SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar

After finding herself wanting for a boxed waffle mix that met her high standards for breakfast, Erica Barrett launched a culinary brand from her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, with flavor-packed waffle mixes, bacon rubs and fried chicken mixes that can be found in major grocery stores and online. As she grew her business, appearances on “Shark Tank” and “The Profit” garnered national attention for Southern Culture Artisan Foods, and her most popular products are regularly sold out. But you can still get a taste at her seafood-focused restaurant, which opened in 2019. There, you’ll find deviled eggs topped with fried lobster, spring rolls filled with oxtail and shredded Gouda; and Parti Gras Pasta, studded with forkfuls of crawfish, lobster, shrimp and andouille sausage. Barrett is also planning to open a second location in Birmingham’s popular Pizitz Food Hall next year.

455 Dauphin St., Mobile, Alabama; 251-287-6766;

First published by Chicago Tribune. Read the full article here