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American Dining in Sydney Shows True Grits

Sydney draws its culinary
influences from a variety of areas, as evidenced by the meat pie stands sandwiched
between Turkish kebab joints and dumpling shacks. American fare, however, has
largely been left off the table until recently. It’s actually the southern
staples more than anything else anchoring the menus at these new
establishments.

In the last 18 months, Sydney’s
welcomed two new American-themed and -operated restaurants. Blue Plate Bar and Grill in Neutral Bay
opened in early 2010 as the sister eatery of then nearby South, another
American joint that closed late last year. Brooklyn-born owner Leo V Brereton
borrows part of South’s Creole menu and serves it in Blue Plate’s fancier
dining room. Digging into down-home favorites below a chandelier—why not?
The buffalo wings are the real deal: spicy and slathered in sauce with a side
of blue cheese. Other southern highlights include gumbo, crab cakes and
jambalaya (corn bread on the side) and pecan pie for dessert.

Detroit transplant Dan
McGuirt says his time at Vue de Monde in Melbourne inspired him to open his New Orleans–themed Jazz City Diner in
Darlinghurst last December. Complete with servers in old-school waitress
uniforms, black-tiled countertops and small TVs airing old jazz performances,
this diner is exactly where you should eat southern classics like biscuits and
gravy and poached eggs and grits while slurping up a milkshake. Lunch and
dinner feature burgers, macaroni and cheese and chicken and waffles. Plus,
there’s real drip coffee—a forgotten thing in a city of foamy flat whites
and lattes. The humble McGuirt is always quick to say “hello” and make sure
diners enjoy their meals.

Lauren Fritsky is an
American living in Sydney. You can read her blog, The Life That Broke, here.

Photo Courtesy of T+L's Photo Contest

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