Sunday, January 22, 2017

Give Your Tastebuds a Kick at The Southern Kitchen and Bar



Last year, we enjoyed visiting Bottle and Bone in the Uptown District of Birmingham at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. Bottle and Bone was both butcher shop and restaurant and it was, indeed, wonderful. We were very sad to hear that it had closed. While we don't know why the restaurant closed, one thing we noticed is that there are no retail shops in the district. There are events at the BJCC such as concerts and shows and two large hotels, which would bring in diners, but no shopping. With several other restaurants in the district, we couldn't help but wonder if it was because the crowds just weren't big enough to sustain all the restaurants.  It made us also wonder if retail shops wouldn't add the boost the area might need to bring in the crowds. Uptown District is not the easiest place to get to, located, as it is, under the interstate. Unless someone has tickets to an event at BJCC, you have to make a real effort just to go there to eat. Once there, it would be really nice to have retail stores to add to the experience. Just a thought.

                             

Recently, we made such an effort to visit another restaurant in Uptown Birmingham to celebrate our niece, Ayla's, birthday. She chose The Southern Kitchen and Bar for her birthday lunch. We visited on a Sunday, so we were there for The Southern's Sunday brunch. The restaurant is open and airy, with a rustic industrial attitude. There is a lot of wood, metal and brick. Light streams in through large garage style windows which can be opened to the patio when weather permits.



The menu at The Southern is, as you would expect, southern. Biscuits, greens, grits, shrimp, fried chicken and okra find their way into recipes inspired by a variety of southern locales, Nashville, Savannah, New Orleans, Charleston and Fayetteville. One thing I had my heart set on was an appetizer called Cajun Angels, which were bacon wrapped shrimp, blackened and served with New Orleans barbecue sauce. Sadly, we were there on Sunday and the brunch menu did not include Cajun Angels. I was bummed, but decided I would have to come back on a day other than Sunday. 



 Since our party was a large one, we sampled a variety of dishes. Several of the guys got burgers. All of them were served on big brioche buns and they all looked delicious. The Hangover Burger came with a large fried egg on the top.


The Big Easy was a fried chicken sandwich, also on a fluffy brioche bun, with smoked bacon, arugula and New Orleans barbecue sauce.


One of the most delicious dishes at The Southern is their interpretation of chicken and waffles. The homemade waffles are topped with perfectly fried chicken and pecan brown sugar and drizzled with jalapeƱo honey. It is worth a trip to The Southern for this one dish. 


The Jefferson involves blackened shrimp (or chicken), southern spiced greens, local Alabama gouda grits and a splash of Cajun hot sauce. It is just as amazing as it sounds. 


 Another thing The Southern does particularly well, is their biscuits. I could have eaten a basket of them. The fried chicken biscuit with blackberry jam and gouda grits was a match made in heaven.


If you happen to be in Birmingham, make the effort to head down to Uptown and visit The Southern. Trust me, it is worth the effort. And if you happen to try the Cajun Angels, let me know what you think. I am still thinking about those angels!

Three Friends and a Fork give 3 Big Southern Yums UP to The Southern Kitchen and Bar.



Richi Reynolds
Richi Reynolds

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