Food and drink are an important part of the American South, but it's not somewhere you go to eat light. From barbecue kings to the French cuisine in New Orleans, there’s a culinary adventure at every stop.
There are many "meat and three" places — a meat dish plus three sides — in the South, but not all are as welcoming as Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Owners Jack and Rose Arnold create home-cooked country classics like mac and cheese, catfish, yummy puppies (cornbread balls) and pecan pie. You might have to wait in line to enjoy the feast, but you‘ll leave totally charmed and completely stuffed.
No one loved a good burger more than Elvis. His infamous demise is a reminder of just how much he loved the buns. So where do you go in Memphis for the best burger?
Like a lot of good American cooking, it’s somewhere with a bit of influence from outside the U.S. Hog & Hominy is a mix of Italian and Southern fair that happens to serve some of the best burgers in town. You'll also find peanut butter pie stuffed with banana, peanut butter crème and piled high with whipped cream. We think The King would approve.
Some believe the South is the barbecue capital of the world, so go to A&R Bar-B-Q for ribs that are seasoned beautifully and glide away from the bone. Sauce comes on the side, so you can really enjoy the flavor.
New Orleans has much to offer the hungry traveler, so it’s easy to get your Cajun and Creole in a twist. Creole treats have a definite French influence. The roux method — cooking with fat and flour to thicken a dish— is favored, as are local delicacies Turtle Soup and Pralines.
At Arnaud's, 19 dining rooms take over a whole block of the French Quarter. Such grandeur is deserved — it was the birthplace of the locally famous Remoulade shrimp sauce. Another highlight is the Oysters Rockefeller dish at Antoine’s, the oldest family owned restaurant in the U.S. End your trip with many a slice of king cake. The braided Danish pastry, laced with cinnamon and stuffed with a variety of fillings, is traditionally made from Jan. 6 to Ash Wednesday. Grab one at Gambino’s Bakery before the drive home.
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