I'm a heathen, I prefer adulterated versions of grits with cheese or chipoltle powder, and I make mine with broth, not water. ;D

          10 Replies
          1. re: Morganna

            I can buy them at almost all of the grocery stores in northeastern Indiana and cook at home. However, I don't recall seeing them on restaurant breakfast menu here. Funny, friend cornmeal mush is almost always there and it's not really that much different from grits, just thicker.

            1. re: Morganna

              Relax, Morganna. Cheese grits are in no wise an adulterated version, but rather an enhanced version. Stir in lots of sharp cheddar cheese, some butter, a dash of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, and a dash of Tabasco, salt and pepper, and you are in cheese heaven. Great with fried fish. You are hereby absolved by this life long southerner.

              1. re: steakman55

                Thank you, father! I shall go and sin no more! ;D

                1. re: steakman55

                  As a fellow life-long southerner myself, I totally agree with steakman. Grits isn't just breakfast food for us. Try a shrimp and grits recipe or two - so delicious. And we add all kinds of things to them, plus bake, souffle, and fry them. Grits can replace polenta.
                  You can cook them in broth, milk, or a combination with canned tomatoes. I would never move away from here if I couldn't find grits where I was going!

                  1. re: steakman55

                    from a fellow southerner, we would never have had cheese grits with fried fish -- just plain grits, salt, pepper, butter. and hush puppies.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      MMMMmmm hush puppies! I like my hushpuppies with honey. I'm in Penna and they used to have grits at my favorite breakfast buffet. Creamy, yummy and soothing grits. Alas no more. I like my grits with a bit of butter.

                      1. re: givemecarbs

                        pups with honey? hmmmm. they are too easy to eat, aren't they?

                        great....now i'm craving them with some fried grouper!

                      2. re: alkapal

                        You mean no cheese grits with fish? But you would have cheese grits without the fish right?

                        I saw someone above put cheddar in theirs. I know lots do, but The texture bugs me. As does chicken broth - unless I am eating them with lunch or dinner.

                        God I'm weird.

                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                          I am not a snob when it comes to delicious comfort food: bring out the Velveeta! Use cheddar or other cheese only if baking grits. Velveeta for cooking in grits and for cheesy scrambled eggs. Mmmmmmm.

                    2. I used to live in Indiana and Illinois as a child and we ate grits. I didn't think they were only a southern thing. I remember they were a PITA to make, though, but worth it.

                      1. When my family lived in Plattsburgh, NY (Canadian border) quick grits were available in our base commissary.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Candy

                          Military installations shouldn't count. By that measure, I'm sure they serve grits at the chow hall at Thule AB in Greenland :)

                          1. re: dpan

                            Well they weren't serving them, they were just available for sale. At the same time we could also get canned corn tortillas from Old El Paso, forget anything close to fresh.
                            A coffee shop I worked in, in HS also served grits. It was connected to a Greyhound bus station. There were daily requests for grits. The owner finally decided to put them on the breakfast menu.

                            1. re: Candy

                              When I moved to S. FL. in the 70's they only had canned torts. An abomination! I was from CA where I took good Mex for granted.

                            2. re: dpan

                              As a matter of fact, I have it on good authority that they do serve them there. I meant to exclude military bases from the OP for that reason, but neglected to do so. My bad.

                              Carry on.