If you need a break from the family or feel cabin fever setting in, here is a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider this your excuse to get out on the town for the holidays.
1. South Carolina’s The Granary. Chef Brannon Florie knows the food industry; he had worked his way up to a managerial role at the age of 17. For his debut into the world of ownership, he decided to stick to his roots where he spent his childhood running wild on his Lowcountry family farm. Rough reclaimed wood and tarnished copper brings elements of life on the farm into The Granary’s interior. And it doesn’t stop there. Sourcing ingredients from local farms like Thornhill Farm in McClellanville, South Carolina, the menu is all about highlighting the region’s bounty. Expect breads made in house and house-cured meats, and star dishes like the smoke pork chop served with a trip of takes on the veggie: turnip puree, roasted root vegetables, and braised greens.
2. Canned Beer From Jackalope Brewing Company. The young entrepreneurs behind Nashville’s Jackalope Brewing Company (they started it in their 20s!) have been dishing out their locally brewed beers to taps and kegs since its inception in 2011. They’re finally breaking into the bottling business as their first beer, Thunder Ann American Pale Ale, is set to take to the shelves. And by bottling, I mean canning. With a keen eye on sustainability and cost effectiveness, they’ll ease their way in by canning one beer at a time through a mobile canning company based in Kentucky. Available now only through their taproom, you’ll eventually be able to get their cans through select craft beer retailers.
3. Odd Duck opens. Chef Bryce Gilmore is trading in the four wheels of his ever-popular food truck for a four-walled locale as Odd Duck celebrated their grand opening this weekend in Austin. The truck, opened in 2009, was a local and national success, gaining recognition from some true culinary greats. The restaurant, just like the truck, will keep the focus on simple but brilliantly prepared dishes with ingredients from local and regional farmers. Try the spicy Boudin grits with pickled shrimp, grilled olive, and fried pig skin.
4. Music City Pizza donates to local musicians. Want to support your favorite band and eat pizza too? Probably not something you’ve been seeking out, but here’s your chance. Nashville’s newly opened Music City Pizza is the only joint in the city with this unique plan: each pizza is named after someone or something that is connected to the local music industry and the “record deal” will only stay on the menu for three months. For each pie ordered, Music City Pizza will donate $1 to the pizza’s namesake. Baked on a 6,000-pound oven shipped over from Naples, Italy, chefs Michael Santoro and Michael Dorris create specialty pizzas using fresh and house-made ingredients like Merguez sausage and wild mushrooms. What better way to give back this holiday season?
5. DC’s Southern Efficiency. Drink to the good times, and what good times they are at Derek Brown’s Southern Efficiency. This newly opened whiskey bar, from the brains behind Mockingbird Hill and Eat the Rich in Washington, D.C., features more than 40 varieties of Southern-made bourbons and ryes. House-made sodas (like hickory-smoked and apple-cherry) and Southern craft beers are flowing from the taps and food is inspired by Southern diners, think deviled eggs and chicken liver. The bar gets its name from an old John F. Kennedy quote: “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” With a bit less dramatics, bar manager JP Fetherston hopes to leave his own stamp on the city by serving the best Sazerac in town.