Road-tripping Across the American South, One Restaurant at a Time
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Road-tripping Across the American South, One Restaurant at a Time

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Lissa Gotwals

As far as roadtrips for food-lovers go, the American South is a must. The proof is in the pudding—not to mention the fried green tomatoes, gulf seafood, and Cajun Bloody Marys. 

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Each point of North Carolina’s Research Triangle is a worthy spot for dining thanks to the area’s glut of acclaimed chefs. Leading the way is James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill (open for dinner Monday through Saturday), a restaurant whose dishes offer “a marriage of Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients,” such as tea-smoked duck and pork-and-chive dumplings.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, about 30 miles away, Reusing’s former acolyte Ashley Christensen—a James Beard Award winner herself—dominates the dining scene with a small constellation of restaurants, a bar, and a coffee shop. Her flagship, Poole’s Diner (open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday), offers a constantly changing menu of American comfort food, while her more casual Beasley’s Chicken + Honey (open daily for lunch and dinner) specializes in fried chicken and other southern staples. Finally, Durham is a great stop on your way out of town for coffee and a pie from Scratch Bakery (open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday).

Road-tripping Across the American South, One Restaurant at a Time

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Each point of North Carolina’s Research Triangle is a worthy spot for dining thanks to the area’s glut of acclaimed chefs. Leading the way is James Beard Award-winning chef Andrea Reusing of Lantern in Chapel Hill (open for dinner Monday through Saturday), a restaurant whose dishes offer “a marriage of Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients,” such as tea-smoked duck and pork-and-chive dumplings.

Meanwhile, in Raleigh, about 30 miles away, Reusing’s former acolyte Ashley Christensen—a James Beard Award winner herself—dominates the dining scene with a small constellation of restaurants, a bar, and a coffee shop. Her flagship, Poole’s Diner (open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday), offers a constantly changing menu of American comfort food, while her more casual Beasley’s Chicken + Honey (open daily for lunch and dinner) specializes in fried chicken and other southern staples. Finally, Durham is a great stop on your way out of town for coffee and a pie from Scratch Bakery (open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday).

Lissa Gotwals
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