Guess who’s back, back again…. It’s been far too long, but it’s finally time for a new Dive Bars 2 Five Stars review! What’s a better way to kick things back off than by talking about the Southern’s Nashville Hot Fried Chicken.
Before we get to that, let’s talk about the restaurant. The Southern is a fast casual southern style restaurant. The decor reflects what you would expect: wood, metal, country, and lots of paper towels. It’s very simple and just ensures you are focused on the food. When you arrive, you are greeted by this Mutha Clucka:
What an amazing and confusing olfactory experience as you enter! You have the smell of fried chicken from the Southern mixed with the aroma of Mike Emerson’s famous BBQ from next door. If you weren’t hungry already, you are now drooling on yourself wishing there was a line where you could order both. Just like Pappy’s, you wait in a line to order. Pro tip: get there when they open. Fifteen minutes after they open, the line will already be to the door.
I started my meal with none other than deviled eggs. I have ordered them at Old Standard, Juniper, and now the Southern. The Pimento cheese is a nice twist to the norm and gives them a great flavor, they are fantastic. If I was going to be nit picky, I would say add some crunch to them for a change in texture.
Now to the star of the show! I ordered the 2 piece dark, hot chicken plate. The chicken is not over breaded. Call me a wimp, but I only ordered the medium. The medium has plenty of heat but allows you to enjoy all the flavors without the need to prove your manliness. The heat builds over time, so wait for it. It also hung around for at least 30 minutes after I was done. They have different levels to choose from so the “hot heads” can get their fix. Don’t ignore the bread under the chicken! It soaks up the grease and is transformed into quite a treat for those that are members of the “clean plate club”.
My two sides were the mashed potatoes and the pickled beets. Oftentimes the sides are a let down, however, I loved the seasoning of the mashed potatoes with the pan gravy. Even though I hated the smell of my mom pickling beets when I was a kid, I have found that I actually do like them. These were a great rendition of that family staple.
As I have said before, fried chicken is a polarizing topic. Many people think that the style that their mom made sets the standard and can’t be beat. While I can understand that logic, sometimes a new and different take can break through those stereotypes. The Southern does just that with their hot fried chicken. Combined with a neighbor like Pappy’s, and you have the perfect 1-2 punch.
Dive 2 Five Star Scale: 3. Family friendly place that is very active. The line gets long quickly. Go right when they open if you want to avoid a wait. The line does move quickly and the food comes out very fast. I was amused by their music selection, especially Ice Ice Baby as an attempt to sooth all the burning taste buds.