When Tastemakers and Tables Unite + A Recipe Treat

by Ross Bowen, Tastemaker in Residence

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I traveled from Minneapolis to my hometown, Greenville SC. After a full Thanksgiving feast put on by my Mother, we were in no mood to cook again on Friday. Fortunately another contributing Tastemaker, “Table 301”, has several restaurants in Greenville. We decided to set out for downtown to see what they had to offer.  We were not disappointed!

Soby’s New South Cuisine is right on Main Street in the rejuvenated downtown area. The traveling Broadway show “Motown” was playing, so parking was difficult to find – unlike 1978 when I last used to frequent the area!  

My parents, my wife, and stepdaughter and me split three appetizers. The french fried oysters were served with a fennel remoulade and were probably my favorite. Another choice was the dish or olives and almonds, which made it around the table a few times. Mom’s favorite was the fried green tomatoes, although she swears hers are better.  

A few diners chose the Carrot soup was fantastic, and had a nice creamy texture. There was an ample basket of Southern biscuits.

For main courses I had the crab cakes, which were served with a spicy Sweet Corn Maque Choux, which has a Louisiana heritage. My wife got the special Salmon, with outrageously sized servings that were unfinishable until the next day. We also had the Grilled Filet Mignon with Brussels sprouts and Yukon Gold potatoes.

Unfortunately we were not able to meet Chef Haydn Shaak. The place was packed with pre-show diners, and we were also on the early bird schedule.

My mother divulged her fried green tomato recipe – it is simple, but wildly out of season right now. I’ll refine the recipe and republish with photos next summer!

Mother Bowen’s Fried Green Tomatoes

½ inch thick slicked green tomatoes
1 cup flour
3 eggs beaten with a splash of water
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup bacon fat or short of that, vegetable oil


  1. Season the sliced tomatoes with salt. 
  2. One by one, dredge them through the flour, then the egg, then the cornmeal. Set aside.
  3. Heat the fat in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Fry each slice 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Set aside on a paper towels.

Serve and enjoy!