Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Southern Living Off the Eaten Path

Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous
"If you truly want to learn a place, eat the food of its people."


Being a fan of all things diner and off the path eateries, I was thrilled to be asked if I would give the brand new Southern Living Off the Eaten Path (Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes That Made Them Famous) book a review.  There are indeed recipes in Southern Living Off the Eaten Path, 150 of them in fact, but, this book is much more than that.

Written by humorist, noted food critic and former travel editor for Southern Living, with a foreword by Southern novelist Fannie Flagg, Morgan Murphy takes us on a literal adventure, state by state, from the Deep South to the Old South to the Border States, you'll get a bite of some of Murphy's favorite eateries along the way.

For each state we visit, Murphy offers a "Best Drive" feature - a little snippet showcasing an area that gives us some of the character of that state, and even gives us an idea of the length of travel. In Mississippi that's 444 miles of the gorgeous Natchez Trace.

Houston, Texas - Goode Co. Seafood - Campechana De Mariscos (Mexican Seafood Cocktail)
Each state has several restaurants featured for a total of 75 in all, providing an address, phone number and website, and even includes specific GPS coordinates in case you want to just plug those in for a road trip. Now how cool is that?! And, each restaurant has a "Don't Miss" feature, mostly a featured menu item, but sometimes an interesting part of the decor you'll find there.

If there's a gawk-worthy, kitschy roadside attraction in the area, like the UFO House in Pensacola, Florida, or the legendary Crossroads Memorial at the corners of Highways 49 and 161 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, it's featured.

Atlanta Georgia - Antica Posta - Farfalle All'Aragosta (Bow-tie pasta with white wine & lobster)
If there's a fabulous local food somewhere along the way, like Rebecca Ruth Candy in Kentucky and the best boudin in Louisiana, Murphy tells us where to find it in "Food Finds."

And of course, there are the recipes! Bacon Infused Cocktails from Benton's in Madisonville, Tennessee, BLT Hash Browns from Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Crab and Shrimp Cakes from Whitey's Fish Camp in Orange Park, Florida, Country Smothered Pork Chops from The Dinner Bell in McComb, Mississippi.

Louisville Kentucky - Lynn's Paradise Cafe - Pecan Chicken in Woodford Reserve Maple Cream Sauce
There's Pecan Coconut Pie from Ray's Dairy Maid in Barton, Arkansas, Lucille's Pot Roast, from Lucille's Roadhouse in Weatherford, Oklahoma, Dreamland BBQ Brisket in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (yes! they are open!), Green Tabasco Chicken from Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Tomato Pie from Grits and Groceries in Saylors Crossroads, South Carolina and many more.  Many recipes offer up "Diner Secrets," helpful tips to explain how to up the flavor ante.

Henderson, Louisiana - Pat's Fisherman's Wharf - Snapper Patrick
The trivia is interesting, the photography gorgeous, the book is colorful and fun, and the recipes are mouth-watering. If you're a southerner, you'll love looking for your favorite places and enjoy having those recipes. If you're a displaced southerner transplanted elsewhere, or somebody who just loves the south, you'll love the recipes as much as you will the road trip. Southern Living Off the Eaten Path is available beginning today at a bookstore near you and your favorite online shops, such as Amazon.

Morgan Murphy has written for Forbes, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar. His diverse background includes an M.B.A. from the University of Oxford and a love of vintage American cars, a passion that led to the launch of the world's first online social network for classic car enthusiasts, Murphy resides in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Posted by on May 10, 2011

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