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Is Southern Food still unpopular in the NW?

In all seriousness, I am a southerner (living in the south). And I know the Pacific Northwest is known for fresh food, and lots of seafood, but I'm wondering if Southern food has caught on up north. By that I mean Cajun, Creole, Tex-mex, Soul food, etc.

I guess my question is: "Are Southern restaurants beginning to pop up, and if so, are they popular?"

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    1. Catfish Corner, Ezell's, Kingfish Cafe, Peso's (tho my service there has sucked lately), Austin Cantina....

      I haven't tried any cajun in Seattle... anyone have any suggestions? I enjoyed From the Bayou back before they changed hands, but haven't been back since (kind of a long drive). I think I might have tried Burk's before they disappeared.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jaydeflix

        Just to clarify, Burk retired to the islands (didn't close for lack of business) after a looong run (25+ years I believe) of southern food here in Seattle (still owns the building, rennovated part of it and rented it to Volterra), so wouldn't be in the 'begining to pop up' phase :-). I miss those crawfish he flew in weekly (if not more often) from New Orleans!

        1. re: ballardman

          Well, strictly speaking, they still disappeared =)

        2. re: jaydeflix

          Then there's Southern Kitchen in Tacoma--'bout as southern as you can get in these parts.

          Steelhead Diner at Pike Place Market has some distinctly southern roots.

          On my list to try are Nellie's Place Cafe and Joanna's Soul Cafe and Jazz Club in the Central District (Seattle). There's also a place in Renton I've seen ads for--A Taste of Louisiana Cafe & Sweet Shop--anybody tried it?

          1. re: MsMaryMc

            We always got to the original homey place, rather than the other newer 2nd one by the Capital in Olympia, I think it is a little too stiff for me. (customers) Still, the great food (Oh My God! Hmmm...) Gloria and her gang make the best. I used to travel around the country, A LOT and it is my #1 favorite in the US.

        3. I don't think so. The places mentioned in this thread have been around quite a while, so nothing new is "popping up," and, in fact, I can think of a number of places (Burk's, Soul Food Stop) that have gone out of business. It doesn't seem like Southern food fits in with any of the trends in the restaurant world right now--is it "catching on" anywhere in the country?

          Would you really characterize Tex Mex as southern food?

          1. Up here in Everett, Alligator Soul (Cajun) just moved into a bigger spot.

            Thinking out loud, I wonder if their service has improved. It seems like restaurants up here have a hard time staffing up and keeping a good staff together.

            The food is okay, no real wow to it, but I do go there on occasion when I want something different. As with any newly opened restaurant, I'll probably wait a few months so they can iron out any kinks before I go.

            We I lived in Renton. I used to go to McGowan's (Southern). I don't even know if it's still open.

            1. i would like to amplify: kingfish cafe is mighty fine & has been around for years now!.

              1 Reply
              1. re: munkigurl

                I visited Kingfish Cafe on Sunday for the first time in several years. It was still very good. I especially enjoyed the fried chicken, cooked to a spice-dusted, dark golden brown but still juicy and tender inside, with side of mashers and gravy. My wife loved the collard greens while I thought them a bit too sweet. The red beans and rice were serperated at first, but we commingled them into an amalgation of rib-sticking, tasso-flavored goodnes. The spacious and evocative interior and aged look are still impressive. Has it expanded. Very worthwhile.

              2. Being new here, I am not in a position to really fully answer your question. Still this weekend I went to an event in my neighborhood that included the opportunity to try some neighborhood restaurants. You know the nicest thing about a family of four is that at events like this, you get to try four different restaurants. One of the restaurants was called Rose Petals. Noticeably enough, there was no food at their table because it was all being cooked to order. There was also quite a line......

                I went for the fried catfish and potatoe salad. Regretably, my dratted pups took one bite each of my catfish and then stole almost all of my food. Crispy fried catfish with nice spicyness. Yummy potatoe salad.

                I googled the restaurant and found the link below. Now I just have to try all the other stuff on the menu..................


                1 Reply
                1. re: jenn

                  yep ..Ms Helen, she is awesome & a Seattle legend of sorts, she had a funky place called Ms Helen's Soul Food on 23rd near Union but the dang earthquake did her bldg in... glad to hear they were busy. Her food is wonderful. I think the construction almost did them in... go eat at Rose Petals, bring your friends .. show this woman the love she deserves!

                2. lots of southern popping up in Portland. Our local joint around the corner was just named one of the top 10 restaurants in the city for 2007.

                  Many more showing up as well. Even in just the past year.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: nwben

                    Wanna share the name of this place "around the corner"?

                    1. re: GreenYoshi

                      In Portland there are a few southern spots I can think of:

                      Screendoor at 24th and E Burnside
                      Acadia at NE 13th and Fremont
                      Roux (can't think of the location off the top of my head)
                      Bernies Southern Bistro (NE 28th-ish and Alberta)
                      Podnah's Pit BBQ at NE 15th and Prescott (quality has gone down IMHO)

                      Personally, I'd probably return to Screendoor out of all of those.

                      1. re: MyNextMeal

                        Hey MyNexMeal-san,

                        Roux is located at 1700 N Killingsworth St. While I haven't yet had the opportunity to visit, people I work with in the restaurant biz really like the place.

                        Looking forward to trying Screendoor.