Making a travel show means you eat A LOT of different food. Each city we visit has its own unique flavors and treats and traditions and we here at the Southern Weekend have a duty to sample each and every one.
From the word of mouth recommendations to the places we found via Instagram stalking, we had an incredible amount of good food in 2018 and we’ve paid for it at the gym ever since. But we figured we’d highlight some truly great dishes we tried on our travels before we start begging for more of your favorite places in the New Year.
Dishes are alphabetized by city because we don’t play favorites here.
The Ghetto Burger at Ms. Ann's Snack Bar
ATLANTA, GEORGIA | This burger is the stuff of legend. The dish that started as a way for Ann Price to compete with nearby fast food chains became the topic of numerous national features and the figurehead of a cult following. Ms. Ann passed away in 2015 but her legacy lives on in this crowd-pleasing stack of beef, bacon, chili, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard, and special seasonings. We didn’t film too much after we all had one.
Everything on Buford Highway
ATLANTA, GEORGIA | It would take a lifetime to try every dish on Buford Highway and what a life that would be. There is almost no way to convey just how diverse your food options are on this 15-mile Atlanta road, but we did our best. From the perfectly executed tortas at Carnitas Michoacan to the incredible hospitality at Canton House to the stunningly beautiful desserts at White Windmill Bakery, this is a day we still talk about over and over.
Boiled Crabs at Tony's Seafood
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA | Everyone in Louisiana has an opinion on what makes perfect seafood and, really, there’s no one right answer. So in picking a great example of Bayou cooking we’re going to go with the freshest. At Tony’s Seafood we saw hundreds of pounds of live crab come in first thing in the morning and go out the door around lunch time. Eating them right out of the bucket with owner Tony Pizzolato made those perfectly seasoned crabs even better.
The Magna Carrot at Gov't Taco
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA | You would be right to say this taco sounds more like a salad. We at the Southern Weekend don’t really care what you call it, we just know it’s great. This taco starts with a base of savory black beans, gets a healthy dose of slightly sweet glazed carrots, then is topped with a world of flavors and textures with pepitas, chimichurri, and goat cheese. Owner Jay Ducote and chefs Jenn Breithaupt and Therese Schneider are mad geniuses armed with tortillas and we love them for it.
The Burger Burger at Burger Burger
BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI | It feels wrong to recommend a land-based dish in Biloxi but this one is worth it. The Burger Burger is so good they named the entire restaurant after it. This is an 18-inch long burger covered in cheese, gravy, raw onions, and a secret mustard blend. You can try to figure out owner Martha Ann’s secret recipe but please do not try to eat the whole thing in one sitting.
The Kelsey “KY” Brown at Wild Eggs
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY | There’s plenty of great bourbon in Louisville but real food fans know the dish you can’t miss is the hot brown. The Louisville original sandwich is an open-faced nap inducer featuring Texas toast, turkey, bacon, Mornay sauce, and tomatoes. Wild Eggs, true to their name, finishes the sandwich off with a sunny side up egg on top. It will save you at the end of a long night or even the morning after.
The Big Leonard at Leonard's Pit Barbecue
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE | Here’s the sandwich that started it all. When you order a barbecue sandwich in Memphis you get some sort of variation on the Big Leonard, a mouth-watering combination of hickory-smoked pork shoulder, sweet barbecue sauce, and tangy mustard coleslaw. This sandwich was invented in 1922 and Leonard’s owner Dan Brown has been making them himself for over 60 years.
The Rainbow Supreme at Jerry's Snow Cones
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE | After all that barbecue, you’re going to need a sweet treat and boy do we have the place for you. Jerry’s Snow Cones is a neighborhood favorite in Memphis, and we can absolutely see why. Their snow cones come in 70 different flavors and the supreme adds a dollop of vanilla ice cream to take the whole thing up a notch. Colorful creations like rainbow and tiger’s blood will get you plenty of Insta likes but wedding cake is the house favorite.
The Catch of the Day at The Wyld
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA | When we got to the Wyld it was hard to remember we had work to do. This place is absolutely one of the best spots in the South to sit and watch the world go by. Boat up or, ugh, drive to the al fresco dining patio and take a seat next to the fire place, toss some bean bag or, oh yea, eat something. We had a freshly caught red snapper with an Asian-inspired slaw on top but we trust professional fisherman turned chef Tony Seichrist with basically anything you can pull out of the Atlantic.
Chilean Sea Bass at Villa Montez
TYLER, TEXAS | When we went on our trip through East Texas we didn’t expect to get a tour of Central and South America as well. But thanks to Mundo and Carla Villapudua, the brothers behind Villa Montez, that’s exactly what we got. Each dish here is influence by their travels though the lower Americas and we think it’s the next best thing to actually heading there yourself. The chimichurri over locally raised beef was great but the Chilean Sea Bass is the dish we talked about all year. Be careful though, the Villapudua’s might convince you to take that whole global culinary trip in one sitting.
Nitro Beerspresso at Taproom Coffee
ATLANTA, GEORGIA | Alright so this is ten great dishes and one drink. After all that food you need something to stave off a nap anyway. Well, Taproom Coffee in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta has exactly the cure. This coffee is cured with malted hops (the grains that make beer taste like… beer) then served with nitrogen gas instead of carbon to give it a rich, creamy mouthfeel. And it’s completely free of sugar and alcohol, just like a cup of black coffee. It’s three drinks in one and it’s totally awesome.