Southern Kitchen in May 2010 on a Sunday about 2 hours before closing
1716 6th Ave Tacoma, WA 98405
My sister discovered this place while her son was in the hospital nearby about 10 years ago. The first time she took me, it was a new experience in dining for me with a crusty cook watching Matlock and a no-nonsense waitress who told you what you were eating! The food was wonderful, though, and for years I would try to talk my husband into going there with me since he actually lived in Southern Carolina so I thought he would appreciate it. Recently, we were running errands close by so I suggested we go. By this time, Southern Kitchen had been filmed on the TV show Diners Drive-In's and Dives so I was able to show him the video clip* to get him excited about it since he was a little nervous that they served catfish.
The building is not in the most attractive spot- located at a four corners...and there's not a lot of parking. When you first walk in, somebody hollers at you from behind the counter where you can take a seat. The oilcloths on the table are bright and funky and the walls are covered with famous people and a stencil on the wall from the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The unisex bathroom is ...interesting...though I've seen worse.
Our waiter- a cutie who had just added a red streak to his hair- rattled off they were out of about 1/2 the things I was planning on ordering but hey- guess we should gotten there earlier! With your entree, you get corn cake (cornbread that looks like a pancake), and a choice of 3 sides. My husband orders the big platter of fried chicken (figuring he'd take leftovers home to the kids), mashed potatoes with gravy, red beans, and mac n cheese. I got the trout, black eyed peas, buttered corn, and candied yams. I told Dave that we HAVE to have the strawberry lemonade!
As we were waiting, regulars came in asking for their favorite waiters and new people to the place asked employees questions about the photos on the walls. Everybody seems nice and friendly though Matlock had been replaced on the TV by the local news (not conductive to the digestion!). They first brought us out our drinks (YUM) and the corn cakes with butter and syrup but before we're done, our food comes out. I was a little bummed with my corn since I thought it would be on the cob, and I did have my heart set on the sold out corn bread dressing but everything tastes delicious so you can't complain!!! The trout was yummy- reminding me of camping! And Dave's chicken was SO good and moist that we only had one tiny leg left over to take home (which I ate the next day...shhh). Everything is made from scratch and you can tell...de-lious! (watch video on link below on how they make some of their dishes).
We loved, loved, loved, it here and can't wait to be in the area so we can go again!
*For the restaurant's history, video from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and a full menu listing, visit their website at www.southernkitchen-tacoma