Everybody’s cultural background has comfort food dishes. Although South Florida has Hispanic flavor surrounding it, it’s still a city in the Southern U.S. and many tourists and natives should take a moment to practice diversity with southern comfort food. Whether it’s shrimp and grits, pork chops, chili and cornbread, and the ultimate, fried green tomatoes, Southern comfort food paints the customer a picture of the strengths of the region–fisheries, fruits and (through its connection to the Caribbean), emphasis on spices and sweets. South Florida can’t deny its roots in Southern culture and would only add to its allure around the nation and the world to promote a balance between all its influences: Hispanic, Southern, Caribbean, and so on.

Tom Jenkins BBQ
1236 S. Federal Highway
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 522-5046
www.tomjenkinsbbq.com

South Florida is not known for its barbecue but Tom Jenkins BBQ can compete with any respectable Southern BBQ establishment with its menu selections. Get a side of mac n’ cheese and eat a half pound of beef brisket. As the employees roll you out to your car satisfied, drive home calm and relaxed before falling into a peaceful sleep.

Related: Gone Country: Top Southern-Style Bars In South Florida

(Source: AP)

The Mason Jar Cafe
2980 N. Federal Highway
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33306
(954) 568-4100

Up a few minutes going north on Federal Highway, the Mason Jar cafe fields comfort food soups like tomato, blue-cheese and bacon soup, French-Onion with gruyere cheese, and a seafood stew. All of these should be purchased in the large size because the small will leave you wanting more since it tastes so good. Move into Janice’s meatloaf sandwich grilled with barbecue glaze on a hoagie roll. Stay for dinner and eat fried green tomatoes, their chicken pot pie, and stay healthy with helpings of sweet potato mash and green bean casseroles.

Whisk Gourmet Food & Catering
7382 S.W. 56th Ave. South
Miami, FL 33143
(786) 268-8350
www.whiskgourmet.com

It’s a simple luncheonette-style layout but kicks hard with the menu selections. One has to have the warm homemade cornbread with scallions and honey butter and then top it off with a plate of blue crab and roasted corn fried rice. Look out for the daily specials at Whisk, specifically the corn meal fried fish sandwich.

(Source: runchickenrun.com)

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar
1600 Lenox Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 538-5220
www.runchickenrun.com

Go to the Yardbird for brunch and eat a fried green tomato BLT sandwich. House-made pimento cheese, pork belly, greens and tomato jam. Then have a friend order the BLT benedict cast iron casserole and take a few forkfuls of buttermilk biscuit crumble, soft poached organic egg, hollandaise sauce and house cured bacon. You’ll have to find parking on Convention Center Drive because Yardbird is adjacent to a residential area.

(Souce: bluecollarmiami.com)

Blue Collar
6730 Biscayne Blvd., Ste. 130
Miami, FL 33138
(305) 756-0366
www.bluecollarmiami.com

In the Little Haiti area of Miami, Blue Collar offers soul food/Southern comfort food dishes that are sure to make people stop from the evening rush hour commute to fill up and relax a bit before heading home. A “must-try” is the dish of shrimp & grits with trugole cheese (cousin of Asiago), Neuske’s bacon and New Orleans-style BBQ sauce. Others of note is the grilled cheese sandwich made with gouda and cheddar on a Portuguese muffin.

Related: Top Spots For Fried Chicken In South Florida

Eric L Labrador is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. His work can be found on Examiner.com.