The Weekly Open Thread Spots Paula Deen Cooking at City House

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And she even made our pizza.

OK, it wasn't actually Paula Deen. It was one of City House's chefs, Jesse Kingsbury, dressed as Paula Deen for Halloween on Wednesday. Note the earrings, made to resemble half-sticks of butter. Compare to the real Paula Deen, also pictured. I think he comes damn close, even capturing the smile and rosy glow. (The person groping the celebrity chef-alike will remain unnamed for fear of recrimination.)

And if you want a dinner for two that's fabulous and under $30, may I recommend City House's Margherita pizza ($9) and the fettuccine with mushrooms, chard, garlic and Grana Padano ($15). Plenty of food for your typical couple, and it was just delightful. I know I rave about City House frequently, but I still find myself dumbfounded sometimes when I analyze the pleasure-to-dollar ratio.

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Also, an update to the Open Thread asking for dining suggestions in Asheville and Savannah. A couple of commenters and other folks I trust recommended Tupelo Honey in Asheville. We went, and had a pretty awful experience. Bad fried green tomatoes, and the worst scallop dish I ever had. (Wendy's shrimp tacos were bad too.) I don't fault any of the folks who recommended it. With so many thumbs-up from others, I'm guessing maybe there was an ownership change, or new chef. But I would give it a thumbs-down for folks heading to Asheville.

In Savannah, we had good meals at Cha Bella and Local 11 Ten, though nothing to beat my four or five favorite Nashville eateries. It made me realize how great the Nashville dining scene has become in recent years. A special shout-out to Marker 107 in Richmond Hill, about 30 minutes south of Savannah. Solid standard-issue fried shrimp and oysters, but one of the most delightful locales imaginable. We ate on a porch overlooking the lovely Kilkenny Creek, just a few yards away from the boat that caught our shrimp.

Anyway, enough of my pontificating. (I know you were thinking the same thing.) What were some of the best costumes you saw this week? Any other dining news?

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