Occasionally what looks at first glance to be a conventional guidebook transcends the genre in surprising ways. John T. Edge's Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South is just such a read. Yes, you can use it like the discerning guide to eating in the South that it most assuredly is. But Southern Belly is also a book filled with so much heart, soul, and good writing that it demands to be read cover to cover like some John Grisham page-turner.
Edge blessedly doesn't shy away from discussions of race and class, and the result is a narrative that's compellingly thoughtful and real. It's not a cookbook per se, but Edge manages to judiciously sprinkle enough recipes throughout that we decided to make Southern Belly a worthy candidate for Cook the Book.
As always, we've got a number of these books to give away—five (5), to be exact. Just tell us what your favorite Southern restaurant is and what you eat there.
Winners will be chosen at random from among the comments. Comments will remain open until 3 p.m. EST Saturday. The usual Serious Eats rules apply.