I would make a horrible food blogger. It's not for lack of loving or appreciating food, it's that I get so excited to take a bite of what's before me, I often forget to take a photo before I begin to devour. While thinking back of the past few months traveling around the South, there are many spectacular meals that I didn't record (but my waistline unfortunately did). Here are a few of the best, at least of the ones that made it onto my camera.
While driving from Nashville to Austin, we stopped for lunch in Memphis (it didn't take us long to get distracted). We had heard all about Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken and had to make the stop, even if it delayed our trip a bit. The rumors were absolutely true, and we had plenty of fuel to make it for the remainder of our long drive.
Once we got to Austin, we met up with some friends who invited us to a crawfish boil. The crawfish are boiled in a giant pot outdoors along with veggies and lots of cajun spices. Then, the cooks pour the crawfish on a covered picnic table, where you line up and go to town. It was a great Texas initiation where I learned how to brace my elbows while eating at the same time.
Next, we scooted over to Houston and had a whirlwind culinary tour. We ate at the birthplace of the fajita and an amazing Vietnamese food joint, and had even more Cajun spiced crawfish. However, the only place where I remembered to pull out my camera was Bubba's Texas Burger Shack, nestled in the middle of a spaghetti junction in Houston's west side. It's still in its original building — Bubba refused to move when the highway was built, and fought to save his property. My belly sure was glad he did, because the buffalo burger there is one of the best I've had.
After leaving Texas, we happened upon the International Festival in Lafayette, Louisiana. Here, we had many varieties of Cajun treats including boudin, jambalaya and gumbo. My favorite was the fried catfish etoufee, made with a creamy roux that was heavily spiced and super flavorful.
Finally, back in Kentucky, my brother decided to deep fry a turkey. In a similar manner to a crawfish boil, the turkey is submerged in an large pot over an outdoor burner, only the pot is filled with oil instead of water. This was my first experience with a fried turkey and it was so succulent, it kind of changed my life in the best way possible.
Now after looking back at all these meals, I'm off for a jog! What are some of the best meals you've had on the road?
• Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
• Bubba's Texas Burger Shack
• Festival International de Louisiane
(Images: Smith Schwartz)