Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Simply Southern April 7, 2016

Pimento cheese sandwiches are one of my favorite simple southern foods. As a child I would sit at the kitchen table watching my grandmother mash up a block of cheese then mix in the mayonnaise and pimentos. When I got older she let me do the cheese mashing and there was something gratifying about it. The sandwiches we made weren’t anything fancy. Sometimes we might toast the bread a little, but this was a simple meal served with an ice-cold Coca-Cola.
The past few years, I’ve noticed a number of restaurants making more gourmet versions of the sandwich. Probably the most unique twist was at the Little Switzerland Cafe, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the pimento cheese was served as a dip with grilled French bread and celery sticks. It was so good I wouldn’t mind making the two hour drive back to the cafe for another serving. A few weeks ago, I was in North Carolina taking some time to work on my new book, Virginia, and had the chance to visit a new restaurant in downtown Franklin called The Bowery. It opened last year and I’ve wanted to visit ever since I noticed it during my trip in December.
Once inside, I immediately liked the place. The decor is a perfect balance of elegant and rustic. The booths have high backs, made from boards that look like they were reclaimed from a barn, that provide a feeling of privacy. The chairs were plush and upholstered in a cappuccino suede. Bare light bulbs hung inside simple glass jars. The lunch menu was simple and there were the pimento cheese sandwiches again. One was served with fried green tomatoes and the other came with a bowl of soup. It was a chilly day, so I opted for the butternut squash soup and pimento cheese sandwich, while mom ordered the smoked chicken sandwich with pasta salad.

The Bowery

The Bowery

Our meals arrived quickly and I was impressed with the taste of everything. The soup was creamy and the sandwich was warm, the cheese melted just right. I wish I’d taken a picture, but it looked so good I couldn’t stop myself from digging in. I’m not sure why this simple sandwich is showing up on so many menus, but I plan to enjoy them as often as possible.


Southern Comfort March 14, 2012

Filed under: Books,Southern Cooking — itsrebekahlyn @ 10:05 AM
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This weekend I took a road trip for a family reunion in North Carolina.  On the way we stopped to visit my best friend in Charleston, SC.  After staying up until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping only a couple of hours, we ventured to historic Charleston for lunch at Poogan’s Porch.  This lovely house, built in 1888 has been serving patrons since 1976.  We were seated in what was probably a parlor at one time, with floor to ceiling windows open wide to allow in the cool breeze.  With so many choices on the menu, mom and I decided to share the fried green tomatoes, mac & cheese, and shrimp and grits.

The tomatoes were sweet and tender.  The mac & cheese made with gouda cheese, country ham, and shallots could become my new favorite comfort food.  The shrimp and grits were so completely different from what I have always imagined.  With peppers, onions, sausage, and blue crab gravy, it reminded me of jambalaya.

After lunch, we drove around, ogling the beautiful old houses and I could feel a new story blooming within me.  I can see that I will need to spend a few weeks soaking up the atmosphere in this wonderfully historic city for another installment of the Coastal Chronicles.


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