Food in the South Revisited

I just returned from my annual trip to Alabama, Halloween is the key to the timing. Any, boy, was it delicious!

I started out with a home-grown favorite – Chick-Fil-A, although I had to have mine with lettuce and tomatoes (sans pickles) because I needed some veggies with that tasty fried fillet. Not as traditional as the Southerners might prefer, but it what works for this Southern California girl.

Next was a lunch stop at Bottega, Frank Stitt’s restaurant. SS and I got to sit in the room reserved for dinner service, since the luncheon area was full and the weather was questionable for outside seating. It was beautiful. We shared baked macaroni and cheese, and ham and cheese pizza. Both were delicious, but the best part was the tea.

I ordered iced tea; it was served a small pitcher of simple syrup so I could make my own sweet tea! It was wonderful; I was in control of my own sweetness destiny! I think I had three or four glasses of tea, just so I could make my own sweet tea each time and indulge in the simple syrup.

Next, we stopped by the Piggly Wiggly. If you are not from the South, it is hard to believe there is actually a store that exists with this name, but there is. The Piggly Wiggly is actually were the food aisles we are so used to today in our “super markets” originated. They were part of “self service” progression of markets in the 1950’s. Anyway, I picked up some Smucker’s Peach Jam. I can’t get Smucker’s Peach Jam in San Diego, so each year I have to stock up on it in Birmingham for HH’s peanut butter and peach jam sandwiches.

The next morning we went to Savage’s in downtown Homewood and picked up our order of fresh baked orange rolls. I learned they are like the cinnamon rolls we serve at Holly’s Diner, but with orange sauce and small pieces of orange rind inside. We went down the block to O’Henry’s Coffees (which, SS tells me, is so beloved by the neighborhood that when a Starbucks was opened down the street, the locals were so loyal to O’Henry’s that Starbucks didn’t last.) Both were delicious.

I doubt that the orange rolls I can buy in the refrigerator section of the grocery store will have the same personal touch, especially the orange rind that the one’s from Savage’s have.

The final stop on the Southern Culinary Tour was the Spiced Pear Tea Room. Afternoon tea in the South, it was everything it should be – three generations having tea in the “pink room,” enjoying tomato basil bisque, champagne salad and a chicken salad sandwich on white bread without the crust, of course. The peach apricot tea I had was lovely, and Miss Audrey Rose was fascinated by the honey service shaped like a beehive. It was a lovely ladies luncheon at the Spiced Pear Tea Room.

I’m looking forward to next year’s trip and all the Southern delicacies already!


  1. Welcome to my southern world :) Never had Chic-Fil-A till I move to NC and I love it! Sweet Tea still isn't my taste but the fried dill pickles and some of the best fried chicken I have every had makes up for it. Next trip stop by NC and I will show you some more awesome southern charm!

  2. Bogey, I can't wait. By the way, tell your Mom that we may be doing some South of the Border cuisine that she can help do the research for next summer, if you know what I mean!