Number 38: Broken Record's Crawfish Grits

SFoodie's countdown of our favorite 50 things to eat and drink, 2012 edition

On New Year's Eve of 1973, the Allman Brothers put on a legendary, marathon show at the Cow Palace. Nearly four decades later, up Geneva at The Broken Record, Georgian Shane LaValley creates something just as unapologetically Southern and perhaps even more epic: his crawfish grits. LaValley's recipe has been passed down and tinkered with by many generations of his restaurant family. “I've been making these grits my whole life,” he boasts with the slightest twang.

Before digging in, stick your nose right into the bowl and inhale the lingering perfume of homemade shrimp stock and Cajun seasoning. Load up a spoon with velvety, Cheddar-flecked grits, crispy bacon threads, and plump, nickel-sized crawfish, proudly dubbed “Low Country lobster” on the menu. A concentrated hit of corn gives way to the smokiness of the bacon and then finally the slight pungency of the moist crawfish, seemingly prevalent in every bite. Leftover is a pool of fiery broth, more than worthy of some offensively loud slurping.

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