The Whole Hog
(Collective Southern coverage from all our brands)
Pack the car and hit the road to any of these southern destinations for an easy weekend trip. In the May issue, Travel+Leisure reports on “20 Easy Weekend Getaways” and five of them are located in the Southeast.
Southeast Top Pick: Charleston, SC
Whether you take a leisurely stroll along lower King Street or hang with the hipsters up the street in “Chucktown,” you’ll find plenty to do in Charleston. Here are a few highlights to check out on your next visit:
City Market - A great starting point for your visit of the city.
Heirloom Book Company - A local bookshop dedicated to the literature of food.
Worthwhile - This unique boutique sells clothing, accessories, housewares and gifts.
The Cocktail Club – Serves farm-to-shaker beverages and craft cocktails.
Ordinary - Chef Mike Lata’s upper King Street seafood hall.
Charleston Music Hall – Historic downtown venue showcasing a variety of “artistic and theatrical experiences.”
Zero George – This luxury boutique hotel offers guided antiquing trips, afternoon cocktails, and Lowcountry cooking classes.
Photo courtesy of Ordinary.
This farm-to-fork dining destination is located in the horse country of Virginia. While you’re there, be sure to visit:
Hunter’s Head Tavern -The authentic English pub is owned by Cisco Systems founder, Sandy Lerner, and serves local farm meats and produce.
Home Farm Store -Known for its selection of small-batch Virginia wines and fresh regional produce.
Salamander Resort & Spa – Scheduled to open this August, this luxurious resort and spa will offer an equestrian program, culinary classes, miles of walking trails and locally sourced cuisine.
Ashby Inn & Restaurant -The 1829 B&B has ten distinctively themed rooms while their menu reflects the close relationships they have with the local food producers in the area.
Southern Charm Category: Asheville, NC
Asheville provides the elegance of Biltmore with the hip vibe of many artisanal restaurants and modern hotels such as:
Aloft Asheville Downtown – A fun, modern hotel where guests and locals can meet at the W xyz Bar for a local brewery pint or an Appalachian Bird Dog cocktail.
Wicked Weed Brewing - Serves locally inspired dishes with its bold-flavored craft beer.
Chestnut - This small-plate dining spot is located across the street from Aloft Asheville Downtown and features local, seasonal flavors.
Photo courtesy of Aloft Asheville Downtown.
Southern Charm Category: Chattanooga, TN
Explore the city by bike (Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System) and pedal your way to these destinations:
Main Terrain Art Park – Located in the Southside district, this park and green space offers contemporary interactive sculptures that can also be used as fitness equipment.
TerraMae Appalachian Bistro - This fresh and local restaurant is located within the Stone Fort Inn and celebrates the flavors of the Appalachian from Maine to Georgia.
Stone Fort Inn – You can find this boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Chattanooga where it is within walking distance to the city’s popular attractions and restaurants.
Photo courtesy of Maggie Behringer, Nooga.com.
Southern Charm Category: Mobile, AL
The birth-city of Mardi Gras is also home to 19th century mansions, grand oak trees draped in Spanish moss and these noteworthy destinations:
Wintzell’s Oyster House – This establishment opened its doors in 1938 as a small six-stool oyster bar and is still known today for its fresh Gulf seafood.
Fort Conde Inn – A boutique hotel and historic inn that exudes 19th century southern charm.
Ashland Gallery – (251/479-3548) A Midtown art gallery where you can do a little souvenir shopping.
Photo courtesy of Per Andersen/Alamy.
In the April issue of Food&Wine New York Times bestseller, Frank Bruni, challenges himself to eat nothing but Italian for five straight days. And during his culinary adventure, he travels from New York to Atlanta to visit his father. So can Frank find an Italian-worthy restaurant way down South? Read the excerpt below and find out.
Soon I found what I was looking for: a place called Pricci, where I was served a lovely arugula salad and Dad got his beloved penne. There were some calamari and a shared pizza in the mix, as well. I’m convinced that no other ethnic cuisine within that one-mile range, not Spanish or Mexican or even Chinese, could have left us as satisfied. I hadn’t fully appreciated that before.
Click here to read more about Frank’s eating adventure.
Art © Luke Best
Charleston-bred brothers Matt and Ted Lee pay homage to the cookbook in the April issue of Travel+Leisure. The brothers had their first cookbook “experience” when they were kids. After dining on a dessert of crème caramel at a local French restaurant, they decided to recreate the dish from a recipe in their mother’s dusty copy of Joy of Cooking.
As the Lee brothers write:
When inverted, the little custards came out perfect – caramel syrup flowing over the browned-on-top pucks – just like the ones we’d tasted in the restaurant. We had been to France and back in a kitchen on East Bay Street, and it was irresistibly delicious.
It was then the brothers realized how cookbooks could transport them around the world on various culinary adventures. Matt and Ted have since amassed quite a collection of cookbooks, including many vintage ones. And now they can add their latest cookbook, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen to that collection.
Read more about the Lee brothers’ favorite cookbooks and find a listing of top vintage cookbook stores by clicking here.
Photo courtesy of John Lawton.
In the March issue, Travel+Leisure reporter Hadley Barr (age 12) explains why Colonial Williamsburg is her destination pick for the “12 Trips To Take Before You’re Twelve.” Hadley goes on to describe Colonial Williamsburg as a living museum where her favorite spots to visit are the Governor’s Palace and the Brick Yard. And when she’s ready for a bite to eat, Hadley stops by Retro’s Good Eats for a cheeseburger, The Cheese Shop for a gooey grilled cheese, or Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop for a sweet treat.
Image courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons
Andrew Zimmern takes us on a culinary tour through the South with “Best Southern Food in the U.S.” on foodandwine.com. Below is a small taste of what these Southern dining establishments have to offer. Click here to read about the other restaurants that made Andrew’s list.
Scott’s Bar-B-Que (Hemingway) – Scott’s has been serving pit-cooked bar-b-que for over thirty years so you know they’re doing something right! They build their own wood-burning pits and cook whole hogs overnight. The pork is hand-pulled and topped with crispy skins and the family’s own secret sauce.
Image courtesy of Scott’s Bar-B-Que.
Husk (Charleston) – With a market-driven menu that changes daily, chef Sean Brock’s cuisine is created from products which are harvested or raised in the South. Recent menu options include wood-fired clams served with a red pepper beer broth, Georgia sweet corn, wilted arugula, and cornbread.
5 & 10 (Athens) – Hugh Acheson’s flagship establishment combines traditional Southern flavors with French and Italian influences. Current selections on the menu include low country frogmore stew with shrimp and andouille in a leek and tomato broth, pecan smoked Mississippi catfish with celery grits, and a grilled pork chop with dirty rice, braised collard greens, and green tomato relish.
Image courtesy of © Rinne Allen.
Holeman & Finch Public House (Atlanta) – This pub offers traditional bistro-style cuisine with a Southern twist. Their current menu offers smoked veal sweetbreads, spicy shrimp stew with bok choy, and duck fat caramel with pears, apples, radish, and baby carrots. And if you happen to be there at 10 p.m., you can try to get one of their infamous burgers. But you better be quick as they only make two dozen of them and they usually sell out within a minute. Brunch is served on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Barn at Blackberry Farm (Walland) – Blackberry Farm is a luxurious hotel located on a 4,200 acre estate in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Barn serves what it calls Foothill Cuisine®; a combination of refined and rugged flavors. Menus are based on seasonal ingredients, bounty from their heirloom garden, and the foods of their Southern heritage. The current menu offers beef tenderloin served with buttermilk potato puree and king trumpet mushrooms, North Carolina mountain trout with butter beans and sweet corn succotash, and a carrot-apple upside down cake with cinnamon ice cream.
Image courtesy of © Beall + Thomas Photography.
Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous (Memphis) – In 1948 Charlie Vergos found a coal chute as he was cleaning out his diner’s basement. The chute allowed him to vent the space which in turn, lead to his dry-rubbed, vinegar-basted, charcoal-broiled ribs. Rendezvous is considered to be the best place in town for ribs.
Hot and Hot Fish Club (Birmingham) – Chef Chris Hastings supports local fishermen and foragers as he offers a refined take on Southern cuisine. Items on the menu include grilled grouper with shrimp in a lemon saffron broth, roasted pork leg with white peach mojo, and lobster bisque with herbs and lemon oil.
Photo © Jason Wallis.
Need a shot of vitamin D this winter? Outside (outsideonline.com) writer, Gordy Megroz, suggests ten weekend adventure destinations, one of which is located in the South. Gordy recommends steering clear of the snowbirds, fisherman and Parrotheads in Key West, Florida by hiring the right guide who will help you land a trophy-sized catch. Bruce Chard (brucechard.com) has spent more than 20 years helping clients fish for sharks, tarpon, barracuda and bonefish. And when you’re worn out and hungry from all that fishing, you can grab a room at The Marquesa Hotel (marquesa.com) and stop by its Cafe Marquesa for a bowl of shrimp bisque and sweet corn-dusted diver scallops.
Image courtesy of The Marquesa Hotel
The city of Nashville was highlighted in the Food section of “Radar” this month for five of its dining hotspots:
- Catbird Seat (1711 Division St.; thecatbirdseatrestaurant; $$$) offers a whimsical tasting menu with items such as Wonder Bread puree.
- Bella Nashville (Farmers Market, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd,; lunch only; $) dishes out pizzas where toppings include hummus and beets.
- Barista Parlor (519B Gallatin Ave.; $$) a hip coffee shop where you can order chicken and waffles with your cup of joe.
- Etch (303 Demonbreun St.; etchrestaurant.com; $$$) is local food icon Deb Paquette’s new venture and serves dishes like Moroccan-spiced duck breast with harissa cranberries.
- Silo (1121 Fifth Ave.; silotn.com; $$) offers down-home foods with a twist such as smoked-pork potpie and grits with bacon jam.
And for any business travelers coming to the South…
Looking to stay in one of the world’s best business hotels? Travel+Leisure readers chose the Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, and Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta in Travel+Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards survey.
“America’s Favorite Cities 2012”…which Southern cities made the list?
- Nashville: A Southern Surprise Contender – Free attractions, street performers, burgers, BBQ, ice cream, happy hour, sports bars, friendliness, and antique stores are just some of the reasons why Nashville topped the list.
- Charleston: Another Southern Surprise Contender – Charleston made the list for its fine dining. Restaurants such as Two Boroughs Larder (twoboroughslarder.com) help to create a unique and artisanal downtown restaurant scene.
- Savannah: The Urban Up and Comer -Makes the list for its friendly people, public parks, free attractions, ice cream, happy hour, and antique stores (among other things).
Image courtesy of Brian Jannsen / Alamy
What’s on your shopping list this holiday season? A few Food & Wine staffers share what’s on their list. Christina Grdovic Baltz, Vice President/Publisher, has the 5.5″ Santoku knife from Hammer Stahl (hammerstahl.com) on her list while Research & Insights Manager, Claire Femiani, will be gifting Le Creuset’s Fondue Pots (lecreuset.com).
The November issue of Travel + Leisure takes us on a journey to the 101 Places Every Traveler Should Know. For this issue editors reached out to their global network of correspondents along with other well-known thought leaders and figureheads to compile a list of their most memorable travel experiences. Former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, chose her birthplace Prague. While actor Edward Norton’s top pick is Campi Ya Kanzi in eastern Kenya. But with all the exotic globetrotting going on in this month’s issue, Charleston, South Carolina also made the list for its private gardens, live oaks, and beautiful fountains.
And in other Southern travel news this month, the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina ranked 9th for having the lowest percentage of departure delays in the publication’s “Air Travel Report”.
Image courtesy of: Wikimedia Commons-Daniel Mayer