by Chika Gujarathi

The smell of butter and sugar was in the air as I pulled into a small parking lot off of Lead Mill Road in Raleigh. So much so that even though I didn’t see the sign for Southern Sugar Bakery right away, I already knew I was in the right place. I followed my nose to the entrance hidden behind a chiropractor’s office and walked into a waiting area that is probably the best smelling place I have ever encountered in my life.

by Angela Garrison Zontek

In southern kitchens, nothing is more iconic than the cast iron skillet. In fact, no other culinary artifact from the 20th century has enjoyed the same longevity, or popularity, as cast iron cookware. Unlike most treasured family heirlooms, the cast iron skillet never collects dust, instead, it serves as a working piece of history that connects southern cooks with their past. My grandmother collected cast iron pans for the sole purpose of passing down to her grandchildren—and she meant for them to be used.

by Angela Garrison Zontek

Southern bread is an experience… the smell, the texture and the weight. In the south, the making of bread is a family affair, and most of us have fond memories of rolling out dough with our mothers and grandmothers. I used an amber floral drinking glass, 70’s style, to cut out rounds in the biscuit dough with my grandmother in her kitchen. Our biscuits were never pretty, but that was never the intention, our only concern was to make them delicious.

by Taylor Brooks

If you are a fan of beer, or just a fan of having a good time, you will definitely be a fan of at least one of Trophy Brewing’s three locations. For your food truck days with friends, pizza nights with the family, or dinner dates downtown, Trophy has a location to suit your needs. For this sunny Saturday afternoon, in particular, I decided to check out Trophy Brewery and Taproom.

by Taylor Brooks

What would the South be without its traditional dishes? Typically, full of warmth and comfort, for those who are trying to make healthier eating choices the Southern favorites seem to be out of the question. But, with a few changes, you can make Southern food healthy. And we know healthy means different things to different people. But whether you’re trying to cut sugar, salt, carbs or fat, there are easy ways to enjoy your southern favorites.

by Debbie Burdick

The search for donuts often leads to well-known national chains, some of which have kiosks even in the local gas stations. However, one Durham donut shop can be found not in, but next to a corner gas station, and the owners and bakers are often right inside rather than at corporate headquarters. That shop is Baker’s Dozen, one of a family-owned chain of three shops in the Triangle that are offering some friendly yet serious competition to the national chains.

by Debbie Burdick

Helado. The Spanish word for ice cream slides over the tongue as easily as ice cream itself. At Pincho Loco, the ice cream and dessert shop tucked between Broad and Ninth streets in Durham, this creamy delight takes on many forms.

True to a Latin American sense of style, the little shop announces its presence at 1918 Perry Street with a profusion of colorful signs, the biggest ones offering their menu choices in both English and Spanish.

Who doesn’t like fluffy buttery sweet pancakes for breakfast? Or lunch? Or dinner? It’s one of those meals that can appease the finickiest of eaters, both child, and adult. We know it’s pretty hard to mess up pancakes and they’re actually really good, whether you get them at a drive-thru window at a fast-food restaurant, sit down for a quick bite at a country diner or hobnob it at a fine dining establishment serving mimosas with your pancakes at brunch. But we still wanted to figure out some of the best places in North Carolina to get a really tasty plate of pancakes, and that is what we did.

by Debra Burdick

Early afternoon on a Saturday, a woman stands in front of the counter at Halgo speaking Polish, ordering kielbasa and other meats. A couple proudly tells Ziggy Gorzkowski, the proprietor, that their families are from Poland and they are transplants from Michigan in search of good Polish food. But customers don’t need an accent or family history in order to enjoy Halgo, the European deli across Alston Avenue from the South Regional Library in Durham.

by Angela Garrison Zontek

Southern food is a living record of the people, places, and cultures that have contributed to the evolving landscape of our unique little corner of the world. Too complex and varied to ever achieve a conclusive origin story, the history of Southern food is best examined by considering its major influences—the integration of cultures, natural bounty, and love for the community.

Isn’t it annoying when you’re mad for some good Polish food, you do an internet search and find a bunch of German or vaguely European restaurants? Hello, they’re not the same. Don’t worry, we’ve done the search for you – hey, we know how hard it is to find a good Polish place to eat in the south. It’s near darn impossible, not like up north, where you can’t throw a stone for hitting a Polish deli.

I remember discovering craft beer. And then I realized I was a porter and stouts kind of gal. The darker and the thicker the brew, the better. And almost immediately after that, I recall thinking that the stout beer I was drinking would probably taste awesome in a cup of vanilla ice cream. I immediately did an internet search for is ice cream and beer a thing? Of course, as the internet will remind you, there is nothing new under the sun. And every idea has already been thought of… at least twice. Of course craft beer + ice cream or spirits + ice cream is a thing. Of course it is.