Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Pimento Cheese Beignets

Posted June 5, 2007

Reinventing the Southern cuisine. I love it when restaurants take familiar favorites and turn them into something new and exciting.

I just had to try the Pimento Cheese Beignets at South Restaurant in Raleigh at North Hills just across the street from REI. I usually associate beignets with confectioner's sugar, chicory flavored coffee and New Orleans. But you can fill those deep fried pastries with anything from crawfish to shrimp.

I think South (formerly Savannah's) has done an excellent job with its Pimento Cheese Beignets. They made an excellent appetizer to my shrimp and grits which I rank as very good but not quite in the league as the S&G at Crook's Corner. I also thoroughly enjoyed the She Crab soup at South.

What about you? Where do you go to get creative Southern cooking that not only delights but surprises the palate?

Tomorrow: the Tar Heel Traveler blog name change. Your final five ballot.


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  • olive91988 Jun 6, 2007

    Allen & Sons Bar-B-Que on Hwy 86 has the best eastern NC style BBQ anywhere! Give me the little guys anyday over the overpriced fru-fru places likes Cook's & South. Southern cuisine should neither be expensive or considered haute. If its not down home cooking without any frills, and not casual and friendly, then it just does not meet the standard of southern cuisine in my book.

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Jun 5, 2007

    SideStreet Restaurant and Catering on Bloodworth St., Raleigh. Mary Lou's daddy's fudge and Edgecombe County style brunswick stew, tasty homemade 'mena cheese too. Her chocolate fudge pie with vanilla ice cream is prize winnin'. Just like my momma's.

    Collards at 42nd STreet Oyster Bar - YUM

    Southern Fried chicken with drizzled honey on it - The Butcher's Block, OBX

  • bornbredtarheel Jun 5, 2007

    I usually go to Mama Dip's in Chapel Hill or Elmo's in Carrboro. I'll leave the pimento cheese to you Bill...I'm not much of a fan of pimento cheese!

  • Legswilson Jun 5, 2007

    Right here at home! Born and raised in North Carolina, I'm a true southerner and my roots run deep in the southern cuisine. I take many tried and true favorites of my Mother and my Grandmother and make them my own. Do I smell a contest?

  • 39 going on 25 Jun 5, 2007


  • raleighner Jun 5, 2007

    Southern Exposure in Faison is fantastic for lunch and dinner. It is just off of I-40 and is worth the detour!

  • .Milky Jun 5, 2007

    Breakfast at the Fearrington House Inn.

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Bill Leslie