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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

America's foodiest small town(s)

Posted by on Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Bon Apetit magazine has named Bull City the nation's 'foodiest' small town-- and coined a new regional marker, 'Durham-Chapel Hill,' in the process. (That one-ups the tagline for Bull City Rising, who provided the link.) Perhaps Raleigh needs to start investing in urban farms to join the love: the glowing review of the Tobacco Road towns cites "120 farms within a 50 mile radius of Chapel Hill" as evidence for a "wildly diverse culinary scene" that has grown to expect great, fresh, locally grown food:

Seemingly everyone I met gets at least some of their week's food from a farm's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. Everyone has an opinion on where to find the best barbecue (Allen & Son, the Millhouse Road location), biscuits (Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen or Biscuitville), and tacos (Taqueria La Vaquita). They didn't just want to tell me their favorite restaurant—they wanted to tell me their favorite farmer.

The article mentions institutions like Crook's Corner ("the birthplace of modern southern cooking") and Magnolia Grill ("a landmark"), alongside young upstarts like Parker and Otis, LocoPops, Scratch and Piedmont. The verdict: "great food was everywhere." Author Andrew Knowlton spends time with local farmers, daydreams about ditching the Big City for a Southern Slice of Heaven (and Scratch's peanut pie), and risks heresy in declaring that, around here, our food is better than our basketball. Whoah, now.

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