In April of 2014, former Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine dining critic, Bill Addison, took over as Eater's first restaurant editor.
Since then, he's been on a quest to compile a list of the "38 essential restaurants in America," consuming 263 meals in 29 cities during seven months of travel.
"It’s hard to say no to the cooks at Atlanta’s most dynamic restaurant," Addison wrote. "Each week chef-owner Kevin Gillespie and his crew decide on a few dishes they’ll each prepare, and as they’re ready, the team takes them out to the dining room on carts and trays to personally describe them. Ethiopian-style braised lamb? Whole hog barbecue, cornbread, bourbon-soaked peaches, and coleslaw? Thai red curry duck leg? The kitchen heeds no national or stylistic borders in their cooking, and each person focuses on their own predilections."
Among other Southern restaurants on the list: Husk and Prince's Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville; Fig and Hominy Grill in Charleston; Galatoire's and Cochon Butcher in New Orleans.
Addison declares the 38 a work in progress, and invites readers to allow his year of "field research" to serve as a "dining road map for 2015."
Let the fun begin.