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Fantasy Food Musings from a Hungry Southerner

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Photo courtesy of Xiao Bao Biscuit
Photo courtesy of Xiao Bao Biscuit

I dream of new peep-toe shoes, of holding hands with a beloved, and of being able to give every homeless person I see $20. But lots of my daily dreamscape is peppered with, you guessed it, food. So as summer stretches into its dog days, here’s what’s on my mind:

  • A Rose Paleta from Las Paletas in Nashville. I loved this place. I had multiples of the traditional Mexican popsicles when I visited, and one of them was the Rose flavor. If they have it, get it. That is, if you dig eating flowers. Obviously, I do.
  • Cracked conch from any bar overlooking blue water along US 1 in the Florida Keys. If you think calamari can be chewy, you haven’t met its cousin, the conch. But once it’s pounded, fried, salted, sprinkled with lime and dipped in some kind of sauce that has a Caribbean kick, you have the perfect lunch. Or mid-afternoon snack. Or late-night munchie, if they’re still serving. (Keys places close up shop early. Remember, fishermen start early, and I don’t just mean fishing.)
  • My next meal at XBB. When it’s hot outside, this new media darling of the Charleston food scene is perfect. And a go-to for exceptional fresh dishes, fresh drinks, smiles, and décor that makes me jump up and down with enthusiasm.  I am an excitable person when it comes to converted gas stations that are now festooned with paper streamers.
  • Fries. The potato is a heavenly vegetable. I make a mean roasted potato in the cast iron skillet at home, and mashed potatoes are lovely, but we all know this veggie’s highest and best use is the French fry. I only allow myself to eat fries once a month, and that quota has been filled. So I’m dreaming of my next, hot-out-of the grease side item, no fast food chains allowed.