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My Favorite Eats of 2015

This year involved over 120 days of travel in 8 states and I didn’t visit as many countries as last year, but learned more about the types of food found throughout the south. It’s so much more than fried chicken! Some of my stomach issues have been resolved since last year and I’ve become better about eliminating dairy, even when traveling. It wasn’t easy choosing which eats to include for this post, but I’ve narrowed it down to 10. For more tasty goodness, see my favorite eats from 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

favorite eats

Bun cha, Tin Vietnamese Cuisine, San Francisco, California– I was in the city to work a trade show and was staying at a hotel near the convention center while my coworkers went home to their Bay Area pads. I found this Vietnamese place down the street from my hotel for a solo dinner of bun cha, my favorite Vietnamese dish of pork belly in a sweet sauce with rice noodles.

favorite eats

Boiled crawfish, Kim’s Seafood, Bossier City, Louisiana– Despite having all forms of seafood and having crawfish in other ways, this trip to Louisiana was the first time I had boiled crawfish. Thankfully I had an expert to show me how to best suck the heads and get the most meat out of them. And it was smack in the middle of crawfish season!

favorite eats

Delta tamales, Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale, Mississippi– I’d had tamales before at Mexican restaurants but Delta tamales, found mostly in the Mississippi Delta, area different. They have a kick and are usually ground beef instead of pork or chicken. They paired well with blues music and a cold Lazy Magnolia beer.

favorite eats

Whole fried catfish, Taylor Grocery, Taylor, Mississippi– Many people turn their noses up at catfish because it’s considered to be a bottom feeder, but it’s a staple in many parts of the south. No one does it better than Mississippi, specifically Taylor Grocery outside of Oxford. The former grocery store is BYOB with tables covered in Sharpie-d graffiti. The fish is lightly battered and delicious.

favorite eats

Seared catfish with green grits, Kimball House, Atlanta– I don’t dine out at nice Atlanta restaurants very often, but special occasions like my sister’s 21st birthday call for such. We spent a staycation weekend over Labor Day in a hip neighborhood downtown and dined at this award-winning restaurant. It was a totally different take on a familiar dish.

Ratchaburi Crab and Pork dry noodles, Pure Thai Cookhouse, New York City, New York– Noodles in some form or other has become a tradition for my visits to the city. After work this summer, a few of us went to this Thai place that always had a line. It was worth it for the egg noodles with greens, pork and crab meat.

favorite eats

Tonkotsu Ramen, Bone Daddies, London, England– Sensing a trend here? We visited the second location (in a Whole Foods!) for modern ramen and Japanese beer. I went with the tonkotsu ramen with 20-hour pork bone broth. Thankfully it came with a bib because I spilled broth all over myself.

favorite eats

Chicken biscuit, H&H Restaurant, Macon, Georgia– This place is legendary, feeding lanky musicians in The Allman Brothers Band before they made it big. The soul food eatery is still serving hungry visitors on their fried chicken and plate lunches. I went for breakfast and got scrambled eggs (probably cooked in lard because they were so delicious) and the fried chicken biscuit. You can take it up a notch and add pimento cheese, but I didn’t.

favorite eats

Florida Pompano, Ulele, Tampa, Florida– My friends at Visit Tampa Bay set me up with this dining experience, which came highly recommended. After a tour of the restaurant and brewery by the chef himself, I sat down to sample beers, cocktails and this local fish, pan seared, with carrot ribbons, asparagus and a creamy tomato sauce.

favorite eats

Saffron tagliatelle, The Hive, Bentonville, Arkansas– Located in a small town where Walmart is headquartered, The Hive is run by a James Beard-nominated chef at the 21C Museum Hotel. I was deciding between a few items, but I’m so glad I picked this vegetarian option on the meat-heavy road trip. Between the fresh pasta, tomato sauce and addition of fresh chickpeas and raisins, I didn’t miss it!

What dish looks best to you? What was the best thing you ate in 2015?

Mentioned in this post
  1. Tin Vietnamese Cuisine
    Restaurant in San Francisco County California

    937 Howard St
    San Francisco County California
    (415) 882-7188
  2. Kim's Seafood
    Restaurant in Bossier City Louisiana

    901 Benton Rd
    Bossier City Louisiana
    (318) 752-2425
  3. Ground Zero Blues Club
    Attraction in Coahoma Mississippi

    352 Delta Ave
    Coahoma Mississippi
  4. Taylor Grocery
    Attraction in Lafayette County Mississippi

    4 First St
    Lafayette County Mississippi
  5. Kimball House
    Restaurant in Decatur Georgia

    303 E Howard Ave
    Decatur Georgia
    (404) 378-3502
  6. Pure Thai Cookhouse
    Restaurant in New York New York

    766 9th Ave.
    New York New York
    (212) 581-0999
  7. Bone Daddies
    Restaurant in United Kingdom

    31 Peter St
    United Kingdom
    020 7287 8581
  8. Macon
    City in Georgia

    Bibb Georgia
  9. Ulele
    Restaurant in Tampa Florida

    1810 N Highland Ave
    Tampa Florida
    (813) 999-4952
  10. The Hive
    Restaurant in Bentonville Arkansas


2 Responses to My Favorite Eats of 2015

  1. KareninCalabria January 5, 2016 at 12:31 am #

    Hmm… you’ve had some interesting taste experiences. I don’t usually go for fried food, but I have to say that the carrot ribbons and whole fried catfish piqued my interest. On the other hand, the strange looking scrambled eggs next to the fried chicken on a biscuit strike me as unappetizing. My favorite meal of late was in a restaurant in Calabria, Italy. The whole meal was wonderful, from the cold appetizers to the 2 pastas and then a leg of lamb cooked in clay molded to it that was broken table side. I wrote it up on my latest blog post. It was truly an incredible eating experience.

    • Caroline January 6, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      Haha Karen, those eggs tasted much better than they looked! And that dish at Ulele was fantastic. Nothing too heavy there. That lamb dish sounds fantastic!

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