PHOTO GALLERY: SOBEWFF Southern Kitchen Brunch

The past two years we’ve enjoyed the all-day gluttony of the SOBEWFF Grand Tasting Village. But this year we decided to switch things up and opted to spend Sunday morning with country queen Trisha Yearwood at the Loews Miami Beach hotel. We not only filled up on delish southern eats and bourbon Bloody Marys, but we also got to watch the Grammy Award-winning singer perform a few songs! Here are our favorite bites of the day.

 

My Top 5 Bites at the Southern Kitchen Brunch
(described in 3 words)!

 

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#5 — Pulled Barbecue with Zucchini Fritter:
Smoky. Moist. Spicy.
from Trisha Yearwood, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen

 
 

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#4 — Signature Honeybee Doughnut:
Sweet. Flaky. Decadence.
from Karen Muirhead, Honeybee Doughnuts

 
 

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#3 — Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Maple Biscuit and Sawmill Gravy:
Crispy. Tender. Substantial.
from Chef Art Smith, Blue Door Farm Kitchen

 
 

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#2 — Key West Pink Shrimp and Grits:
Meaty. Creamy. Fresh.
from Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth, Root & Bone

 
 

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#1 — Fried Shrimp Gumbo and Carolina Gold Rice:
Rich. Deep. Roux.
from Mike Lata, FIG

Bayou Classics: Shuck N Dive Cajun Café

 

It’s officially Mardi Gras season, and so I felt it was only appropriate to finally share with you about my love affair with Shuck N Dive. Situated in a nondescript shopping plaza off Federal Highway near downtown Fort Lauderdale, this lively Cajun café is one of our favorite restaurants in all of South Florida. The interior is decked out in LSU and New Orleans-style knick-knacks — and there’s always either zydeco music blasting through the speakers or a sports event shown on the bar’s TVs. My husband has also noted the “flashy”, shall we say, Bourbon Street photos that adorn the men’s bathroom walls.

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Boiled Crawfish

This has to be the restaurant we’ve visited the most since moving to Miami. And we can’t get enough of their food. We have our standards, like the 3-Way Oyster Platter (Black n’ Blues, Oyster Rockefeller and Oysters Bienville) and the pork boudin, which is flown in from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, a small town across the way from where I was born. There are also a few items we’ve tried only once, but overall enjoyed — fried pickles, naked chicken wings, red beans and rice. The “Larry” Cobb salad delivers a huge portion topped with chicken and Gulf shrimp, and during season they typically have boiled crawfish, most of which have been decent size.

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Crawfish Etouffee

I enjoy their hearty portion of crawfish etouffee, albeit it’s a creamier version than those you’ll find in Louisiana — and nearly every time I go to Shuck N Dive I have a cup (or bowl) of either their Country Gumbo (pulled chicken with andouille and okra) or their seafood gumbo (shrimp and sausage), which is probably my favorite dish they serve. Nine times out of ten my husband orders the fried gulf shrimp po’boy — he also asks for it to be tossed in buffalo sauce, which adds some nice heat to an already overstuffed sandwich.

A couple Abita or Nola Brewing beers and some Zapp’s chips, and you feel as though you’re in any old roadside dive in Louisiana. But here you won’t find a drive-thru daiquiri stand or snowballs for dessert. When we can’t make it to my hometown of New Iberia, Louisiana, or I’m not up for cooking my Cajun family’s recipes, Shuck N Dive certainly delivers that taste of home, no matter how far away.

PHOTO GALLERY: Eating Our Way Through Nashville

 

My Top 5 Bites in Nashville (described in 3 words)!

Our long weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, packed in live music, historic plantations, wine tastings, craft breweries, honky-tonks, museums and plenty of good Southern cooking. Here are our favorites from Music City.

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#5 — Pimento Cheese & Green Tomato Eggrolls with Dixie Duck Sauce:
Crispy. Tangy. Quirky.

at The Harding House at Belle Meade Plantation

 
 

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#4 — Charcuterie Plate with Cheddar Biscuits: Handcrafted. Fresh. Massive.
at Husk Nashville

 
 

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#3 — Broken Spoke “Pot Roast”: Tender. Meaty. Comforting.
at ACME Feed & Seed

 
 

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#2 — Small Dark Plate with Pimento Mac ‘n Cheese & Southern Greens:
Fiery. Creamy. Southern.

at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

 
 

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#1 — Banana Pudding: Sweet. Simple. Perfection.
at Arnold’s Country Kitchen