In early April, I went on vacation with two of my best friends of 25 years, including our families – kids, pets and all. We rented a beach house on St. Simons Island and spent the week eating to our hearts’ content, lounging on the beach and having jam sessions by the pool. It was the ideal vacation, complete with dolphin watching, strolling on the pier and working on our tans, but the most fun I had all week was when we rode our bikes to the pier for a little crabbing adventure. Continue reading “Aunt Adela’s Cold Georgia Blue Crab Dip”
I grew up in a rural neighborhood on the outskirts of Augusta, Ga. To get to any beach was at least a three-hour ride, but somehow, my soul has always been at home on the water. One of the highlights of my summer was at long last, getting to go Shrimpin’ on the Lady Jane with my handsome new husband, and what an excursion it was! I’ve read so many novels about shrimpin’ (check out Mary Alice Monroe’s Last Light Over Carolina), and have long dreamt of climbing aboard a real shrimp boat and casting my net. On a rainy August day, thanks to Credle’s Adventures, that dream became a reality.
For just $40 a ticket, we got to spend the afternoon cruising the St. Simons Sound, taking in the picturesque views of the Georgia coast and relishing in the wonderment of under-sea life. If I hadn’t gone to school to study marketing and public relations, I would seriously have considered becoming a marine biologist. The creatures that swim below the ocean absolutely fascinate me! Don’t be fooled by the name of the outing–we caught way more than shrimp! Jeffery, the naturalist and guide on our boat, quickly told us that “Shrimp are actually one of the most boring things we catch.” Our cast net reeled in everything from two varieties of shark, angel fish, squid, butterfly rays and the most bizarre little creature, called a hog choker. See for yourself!
You can just hear the excitement!
This guy has a great job!
We cast our 20-foot net twice during the 2-hour event. It stayed down for 16-20 minutes each time. Among the things I learned? How to de-head and de-vein a wild Georgia Shrimp fresh from the Atlantic, that a marine estuary is a mix of fresh and salt water to make brackish water, and all about the oyster beds along the coastline.
Now that I live on the South Carolina coast, I’ll be doing a lot more of this!
The beautiful green grass along the boarder of the water is called Spartina and surprisingly enough, this plant gives the water its color. It’s the base of the ecosystem’s food chain, and uses salt water to survive.
If you’ve never held a real, live shark in your bare hands, it’s an experience to remember! Even though this guy was only 2-3 feet long, he had me at his mercy.
I’d recommend this outing to anyone! View the slideshow below for more fun photos from our trip.
Y’all know how much I love my Georgia coast, and a good shrimp. One of my favorite ways to cooks these babies is to pile them high on a bed of Southern, buttery grits. Get my recipe for Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits here.
Thanks to Captain Larry and his crew for a really memorable, fun and great day on the water. We can’t wait to go Shrimpin’ again!
Organized by Compassion in World Farming, a global organization working to end factory farming, and Georgians for Pastured Poultry, the event aims to help promote and celebrate humane and sustainable pasture-raised poultry for one week each year.
Local Farmer, Brandon Chonko has invited me to visit his South Georgia farm in Tattnall County–Grassroots Farms, where he raises 1500 chickens, ducks and turkeys and supplies them to more than 15 restaurants in the state and throughout the South. Many of the restaurants he supplies are in the Atlanta area, and some are even on the Georgia Coast, where I’ll be enjoying my pastured poultry dish, at North Beach Bar and Grill on Tybee Island.
Learning about the food we eat, where it comes from and how it’s raised is really fascinating to me. If you’re like me, you may be wondering what exactly a pastured bird is and why there’s a whole week set aside for their awareness. Farmer Brandon explains:
“Pasture-raised or pastured birds actually live 24/7 in fresh pasture. They are housed in small batches in portable housing. They get moved frequently to ensure fresh forage. Also, we use a French breed of chicken that are known to be active foragers. They are bred to live outdoors, not in a chicken house. Pastured birds are healthier, need no antibiotics, are active and taste better. They have a long life. They are what chicken dinner Sundays used to consist of prior to the rise of the industrial chicken.”
Learn more about Grassroots Farm’s Humble Roots story.
Pastured Poultry Week is in its second year, and has expanded to include more than 50 Georgia-based chefs and over 25 chefs from New York. If you’d like to experience the taste of a pasture-raised chicken and support Georgia’s farmers while eating cleaner, visit Halyards or Tramici Neighborhood Italian on St. Simons Island. You can also see a complete listing of participating restaurants on the Georgians for Pastured Poultry website.
I’m headed to the farm Sunday, and will venture out to the beach next week to eat that chicken. I’ll keep you posted!
Barbara Jean’s Restaurant & Bar
St. Simons Island, Georgia
There’s something comforting about the never changing–those restaurants you’ve been going to for years that you know and love, and have come to expect. You know the quality, you would bet your life savings by the she crab soup and nothing excites you more than sharing the experience with friends and family who’ve never tasted and seen. At the corner of Mallory and Beachview streets located in the Pier Village of St. Simons Island, Georgia sits one of my family’s constants: Barbara Jean’s. You may have visited in the Golden Isles, or in one of the four locations in South Carolina or Florida. Whether you go for the famous crab cakes or the pumpkin bread and the sweet jalapeno corn bread with cinnamon butter, Barbara Jean’s Easy Southern Dining makes deciding where to eat lunch or dinner a cinch!
My favorite seat in the house is by the bay window overlooking the Pier Village shops. In the summertime, every table is usually full and the place is bustling with wait staff, bus boys and hungry tourists and locals. Traveling with Fido? Grab a seat on the patio. Dining alone? Pull up a chair at the full bar and order up your favorite cocktail. The menu prices range from $4.99 for a cup of soup to about $24 for the most expensive dinner entrée.
The food is Some Kinda Good y’all, and my best friend swears by “The Chocolate Stuff.” Cobbler-like and better than a brownie, it’s Barbara Jean’s signature dessert and is served in a big bowl with homemade whipped cream. Other menu items include Tuna Steaks, Shrimp & Grits and Chicken Fried Steak. The restaurant is coastal and down home all at the same time…my kinda place!
After dinner, walk along Mallory street or take a seat at the Pier to see what the fisherman are reeling in. Of all the places to eat in the Golden Isles, Barbara Jean’s should be at the top of your list.
I began blogging at a time in my life–the year was 2011, the month was November–when I needed to be fully engaged in something. It’s amazing how the landscape of your life can change in a year’s time, and who would’ve thought blogging about crab legs and barbecue would’ve filled a hole I never knew was missing?
Blogging allows me to combine many of my favorite things like eating, food and cooking but also writing, taking pictures, being on camera and sharing my personality and passion for coastal culture and the South. I really didn’t have any expectations when I set out to blog, other than not being one of those people on Facebook that share nothing but food pictures–because unknowingly, I was that girl for a long time. The moment became very real to me when a friend commented on one of my food pictures with this: “Facebook: Rebekah’s Food Diary.” I thought, ‘Wow, he’s right. There’s a better way.’
Enter Some Kinda Good.
With a background in web writing and PR, I had all the skills in place. I set out to learn WordPress and gathered up some photos of the food I’d cooked. Not surprisingly, I had plenty of content at the ready, as though it had been stockpiled for its moment in the sun.
Some Kinda Good has evolved over the year, and I’m kind of embarrassed at some of my earlier posts. You’ve got to start somewhere though. As one of my favorite quotes says, “The expert in anything was once a beginner.”
Throughout the year, I’ve built relationships with restaurant owners, food and beverage connoisseurs, food writers and other bloggers. I’ve gotten to meet notable cookbook authors, culinary producers, well-respected chefs and colleagues at food & beverage public relations firms throughout the Southern seacoast. I’ve also subscribed to Bon Appetite Magazine and become a sort of amateur kitchen expert among friends and family. I’ve worked with ingredients I once considered foreign like, heirloom tomatoes and pimiento-cheese. I’ve sampled restaurant dishes I thought I would never order like fried chicken and waffles or an open-face whole egg omelet topped with goat cheese, sautéed shrimp, spiced pecans and arugula….for breakfast!
I’ve learned to be true to me, that you can’t pursue a food trend because it’s a trend. When I did that, I only did it for the sake of being popular, to show that I too was up-to-speed with food on a stick, kid food for adults and all things local and organic. While it was fun to experiment, those ventures lacked passion.
And we all know without passion, the fire dies.
All along, my philosophy has been guided by one thought from Julia Child who said, “Find something your passionate about, and keep tremendously interested in it.” I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to do the things you love, and when you do the things you love, success comes.
These are the successes I’m celebrating…a few highlights from my year in the blog-sphere:
Most Popular Posts:
- Homemade Summer Fruit Jam and Bread
- Passion Meets Barbeque in Coastal Southeast Georgia
- Farm to Table Fried Green Tomatoes
- The Crab Trap, A Family Favorite
- Dining the Way the South Intended
- Homemade Pimiento-Cheese, A Revelation
Most Searched Post:
Favorite Search Term:
- Faulk Some Kinda Eating
- Held #2 spot on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs: September – November 2012
- Currently ranked #3 on Urbanspoon’s Leaderboard of Top Georgia Food Blogs
- Featured as an Editor’s Pick of the Day on Bloggers.com
- Featured as a Tweep of the Week on Atlanta Dish, the company blog of Melissa Libby & Associates
- Becky Sue Hits the Big Time: Special feature on Kudzu Dad Blog
- Featured in numerous editions of Paper.li, an online newspaper
Relationships I’ve Built as a Result of Blogging:
- Chef Courtney
- Gena Berry
- Libbie Summers
- Nathalie Dupree
- Cynthia Grabaurt
- Ford Fry
- Ted Dennard
- The Reynolds Group
- At the Table Public Relations
- Melissa Libby & Associates
Without sounding too much like I’ve won a Grammy, I couldn’t celebrate my successes without acknowledging a few special folks:
Thanks to my mom and best friend Charity, who without fail were always the first to comment on my posts, even when the content lacked interest or when no one else cared. Thanks to my graphic designer friends, Amanda and Tori for giving my blog the exact look and feel I envisioned, as it progressed throughout the year. To Angela and Jennifer, my other best friends, thanks for all your encouraging words…your affirmation often kept me going. To my former co-workers and friends in the PR department at Floyd Medical Center, your belief in my abilities blows my mind. Thank you for your constant reassurance, for calling me out when my posts aren’t well beyond expectations and for holding me to the Class of Style standard.
And finally, my favorite Twitter friends: @Golden_Isles, @VisitSavannah, @ClassicGeorgia, @Grocerize and @ChefCourtney13–y’all are always faithful to retweet my posts and I’ve gained many followers as a result of your influence. Thank you, really.
With nearly 15,000 hits and a healthy following through social media, I’m pretty stoked. Not too shabby for my first year in the blog-sphere. Some Kinda Good is bringing my dreams to life. Maybe year two will include The Cooking Channel or Food Network. Dream big or go home!
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.
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. 😉
I couldn’t be more excited to tell y’all about the Inaugural Saint Simons Food & Spirits Festival happening this September at Gascoigne Bluff in my favorite vacation destination…the beautiful Golden Isles of Georgia.
If you’re like me and love seafood and Southern cuisine, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Headlined by James Beard – award-winning television personality, cookbook author and grand dame of Southern cooking – Nathalie Dupree and her co-author, Cynthia Graubart, the festival will highlight the talents of many major players in the culinary world.
Nathalie Dupree was a household name when I was growing up and like many of you, I am a very big fan of her cookbooks. Other participants will include Atlanta chef of No. 246 Restaurant, Ford Fry; food blogger and cookbook author Libbie Summers and Saint Simons’ own beekeeper, Ted Dennard, founder of Savannah Bee Company.
Think wild Georgia shrimp & grits. Crab cakes. Local honey. Fine wine. The food is sure to be Some Kinda Good, but the cause is even better.
While celebrating the bounty of Georgia’s Golden Isles, the Saint Simons Food & Spirits Festival will raise dollars and awareness for Hospice of the Golden Isles, the only community-based, non-profit hospice serving the area. A variety of ticket prices will cater to every budget.
Culinary talent, bluegrass musical performances and local, coastal cuisine–what’s not to love? I hope you’ll join me and area restaurants, regional farmers and artisans at the first event of its kind September 21 – 23.
Find out who’ll be there, learn more about volunteer opportunities and get the full event schedule by visiting The Saint Simons Food & Spirits Festival website.
Never been to the Golden Isles? Check out my photo gallery to get a glimpse.
Palmer’s Village Cafe
St. Simons Island, Georgia
Breakfast on vacation. It’s probably my favorite meal. Whether you rise with the sun or sleep until 10 a.m., the food at Palmer’s Village Cafe on St. Simons Island will motivate you to get up and moving. They take pride in their ingredients and present plates with no detail undone. I’ve never been when there isn’t a crowd and that’s because, where there’s good food, you’ll find people.
I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the menu items. There aren’t many places you can go to find an omelet with crab meat and homemade pimento cheese garnished with grilled, pickled okra. The dishes are regional too, like the Coastal Delight: an open-faced whole egg omelet topped with goat cheese, sautéed shrimp, spiced pecans and arugula. The breakfast items range from $3.95 to about $12.
Smack dab between the Island hardware store and a small real estate company on Mallery Street, locals and vacationers fill the seats at Palmer’s. It’s my favorite place to start the day on the Island.
I ordered the Challah Bread French Toast served with Palmer’s Village Cafe signature maple syrup. You won’t find Aunt Jemima here. The Fresh Fruit side dish had juicy orange segments, sliced bananas and red strawberries.
Open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday – Sunday from 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., you’ll feel welcome from the moment you step inside the creaking front door. No matter how busy Palmer’s may be, the staff members will make sure your coffee cup is full and you’ve always got everything you need.
Ocean Terrace Grille
St. Simons Island, Georgia
If your family is anything like mine, you’ll know what I mean when I say a beach outing can leave you exhausted. The checklist of items we lug through the sand usually includes everything but the kitchen sink. Beach chairs. Tent. Cooler–packed to the brim. Towels. Radio. You get the idea. Thanks to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort however, and their recently opened Ocean Terrace Grille, our load will be a little lighter this summer because we’ll be leaving the lunch fixings at home.
Conveniently located on the ocean’s edge, Ocean Terrace Grille is open to the public. While visiting St. Simons Island in the Golden Isles of Georgia, you can walk over from any location on East beach, just as you are, to enjoy the ocean breeze, have a cocktail or one of Chef Jeff’s scrumptious creations. Like the atmosphere, the menu is casual featuring salads, sandwiches, fresh wraps and burgers. The prices range from $5 for a classic garden salad to $11 for a shrimp salad wrap.
Nothing beats a properly garnished cocktail, especially on a hot day in Georgia at the beach. The full bar has an impressive selection of frozen and specialty cocktails as well as beer and wine. We visited on July 4th, and the K&P Independence specialty cocktail with coconut rum, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice was a fine way to celebrate our nation’s independence. Beautiful job, bartender.
We ordered chips and salsa for an appetizer at $7. The tri-colored chips were served with the best and most refreshing salsa I’ve ever tasted. A little cilantro, diced tomatoes and onion along with something fruity (mango maybe?) definitely made my taste buds say wow! The service also was timely and hospitable.
I ordered the Grilled Fish Sandwich, blackened, on a Brioche bun with lettuce, tomato and lemon aioli. Served with kettle chips, the sandwich showcases the catch of the day–on that day it was grouper: flaky, white, moist and fork-tender. Just look at those gorgeous grill marks!
You do not have to be a guest of The King and Prince to enjoy lunch or dinner at Ocean Terrace Grille. It is the island’s only alfresco oceanside dining establishment and everyone is welcomed and encouraged to come and experience it.
Sorry sandwich meat, on my next beach trip, you’ll be staying in the fridge.
Mallery Street Cafe
St. Simons Island, Georgia
A rainy morning on the last day of vacation led us to Mallery Street Cafe, a quaint place that boasts familiar, great tasting food in a causal setting. While the rain fell outside, we enjoyed a cozy table inside and awaited breakfast.
The menu is short and sweet with recognizable breakfast food like french toast, fruit, eggs, pancakes, grits and toast. You won’t break the bank here, because the items are a la carte. What is it about a coffee mug on a saucer surrounded by cream and a little spoon for stirring that elicits such a good feeling? A welcomed sight indeed in the early morning.
Anytime there’s a packed house, that’s always a good sign. Just give me friendly service and tasty food in a coastal environment and I’m good to go. Located just across the street from the popular St. Simons Island Village, the cafe is a short walk from the Pier.
Open for breakfast and lunch, the cafe serves homemade soups, desserts and features daily specials. Make this place a stop on your next visit to the Golden Isles–you’ll leave simply satisfied.