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Dec 6, 2007 05:04 PM

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.