Wednesday's Cookbook - Diving In
When we head out on a road trip, my husband and I like to find the path least traveled, those little roads that were popular until the super-highways took over. That's where you find the tastiest treats and the places where the locals eat.
Food critic Morgan Murphy captures that spirit of discovery in a tour of Southern diners, covering 70 stops in 17 Southern states.
Each chapter starts with a state's "best drive," or a stretch of road that's particularly worth your time. GPS coordinates are included for each restaurant, ensuring you won't get lost along the way. Rubbernecker Wonders (like the Quirky Museum or the Crop of Cadillacs) as well as Food Finds (like bakeries, general stores, and drive-ins) promise fun scenic stops.
However, it's really all about the food. Recipes from the best of the pit-stops include Southern fare like biscuits, ham salad, and fruit pies. Regional dishes highlight the best of each state ― seafood near the coast and Tex-Mex in the more western areas. My favorite recipes offer good twists on traditional foods, including Jalapeno Hush Puppies and Tipsy Chicken.
Off the Eaten Path makes me want to head out on the road to try every one of these "dives" and stop at every kitschy spot. I'll have to start with the one that featured prominently in my childhood ― Snappy Lunch in Mount Airy, NC, where my grandfather used to take me for hot dogs and pork chop sandwiches. Half the fun in any of these restaurants is the memories that are made. (2011 - Oxmoor House)