I flipped through this book at my local bookstore, being the fan of road eats that I am. It looked like a very useful guide to regional yumminess all over our great nation. However, as a native Southerner, I noticed two GLARING omissions in the southern food section.
1. No entry for gumbo? Are you kidding? This is one of the most uniquely American foods around, certainly one of the most iconic southern foods, and there's no entry for it? Worse, the authors list a restaurant under another heading, The Original Oyster House in Mobile, AL, without mentioning that it is famous for its excellent gumbo. And let's not even mention that they list so many delicacies in and around New Orleans, and gumbo is not on the list. To their credit, they included boiled peanuts - a staple almost unheard of outside the south - but no gumbo, which is known nationwide?
2. Okay, so the authors were savvy enough to include Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, AL, as one of their go-to places for ribs, as it should be. And yet, under meat-and-three, they neglect the greatest southern cooking joint in the former Confederacy, which is only right across the river from Dreamland: the City Cafe of Northport, AL. Maybe it wasn't mentioned because it's technically a meat and four,
including sweet tea and bread, for just over five bucks. This place has been feeding Grandma-quality home cooking to starving college students, cops, firemen, and 'hongry' people from all walks of life for nearly forty years. As someone who has his comfort food bona-fides courtesy of family reunions, Christmases at Granny's, and pale imitations of "the Cafe" from all over the south, believe me: The City Cafe serves the best country cooking you will ever eat outside of Granny's house.
Overall, the book looked excellent, and I praise the authors for the things they did include. But come on, guys, you were right there
for these two! Just include them in the next printing, and all will be forgiven.