eating fried in the south

We know that eating fried is not supposed to be very good for us.  However, Mark Bittman, Food Editor, NY Times, tells us that fried food isn’t so bad; it all depends on the oil in which the food is fried.  That’s nice.  But when we’re eating out, how do we know which oil the kitchen is using, and sometimes, maybe, we just don’t care.

This Easter week Ed and I flew to Washington, D.C., and after checking into the Four Seasons, our first big treat was to go tothe bar at their Steak and Bourbon Restaurant, and order french fries–three flavors, three sauces–the pyramid of extra-thick onion rings, and the truffled popcorn!  A white wine for me, a martini for Ed, completed the decadence.   This post-airplane flight ritual of ours is a guilty pleasure we don’t feel guilty about.

The Four Seasons, D.C.

 Three Flavors of Fries–Three Dipping Sauces

Three Flavors of Fries–Three Dipping Sauces

 Fried Onions Pyramid

Fried Onions Pyramid

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Next we visited Ed’s sister in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Myrta and Dave took us to Beacon’s, a down home fried food emporium since 1946.  It’s the kind of dive where you stand in line with your plastic tray, and the counter man yells your order to the fry cook.   Right.  The frycook.  To try and taste everything fried I ordered their sweet potato fries, fried chicken wings, fried onion rings, and with his burger Ed had french fries.

There were items we missed that we look forward to sampling on our next visit–fried gizzards, fried hush puppies, and the fried liver mush.

 Beacon's

Beacon's

  Fried Onion Rings, Chicken Wings, and Sweet Potato Fries

Fried Onion Rings, Chicken Wings, and Sweet Potato Fries

Happy but with a greasy feeling in my mouth, I couldn’t help but notice that the Beacon Drive-in take-out menu has an ad for Forest Hills, a local funeral home.

The American Grocery, Greenville, S.C.

In Greenville at the famous American Grocery, which has a national reputation of being an upscale gourmet restaurant, I kept with the same Southern theme, and ordered–fried.

 A Cone of Fried Chicken Skins

A Cone of Fried Chicken Skins

For starters we had honey fried chicken skin (a paper cone filled with them), fried deviled egg (!), fried kale (kale fritters with yoghurt, and yoghurt is healthy, right?), fried veal sweetbreads, and fried soft shell crab.

 Fried Kale

Fried Kale

Who ever heard of a fried hard-boiled egg?  It was ridiculously delicious.

 Fried Deviled Egg

Fried Deviled Egg

 Ed, Jo, Myrta and Dave–The Happy Foursome on the Fried Adventure

Ed, Jo, Myrta and Dave–The Happy Foursome on the Fried Adventure

After pigging out for days, at the end of our adventure I reluctantly stepped on the scale in our hotel room in Chicago.  I had not gained any fried weight.  How was that possible?

Now we’re back home in healthy Malibu where Fried is seriously frowned upon.  Did our City Council pass a healthy green ordinance and outlaw Fried within our City boundaries?