Durham – The South's Tastiest Town
Vote until Feb. 28
You already know that eating out carries high entertainment value for me. It’s not always just about the food; it’s about my dining companions, the wine, the wait staff, the ambience and supporting farm-to-table and local growers. And while I love frequenting my favorite tables in Chapel Hill, I’ve grown mighty partial to Durham, too. Especially now that I’m working in Durham and have a very willing office mate who’s all too eager to share the best of Durham with me. It didn’t take long for me to tell her about a new place at Five Points, Pizzaria Toro, that I’d heard about from my former colleague and friend, Sam Poley.
“Durham's food scene is on par with the best in the nation," says Sam, the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau's director of marketing and communications. "Chefs here have integrity, appreciation for the ingredients, the sourcing, the producers, the preparations and the customers. In Durham, food is a culture that rises above most barriers, and all of Durham's diverse inhabitants come together over great food all the time."
Durham has been garnering good press for some time now. When you’re getting consistent accolades from the likes of Bon Appetit, Gourmet and The New York Times, you must be doing something right. Apparently, Southern Living thinks so, too, because Durham was just named one of the "Tastiest Towns in the South 2013" in their February issue. They hold good company with Asheville, Atlanta, Austin, Charleston, Greenville, S.C., Louisville, Memphis, Miami and New Orleans.
Southern Living’s criteria? Food as a cultural identity; growth of a culinary-minded community; diverse cuisine at a variety of price points; local, sustainable food practices; hot chefs on the rise; and an abundance of buzz-worthy food events. Check, check, check, check, check, check!
But who’s the best? That’s up to us, the self-confessed, taste-seeking locavores to decide. As Poley says, “Rising tides lift all boats.” Last time I looked, our boat was docked right next to Durham.
Consider all the foodies out there who make their upcoming travel plans based around where they are going to have breakfast, lunch and supper. That’s money (and tax dollars) coming into our regional economy. Go to southernliving.com and vote once a day, from each of your email addresses. Each time you vote, you are automatically entered for a chance to win $1,500 toward a trip to the Tasty Town of your choice. The contest goes until Feb. 28.
We can’t let some other town snag this from us, now can we? I know, I know, how can we possibly vote enough times to beat out Miami with its population of 5.5 million? We just will. As I finished writing this, Durham was in the lead. Let’s help keep it there. TW
Simmer2Sizzle (www.simmer2sizzle.com) blogger Deborah Miller is here, there and everywhere. If it's musical, visual or entertaining, this Chapel Hill native is likely to be close by and talking about it. Each weeke she lets you know what to see and do in the area.