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Where the Southern Girl Eats Out

Some of my favorite places I've gone on vacation have been restaurants. Some are the type for the locals and some are purely tourist destinations. Nonetheless, they all have some seriously good food -- not all of it is traditional Southern comfort food, either, you may be shocked!

Click the names of the restaurants to visit their websites.

Southern Food

The Lady and Sons -- Savannah, Georgia

Owned by the Queen herself, Miss Paula Deen, this restaurant is well worth the hours you'll stand in line and the pair of pants you'll have to buy once the ones you wore stop fitting. I recommend going for the Sunday buffet. You can order appetizers and then eat from the buffet -- plus, you don't have to make up your mind from the big menu. I would recommend eating a late breakfast and then eating at The Lady and Sons around 4 p.m. (Get your spot in line around 1 p.m.) You won't need dinner later that night! And, you just might catch a glimpse of the Lady or her sons, Jamie and Bobby.

The Blue Willow Inn -- Social Circle, Georgia

This precious Southern mansion is located 40 minutes east of Atlanta on I-20. Their motto is "no one's allowed to leave hungry" and they stick to it. Serving only ice water, lemonade and "the champagne of the South," Sweet tea, with their meals makes them one of the most authentic southern restaurants I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. Take a stop in their gift shop to purchase Blue Willow china and other gifts.

Be sure to take a nice stroll (or roll, after your meal) around and looking at the beautiful houses in the surrounding area of the inn. Also, you're not far from Madison, Georgia where Sweet Home Alabama was filmed.

Barbecue

My dad's side of the family is from Memphis, Tennessee and so is some of the best barbecue on the face of this planet. Memphis barbecue is known for its dry rub and sauce on the side. You can't go wrong with a pulled pork sandwich (on garlic bread, of course), french fries and cole slaw.

Corky's -- Memphis, Tennessee and other locations

I've only ever been to the location in Memphis, and let me tell you, there's nothing like it. I thought I'd had a stroke when I answered my grandparent's door in Orlando, Florida and it was a UPS-man delivering the greatest gift of all... mail-order Corky's. Now my grandparent's are fans of their ribs, but I like just about anything with their sauce on it. A little bit of Corky's rub makes a lot of things taste better -- my grandma will sprikle it on roasted potatoes -- yummy!

Now... here's the War of Roses, Memphis-style...

Rendezvous -- Memphis, Tennessee

Charles Vergos could likely be named a God in Memphis. The first time I went to Rendezvous, I was 8. That night I experienced my first brown-out while sitting in the restaurant -- no one moved. That's how good this barbecue is. Now, Rendezvous is traditional Memphis-style barbecue done in a charcoal pit. And, there's nothing like the taste of these ribs.

The divide between people who like Corky's and people who like Rendezvous changes daily. It's not a war you stay on one side of for long. You're not a Corky's fan or a Rendezvous fan like you are a Democrat or a Republican... you're just not. It's okay to play both sides, in fact, I recommend it.

Classic American Food

The Beacon Drive In -- Spartanburg, South Carolina

My family set the navigation system for the Beacon Drive In the second we crossed into South Carolina last summer on our Fourth of July roadtrip. My sister and I felt so strongly about visiting the drive-in acclaimed by Guy Fieri, we even bought t-shirts to commemorate the experience. This is likely the best burger I have ever had in my life, or the happiest I've ever been when eating one. I recommend a cheeseburger a-plenty with a good-sized sweet tea to wash it all down. Don't forget to get a picture of your plate before and after you attempt to eat it all. Road-trip drivers be warned, your whole car will be asleep after this lunchtime stop.

The In-n-Out Burger -- Locations in and around California

In-n-Out is more about fast-food than a real restaurant experience, but it's nothing to be scoffed at. The company is committed to high quality products -- they only serve burgers, fries and drinks for exactly that reason. There's no additives, preservatives or fillers in their beef and it's never frozen. They grind the beef and form the patties at their distribution facility in Baldwin Park, Ca. That's why you'll never find an In-n-Out in the Southeast! The same standards apply to their lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese. This is a place where the food tastes good and you know you're eating the best products available.


Safe travels and happy eating, y'all!



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