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From the Bookshelf: Southern Living’s Tour Off the Eaten Path by Morgan Murphy

By Michele D. Baker

Book cover for Southern Living's Off the Beaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives

This richly photographed book leads readers through a gastronomical tour of the south. It explores little-known dives, pubs and small wonders across 17 states.


Your alphabetical tour begins in Alabama, visiting Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar, Dreamland BBQ, Pie Lab, Ezell’s Fish Camp, Rosie’s Cantina, and Rumor’s Deli. Arkansas stops include Big John’s Shake Shack, Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets, Colonial Pancake House, Ray’s Dairy Maid, and Ed & Kay’s. Delaware offers Krazy Kat’s and Sweet Somethings.


You can find Blue Heaven Island Cow, Stinky’s Fish Camp and Whitey’s Fish Camp in the Sunshine State of Florida, and a quick trip up to Georgia will lead you to Antica Posta, B. Matthew’s Eatery, and Fender’s Diner. Nearby Kentucky offers The Brown Hotel, Lynn’s Paradise Café, Farm Boy Restaurant, and Woodford Reserve Distillery.


Head down to the Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana for LOLA, Richard’s Seafood Patio, Café Beignet, Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf, and R&M’s Boiling Point. Far away in Maryland (like Delaware, somehow included in a “southern” list), there’s Bel-Loc Diner, Carpenter Street Saloon, Chick & Ruth’s Delly, Faidley’s Seafood, and Obrycki’s.


Our very own state has five entries in the list: Ajax Diner, Doe’s Eat Place, The Castle at Dunleith Plantation, The Dinner Bell in McComb, and Mammy’s Cupboard. Straight up I-55 into Missouri find Crown Candy Kitchen and Terrene, then head southeast to North Carolina for Crook’s Corner, The Ham Shoppe, The Jarrett House, Okie Dokies Smokehouse, Poole’s Downtown Diner, and Snappy Lunch.


Back into the Midwest, Oklahoma boasts Brothers Houligan, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Lucille’s Roadhouse, and Wild Horse Mountain BBQ. South Carolina entries include Carolina Cider Co., Grits and Groceries, Magnolia Bakery (which surprisingly, is not in Mississippi), Roz’s Rice Mill Café, and Wade’s Family Diner. Tennessee stops include Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams, Cabana, Loveless Café and Motel, and Southern Hands Family Dining.


The Lone Star State is represented by Goode Co. Seafood, H&H Carwash and Coffee Shop, Highland Park Pharmacy, La Fogata, and Henry’s Puffy Tacos. Virginia gives us Mom’s Apple Pie Company, Pink Cadillac Diner, The Local, and The Roanoker Restaurant. Rounding out the list is West Virginia with Stardust Café and The Crazy Baker.


The book also includes a list of annual food festivals and fairs and a metrics equivalents chart, helpful if you want to cook or bake something using a recipe from outside the USA.

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