Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Southern Craft Barbecue, a wood fired smokehouse serving BBQ, burgers, and tacos in a historic downtown warehouse in Johnson City, TN.

Southern Craft BBQ Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers
Free parking lot directly in front of the restaurant.

Dora here. Parking is free directly across from the restaurant, always a bonus in my opinion. I really liked the industrial rustic vibes and the spacious interior. That said, outside of the longer tables in the back for bigger parties, I didn’t see too many actual tables. Could just be because half walls cordoned off the restaurant into sections. We were seated at a high top next to the bar but would’ve preferred a regular table. 

For our appetizer, we opted for the Corn Bread Skillet. This corn bread was great if you like it with less sugar and more texture. You could never get enough of the maple butter and the caramelized onions were unnoticeable.

Southern Craft BBQ Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Corn Bread Skillet Appetizer

Dora here. Don’t call me a hater, but this wasn’t a great start for me. No bits of corn, no sugar, and not nearly enough butter. And the caramelized onions? Hmmm. Really?

For my meal, I ordered the BBQ Combo. My two meats were pork belly and burnt ends, and the two sides, fried okra and tater tots. The BBQ was great, the pork belly was fatty and meaty, just like it should be, and the burnt ends were large chunks of flavor with their original BBQ sauce. Both meats were very smoky and tender, and something that I would definitely order again.

Southern Craft BBQ Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

BBQ Combo: Pork belly, burnt ends, fried okra and tater tots

Dora here. They pack quite a bit of brisket between two hefty pieces of Texas toast. The brisket was cooked well, and not fatty or dry like some. It came with a tiny mound of slaw to top and a nice sized portion of seasoned tater tots. More than enough to fill your belly and I actually brought some home.

Southern Craft BBQ Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Brisket Sandwich. Cooked well, not fatty or dry like some.

Still Dora. If you’re in search of a restaurant to hold a conversation, this probably isn’t the spot. But if you want good BBQ and a hearty meal, go for it.

How do you like your cornbread?

We rate this restaurant 4 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving great food.

 

Excited about Eating by Ernie & Dora Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating takes us to Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This restaurant serves local favorites from all over the US, including grits from South Carolina, crab cakes from Maryland, and BBQ from Carolina.

Zingerman's Roadhouse Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Recognize these two handsome dudes? 🙂

Dora here. Don’t let that picture above fool you. Inside, the place was jammed on a Saturday night, and the picture below is only a small portion of the large restaurant. Even so, our server was friendly and didn’t appear rushed or harried, even offered some helpful recommendations. Kudos!

Zingerman's Roadhouse Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

No empty tables on a Saturday night!

For my dinner, I chose the Chicken Fried Steak, sirloin, breaded and fried, and smothered with chicken gravy. It came with grits, yellow mustard slaw, and bacon braised collard greens. This meal was outstanding. The steak was super tender, adequately breaded, and the gravy was just thick enough to stick to the steak. The sides were great with the greens having that great bacon flavor and the perfect amount of bite.

Zingerman's Roadhouse Fiction Faith & Foodies Ernie & Dora Hiers

Chicken Fried Steak-outstanding!

Dora here. According to our server, their Fried Chicken Macaroni and Cheese started off as a seasonal dish and was only supposed to stay on the menu for a short time. Ten years later…I can see why it became a regular favorite! This is probably the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted! Thick chunks of tender chicken (mostly white meat–which I prefer), the pasta cooked to the right firmness, and the bechamel divine! If that wasn’t good enough, they go the extra mile and add a nice char to the top. Excellent choice! Go for the large, even if you have to take some home. You’ll thank me later. 🙂

Zingerman's Roadhouse, Fiction Faith & Foodies, Ernie & Dora Hiers

Fried Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, some of the best I have ever tasted!

How do you like your macaroni and cheese? Any particular ingredients you like added?

We rate this restaurant 5 forks out of 5 for a family friendly restaurant serving outstanding food.

Zingerman's Roadhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato