Reading Southern Living’s Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous is like taking the road trip that you always wanted to take, crossing through big and small towns looking for Americana and good eats. The book features descriptions of favorite Southern diners and dives that are well known in their local communities for having great food, and the book contains the recipes for some of their most popular dishes so you can recreate them at home.
When I say that reading the book is like taking a road trip, I’m not kidding. The book is literally packed with colorful photos of dining rooms, small towns, retro signs, happy people and – of course – great food. They’re vibrant and very well arranged, and give you a strong sense of place that you otherwise wouldn’t get just from reading about these places in a book. A typical diner description will tell you what items the diner is famous for and what has made them a favorite with customers. The address is included, but so are the GPS coordinates which will definitely come in handy if you decide to use this book as a guide when you really are taking a road trip! In addition to the info on the diners, there are plenty of asides that tell you about different roadside attractions and curiosities.
The recipes run from breakfast foods to main courses to desserts, giving you a sampling of many different types of diner classics. Some, like a Chocolate Banana Milkshake, are treats that you could find at one of your own local haunts. Others, such as the Snapper Patrick (snapper rolls stuffed with crab meat) from Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf in Henderson, Louisiana, are local specialties that are made with local ingredients. After taking a virtual road trip with the book’s photos, the recipes start to sound even more tempting than they would on their own. Fortunately, the recipes are easy to make and will leave you with lots of delicious diner-inspired meal options to make without leaving your kitchen.