Southern food is primarily heavy, it just is. Montgomery is no exception, but at least the city is walkable enough that you can burn some of what you eat to and from the restaurant/dive. It’s a good place to indulge because without too much work you can strike a little balance.
With that in mind, here is a list of must-try foods in Montgomery:
BBQ: A given when you’re in the South. Get it at Dreamland or Sam’s BBQ.
Buttermilk Chess Pie: Light, fluffy, and borderline tasteless if done wrong. It’s sweet, but it is mostly creamy with a hint of vanilla. If you get this at the wrong place, you won’t like it, so give it at least a couple tries before you write it off completely.
Chris’s Hot Dog: Mustard, onions, sauerkraut, and chili sauce don this dog at its namesake’s Famous Hot Dogs.
Fried Oysters: This is not something I’m all-in on. I like my oysters raw or charbroiled, but we are in the South and fried food is everywhere. They’re pretty tasty, as long as the restaurant got them fresh. I’m a little sad to see such fresh oysters dipped in batter and made fatty, but it is what it is.
Fried Green Tomatoes: In the state where a novel and the subsequent TV show with fried green tomatoes in its title were conceived, it only makes sense that you should eat them. The best ones are kind of like the best onion rings: the batter stays put with each bite and the tomato is still a bit juicy.
Fried Chicken: Self-explanatory. Get it at Martin’s Restaurant.
Cornbread: Stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. You’ve probably had this, but it comes as a side to nearly every traditionally Southern meal you can eat in Montgomery. It’s a square, usually compact and crumbly.
Banana Pudding: This is not a drill. If it is offered, get it.
Seafood Gumbo: Not as good as that in New Orleans, but worthy of trying if you’re in the area. The stew is warm, not nearly as spicy as in Louisiana, but delightful on a cool (or even just windy) day.
– M. Ray Hall