Statesboro Cooks Showcases Host Rebekah Faulk’s Holiday Menu

wpid-20131030_222638.jpgI’m very excited to share with you our new episode of Statesboro Cooks, highlighting my Holiday Inspired Menu Featuring Pastured Pork Tenderloin. In the 30-minute program, I host and serve as an executive producer with my friend, Tyson Davis. If you’re in the Statesboro area, you can catch the show on local cable, Channel 99, at 7:30 p.m. 7-days-a-week throughout the holidays. If not, check it out on YouTube at the link below! I hope you’ll make these recipes, and thank you for watching.

Statesboro Cooks is a Georgia Southern University multimedia communications team production. To see the previous episode I hosted, watch here.

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Some Kinda Good Teams Up with Paula Deen LIVE!

Paula

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

I couldn’t be more excited to announce that the Paula Deen team contacted little ol’ me this week with some GREAT news! I’ve been invited to attend Paula Deen Live! in Savannah as a special guest on Friday, August 8 where I’ll be LIVE tweeting and posting about the show on Facebook from the historic Lucas Theatre!

The surprise came earlier this week when I checked my food blog’s email account. The subject line read, “The Heart of Home Cookin’ Coming to Savannah, GA!” It was Paula’s social media coordinator requesting my presence in the Hostess City. Be still my heart. As a life long fan of Paula’s, you can imagine my excitement when I read these words:

To get right to the point, we came across your blog, Some Kinda Good – and we love it! Paula is so excited about her LIVE event, and she wanted to invite some of her biggest fans and supporters, specifically Southern bloggers and influencers.

Do y’all know how many Southern bloggers there are in the world?? I am beside myself and honored that they chose me. Mama and them already purchased their seats!

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Join the conversation using #PDLIVE!

If you’d like to join the fun, check out Paula’s website for all the details or, follow me on Twitter and LIKE Some Kinda Good on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing. Join the conversation on social media using #PDLIVE. During the event, word also has it that there’ll be a few small surprises in store for you! Paula’s come back tour kicks off on Friday, August 1 with stops all over the country. Be sure to check back after the event for a follow-up post, too. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Here’s a sneak peek at the fun that awaits. Good times…See you soon PAULA!


Related Content:

My Inspiration
Not Your Average Hash Brown Casserole
Shrimp and Grits at Home
Paula Deen is Not a Racist Y’all

Get the Local Vibe at 40 East Grill

40 East Grill
Statesboro, Georgia

Local restaurants are the jewels of small towns. You may have your go-to dish at a well-known chain, but exploring indigenous places to eat–that’s where the magic happens. The truth is, I love Red Lobster’s Seaside Shrimp Trio and the Crispy Chicken Tacos at Chili’s. I can’t go to Cracker Barrel without ordering hash brown casserole as my side dish. However, no matter where I travel, these great restaurants will only offer more of the same. To understand the real picture of a city’s culture, people and food, you’ve got to venture outside the chain-restaurant-comfort-zone. It’s there, at places like downtown Statesboro’s 40 East Grill, you’ll find homegrown flavors, and in this case, experience the true vibe of small town America with a modern twist.

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Offering lunch and dinner, 40 East Grill opened in August 2012. With a locally focused menu that changes every few months, they pride themselves on cooking with a fusion of native products featuring B&G Honey Farm, cheese from Flat Creek Lodge and beef produced by Southeast Georgia farmers. Chicken and seafood are other great options. My go-to lunch combo is She Crab Soup paired with the Three-Cheese Panini, pictured below. I often add a side of crispy sweet potato fries to round out the meal. My co-workers and I have made 40 East Grill a regular lunch stop. It makes for a fantastic date night too.

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The menu, presented on a clip board with a clothes pin, even includes fun drink choices outside the norm, like an Arnold Palmer (half tea/half lemonade) or blended coffee. Most recently, they’ve added a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich to the menu! That’s not something you see every day and that’s exactly what’s to love about 40 East Grill…it’s creative, classy and unpredictable. The restaurant’s best sellers include the Southern River Farms Ribeye , Chicken Pot Pie and the Maryland Style Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes topped with a lemon beurre blanc.

THE FOOD:


THE ATMOSPHERE: 


40 East Grill has a quaint, urban feel that’s trendy and warm with exposed brick throughout, a welcoming chalk board at the entrance that lists daily specials, original hardwood floors, earthy paint colors and modern lamp lighting. Outdoor seating is available with a great view of downtown Statesboro, onlooking the Emma Kelly Theater and Averitt Center for the Arts. Live music happens often too, varying from country, rock and bluegrass. Even the talent is local! Additionally, the ladies restroom is among the cutest I’ve seen complete with a luxurious crystal chandelier and vessel sink.

THE BAR:

Happy hour is every evening from 5 – 7 p.m. Stop in for a signature cocktail at the 18 foot copper top bar, like the 40’s Perfect Margarita or Cucumber Melon Martini. During Happy Hour, wells and house wines range from $2 – $3.  Not quite ready to go home? Stay for chicken parmesan or a 12-ounce bone-in, pan seared pork chop and watch a game on the flat screen TVs.

Wild Berry Pie filled with fresh blueberries and blackberries, topped with whipped cream cheese.  Photo credit: 40 East Grill.
Wild Berry Pie filled with fresh blueberries and blackberries, topped with whipped cream cheese.
Photo credit: 40 East Grill.

Aside from delicious food, the thing that sets 40 East Grill apart is the service. Time and again, I’ve been impressed by the servers’ attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile. They’re consistently well dressed, friendly and accommodating. The restaurant is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 9 p.m., also on Saturdays from 5 – 9:30 p.m.

When quality like this exists in your own neighborhood, it’ll make you think twice before venturing out-of-town.

40 East Grill on Urbanspoon

Downtown Statesboro is Alive with South & Vine Public House

UPDATE: South & Vine Public House caught fire on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Owner Seni Alabi Isama has now opened a new restaurant in Statesboro called 441 Public Kitchen and Bar. More on the fire here: South & Vine Public House Burned But Not Broken. 


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South & Vine Public House
Statesboro, Georgia

Great things are happening at the intersection of South Main and West Vine streets in downtown Statesboro. Open for just four months now, one Georgia Southern alumnus and his team are making a big impact on the community, with a focus on flavor and a philosophy on fresh that you won’t believe until your taste buds live it. With more than 1,000 Facebook likes, South & Vine Public House is a food experience Savannahians will soon be driving to Bulloch County to discover.

wpid-20130601_193417.jpgYou won’t find the menu online because it changes daily based on ingredient availability and the owner’s intuition. No matter what’s featured, you can be guaranteed it will be made with local ingredients and cooked to perfection by Chef and Owner Seni (pronounced Shanney), Head Chef Stephen, who formerly worked at Emma’s Fine Dining & Lounge, and Sous Chef Sebastian, a Miami native.

This is a restaurant that gets it.

THE FOOD:


At South & Vine Public House, food is the main event. From Hunter Cattle Company beef, ground in-house, to the made-from-scratch ketchup and mayonnaise, these folks are really cooking. The menu features what’s in season, so when an item runs out, it’s all gone. Dine here if it’s flavor you seek, an appreciation for quality ingredients, beautiful presentation and healthy portion sizes paired with appropriate prices. Excellence reveals itself in each menu item’s texture, plating and taste.

THE BAR:

Happy hour is from 4 – 6 p.m. daily, featuring 25% off the entire bar and all appetizers.

THE ATMOSPHERE:

A casual environment, you’ll find a small vase of fresh flowers at each table and utensils wrapped in white linens. The restaurant has an open concept floor plan including a “window” into the kitchen, and a chalkboard placed behind the hostess stand highlighting daily specials. Seating includes tables, booths and a bar area overlooking South Main Street. Attention is even given to the clean, tastefully decorated restrooms (which I always appreciate).

THE STAFF:


The team at South & Vine is welcoming and knowledgeable about the menu. Owner Seni and his wife, move about the restaurant conversing with customers, making mental notes of names and faces. It’s a place guests feel comfortable and leave satisfied.

wpid-20130601_205406.jpgWe parted with this subtle note of hospitality, a hand-carved “flower vase” made of Walker Farms’ rainbow carrots, compliments of the chef.

South & Vine Public House on Urbanspoon

Woke Up This Mornin’, Had Them Statesboro Hunger Pains

L & D Farm Fresh Produce
L & D Farm Fresh Produce

I’ve taken I-16 to I-95 a many a time to blog about East coast restaurants with Southern charm and popular seafood dishes, but here lately I’ve realized that my local market could use some play. I’m a proud resident of the beautiful farm town of Bulloch County, an alumna of the one and only Georgia Southern University and an avid get-out-of-bed-on-Saturday-mornings fan of the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers Market. As a college student circa 2001, the Boro’s dining scene consisted of about three chain restaurants, Snooky’s and fast food. I moved away for a little while and came back–to a dining scene I didn’t recognize, and one that keeps changing and growing today.

I’ve decided to expand Some Kinda Good to include the food world I dine in almost daily.

My friend Tori and I at Gnat's Landing (1 of  only 3 locations in the state)
My friend Tori and I at Gnat’s Landing (1 of only 3 locations in the state)

You won’t find chain restaurants or fast food establishments covered here. I aim to bring attention to those quintessential mom & pop joints and locally owned restaurants and bakeries that represent small town America. I may even let you in on a few best kept secrets, like where to buy seafood caught fresh off the Georgia coast or where you can get blackberry jam jarred in the Tennessee mountains and peanut brittle sold in a Zip-Lock bag right here at home.

I have a genuine passion for Southern culture and good food, and Statesboro delivers on all accounts. It’s not uncommon to see cowboy boots on a Sunday morning at church or a John Deer tractor barreling down a two lane back road. Cotton and sunflower fields surround the city limits and having traveled the world, I don’t take those things for granted.

This town really comes alive in the fall. Go Eagles!
This town really comes alive in the fall. Go Eagles!

This is the college town that inspired Blind Willie McTell’s Statesboro Blues, home of the six-time national football champions, the Georgia Southern Eagles.

So, come take a little ride with me. Let’s discover the margarita cupcake together at Sweet Cheeks Bakery downtown and the fresh mozzarella panini at my absolute favorite place to blog and brunch: Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe.

Brunch at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe - French Toast with Blueberry Syrup
Brunch at Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe – French Toast with Blueberry Syrup.

Let’s shop at the 40-year-old Ellis’ Meat Market for some stuffed jumbo shrimp and low country boil fixin’s. Then, we’ll crank up the radio and take Highway 67 to Strickland Farms for some boiled peanuts and vine-ripened tomatoes. We may even stop for a little antiquing.

Ellis Farm Fresh Meats
Ellis Farm Fresh Meats

I’m tapping into my local food market and I can’t wait to share my classic Georgia home with you. Let’s go!

Pot Pie Low Country Boil Style

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Here in the coastal plains of Southeast Georgia where flip-flops are perfectly acceptable in December, we don’t have many extremely cold nights during the winter season. So, over the weekend when the temperature got down to 22 degrees, dinner called for something warm and earthy. Inspired by an incredible photo in Bon Appetit magazine, I set out to make pot pie–only instead of using chicken, I served it up low country boil style with baby shrimp, roasted potatoes and canned corn, seasoned with none other than Old Bay.

Here’s what you’ll need to create my spin on the classic chicken pot pie:

  • Baby Salad Shrimp
  • Kale
  • Roasted Red Potatoes
  • Canned Corn
  • Chicken Broth
  • Splash of Red Wine
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Green Beans
  • Chopped Onions
  • Puff Pastry or Pie Pastry
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Shrimp & Crab Boil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

wpid-20130202_194626.jpgIt was like a Shepherd’s Pie remix. In the fridge, I had some red potatoes that I had roasted just a few days before and a few fresh green beans I needed to use up. This dish is fun because you can really use whatever you like. To start, pre-heat your cast iron skillet on medium heat with extra virgin olive oil. Saute the potatoes and chopped onions together, then throw in your remaining vegetables including the kale and cook, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Feel free to get creative.

wpid-20130202_195221.jpgOnce the vegetables have married together (for about 5 minutes or so), add in 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, stirring constantly. Quickly add in your liquid. I deglazed my pan with a splash of red wine for flavor, then added in 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup at a time.

wpid-20130202_200359.jpgToss in your baby shrimp. They’re perfect because they’re already deveined and have no hulls. They make the perfect bite! Bring everything to a simmer. It will thicken up nicely. Almost done!

wpid-20130202_200416.jpgI used pie pastry. Sit the dough out on the counter for about 15 minutes before unrolling. With a rolling pin, smooth out any creases. Then, slap that puppy over that beautiful filling in your cast iron skillet, letting the dough drape over the sides. Whip one egg with about a teaspoon or so of shrimp & crab boil. Brush it all over the pastry. Just enhances the flavor! 😉

wpid-20130202_200710.jpgCut four slits in the dough, so the steam can escape. Dot it with butter. Then pop that puppy in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees for another 15 minutes until the top is a rich, golden brown.

100_7922What’s not to love about pie pastry and warm, comforting vegetables with all the flavors of the coast? An added bonus is easy clean up! It’s a one pot meal that feeds an army.

100_7933A glass of red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz will compliment the dish nicely and when consumed together, they’ll leave you longing for snow.

Passion Meets Barbeque in Coastal Southeast Georgia

Southern Soul Barbeque
St. Simons Island, Georgia

In the South, barbeque is a holy subject. Opinions about it begin forming at a very early age. At an after-church dinner recently, my sister-in-law and I were serving our plates and chatting about how good the barbeque looked, when a young boy not more than ten spoke up, confidence in motion, to let us know that while lunch was nice, it was his dad who made the best barbeque in all of Bulloch County. We take our pork seriously. Harrison and the staff at Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island get that. It’s an expression from their very soul, spoken in tender pork, slow cooked and oak-smoked for hours over burning coals and served to anyone with sense enough to stop. You can see the smoke and smell that barbeque coming from the outdoor pits as soon as you hit the parking lot.

That’s Harrison Sapp, the owner. He was an all around nice guy and made me and my Shih Tzu, Ewok, feel as welcome as a whelk in its shell. This guy gets up at 4 a.m. everyday and begins cooking at 6:30 a.m. to have lunch ready for all the hungry folks in the Golden Isles. Passion is the only thing that would motivate one to do something so well 7 days a week.

He showed me around and lifted the lid on the smoker to reveal these beauties. Seasoned with a sweet dry rub and sprayed with a little apple juice throughout the cooking process, the result is pure pork flavor, juicy and tender.

Ewok made himself right at home on the cool cement floor while I waited for my sandwich. The staff even brought him a bowl of water to drink. These long picnic tables are situated on the porch under a vaulted ceiling with big fans and drop lighting. It’s the kind of casual atmosphere where it’s perfectly acceptable to stroll over off the beach in your swim suit.

Served on a toasted bun with pickles, the Jumbo Pulled Pork Sandwich is a beautiful display of the restaurant’s finest. I ordered creamy mac & cheese as my side with a tall, cold glass of sweet tea. Suffice it to say, it’s the best $6.50 I’ve ever spent.

Is your mouth watering yet? I drizzled my sandwich with a little Sweet Georgia Soul Sauce and dug in. Jars of sweet and hot sauce, vinegar and Texas Pete grace the tables. If slaw suits your fancy, they’ll top your sandwich with it at no charge.

Formerly a 1940’s gas station, tag plates and catchy signs decorate the restaurant front and posters advertising local events fill the windows, giving the place that hometown, log cabin-like feel. I particularly love the Dig on Pig sign. On the menu, you’ll find grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, beef brisket, chicken strips, ribs, even sausage and burgers. The sides are soulful too including selections like Brunswick stew, hoppin’ john, fried okra and fried green beans.

No worries for all of you that prefer to beat the heat. Pull up a bar stool inside in the air conditioning and have a cold one. Southern Soul Barbeque is open Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For a taste of Southern Soul at home, pick up a bottle of one of their Georgia Soul sauces.

As seen in leading magazines like Georgia Trend, Garden & Gun and Southern Living and on major television networks like TLC and Food Network, Southern Soul Barbeque is no secret. Guy Fieri himself has been here and has featured the restaurant on his show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This Southeast Coastal Georgia Smoke Joint gets around.

Not in the South? Not a problem. Now, Southern Soul Barbeque offers nationwide shipping! Located on the round about at 2020 Demere Road, be sure to pull in on your next visit to the Golden Isles of Georgia. It’s worth the stop and good for your soul. 😉

Southern Soul Barbeque on Urbanspoon