Monday, October 19, 2009

The South: Part 3

I never journal quite as much as I intend, in the old fashioned format or in this tech savvy way. So sometimes I feel like blogging falls right in that gap. Oh well. A quick summary will have to do.

On this southern weekend, we had some great food, & some not so great. But that's how it is everywhere, I suppose.

As usual, I enjoyed the appetizers of almost all meals more than the entrees. There's just something about a bite sized starter that gives you a better sense about what a chef is about. I'd almost always rather have a sample of appetizers for dinner, than one big dish. There are fewer bites in which to convey an idea and it often leads to a fuller stronger flavor profile.

Here's one example. In the south people eat fried dill pickles. Who knew? Actually I did know that, but I've never had the chance to try them. These are from Uncle Bubba's Oyster house, which is a spin off of the Paula Deen empire. Obviously, this dish isn't about the concepts of one single chef, but it's consistently on all casual menus down there. I love a crisp new pickle, but won't touch a slimy old one, especially one that's looks like it's been sitting in a brine in the warm kitchen for about 20 years. However, these fried dill pickles are great even for non pickle fans.

The best starter I had was at Ye Old Pink House in Savannah. This place has very mixed reviews online regarding both the staff and the food. We found neither to be the case. We had the most attentive waiter ever, and the food was wonderful, especially the blue crab beignets. Surprisingly this was the only beignet that we had for the whole weekend, but its' texture was perfectly tender and eggy with chunks of crab and a complimentary dipping sauce.

Entrees were good (but not as good as the appetizers). See below, crab stuffed grouper (both local- which is what caught me) and seared scallops. Not the best pictures b/c the flash was acting up.

Otherwise, I must have had crab cakes three different times because I wanted to try many variations as I could. To be honest, all were good, but none as good as the ones at the Roadhouse. And I'm not just sucking up.

Lastly, dessert. For my daughter's recent 10 year old birthday she requested a red velvet cake. Being one always to rise to the occasion, I accepted and conquered. And it was pretty darn good, for a yankee. Following that occasion last week, we made a pact that when we were down south, we would find a real red velvet cake and compare. For four days, at every meal, we searched menus to no avail. We searched for bakeries. Closed on Sundays. We were totally out of luck. Until this morning. A quick stop to Gallery Espresso for pre-airport coffee, found us staring into a bakery case holding a lovely red velvet cake. They all stared at me with wide eyes. It was 8am. They didn't dare even ask. It was breakfast, for goodness sake. So you can imagine what a hero I was when I suggested cake for breakfast. We could not break our pact. A happy ending to a wonderful family trip. Red velvet cake... and pecan pie. We couldn't pass up the pecan pie, now could we?


TKW said...

I am so jealous of all that crab you ate!!

Did you know that they fry dill pickles in Wisconsin, too?

Me! said...

I've never had fried pickles and I've been living in the south for over a year now. Now I need to!