This post originally appeared in EIC Amanda Kludt’s From the Editor newsletter, a roundup of the most important intel and stories in food and dining each week. Subscribe now.
Bill Addison, national treasure and Eater restaurant editor (and newsletter writer), travels 40 weeks out of the year, dining at some of America's best restaurants, from the Napa tasting menu palaces to the roadside whole hog shacks of North Carolina. I can't think of a better-fed human being in this country.
This week, we tapped into Bill's expertise and the combined knowledge of a panel of 11 southerners to map out the essential 38 restaurants in the American South. I have a lot of eating to do, since I've only been to 11 of them. The list includes fancy grand dames, hole-in-the-wall pit stops, and everything in between. If this doesn't inspire you to take a road trip across that most delicious portion of the United States, I can't help you.
Bill is heading to New England next, which I'm incredibly excited for. I'm from the region, but moved away before I really came into my own as an eater, and thus don't have a lot of guidance for him outside of mandating some Rhode Island clam huts and Maine lobster roll spots.
After New England, stay tuned for the Midwest, the state of California, the Pacific Northwest (including Vancouver!), the state of Texas, and the Mid-Atlantic. Eventually we’ll be able to fuel any road trip in the whole United States. Then we'll start all over again in 2019.
Opening of the Week: Bonhomie
Who is behind it? Philip Speer, a big name at the prominent Uchi Restaurant Group until his fall from grace following a much-publicized DWI arrest (his fourth). He now owns a charitable coffee trailer. (This is a great video where Speer discusses his issues.)
What is it? A French bistro and American diner with Asian touches. They’re serving items like brisket croissants with pho jus dip, banana split profiteroles, hash browns with foie gras, pomme rosti with creme fraiche and caviar, roasted chicken, burgers, onion rings, and more.
Where is it? Burnet Road, in Austin. The restaurant scene there has exploded within the past year, with the relocation of Barley Swine, the expansion of Bufalina Due, and other establishments like Chi'Lantro, Lick Ice Creams, Twisted Root Burger, and forthcoming Flyrite Chicken's second spot.
When did it open? Thursday, March 23.
Why should I care? It looks pretty snazzy. Also, I’m always curious about comebacks. Speer wasn’t just an addict. He put people’s lives in danger driving while intoxicated. Over and over and over again. As with Speer’s Austin colleague Paul Qui, the media and diners have to decide when or if we can forgive and move on.
- Intel: Adam Leonti, ex-chef at Vetri, farted around Brooklyn for TWO YEARS waiting for Harvey to reopen and finally gave up in the final stretch; this 70-year-old dive bar in LA is closing; so is 40-year-old hippie haven Angelica Kitchen; and so is 5-year-old Cypress Tavern from Miami celeb chef Michael Schwartz, as well as Brooklyn tasting menu spot Semilla; you will soon be able to buy pints of Big Gay Ice Cream in CVS stores in Philly; Jenn Louis opened Ray, her Israeli-inspired follow up to Lincoln; a new luncheonette is coming to SF; and Rossoblu, a new dining destination in downtown LA, is inching closer to opening.
- The difference between the USDA and the FDA.
- Ricardo Zarate’s new restaurant reminds me of the corner of my apartment where all of my son’s crazy rainbow plastic toys and doodads live.
- An intensive and incredibly helpful eater’s guide to Denver.
- TIL the difference between galaxy, rainbow, and unicorn foodstuffs.
- The owners of LA’s Cuties want to create not just a coffee shop, but a queer-centered community space.
- Mugaritz’s Andoni Luis Aduriz thinks stories are the sixth taste.
- Someone send me on a trip to Ensenada so I can try this incredible-looking seafood spot Popotla.
- I’m not sure Pete Wells actually understands the point of Sugarfish (you trade variety for price).
- This ESPN piece about the NBA’s addiction to PB&J’s is fantastic. My favorite takeaway is that no matter how bad my sugar addiction gets, it won’t be as bad as Dwight Howard’s.
- Kate Krader reveals how clubstaurant Tao rakes in $34 million in food and drink sales every year.
- Speaking of lists of essential restaurants, here’s LA Weekly’s take on LA’s 99 top spots.
- I like knowing that even Gwyneth and her Goop squad procrastinate and talk about restaurants all day in slack.
- Business Insider tested out mobile ordering at Starbucks for a week and found it was just as fast to just wait in line.
- Maybe stop asking chefs to host a station or donate a free dinner to charity events.