The deep fried south...
Trip Start May 04, 2012
16Trip End May 20, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The food here has really been fantastic. I have eaten far too much, and last night I think if I had eaten another bite I would have burst. The thing that has surprised me and Sian is that there are healthy options available at most places. There's plenty of fruit, cereals, yoghurts etc available at breakfast wherever we have been, and several times we have been talked into ordering less food by the waiters due to the portion sizes! One other thing I do have to mention, based on our experience so far and the places we have been - Americans are not as fat as we are led to believe by the media. It's really no different to the UK, and if anything, I think I have seen less obese people here than at home
So in Memphis, it started with our visit to Marlowe's BBQ. We were excited to visit this place as we had seen it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The food was good but it really was TOO much portion wise, and we came out smelling of BBQ to the point I had to change my t-shirt. I had brisket and ribs, and Sian went for pulled pork and chicken - I thought I had a picture somewhere, but you wouldn't believe the portion sizes if you saw them! Although the food was good, I think we expected a little bit too much as we had seen the place on TV and were a little disappointed.
Also in Memphis (not mentioning the sausage gravy - I am talking about food and that does not class as food) was the Flying Fish. There weren't any other tourists here as it was off Beale Street and we had to walk for a few minutes to get there, but the food was fantastic. Fried catfish, shrimp and oysters covered in hot sauce at low prices - can't get much better than that! Throw in a fridge full of great local beers and a server who liked my Faith No More t-shirt and you're on to a win.
In Nashville, we went to a restaurant that did their own local brewed beer
Our second night in Nashville we stayed in and ordered takeaway pizza - this was our second mistake with US portion sizes. Two medium pizzas and sides and we left over half of them!
The food at Mary Bobo's in Lynchburg really was wonderful. Proper home style southern cooking that I could (but probably shouldn't) eat every day. Fried chicken, meatloaf, cornbread, fried ocra...i'd go and eat it now if I could!
Our first night in Muscle Shoals we went to a local bar and ordered a huge plate of nachos with chicken and steak - America does nachos so much better than we do. $10 and both of us were happy. Our second night, we went to the Sweet Magnolia, which Sian talked about in her last post. The food really was fantastic, but I did leave feeling far too full, but when our desserts were paid for by the owner, I couldn't really say no could I?
Tonight we ate at another BBQ restaurant called Dreamlands BBQ in Montgomery. I really wanted to try BBQ in Alabama as people have told me it is very good here. They were right. Based on my experience, Alabama BBQ is much better than Tennessee BBQ. We both had the BBQ sampler plate which consisted on ribs, pulled pork, chicken, sausage and sides, with as many slices of bread as you like (great for making sandwiches with their amazing but spicy BBQ sauce). All this was washed down with two pitchers of beer. Damn good evening is all I can say.
This part would not matter to most people at all, but it has really surprised me and made me feel very at home - America does some great locally brewed ales. I had heard that I would struggle to find ale in the US, but it is just not true. So far, I have tried locally brewed ales from Memphis, Nashville, Alabama and Mississippi and they have all been really really good!
Well there you have it. Not that you cared, but I have told you about the food and drink we have had so far. I will update this with some more pictures as we go, just incase you hadn't had enough!
Lunch on our second day in Montgomery, we went to Chris' Famous Hotdogs - an establishment that has been there for 95 years
So after the BBQ experience, Sian made me go to a Wintzells Oyster bar in Montgomery. I was not happy about this. I would have quite happily eaten at Dreamland BBQ every day for the rest of my life. But on to the oyster place we went, and I decided to have stuffed crab claws. These were very good, apart from the fact that I decided to ask Sian "Am I supposed to eat the shell?" after I had taken a bite...but I am still alive! In my idiotic defense, why would you deep fry something that you can't eat?! It's a waste of perfectly good batter! Sian had a platter of deep fried shrip, oysters and okra - she was happy. I also tried my my first raw oyster, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - tasted like the sea. We were sitting at the bar where the barman was shucking oysters, and Sian remarked how big one of them was, so she got it for free. When he learned that I had never had a raw oyster, one was thrust in my direction, so I had to oblige really
It was also in Montgomery that we tried beers from the Sweetwater brewery (as someone recommended) based in Georgia. They are REALLY good and I have been looking for them ever since...
When we arrived (late) in Biloxi, we went to the Half Shell Oyster House - yep, oysters again. Here Sian had her best meal of our time out here, a platter of oysters served four ways: rockerfella, cajun style, chargrilled and crab stuffed. You can see from the picture just how happy she is! I opted for a seafood pasta which was really good. They came to apologise that I had to wait so long (even though I had been waiting about 10 minutes) because they had to make some more pasta! Needless to say, I didn't mind at all.
The next day, we opted for lunch at the same restaurant in Biloxi, and we are very glad we did. Voodoo shrip po-boys are the shiznit. Whatever shiznit it. The sauce was really good; spicy and a little bit sweet, and we got SO many shrimp (I got more than Sian, and she was not pleased about this...). We were a little bit disappointed when they said they did not sell bottles of the sauce...
Our first night in NOLA we were still quite full from lunch, and we went to a bar on Frenchmen Street called Three Muses. We tried a good local beer whose name I can't remember, Sian had lobster egg rolls (poncy...) and I had lamb sliders (like burgers, but poncy and small...). We shared some feta fries (poncy chips covered in poncy cheese), but despite all the ponce, the food was really good
Our second day, we skipped lunch as we were on a city tour. This proved fatal. Our evening meal was at Pat O' Briens, an establishment on Bourbon Street famous for inventing the Hurricane cocktail. Obviously, we had to try these. Again...fatal. They were enormous! Very good though, and were followed by a few other cocktails to acompany our food. Sian had a muffaletta (sounds rude, tastes great) which is a big italian style meat deli sandwich, while I tried a sampler of three Louisiana dishes: jambalaya, crawfish etouffee and read beans and rice. All were good but the jambalaya was my favourite (even though Sian ate half of it...she claims less). After the meal, but stumbled to "The Swamp" on Bourbon Street, where we tried the locally brewed Abita beer, and the early evening descended into anarchy.
Our third night here in NOLA (after our long day of plantation and swamp tours), we opted to stay in with takeaway pizza. Sian drunkenly stole the pizza menu from someone's porch when we walked back the night before. We half learned our lesson with takeaway portion sizes in America (we finished it all) but were still stuffed. Shrimp pizza and chicken wings/strips were had - apparently, wings come SPICY AS SHIT as standard...no one told me, and after eating two, my mouth hurt a lot. But being an idiot I still ate the rest.