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The South

St. Petersburg ~ Fine Dining

The South By August 17, 2018 Tags: , , , No Comments

When Cheap Eats wrapped the shoot in St. Petersburg, I walked away surprised and impressed with the level of cooking happening there. Once dubbed “God’s Waiting room”, St. Petersburg has transformed from a retirement haven to a destination city on Florida’s Gulf coast. Sometimes on Cheap Eats, we feature restaurants that serve up deals despite offering a menu that upon first glance would be way out of our budget. Enter Red Mesa Cantina, whose sprawling three story set up(in an old firehouse) will take you through a packed lively restaurant, a private dining hall with vaulted ceilings and a rooftop bar serving up a myriad of the world’s best ceviches(Mexican, Peruvian), mixology style cocktails and some pretty sweet views of the cityscape at night. Chef Chris Fernandez of Red Mesa offered to take me around town to meet some noteworthy local chefs and test out the St. Petersburg fine dining scene. Are you ready for it? Hang on. Now imagine you are watching the opening to Law and Order and cue . . .

these are their stories

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Cheap Eats ~ St. Petersburg

Cheap Eats, The South By August 13, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

If I had to describe Cheap Eats St. Petersburg in just one word it would be this: surprising. Outside of Miami(where we did an episode of Cheap Eats in Season One) and a summer family trip to Destin in my tender Wonder Years, my knowledge of Florida eats is pretty darn minimal. Take away the heavy Cuban and Caribbean culinary influence in Miami and one might correctly assume that Southern fare becomes a big part of the edible mosaic. But Florida is also part of the East Coast and snowbirds who take refuge down here like to bring their eats with them. This is exactly the case of the aptly named Brooklyn South, our spot for lunch in Cheap Eats St. Petersburg. With that kind of back and forth between major cosmopolitan cities of the Northeast to the sunny environs of FLA, the idea of a legit crêperie doesn’t seem that surprising nor does a swanky dessert themed bar. Add a plate of duck confit quesadilla and I’m sure you would find Cheap Eats St. Petersburg just as surprising as I did. Well seeing is believing, and seeing it twice will make you rethink just which side of Florida you will trek to next and so let’s take one more bite out of Cheap Eats St. Petersburg!

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Cheap Eats ~ Birmingham

Cheap Eats, The South By May 25, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , 2 Comments

When one thinks of the South, Soul food, Barbecue, the struggle for Civil Rights and music, specifically the Blues, immediately come to mind. I cannot think of the South without thinking about the African American experience, I believe that the two are intertwined forever. In short, with so much history and infamy, it is hard to imagine a Birmingham that can described as “hip” or “trending”; but don’t let the past cast a permanent shadow over the present: Birmingham is changing. Food and Wine Magazine moved here from New York City, joining the rest of Time Inc’s slate of publications from Essence to Cooking Light. Birmingham’s hip and new Pizitz food hall is home to Ethiopian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Middle Eastern food stalls. And as of this month, Highlands Bar and Grill was named the most Outstanding Restaurant in America by the James Beard Foundation. Now that sounds like a city worth making a foodcation for. And as far as the Cheap Eats? Well, I’m glad you asked . . .

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Cheap Eats ~ Atlanta

Cheap Eats, The South By May 20, 2018 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

I may not be Childish Gambino but I am childish, and like Donald Glover . . . I am sooo down for the ATL!! Sprawling with a diverse community and great restaurants at every turn, Atlanta reminded me lot of Los Angeles, my old stomping grounds. And an added bonus: I have yet to visit a city in American where I saw such a diverse set of African Americans on a socio-economic scale. To put it bluntly, as my African American über driver did: Atlanta is a place where black people are doing well. They say Washington DC is Chocolate City? I say it’s Atlanta, and it is not just a city, but a thriving metropolis. But before I get too PBS on you . . . let’s get into to the Cheap Eats of the ATL!

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Cheap Eats ~ Athens

Cheap Eats, The South By May 7, 2018 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Even though my allegiance to college football is out west with my alma mater, The University of Southern California, I caught a little of the “Go Dawgs spirit” when Cheap Eats went to Athens Georgia last December. And though they may have come up short in a double OT game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, they did not come up short on Cheap Eats. And I ain’t talking just budget either . . . because if there is ONE THING I look for when I’m down south, is a go to soul food joint and let’s just say I got that playing on “Automatic”. And as far as the rest of my Cheap Eats went down in Athens? Well let’s just take a big bite back in time shall we?

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Cheap Eats ~ Greenville

Cheap Eats, The South By May 2, 2018 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

Greenville SC may not be on your foodie radar YET but trust me, if you spend time in Asheville or Atlanta, you will no doubt hear about this South Eastern up and comer. If the cranes and bulldozers don’t clue you in, I will flat out say it: construction means progress. I can’t say what Greenville was like before I got there because it was my first time here when we shot Cheap Eats but I do know that folks are excited about restaurants opening up and bringing in new peeps. But you aren’t here for a real estate report – you want them Cheap Eats! Well it is my solemn duty to share these eats. And share I shall.

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