Pretty Southern

What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

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Aaron Chewning Hits a Home Run with “Chop Arm Strong”

As the Braves prepare for opening day, Aaron Chewning is also stepping up to the plate. The mastermind behind the Braves “Baselines” a spoof of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” garnered more then 500,000 views on YouTube in 2013. Now to kick off the 2014 season, Aaron Chewning brings us his latest single “Chop Arm Strong”.

Cameos in this video include Jeff Foxworthy, Bert Weiss and Jeff Dauler from Q100, and even Governor Nathan Deal rocking his “A” cap. What do y’all think of this new single? #choparmstrong.

Just for giggles, here’s the marvelous Baselines video.

Southern Belles

Southern Belles
on Nowness.com

Pretty Southern was privileged to participate in “Southern Belles”. This mini-video documentary for Nowness.com – a lovely site that’s truly a “platform for high-end culture experiences online” – features yours truly and our contributing writer Katy Ruth Camp (pictured above with her pup Grady).

Katy Ruth Camp looking ever-so-chic with her pups!

Katy Ruth Camp looking ever-so-chic with her pups!

We were thrilled when we heard about this project, documenting the modern, Southern Belle and if she still exists. A few of our sound bites include:

“People have such a strong reaction to Southern Belles because they think about Scarlett O’Hara and the antebellum days with hoop skirts perched n the big front porch of the plantation home.”

“Southern women are so pretty. Not just because they have good genes, but I think they have an inner beauty that shines from the inside out.”

This work will actually turn into a longer documentary later this year, and we’ll be sure to let y’all know when it’s live. In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest Sh%t Southern Women Say and follow Pretty Southern on Twitter for the latest news in the South.

Cilantro Lime Baked Shrimp with Panko

Our take on Panko crusted baked shrimp with cilantro and lime.

Our take on Panko crusted baked shrimp with cilantro and lime.

In an effort to save money we’ve cut back on going out to eat, so I’ve started making more of the recipes I pin on Pinterest. After all, I somehow had to justify to my husband that I was in fact pinning with a purpose. Hubby really liked these Shrimp with Avocado, Mango, & Tomato Salsa, which was also a Pinterest find, so I decided to try out these Cilantro Lime Baked Shrimp from Gimme Some Oven. It was another perfect Pinterest supper!

Now we reduced our recipe to only 1 lb. of shrimp since we were serving two people, so for four people definitely spring for 2 lbs. of shrimp. Also, you’ll have to whip up a side dish — or perhaps serve these as tacos with Sriracha sauce — because these tasty morsels just aren’t quite enough to make a meal of their own. Regardless, these shrimp are tasty and definitely going into my recipe rotation. Here’s what y’all will need for Cilantro Lime Baked Shrimp with Panko:

Ali from Gimme Some Oven's picture is a lot prettier!

Gimme Some Oven’s picture is a lot prettier!

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, add shrimp, garlic, lime zest and juice, cumin, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer the mixture to a greased 11×7-inch or 9×13-inch baking dish.

In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, Panko, and fresh cilantro until combined. Sprinkle the Panko mixture evenly on top of the shrimp.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and no longer opaque. Remove and garnish with extra lime wedges or cilantro if desired.

The Great Debate: White After Labor Day

Poor Little It Girl shows all white with white open toed shoes done right!

Poor Little It Girl shows all white with white open toed shoes done right!

Growing up, my mama taught me all the rules of being a Southern lady, including the fashion faux-pas to avoid. One point she emphasized often was to never wear white after Labor Day and before Easter; the same went for open-toed shoes. For me, white always symbolizes rebirth and new life, just like spring, so I did as I was taught and stored my white skinny jeans and sandals away after September.  When I spotted someone breaking the rule, I mentally wagged my finger.

One day last month, I spotted a girl walking around my campus wearing white dress pants and white open-toed shoes. In February. With twenty inches of snow on the ground. I couldn’t believe it. But bless her heart, she probably didn’t know better. (more…)

The Top 10 Atlanta Steakhouses

Steak in the broiler at New York Prime.

Steak in the broiler at New York Prime.

When it comes to fine dining in Atlanta, the classic steakhouse is in a category all its own. Atlanta is the Southeast’s mecca for delicious filet mignon thanks to local providers such as Buckhead Beef, Brasstown Beef, and a bevy of other sources for grass-fed beef from local farms.

Before we sit down to supper, here are just a few notes about how we made this list of our favorite Southern steaks:

  • Our top 10 steakhouses all have an Atlanta address which means no Alpharetta, Kennesaw, Marietta, Roswell, or any other steakhouse OTP (that’s “outside the perimeter” of 285) but we still love y’all too!
  • It’s really hard to choose the best, so we ranked our list in alphabetical order.

To kick off our list of the top 10 Atlanta steakhouses, here’s a quote from a famous Southern lady:

My father always said that Fondas can cry at a good steak.”
~ Jane Fonda

BLT Steak served with herb butter in a cast-iron pan.

BLT Steak served with herb butter in a cast-iron pan.

1. BLT Steak – Located inside the swanky W Atlanta-Downtown, its full name (Bistro Laurent Tourondel) is an homage to its founding partner, Chef Tourondel. BLT Steak “integrates traditional elements of the French bistro with an American steakhouse and combines its signature rich warmth and texture with the sophistication and style of Atlanta.”

2. Blue Ridge Grill – A sister restaurant of Bones (both are owned by Liberty House Restaurants) is a true staple in the Buckhead dining scene. The ambiance is inspired by the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. Besides 5-star filets, Southern-inspired menu highlights include grilled Georgia Trout, skillet-seared mussels and a sumptuous corn soufflé.

3. Bones – Established in 1979, Bones celebrates it’s 35th anniversary this year. Celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Jim Carrey have dined at Bones. Ask your server to point out President Bill Clinton’s table, along with President Jimmy Carter’s table where he’s dined with his grandson Senator Jason Carter (who is now running for governor).

4. Chops – The flagship steakhouse of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group. Chops was the premier steakhouse of Peachtree Street long before the St. Regis Atlanta opened its doors. The pepper steak is our favorite filet with a cracked peppercorn crust, brandy pepper sauce, mushrooms, port braised shallots, and potato confit. Pair it with a flash-fried lobster tail, served with honey mustard sauce and drawn butter, for a truly indulgent meal.

5. Hal’s on Old Ivy – nestled off a tiny road where Buckhead’s business district meets the neighborhood bar scene, Hal’s is the place as Jon Watson wrote for the AJC:

“Tables of cougars clinking wine glasses eyeball the young professional set jockeying to be the next batch of well-to-do regulars, and local celebrities and politicians routinely make appearances.”

6. Kevin Rathbun Steak – Mr. Rathbun helped parlay Atlanta fine dining to prominent stature. “Only one and a half block from Rathbun’s and Krog Bar, Kevin found an old cotton warehouse and turned it into one of the Top Steakhouses in The U.S. (Details Magazine).” Word to the wise when using GPS, don’t confuse Kevin Rathbun Steak with his newest establishment KR Steak Bar, which opened in the Peachtree Hills neighborhood in 2013.

A perfect medium rare filet at McKendrick's in Atlanta.

A perfect medium rare filet at McKendrick’s in Atlanta.

7. McKendrick’s – For nearly 20 years, McKendrick’s has gone above and beyond to provide stellar steaks and Southern hospitality. Executive chef Thomas Minchella regularly posts recipes to his blog, but dining at McKendrick’s is a true Atlanta steakhouse experience.

8. New York Prime – consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in Atlanta, New York Prime is right up there with the classics in Manhattan. The guys running this joint are some of the nicest damn yankees in the South.

9. Parker’s On Ponce - As Decatur’s only steakhouse, Parker’s was founded in 2008 by brothers John-Thomas and Christopher Scott. Parker’s is a welcome addition to historic Decatur, just four miles east of downtown Atlanta. There’s a ScoutMob for Parker’s for $20, which is almost a free steak! And unlike other steakhouses, Parker’s offers you a side item of your choice including broccoli, mashed potatoes, hash browns, or french fries. Now that’s Southern hospitality.

10. Prime – To round out our list of the top Atlanta steakhouses, we had to include our favorite restaurant at Lenox Mall. Prime is a steak + sushi concept redefining the idea of surf & turf. As part of the Here To Serve restaurant group, anyone with a Friend of Tom card enjoys 10% off their meal.

An honorable mention goes to New York Butcher Shoppe for being the best retailer of prime filets in Atlanta, and across the South. For steakhouse quality steaks made at home on your grill, visit a location near you.

So what did y’all think of our Top 10 Atlanta Steakhouses? Let us know in the Comments below.