Originally from Georgia, I am a southern writer, blogger, and mother. I am an advocate for childhood literacy and interested in storytelling. I have experience in feature writing and editing. I worked as an associate editor and lifestyle editor at my college and later worked as an editorial intern at a local health and fitness magazine in Atlanta. My current projects are authoring 100 bedtime stories that I post each day to my blog Bedtime Stories for Brighid, writing a novel and other freelance work.
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10 Best Dishes to Order in the South
By: Erin Cotter
What are the 10 best dishes to order in the south? The southeastern United States is known for its comfort food. If you are wondering what to order and never visited the South and maybe you’ve heard tale of fried alligator and frog legs, check out this top ten list to put your mind at ease. The following 10 dishes can usually be found at any traditional southern restaurant and are go-to dishes for those of us living in the south. Most southern restaurants serve up these dishes all-day long.
Pulled Pork Barbeque Sandwiches- Pulled pork barbeque sandwiches are a tried and true favorite in the South. This is definitely a great pick when you are looking for something to order that is great tasting and a staple on most southern menus. Pulled pork barbeque is one of those dishes that we pride ourselves on here in the south and most barbeque places down here proudly display their awards along the shelves of their restaurants and in their windows. The competition for the best tasting pulled pork barbeque is fierce, so this dish receives this number one spot for the best dishes to order in the south. It’s tough to survive selling sloppy pork down here. The barbeque itself may be sloppy, but it sure as hell better be good, because people in the south know their barbeque sandwiches. Tried the pulled pork and odds are that you won’t be disappointed.
Macaroni and Cheese- Creamy, cheesy, topped with breadcrumbs, and served baked and sometimes fried, Macaroni and Cheese is in the second spot for best dishes to order in the south. This dish is the definition of comfort food. Warm cheese covering pasta, we in the south eat macaroni and cheese by the pound. Thinking you will get something resembling Blue Box macaroni and cheese or Velveeta when you order from a southern restaurant? Not too likely. Most restaurants serve this dish up their own special way. Some dishes feature different cheeses and pastas and expect that it can come cooked a variety of different styles, with the microwave not often being one of them. If you are searching your menu for a comforting dish of cheesy wonderfulness, search your menu for their Macaroni and Cheese, you’ll likely find it featuring the restaurants own twist.
Shrimp and Grits- One of the most classic southern dishes in existence. Shrimp is brought in by the shipload down here, and grits have long been a southern tradition. Grits are mainly served as a breakfast side dish here, but shrimp and grits is one of favorites on the menus in the South. Why? The creamy grits, creole spices, succulent shrimp send your mouth into taste heaven. This dish is also considering a comfort food and can be found on most menu featuring traditional southern food. Another type of restaurant you’ll likely find this dish on the menu? Brunch spots, which are exceedingly popular in the south.
Fried Green Tomatoes- Ever heard of the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes? Well it is not just a great movie, it’s a very popular recipe here in the south. Green tomatoes are picked, sliced up, and dunked in a light batter, before being fried and served up as a stand-alone dish, or stuck inside sandwiches served with cheeses and great tasting bread. If the menu has them, order them. Fried Green Tomatoes are some of the best eating here in the south.
Biscuits and Gravy- Biscuits and gravy. The perfect combination. Once you’ve have biscuits and gravy it will always have a special place in your cravings. This dish is frequently featuring in southern restaurants, both on the breakfast and lunch & dinner menus. A definite must try.
Pot Roast – A southern classic, I ate this almost every Sunday growing up. Cooked usually for hours, together with onions, potatoes, carrots and various other vegetables, this is mouth-wateringly delicious. I’ve seen it featured in omelets, in sandwiches and served as main dishes, but the options are endless. Have you ever had a pot roast pot pie? As one of the 10 best dishes to order, I have to highly recommend ordering this the first time in the traditional way its served as a main dish with a side such as rice. The flavor, when it has been cooking all day long, is like no other.
Fried Chicken- Usually hand battered at the most famous fried chicken spots, this is a southern dish you must try. Most people have had fried chicken, but here in the south, fried chicken, is like barbeque, a competitive sport. Many people have secret family recipes and some restaurants are known for their special herbed batters. If the restaurant you are at is known for their recipe or has awards for their fried chicken it is probably a good bet it is one of a kind.
Brunswick Stew- Brunswick stew is a southern tradition. It is made with either chicken or pork barbeque, ketchup, vinegar, barbeque sauce, and various spices. It usually is made the same day that the meat is barbequed and often served as a side dish with the barbeque. Different people vary the recipe and yes, it’s another dish people often enter in competitions. It is traditional southern comfort food, and smells delicious while it is cooking. Most barbeque restaurants offer it as a side dish, and you would be wise to try a bowl.
Fried Trout- Fried rainbow trout is a southern classic. Rainbow trout are native to the southern streams and have an amazing flavor. Many times this dish is served with pecans, a nut that is native to the southern region of the United States. This is a smaller fish, but it packs a lot of flavor and is great for your health. A must try if you find it on the menu.