Coming up on its 2nd birthday in June, Southern is not going anywhere. It’s quickly becoming one of those restaurants synonymous with great St. Louis food like Bogart’s and even Pappy’s Smokehouse next door. The moment you walk in the door you get the sense that you’re about to have some life changing food. The kitchen is right in front of you while you’re waiting in line to order, giving you a full view (and smell) of everything that’s cooking up. The trick is to get you salivating before you ever order, and boy does it work.
This is especially true with the chicken fried steak which you watch them hand batter before they cook it in front of you on the flat top. Their passion for food can be seen in each of their dishes and especially in their pantry. We took a look behind the curtain so to speak and were shocked. Their pantry was filled with ingredients, that is ingredients to make everything from scratch. Southern’s manager says that that is what sets them apart from other fried chicken restaurants and what makes them so successful. Who knew fresh ingredients and amazing spices were such a good combo?
Now, Southern’s specialty seems to be with their chicken, and nobody would tell you that you were wrong, but they can make a killer burger and sides that keep you coming back for days. Their roots in Nashville style hot chicken are a first for St. Louis and definitely separate them from any other fried bird. The fried chicken is known to come a bit spicy, but you can choose your level of intensity based off the dishes. The breading on their chicken is nicely balanced and allows enough crunch to satisfy the desire for fried chicken, but ensures you don’t get a bite that’s entirely fried pieces. With everything coming hand breaded, sauced, and seasoned, there’s no doubt that Southern takes great pride in their process and ingredients to ensure every bite is better than the last. Check them out on Facebook @southernstl and Instagram @stlsouthern to see what they’re cooking up and make sure to stop on by. The comfort food will brighten any day Wednesday to Sunday and they’ll cook you up something special.