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Feb 8, 2011 09:48 AM

What's the ideal southern brunch menu?

I must qualify that I am not from the south and I have no history with southern cooking. However, I thought I might try to cook a southern style breakfast. What would be your typical menu for brunch? Is there a typically southern way of cooking any particular dish? Links to online recipes would be appreciated as well.

It's been posted that there are different regions to southern cooking. What southern cooking I've had in restaurants were labeled as "southern" cuisine, nothing else. I had no clue there were muliple regions. As stated above, I am a southern cooking virgin. That said, I think I'd be mostly interested in creating a menu from the "biscuts and gravy" or the "shrimp and grits" variety. (Thanks to Lemons for specifying the possible regions.)

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  1. You're covering a lot of territory when you say "South". Biscuits and gravy? (Appalachia and beyond) Eggs Sardou? (New Orleans) Bagels and lox? (Miami and Boca Raton) Shrimp and grits? (South Carolina and beyond) Give us a few more hints.

    7 Replies
    1. re: lemons

      I wouldn't consider shrimp and grits to be a typical breakfast dish. Breakfast grits are usually eaten solo with butter/pepper/hot sauce or with some cheese mixed in during cooking.

      1. re: Naco

        Shrimp and grits are very common on brunch menus in SC and GA.

        1. re: onrushpam

          I checked a couple of the usual haunts in Charleston, and you're right. I can't remember ever having gotten them or been with anyone who did, though- not at that hour, anyway.

          1. re: onrushpam

            I think it shows up in many Southern coastal areas that have historically had some shrimping nearby. Here's the brunch menu from a local Southern and New Orleans-influenced restaurant:


          2. re: Naco

            >>"I wouldn't consider shrimp and grits to be a typical breakfast dish"<<

            On the contrary, it's so traditionally associated with the morning meal that it's also known as "breakfast shrimp." Here's a sample recipe:


            1. re: alanbarnes

              Not a term I've ever heard before, although I haven't been to Charleston in a few years, and the South Carolina branches of the family are from the Midlands, not the Low Country.

          3. re: lemons

            Lemons, Thanks for your input. I've specified above....

          4. I'll say right off the bat - I am a Yankee, born & bred. I currently live in New England again, but I did spend 6 years in Kentucky ( & miss it dearly!). In my (transplant's) opinion, a good Southern breakfast or brunch would have: biscuits with sausage gravy, buttery grits (maybe with cheese, but more likely without), bacon, eggs scrambled with cheese, a hashbrown casserole (we used to have a great one with sour cream & cheese), and ham (often country ham, which is incredibly salty and good). Not a fancy meal, but a very filling one, with a big emphasis on the meats & carbs.
            I was back there visiting recently, and had the best breakfast of biscuits & gravy and a bowl of buttery, salt & pepper grits. I rarely eat like that (I'm a yogurt for breakfast person now) and it was HEAVENLY.

            1. It depends on what part of the south you are talking about. I'll give you what I think is a list of dishes typically seen in North Carolina.

              Country Ham w/ Red Eye gravy
              Eggs fried or scrambled
              Sausage gravy
              Apple Butter
              Sliced fresh tomatoes when in season
              Hash Browns

              I'm sure some of you other good North Carolina folks can add to this list as I'm sure I have missed many things.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lutherben

                Yep -- This list is spot on for a traditional NC breakfast/brunch. All served with a big glass of tea, of course (always iced and "sweet" presumed not stated). You're making me homesick up here in NY!

              2. Biscuits for sure, but you don't necessarily have to serve them with gravy. Homemade preserves -- say, peach and blackberry -- and real butter go great on biscuits. For a real southern touch, serve blackstrap molasses too. 8<D

                I'd want to see some grits too!

                1. Biscuits & Gravy Brunch
                  Buttermilk biscuits with red eye gravy
                  Country ham
                  Mixed vegetable "hash browns"
                  Soft scrambled eggs with roasted red pepper and cheese
                  Buttermilk pie

                  Shrimp and Grits Brunch
                  Fried bacon
                  Bacon fried shrimp with smoked cheddar grits
                  Poached eggs on split English muffins with roasted green chilis and spicy hollandaise
                  Hot sauce on the side

                  1 Reply