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The Southern - Asheville

New restaurant on the corner of Walnut and Lexington in downtown Asheville, the former Old Europe space. I walked by yesterday evening and it appears to be open. Same owners as the Rankin Vault, which is good news in my opinion. Who's got the scoop???

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  1. I don't know much about it though I had a friend go to the soft opening this weekend. She said it was amazing. Pimento cheese crosini and something with "lemon jalepeno sorbet". She said she had several amazing cocktails! I can't wait to give it a try :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: caiogirl

      I read an article about it and thought it was interesting - due to buliding code, or not having a vent hood, or something kind of odd like that, they can't grill or fry anything, so they have to get creative on how they prepare. The chef used to work at Table. It's such a great location with that big patio - hope they do well.

      Kind of freaks me out b/c my brother is the chef at a place called The Southern in Chicago. I told him he needed to come look at the space if he and his wife were ever up for a move - again, love that patio - so when i read they were opening a place called The Southern (completely unrelated, of course) it was pretty crazy!

    2. Tried it tonight and it was very good. The gazpacho with jalapeno sorbet was delicious. Mussels with chorizo were very good and the pulled short ribs with blue cheese polenta was also yummy. Will definitely be back. Just opend a few days and doing quite well. The next table over was also enjoying their choices.

      1. Seven of us tried the Southern Friday night and we can't wait to go back. Space is great with a big patio on Lexington. Bar and tables inside. There's another dining room toward the back that isn't open yet. Terri Roberts is the young, innovative chef that is definitely going to make her mark on Asheville. As stated by Ms Piggy, the kitchen poses serious challenges because building code will not allow an open flame. Everything that came out of that flameless kitchen was great. We had ~

        • Oysters on the half shell - $2 each – loved the spoonful of jalapeno sorbet on each.
        • Hot Southern $8 - this is a meal in itself. Pork and pimento cheese on crostini (3 large crostini). Yummy and rich.
        • Roasted Chicken $ 14 – ½ chicken w/ salad, perfect comfort food, simple and delicious.
        • Southern Scaloppini $14 - pork was good, but the star of this dish was the black eyed peas and corn succotash.
        • Short Ribs $16 – pulled ribs in a rich sauce with polenta and greens. This will be their most popular dish over the winter.
        • Mushroom Pesto $10 – this was my favorite (too bad I didn’t order it). The dish spaghetti and oyster mushrooms in a walnut/arugula pesto. I had this same dish on the Amalfi coast two months ago and this one was much better.

        We had two desserts – the Elvis was banana bread pudding, peanut butter gelato and bacon brittle. Bacon brittle was a real treat, sweet/salty. Fudge cake, rich and dense, was served with bing cherry ice cream. Plates went back to the kitchen clean.

        Decent wine list, full bar, reasonable prices. Friday night the service was great, so it looks like they’ve gotten past their open night jitters.

        Right now they open at 3pm, but I'm hoping they will start serving lunch soon. I couldn't find a website, but next time I'm in I'll ask.

        3 Replies
        1. re: NANCY

          Anybody have a link to a web site for them?

          1. re: d.v

            http://www.southernkitchenandbar.com Full menu is on the site.

            Had dinner there on Monday. Food was amazing and atmosphere just the right mix of laid back and elegant. Started with a Hot Southern and had a Bonnie Sue (not your mama's meatloaf sandwich!) then finished with Berries & Creme. The Southern will be on my list of favorites.

        2. Very nice patio dining downtown Asheville, excellent creative dishes well-described on this thread, the only downer is that smoking is allowed on the patio. Not nice at all to mix a flavor-packed fork-full of braised short ribs, gorgonzola, polenta and arugula with a nose-full of smoke from your neighbor. The tables are pretty close together so the potential is there for some serious second hand smoke. I guess the no smoking law in restaurants does not apply to outdoor seating. We loved the food and ambiance and hope that maybe a compromise with smoking after 10pm could be adopted.

          1. stopped in for a quick dinner last night. good food, but way too expensive for what you get. truffle deviled eggs & pimento crostini were both tasty, but severely overpriced, esp the eggs. italian sandwich was ok, but worth $5-6, not the $10 they charge. cubano (riff on the classic) was a better value, but still too small for the price ($9). side salad sandwiches come with is a joke of a plate filler. may go back to try entree items, but it won't be anytime soon.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mark

              We went today - had a prime spot on the great patio during LAAFF. We ordered the truffled deviled eggs, the short rib/pimento cheese crostini, and the ham and cheese, which was sopresetta (not deli ham) served on toasted bread with a parmesan/truffle butter. I had two watermelon-basil margaritas and my husband had two mint juleps. The cocktails were strong and yummy. The food was good, not spectacular (I have to admit, after reading reviews I thought this might even be on par with The Admiral...it's not). At $3, we thought the four halves of egg we got were a good deal...over-stuffed, light truffle flavor...very good. My sandwich and the crostini were both a dollar or two over-priced for what we felt we got - not enough to keep up from coming back - but it's definitely bar food. We'd put in on par with LAB, maybe slightly better. Neither of us tried one of the higher priced entrees, keep in mind, but for now we'd consider it a great place to grab drinks and food with friends for a night our on the fabulous patio, but by no means is it a destination restaurant.

            2. Tried this place last week, and i must say it was great! so good to see more innovative southern cuisine establishments around the area.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LedCrow

                We went last weekend. Both my boyfriend and I really liked it. We went for a late lunch/early cocktail. We ordered several items as we wanted to try a variety. We had the deviled eggs, gazpacho, pork and pimento cheese crostini and a cuban sandwhich. I must say we enjoyed everything we ate. I loved the gazpacho, it had a wonderful lemon jalepeno sobet mmmm. The deviled eggs and crostini were quite good too. My boyfriend liked the sandwhich ( I didn't try). The cocktail list looked great, I had a champange and ginger cocktail that was good. We were the only people in there (they were closed when we got there and opened up for us). The service was good and very friendly. We enjoyed our experience and will be going often!

              2. Great location, wonderful creative takes on Southern comfort food (outstanding meatloaf), great bar, great service, and Terri Roberts & Co. do it all without recourse to a Fryolator. Pretty amazing. Prices are very reasonable, too.

                The Southern Kitchen and Bar
                41 N Lexington, Asheville, NC 28801

                1. I held an office event in the back room of the Southern and the whole staff had a blast - we had the juke box blaring, the bar to ourselves and great food! I recommend talking with the staff about reserving the back room, it was very cool.

                  1 Reply
                  1. We went to The Southern for dinner last night and *loved* it. The atmosphere is great -- really sophisticated but laid-back and lively in just the right way. We were really impressed with all of the dishes we chose. We started with the truffled deviled eggs, which were very flavorful and totally refreshing, as well as the beet salad (excellent) and the cheese board (also great -- loved the homemade pickles and onion relish. Cheese and meat selections were all nice--I think we had a brie, a manchego, and...?). For our entrees, we had the mussels, the hot southern, the shortribs plate, and the chicken and waffles. I had read a mediocre review of the chicken and waffles on here, but it was the hit dish of the night. Everyone was grabbing for bites. It's not the classic fried chicken with waffles, but its sexier, saucier cousin -- seasoned, moist, shredded chicken that perfectly complements the doughy goodness of the waffle, which sops it up like a sponge. Comes with a large helping of fresh greens on top. Oh my gosh, it was good. The shortribs were fantastic -- they came with a potato gratin that I could eat for days. My hot southern was also great, with a melty layer of pimiento cheese underneath a mound of shredded pulled pork and slaw on french bread. The mussels were also good, but everything else stood out to me more. Maybe the mussels would work better as an appetizer?

                    The cocktails are also excellent. I got a "Jessie's Girl", which was also the waitress's favorite. It's probably going to be one of my favorites too. A hearty helping of bourbon, with meyer lemon and rimmed with sugar. My sister got a tequila cocktail that was very fruity and refreshing. We started the evening with a very nice bottle of wine.

                    By the end of the meal, the bar crowd was beginning to make an appearance. I think this would also be a wonderful place to go for a "late-night" dinner and drinks.

                    Honestly, after reading some of the reviews here I expected to be underwhelmed. But I'm so glad I went, because The Southern was decidedly not underwhelming, and is a great addition to the area. Too many good restaurants come and go downtown -- this one needs to stay.

                    The Southern Kitchen and Bar
                    41 N Lexington, Asheville, NC 28801

                    1 Reply
                    1. Just wanted to give another mini review on this amazing place! The Boyfriend and I have been twice in the past month, in an attempt to eat our way though the menu ;) This last time we sampled the "Hot Southern" a small plate with short rib meat braised and pulled on top of melty pimento cheese laden crostini, deviled eggs ( BF loves the truffle oil in them!) and two entrees.
                      I had the chicken and waffles which was out of this world, the chicken is cooked in duck fat and served with a chicken sausage gravy. The waffel was golden and pefect. The portion HUGE (barely fit on the plate) the price, a meager $10...
                      Boyfriend had the "pigs in a blanket" super soft house made rolls stuffed with pork belly with a wonderful tangy sweet slaw. I barely got a bite! He died for these.
                      During this meal we had two small plates, 2 large plates ( we each had take home boxes and full lunch the next day) 2 martinis and 1 beer. The total was $50. Seriously, I could not love this place more.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: caiogirl

                        wow! that all sounds fantastic. It's been on our short list for some time, but we just haven't gotten into Asheville for awhile.

                      2. We finally went Friday night for the first time and enjoyed it. Was more casual and high energy than we expected (an excited TGIF crowd at the bar. lol), but we liked it and would definitely go back.

                        We had the deviled eggs (4 halves, $3), pork sliders (3, $9), chicken & waffles ($10), sticky toffee cake ($5) and butterscotch pot de creme ($5). I also had a Don Juan cocktail ($8) and my husband had a Pisgah beer ($4). Entire bill (incl tax, but pre tip) was only $47 and we were STUFFED.

                        Deviled eggs were a little different from your standard picnic fare (w/ the truffle oil and what seemed to be a spicy mustard lurking in the background). We liked them. The BBQ pulled pork sliders were great. A little sloppy, but gooood. Might be too saucy for some, but I'm a saucy girl, so they were right down my alley. My husband got the chicken & waffles, which as alimcghee pointed out are not the classic fried chicken & waffles. It was sort of like a kicked up biscuits and peppery gravy. My husband was surprised to see the arugula on top, but he said it worked really well with the dish. Not a lot of chicken, but enough. My cocktail was good, but I would probably try something else next time. Despite being full, we BOTH ordered dessert because we had to try them. All in the interest of research, right? OMG. SO good. The sticky toffee cake was dense, moist and sweet (w/some whipped cream to help cut the sweetness) served warm. Might be too sweet for some, but I loved it. The butterscotch pot de creme was great too, not too sweet. Not as dense as other pot de creme I've had. It was more like creme brulee consistency (sans brulee) - creamy and soft. Came with two peanut butter cookies which we took home and haven't eaten yet. Service was great. Casual, but attentive. Manager also came by to check on us a couple of times. It's also much smaller than I thought it would be. We got a table right away at 6:45, but it was full by the time we left. Bar was busy the whole time.

                        There are several other things on the menu that we want to try, so I know we'll be back and we thought the pricing was very reasonable.

                        1. Wife and I visited The Southern for the first time yesterday evening, and it was fine, but I wanted to like it more than I actually did. Nice selection of cocktails, though they are pricey ($7-$11). Started with the truffled eggs, which were good but could've used a bit more truffle oil. So then we ordered an Avocado salad and two entrees, thinking that the salad would be brought out first. It was all brought out at the same time, and barely fit on the tiny round patio table (more on that later). Anyway, the salad was very good, though again it could've used a bit more avocado. Our entrees were the Chicken & Waffles and the Pork Buns. The former was awesome, esp. if you like your chicken and dressing very sagey (I do). The chicken confit atop, however was dry and stringy, as if it had been sitting out for awhile. The pork belly on the pork buns was similarly dry and stringy and the buns themselves were soggy. The house-made hoisin sauce would've been great if not for the near-lethal dose of sodium in every bite. We skipped dessert because we were stuffed. And now a word about the patio and a BIG caveat emptor: Though there's no signage to the effect, smoking is permitted, a fact we didn't discover until our food arrived and the table of FIVE beside us all lit up at the same time. So, unless this was an off-night, The Southern has some tweaking to do before they will earn more than my grudging respect.

                          Total, pre-tip, for two cocktails, app., salad, and two entrees: $45

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jeff C.

                            My boyfriend and I went back last weekend (Saturday) for a late lunch/early dinner. We got our normal fair and I have to say it was not as good as previous times. Nothing was "bad" but just didn't blow either of us away as it had in the past. I hope so much this is fluke and not a trend!

                          2. We've had appetizers, cocktails and dinner there now twice. Have not been blown away by the food either time but it's decent. The cocktails are very yummy and service is good. Location is prime so, hopefully they can change up the menu a bit. I heard their kitchen was kind of limited based on what the restaurant used to be....?