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I was honored to attend the Birmingham Public Library's Eat Drink Read Write Festival at the beginning of October. A tasty celebration combining Southern literature with Southern food, EDRW gave me the chance to spend a week in The Magic City and discover its booming culinary scene. Most folks are probably familiar with signature restaurants The Highlands Bar And Grill and Hot and Hot Fish Club, but Birmingham has lower-key spots serving internationally inspired cuisine, favorite food trucks, coffeehouses, plenty of vegetarian options and establishments with desserts that are hard to forget. At the end of the festival, a new book celebrating the city's food scene, Birmingham's Best Bites, was unveiled. In celebration, I decided to compile my own list of best bites from Birmingham (listed in the order I ate them). 1. Deviled Egg BLT with fried pickled okra from Saw's Street Kitchen Sunday in Avondale Park gathered several of the city's food trucks, including Saw's Street Kitchen. Among options for barbecue and a Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Sandwich, I couldn't pass up the Deviled Egg BLT. Between two slices of toasted white bread came a sandwich stuffed with deviled egg filling, lettuce, tomato and bacon. A side of pickled fried okra and

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by Erin Z. Bass Those of you who follow Deep South on Facebook and/or Twitter know that I had a whirlwind tour of Alabama last week while attending Travel South USA in Birmingham. The only regional tourism show focused solely on the southern United States, Travel South invites the "Who's Who" of Southern tourism along with travel writers and media so the two can connect to cover the 187.6 billion dollar industry. Yes, that number is correct, so share it with the next person you encounter who says that tourism is not an important industry for your Southern state. Since Birmingham was the host city this year, Alabama played the part of gracious host along with Communications Director Edith Parten, who invited me on a pre-trip to the state before the start of Travel South. I had a couple different options and was of course drawn to the "Blues & BBQ" tour, but after thinking more about it, the storytelling, quilting, back roads and small towns on the "Small Town Treasures" tour started calling my name. You'll have the chance to read many stories coming out of this tour in the coming months, so I won't go into detail here. I'll just

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