Starting from last week's post on Washington, D.C. and Virginia, I'll continue on my southern road trip from Raleigh, North Carolina to New Orleans, Louisiana. The south is definitely not short on food, that's for sure! If I put the humidity aside, the south provides for such a lovely road trip filled with endless greenery and places to stop and explore.
Let me just say...I love road trips so much because it forces me to go through small towns and areas that most people would never travel to if they just fly to a big city for a visit. Being on the road is a very special treat if you stop to find the hidden gems.
I had the perfect southern breakfast at Joule and they just happen to have some of the best coffee in town as well.
Beasley's Chicken + Honey was a standout since they had a great beer and wine list, made a great cocktail, and had wonderful food. I can't comment on the actual fried chicken (my fellow diners assured me that it was excellent), but I can surely say that their bar snacks and sides are something to behold.
Martha Lou's Kitchen is not to be missed - period. Martha Lou has been frying chicken and fish in her tiny little kitchen for over 30 years and no one does it better. This, really, is a true southern experience.
Be sure to spend an evening walking around downtown Charleston - so many lovely restaurants, bars, and shops. I had an excellent cocktail at The Gin Joint, then walked over to Husk for a late dinner. Definitely stop for a drink at The Bar at Husk...grab a table upstairs, order some boiled peanuts, and enjoy a beer while you wait for your table next door.
Having been to Savannah before, I did not do much here but grab a quick bite to eat on my way to the next destination. I do love just walking around Savannah, even in the heat and humidity. The parks and the trees are something very special in this little town. I will always recommend staying at The Gastonian, which is a lovely bed & breakfast (a required experience) and forces you to walk to town to take in the views.
New Orleans, LA
Most people don't seem to need a lot of incentive to visit New Orleans since it is its own best promoter. However, I'd love to see more visitors get out of the French Quarter and explore a bit more. Trust me, I still need a Café du Monde fix for iced coffee and beignets that are covered in eleven pounds of powdered sugar, but the best of New Orleans exists a short walk away. I have had far too many experiences in New Orleans that consisted of overpriced, subpar food aimed at tourists. This last time, it was my goal to stay away from all of that.
My favorite restaurant in the city, especially for lunch, may be Pêche - a great seafood-focused restaurant with local oysters and a shrimp roll (same idea as a lobster roll) that is a MUST. For dinner, I had a great meal at Domenica and went there for the sole purpose of ordering the whole-roasted cauliflower, which was a meal by itself!