Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Southern Deprivation

Posted July 21, 2009

WRAL traffic and internet ace Brian Shrader revealed on-air this morning that he’s never tried grits or pimento cheese. This shocking admission came from a young broadcaster who grew up in Fuquay-Varina. Later, off camera, Brian confessed he has never eaten collard greens either. These are all foods deeply rooted in Southern culture.  This is obviously a very severe case of Southern Deprivation. 

In an effort to enlighten and enrich Brian and to also steer him in the proper direction I would like to ask you the following questions:

(1) Where should Brian Shrader go to get his first taste of grits?

(2) Where should Brian Shrader go to get his first taste of pimento cheese?

(3) And what about collard greens? Who serves the best?

Personally, I would suggest Brian head on over to Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill for chef Bill Smith’s world famous shrimp ‘n grits recipe. I would recommend Brian shop for pimento cheese at Fresh Market. Stan’s Pimento Cheese is another good choice. For collard greens my suggestion would be Mama Dip’s in Chapel Hill.

What are your recommendations? Please share.


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  • sayruh23 Jul 23, 2009

    oh, i've lived. :)

    i'll try anything at least once; there's hardly any food i don't like. unfortunately pimento cheese is on the short list of things i've failed repeatedly to get a taste for. i suppose if i were starving and it were a choice between a pimento cheese sandwich and a pile of bugs i'd take the sandwich, but after that first bite the bugs would start to look tempting...

  • wilfhh29 Jul 21, 2009

    Add livermush to the list of things for Brian to try!

  • Kelbad1 Jul 21, 2009

    Answer to number one for Brian: Come to my house
    answer to number two: Blech! I tried it don't like it!
    Answer to number three: Got to my mom's house.

  • Frizz Jul 21, 2009

    My college roommate refers to grits as Alabama Ambrosia, Carolina, Caviar, or Georgia Ice Cream.

    Grits is gooooooood groceries!

    Mmmm Mmmm Aunt Bea, that's some kinda good!

  • donnaaa Jul 21, 2009

    Well, I can't say where "the best" is other than my Aunt Pat makes the best pimento cheeze. However, I can warn you about the kitchen at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. When I was there in the 1970s, they had a special week of "foreign" food and southern cooking was one of the foreign foods. For breakfast, we were treated to grits cooked correctly but spoiled with sugar instead of salt and ham gravy. I don't think they did any research on this item. Probably it is better now for all you students. I'm sure they have the required sophistication to understand grits by now.

  • pmck Jul 21, 2009

    Q-Shack has delicious collards. Pimento cheese is best from Fresh Market - no doubt about it. Still looking for good grits in a restaurant...

  • this is my Screen Name Jul 21, 2009

    All I find in Food Lion or Walmart are the instant grits. Where can I buy the slower cooked grits?

  • bleslie Jul 21, 2009

    82 Queen also serves up a mean recipe for grits & grouper!

  • fgump Jul 21, 2009

    I used to get a good pimento cheese sandwich at Elliot's Pharmacy in Fuquay when I was a kid...also might try Ashworth's in Cary. Or just call Mom and have her whip up a batch...mmm, mmm.

    For grits, you just might have to head to Charleston...82 Queen, or Poogan's Porch.

  • bleslie Jul 21, 2009

    From Valerie - the following information:
    Send that boy to Johnston County! He needs to visit the Cyber Cafe at the Johnston Medical Mall or Riverside on Market Street for his pimento cheese fix!! As for the grits & collards, home is the best place, but you can't go wrong with anything Connie cooks at Parkside Cafe in Pine Level. Have a great day!




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