Your Top 10 Tastes of the South 2009
Jumping off of a separate thread on another region's board, thought it might be fun to chronicle the top 10 tastes you experienced in 2009 within our region. I'll get the party started.
In no particular order:
1) Pad kra pow beef, fried tofu w/peanut sauce, and tom ka gai - Thai Siam, Arrington, VA
2) The squash casserole, stewed okra&tomatoes, mustard greens, and perfect fried chicken at Jones Kitchen, Jesup, GA.
3) Pimento cheese panini - Parker & Otis, Durham, NC.
4) Spring rabbit confit with amontillado sherry & country mustard jus with goat cheese ricotta gnocchi, pancetta, escarole, turnips and sugar snap peas - Magnolia Grill, Durham, NC.
5) Deviled crab cake at Tomato Shed Cafe - Johns Island, SC
6) The tagatelli bolognese at Trattoria Lucca, Charleston, SC.
7) Maple view dairy buttermilk vanilla bean pie with flat river farm strawberries, berry sauce, and whipped cream - Magnolia Grill, Durham, NC.
8) Aunt Matte's Sunday platter spread (18-hour brisket, fried pork chop, collards, squash casserole, mashed potatoes) at Yancey House Restaurant, Yanceyville, NC.
9) Hickory-smoked chopped pork BBQ sandwich with brunswick stew, slaw, and hushpuppies - Allen&Son, Chapel Hill, NC.
10) Coarse chopped pork, mix of outside brown and inside white, Lexington #1, Lexington, NC.
Memorable restaurants aren't in abundance in rural South Carolina especially if you're looking for anything innovative...like fresh vegetables that aren't cooked beyond recognition. But some inroad are being made. Southern Belle is in an old bank building on Main Street in the charming village of Chesterfield (it seems too small to even qualify as a town). The food it very good and ranges from fresh salads (blackened shrimp on a fresh bed of greens and a selection of freshly made dressings) to standard entrees like ribeye steak and market fresh salmon steaks. Owner /chef Travis Gunter offers one of the few fine dining experiences between Charlotte and Charleston...yes, linens, china and cloth napkins! While lunches are very good, the dinners really make this a place to return time and time again. Chef Gunter varies the menu to reflect available fresh ingredients ...don't be surprised to find a very decent duck breast in port wine reduction. So get out your GPS (Chesterfield is on Highway 9 southeast of Charlotte on the way to Myrtle Beach)
Southern Belle Sandwich Co
5275 Business Park Way, Theodore, AL 36582
ohhh yeah, I most certainly did. Basically, everything was perfect, but I find that far fewer places can do "perfect" southern veggies than can do perfect fried fatback. But simply put, most everything at Jones was the best incarnation of that particular item that I've had anywhere. which is absolutely incredible.
I don't know about 10 but here are my top 3:
#1 was definitely the smoked sausage from Bradley's Country Store in Tallahassee, FL. IIRC, that was at one time your neck of the woods too, right mikeh?
#2 is the pork BBQ at Peebles Barbeque in Auburndale, FL. The best barbeque I've had anywhere.
#3-- the chicken chettinad at the short-lived Green Leaf Indian restaurant in Durham, NC.
1. Amberjack cheek at Sugano in Lexington, KY
2. Cookies from Kizito in Louisville, KY
3. Collard greens at Africanne on Main in Richmond, VA
4. Tamales at Luna Maya in Norfolk, VA
5. Fresh pasta at Francesco's in WIlliamsburg, VA
6. Samosas and gulab jamun at Mithai House in Cary, NC
7. Queue de boeuf at Chez Carmelle in Marietta, GA
8. Coriander fish rolls at Hong Kong House in Knoxville, TN
9. Sweetbreads at Restaurant Iris in Memphis, TN
10. Goat in yogurt sauce at Layla's in Little Rock, AR
No particular order...
1) Cured meats & sausages from Weeping Radish, Jarvisburg, NC.
2) Oysters and scallops from Sunny Side Oyster Bar, Williamston, NC
3) The 9 course tasting menu & wine pairing at Town House, Chilhowie, VA.
4) Stir fried eggplant from Super Wok, Cary, NC
5) Sunday Doner at Bosphorus, Cary, NC
6) Perfect boiled peanuts from the rusted pick-up truck near Brasstown, NC
7) Ricotta oatmeal creme brulee for breakfast, Sunny Point, Asheville, NC
8) Our tables food at The Admiral, Asheville, NC
9) Fresh sheepshead (the fish) purchased at Risky Business seafood, Cape Hatteras, NC
10) The amazing prime rib (we cooked) from Davinchi's in Wake Forest
I don't know about this list. Imagine doing a simlar list for the west coast which would encompass los angeles, san diego, san fransisco, etc. There are just too many good places to accurately do a 'top 10 tastes of the south' without limiting it to a certain type of cusine or price range. How about the top 10 soul food places under 10 dollars, or the top 10 southern thai places- or maybe doing only places that have local ingredients or one-of-a-kind dishes. This just seems way too broad to be useful to anyone.
1) Goat birria at La Cuata, Dudley, NC.
2) Fried whole spot at Tryon Palace Seafood, New Bern, NC.
3) Spit-roasted al pastor on lightly crisped handmade tortillas at El Mexicanito, Wilson, NC.
4) Candied yams at Carol's, Robersonville, NC.
5) Green beans in pot liquor at Mickey's BBQ, Fountain, NC.
6) Barbecue sandwich w/o slaw at Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC.
7) Hush puppies- Stony Creek Tastee Hut, Stony Creek, VA.
8) Chitlins in vinegar and red pepper sauce at Venters Grill, Greenville, NC.
9) Charcoal grilled jerk chicken from A Guy With A Grill Outside the Greene St. Flea Market, Greenville, NC.
10) Field peas and brunswick stew- Blackbeard's BBQ and C-Food, Conetoe, NC.