Monday, July 3, 2017

50th Family Trip: Eating Our Way Through the South

We knew that traveling through a large swath of the South would mean lots of opportunities for some good eating. We were not disappointed!

On our first day out, we stayed in Forrest City, Arkansas and had dinner at this place.
 The punctuation choices in the sign were perplexing, but the all-you-can-eat soul food buffet was good.
 We ate at Central BBQ in Memphis. It was different than the Kansas style sauce we are used to, spicier and with a vinegary kick, but tasty.
 In Selma we stumbled across a little place called The Back Porch Bistro, which served sandwiches and Southern sides.
 I ordered fried green tomatoes, which I had never tasted. They were delicious!
 We were the only people in the restaurant, so the owners came out to chat with us. The two women asked about our trip and recommended a restaurant in Orange Beach. They were discussing places we might explore and then changed their minds when they remembered it was June. One woman, in her soft drawl, said "I went there in mosquito season once and the mosquitoes were so bad they just picked me up and carried me into the next county." We laughed at that all week!
 Our first night in Orange Beach we ate sandwiches and burgers at a restaurant that was literally on the beach!
The ladies in Selma had recommended a small restaurant chain called Shrimp Basket. We tried it out and found it to be excellent! 

There was a wide assortment of fish and shrimp dishes. Meals came with homemade hushpuppies and "shrimp slaw", a tasty slaw with tiny shrimp mixed in it. I introduced Katherine to the wonders of cheese grits - she's now a fan.
 My dad had etouffee and gave it a thumb's up.
 We waddled out of Shrimp Basket, stuffed full of seafood and sides. But the next day when lunch time arrived, we made a unanimous decision to go back to Shrimp Basket to try some more. I had shrimp tacos (and more cheese grits).
 And we feasted on coconut shrimp. We will be talking about Shrimp Basket for years to come!
 Our vans got separated on the drive to New Orleans. Our car was needing lunch and picked this restaurant, mostly because it had a giant crawfish in front.
 Katherine was delighted to find jambalaya as a side dish choice.
 Our first night in New Orleans was walked to St. Charles street and had dinner in a narrow little pizza place called Slice. They sold pizza by the slice and had some wildly unusual offerings. I picked two of the weirdest, just because. The first had Muffaletta toppings - ham, pepperoni, prosciutto, provolone, and olive spread. It was rich and salty and the closest I came to having an actual Muffaletta in New Orleans. The second slice had ham, arugula, provolone, pepper jelly, and diced tomato. It had never occurred to me to put either greens or pepper jelly on pizza, but it was fabulous!
 Bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Best eaten warm, while listening to live jazz. Katherine and I seriously considered licking the plate when we were done.
 Red beans and rice with sausage, at the aquarium, of all places. This comfort food was a great meal for a rainy day.
 Our last night in New Orleans we walked to a place called Voodoo BBQ. Rachel had shrimp - "Not as good as Shrimp Basket". Steve had a po'boy. Katherine had gumbo. I had smoked chicken, corn pudding, sweet potato souffle, and the best corn bread I've ever eaten.
We loved our food journey through the South. We didn't eat anything fancy, and probably not much that was healthy, but it sure was good! When people ask Katherine what her favorite part of our big trip was, she doesn't hesitate to say, "The food!" It was a tasty trip!

1 comment:

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