Something You Should Eat: Shrimp & grits from Big Jones
While New Orleans gears up for Mardi Gras this week, and ultimately, Fat Tuesday (March 8, by the way), allow me to move the culinary wave a few hundred miles to the Northeast - in Low Country - near the Carolinas, for one of my favorite dishes: shrimp and grits. True, the rest of the South has embraced this dish (one of the best versions I can recall was at Two Sisters Kitchen in NOLA, not to be confused with the touristy Court of Two Sisters in the Quarter). But I've rarely found exceptional versions in Chicago. Fortunately, the entire philosophy at Big Jones, in Andersonville, is about Southern coastal cooking with a strong emphasis on sustainably-raised and sourced products. That's why it's not surprising to see those lovely Anson Mills grits serving as a corny canvas for the homemade tasso and sauteed Gulf shrimp. I think chef/owner Paul Fehribach has come as close to the Low Country ideal as is possible, and I hope you'll agree.