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You can have your Anthony Bourdains and your Phil Rosenthals. If I’m eating on the road, I’m going with North Carolina’s own D.G. Martin.

Now you can drive and dine with D.G. by picking up his new book, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries: A Traveler’s Guide to Local Restaurants, Diners, and Barbecue Joints,” published by UNC Press.

D.G. likes my kind of food. Namely, all kinds of food. And, for this book, food served in local restaurants “where you find real friends and lifelong memories.”

He tells us about more than 100 BBQ joints, seafood places, country kitchens, Mexican restaurants, Lebanese cafes and Greek diners that offer down-home alternatives to the Interstate fast-food deserts. He introduces us to the people who cook and serve the food, the locals who gather around the table and the nearby attractions you can visit while your meal settles.

Only D.G. would direct you from the country cooking at Pam’s Farmhouse Restaurant in west Raleigh to a store where you can buy a sari.

D.G., who is now a newspaper columnist and host of UNC-TV’s “Bookwatch,” has done his research – on the road and at the table. He flavors his findings with his irrepressible love for North Carolina and its people.

His book makes the perfect Christmas gift for friends and family. Pick up an extra copy to keep in your car. You never know when you’ll need a down-home meal.



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