Pittsburgh is quite a unique place. So unique, in fact, that when I arrived I was given a crash course in how to speak Pittsburghese. I’ll spare the details, aside from the fact that Pittsburgh has its own version of “y’all.” That word is “yinz” and people who speak in Pittsburghese are referred to as “Yinzers.” With that in mind, you can now rest easy knowing that the BBQ you are about to read about is a play on “yinz” and not some obscure Civil War battle. And now, onto the BBQ.
Down in the South, there’s a bit of a buffalo wing chain creatively named Buffalo’s Cafe. Due to their popularity and desire to spread their figurative wings, they partnered up with a Fatburger in West LA to create a little something called Buffalo’s Cafe Express. The place is still completely Fatburger, with the addition of a bunch of wings options and total lack of ability to combine the two as a wing/burger combo. That bummer aside, I figured the South would know a thing or two about wings and eagerly ordered a set of ten.
Driving around Buckhead, Atlanta aimlessly attempting to find dinner on a Sunday night, we happened upon Buckhead Diner. Looking like it was pulled straight off of Route 66 in the 1940s on the exterior, Buckhead Diner’s valet-style parking lot betrayed something a little grander indoors. We pulled up to check out the menu and learned that this was nothing like a greasy spoon, and much more like upscale dining.
A long, long time ago, in a valley far, far away, a coworker of mine recommended I check out Flossie’s Southern Cuisine in Torrance. I listened, because the man spent his college years in Alabama, but didn’t ever expect to make it down to Torrance for a meal. Yet, somehow I found myself employed in that strange southern part of LA and made sure to track down Flossie’s.
Post & Beam sits in a strange area that isn’t quite Baldwin Hills and it isn’t quite West Adams. Because of that, I couldn’t really decide if it was sketchy or classy, and the neighborhood around the restaurant didn’t make that picture any cleared. Post & Beam itself, however, was definitely on the classy end. With modern architecture, interior design and nice menu, it truly seemed like a great place to grab some dinner. And while the menu was certainly on the upscale side, it had sides like corn bread and fried okra to reflect that it was still deeply in touch with its neighborhood.
A couple years ago, the Michigan Alumni Association started gathering at South in Santa Monica. This struck me as strange, because Michigan is about as north as a state can get. Yet, any place willing to host the legions of Michigan football fans was a winner in my mind. Plus, it didn’t hurt to have Abita on tap. But in these years, I had not attempted their food until the past weekend. I heard some bad things, but sometimes you just have to eat.
If you’ve ever ridden the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, you may have noticed the restaurant next to the beginning of the ride, where diners ignore the people in pirate boats heading towards certain pirate doom. On my last trip to the happiest place on earth, I found myself not in one of those boats, but instead as one of those bystanders in the restaurant called Blue Bayou. In a land of ceaseless twilight, Blue Bayou can be found in the French District of Disneyland and serves up New Orleans-style food.
On the recommendation of a friend, I ventured out to Tart Restaurant near The Grove on Fairfax to try out their alligator. This friend had never actually had the alligator, so it was a bold suggestion, yet I always thought it would be great to consume gator just as Brandon Graham consumed Tim Tebow in the Senior Bowl on Saturday. Tart isn’t just some random restaurant serving gat0r, though. The whole place is a Southern theme, which the gator fits right into, so I went in looking forward to some good Southern eats.