Restaurant Dining: Myrtle Beach, SC...

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     Now that Labor Day is behind us, you might want to consider heading to the beach. It's still warm, the crowds are gone, and prices are falling with the first of the leaves. Myrtle Beach is a great place to go in the off season. As with many beach towns though, dining can pose a quandary. Where can you eat that isn't a chain restaurant, that is still good, without breaking the bank?       Back in the spring, Drawl staffers did some tasty research. International food is the way to go in Myrtle Beach.  The Fat Greek's      We sauntered in to The Fat Greek's at 3:00 in the afternoon during the off season and found it packed with customers -- some of whom were Greek. This is definitely a good sign. The...

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Southern in L.A. II: The Heart of Barbecue...

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     When I think about barbecue, I think about backyards, family, a down home easiness emphasized with beer, and inevitably secret sauce on your face and fingers. Park's Finest BBQ had all of that, but I didn't expect to find it in Filipinotown.      Between the sign for Historic Filipinotown and the skyline of Downtown Los Angeles, you could easily pass this new storefront. The sign is a sagging banner and the parking is less than inviting--that is to say there is none. But inside, the place offers a casualness of a family joint and the crux of any barbecue joint: delicious sauce. I dropped in on a Wednesday, when all they serve is what they call their Worker's Plate. It's a little bit of everything: pulled pork, barbecue chicken, smoked sausage, coconut beef,...

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Middendorf’s Restaurant

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     Fresh seafood accented by a waterfront view is the best way to describe the dining experience at Middendorf’s Restaurant. Opened in 1934, this family restaurant has been a staple in Manchac for nearly 78 years. After Louis Middendorf lost his job in the 1929 stock market crash, he and his wife moved to live with her family in Manchac, LA. With a minimal amount of cash and a small loan, they opened a café in its current day location. When the interstate highways opened, business began booming. A mere thirty minutes outside of New Orleans, people from all over seemed to find their way to this thin-fried catfish capital of the south.      Fast forward to present day and this restaurant is still providing the homemade personal recipes of Louis’s wife. Delicious fried...

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Mustang Oil

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     If you follow AL-69 South out of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, you’ll pass through small towns peppered with both weathered structures that have seen better days and more modern erected homes and businesses. On weekends you’ll see a lively flea market on the outskirts of Moundville and various family yard sales. South Central Alabama is a place with a colorful past, stained by the hardship of the depression and the unrest of the Civil Rights era, yet now thriving with life from a people who share a mutual love of the land and a quiet acceptance of the memories – both tragic and triumphant – that shaped the area into what it is today.      Less than 40 miles along this stretch of highway is a town with a population just under 5,000 called Greensboro,...

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Lulu’s Chocolate Bar

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     Lulu’s Chocolate Bar is a kitschy kind of a place in Savannah, where echoes of the Deep South ring loud and where today’s tourists encounter ever more fascinating sites and events to explore.      I discovered that Savannah in spring and summer is almost overwhelmed by visitors looking for a taste of the Old South in a city steeped in it. Finding a parking place on the city’s popular River Street is no longer possible. Instead, a multi-tiered parking garage provides a spot with a short hike. Not far away from River Street and Savannah’s most well known attractions is Martin Luther King Jr. Street. Here is one of Savannah’s most popular drinking holes and absolutely the best dessert spot any chocoholic will ever find. While River Street hosts the internationally known River...

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High Tea at Time Well Spent

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     I’d never been to high tea and I’d never been to Summerville, SC, so I did not know what to expect when my group finally arrived at Time Well Spent after a wee detour on our way home from a conference. We’d found the place online and made reservations for high tea earlier that day.      I admit I was skeptical when we arrived. The tea room sits toward the back of the property in a building that looks nothing like a tea room. I’ll also admit that Summerville reminded me of towns I grew up near that certainly were not towns that housed tea rooms. I reminded myself to keep an open mind, and we went in.      Upon entering, the place looked like a Victorian collector’s dream. Every...

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