'tennessee' on Serious Eats

Snapshots from My Cross-Country Road Trip

Hi-ho, Kenji here, reporting from my temporary digs in the West Coast where, thanks to my wife and her penchant for getting offered internships in exotic seaside locations, I'll be reporting from until October. With a large country to traverse and two dogs to do it with, it only made sense to give my best friend a call, rent a car, and do things the old fashioned American way with a road trip. Take a look at everything we ate along the way. More

The Best Places to Drink Beer in Nashville, Tennessee

With outmoded state laws, like the legal split between high- and low-gravity beers (a demarcation at 5% alcohol by weight, or 6.3% by volume) and the "franchise laws" of the wholesale distribution system, Nashville once seemed destined to remain a craft beer backwater. But luckily for the locals, breweries have been popping up everywhere, and Nashville is positioning itself as a bona fide beer destination. More

Knoxville, TN: Hard Knox Pizzeria Delivers a Punch

Located in a more upscale shopping plaza off the main drag of Kingston Pike, Hard Knox is just a postage stamp of a pizzeria. A wall of double split oak flanks the entrance, with the Earthstone Oven centrally situated just behind the counter. Would it add up to the right stuff to put some of my good-pizza-in-Knoxville skepticism to rest? More

Down South: Appalachia Meets Memphis at Ridgewood Barbecue, Bluff City, Tennessee

Smoked meat has been a part of daily life in southern Appalachia for about as long as there have been people there, but smoked meat in a sweet, tomato-based sauce—what we'd call "Tennessee-style" barbecue—is most popular eight hours to the east in Memphis. Ridgewood Barbecue, which has been been tucked into the the side of lonely Bullock Hollow since the mid-1950s, straddles the gap between Memphis and Appalachia with its signature smoked ham. More

TGI Fry-Day: Deep-Fried Cheese and More at the Tennessee Valley Fair

The man in the window told me that deep-fried cheddar tastes "just like a grilled cheese." He was wrong. It doesn't taste like anything but itself, like soft (but not melted) cheddar cheese, salty and tangy and set off by a crispy layer of fried dough. Deep-fried cheddar cheese is a dangerously good thing that could catch on as more than a fairground novelty. More

Where to Eat Fried Catfish in Memphis: 6 Spots to Try

Fried catfish is a classic Southern dish that, like so many peasant foods around the world, demonstrates how a delicacy can emerge from poverty. The catfish is a bottom feeder, a "trash" fish caught with trot lines and cane poles and stink bait—not with expensive boats or flashy lures. You don't scale it, you skin it. And when it's time to cook, you don't dust it with the refined flour of the upper classes but dredge it in the working man's cornmeal, fry it, and let it drain on brown paper bags. Fried catfish is a favorite in the Memphis area; here are six places to try the real thing. More

The Search for America's Best Tacos: Southern Contenders

And we're back with another edition of our March Madness-style tournament of tacos. We traveled thousands of miles to taquerias, taco trucks, corner stores, and carnicerias to find the 64 very best tacos in the country as part of a feature for Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine's March issue. Yesterday we told you about the West coast picks; today we're heading to the South for migas and suadero. More

Judging the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, TN

Every time I mentioned to someone at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tennessee, that I'd been offered a seat at the judges' table, I received the same response: "This is the best barbecue you'll ever have." "The Jack"—a two-day contest with 22 years of history, grand champion cooks from 10 different time zones, and the backing of major corporate sponsors—exists in a world distanced enough from destination dining to be its own culinary tradition. More

Revisiting Tennessee Whiskey

With whiskey season upon us, it's time to take a longer look at the many styles of the distinctive dark spirit. Amid all the conversations of bourbon and rye, there's another kind of this American spirit that deserves a little attention: Tennessee whiskey. More

Say Goodbye to Summer with Pineapple-Chile Paletas

There's no sign at the popsicle haven Las Paletas in Nashville, Tennessee, which makes finding it tricky, but it's worth the sugary reward. The popsicles here are known for their powerful burst of unusual flavors like eggnog and hibiscus but what captured my heart was the sweet and spicy ice pops like pineapple-chile and cucumber-chile. I can't imagine a better way to spend the last lazy days of summer than indulging in this recipe for spicy ice pops. More

More Posts