Sissy's on Henderson - Needs lots of work
Went to Sissy's last night for Mr. Alice's B-day. Looked promising walking in. The place is looking good -- nice bar, new tiled floor, just generally spruced up from Hector's, which had gotten a little shabby over the years. That's the good news.
The bad news: mediocre food, terrible service. Examples: Asked for club soda with lime and a glass of white wine. Took five minutes to get the wine, then another five minutes later, got a large bottle of Pelegrino with a glass of ice and wedge of lemon. Wedge salad ($8) is a small portion and nothing special. Chili-fried oysters $12 for 6) were the best item we tried, although the cane sugar green sauce was a little cloying (the spicy mayo had a nice kick). The salad and oysters were served several minutes apart, however. After the apps were taken away, we waited 30 minutes for our entrees. 30. Minutes. The roasted redfish was a very small portion, and basically tasteless. $22. Had two bites and took the rest home for the dogs. The fried chicken -- the house specialty -- was over-battered and over-fried. When bitten (or cut) into, the crust shattered and sprayed in all directions. Somehow, they managed to dry out dark meat. $11 for 2 pieces and slaw. Bubba's serves serves superior fried chicken (with excellent biscuits). We didn't bother to order any sweets.
By the way, if you want any biscuits or corn bread -- $7 extra.
On the plus side, our waiter and the floor manager both apologized profusely and comped the fried chicken. They swore our experience was an abberation, and I'm inclined to believe them. That said, it was our experience, and not a fun way to celebrate a birthday. The place was busy for a Monday evening, but not that busy (we were walk-ins, and didn't have to wait.) I know they haven't been open long, but that doesn't explain the (poor) quality of the food -- especially at their price points and for the serving sizes.
The only way we'll go back is if folks we trust (including other 'Hounders) give it reviews indicating Sissy's has turned it around. We live in the area, and would like to see it succeed.
I would clarify one point... the chicken isn't any (or much) better than Babe's. There are some other good things on the menu at Sissy's - the crab cakes were outstanding with a pretty unique variation on gribiche - and it's by far from a bad restaurant, based on one dinner. I think that it would be better to compare it to Screen Door or Hattie's, and I'd say that it compares favorably. I'm not an enormous fan of those restaurants either, but I think that all are reasonably decent places to eat, if you're after that sort of food.
I was there on Friday and enjoyed my experience. We had fried chicken which was very good. Better than Bubba's... ehh... undecided. The fried okra was our favorite item. ( Cut longways had a sweet taste to it.) The maccaroni and cheese was good as well. It was a unique and might not appeal to everyone, especially if you are looking for the traditional dish. Overall it was very good. I'll be returning soon