The Summer of the Fried Green Tomato

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It's a given that upscale-casual Southern strongholds like Zelko Bistro and Haven would have fried green tomatoes on the menu (although, frankly, I'm more enamored of Haven's wonderfully in-tune grilled okra right now). Take Canopy's crab cake over fried green tomatoes with a scallion remoulade and jalapeño chimichurri: It's comfortably accessible, both taste-wise and price-wise, as you can order a small portion for $12 or a large plate of the good stuff for $20.

Over at Tony Mandola's, you can get your fried green tomatoes topped with a different kind of Gulf seafood for less than $10: fresh shrimp and a spicy remoulade. As with Canopy's jalapeño chimichurri, the heat works as a counterbalance to the tartness of the tomato and the oil in the breading.

And at Backstreet Cafe, you can get a combination of both worlds: Its fried green tomatoes are topped with a crab remoulade for $10. Syd Kearney at 29-95 is a fan, too. I keep clicking over to the site just to look at her photo of the tomatoes, all in a tidy row with tender curls of watercress peeking out from underneath.

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Katharine Shilcutt