Great local restaurants and watering holes

Posted by Eliza Myers in Travel Thoughts on June 21, 2013

 
 



We asked the staff of The Group Travel Leader, ‘What’s a great local restaurant or watering hole that you’ve discovered on the road?’ Here are some wonderful places to keep in mind when you’re on the road.

‘Best dive bar hands down goes to Veets Bar in downtown Mobile, Alabama. It’s cold beer, live music and bartenders with so much personality that they should have their own reality show. Veets is the real deal.’

— Stacey Bowman,
Director, Advertising Sales

Meers is the only thing that remains of a once bustling mining town called Meers, Oklahoma. The restaurant serves the best burgers I’ve ever had, and the atmosphere is great. Check it out at www.meersstore.com. Now, I am starving.’

— Donia Simmons,
Creative Director

‘I’ve tried, and I agree: You can’t go home again. Likewise, I’m beginning to think you can’t find good barbecue anywhere but home. I’m from Paducah in extreme western Kentucky, where I grew up eating barbecue unlike any I’ve had anywhere else. When I go home and especially when I’m visiting with old friends, barbecue is essential. If you’re ever in or even near Paducah, I recommend Harned’s Drive-In, home of old-fashioned barbecue and the friendliest, most energetic carhops around. I’ll have a large/hot, please.’

— David Brown,
Art Director

‘Throughout my years of travel, I have had the opportunity to eat at some terrific locally owned restaurants. Here are three that stand out in my mind: Felix’s Fish Camp in Mobile, Alabama, has the most amazing shrimp and grits. Steel Restaurant and Lounge in Atlanta is known for its signature Chilean sea bass — and it’s to die for. Local Gastropub in Memphis, Tennessee, has an avocado stuffed with crabmeat on the appetizer menu. It’s so fantastic I made a meal out of it.’

— Kelly Tyner,
Director, Sales and Marketing

‘Sometimes, the best trips are trips home. My favorite local joint is Ferrell’s Hamburgers in Hopkinsville, Kentucky: hand-patted hamburgers on a 50-year-old grill, 10 seats at the counter. The only thing green about this place is the waitresses’ aprons.’

— Mac Lacy,
Publisher

‘I had a fantastic lunch last fall at Nellie’s, a small local joint in Las Cruces, New Mexico, that serves authentic New Mexican food. My heaping plate of chicken enchiladas came smothered with some of the most amazing green chile sauce I’ve ever tasted, and topped with a fried egg. I had never eaten enchiladas with an egg before, but the experience was so blissful that I now order a fried egg on top every time I go out for Mexican food.’

— Brian Jewell,
Executive Editor

George Street in Newfoundland, Canada, has not just one great local bar but several fun hangouts all in a row. The two-block district is said to have the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America. I loved meeting all of the friendly Newfoundland locals at spots like Trapper John’s and Lottie’s Place, and hearing their recommendations for which pub I should try next.’

— Eliza Myers,
Online Editor

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