(Last UPDATED 2/22/2023) Description and review of South, a restaurant featuring Southern homestyle cooking. NEW: See “Updates” below on owners upcoming new venture.
A friend and I recently met for lunch at South, located in Midtown Sacramento. It was the first time either of us had been there and we were looking forward to checking it out.
South is a bit of a “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant – but I like hole-in-the-wall restaurants that serve good food. It is a casual restaurant with seating inside and out in a neighborhood setting. Parking was relatively easy.
Husband and wife owners N’Gina and Ian Kavookjian seek to “offer a friendly and comfortable neighborhood restaurant with an energetic vibe and a creative menu designed to appeal to the palate of Sacramento.”
As it was a bit on the cool breezy side at that point in the day we decided to sit inside and nabbed the last open table for two in the main dining area. I don’t know if it was just our table location, but due to the a/c both of us commented on the fact that we were cold during lunch. After lunch it was nice to go outside and “warm up”.
South appears to do a very good business. From the time we entered and the time we left there was always a line at the counter.
At South you order and pay at the counter and your meal is delivered to your table. As we ordered my friend commented on how good the pecan pie looked – but decided to abstain. Help yourself to some water (found along the wall to the left of the counter) before seating yourself.
It is a house “rule” that you are to order and pay at the counter before securing a table.
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South Menu & Review
South bills itself as both serving contemporary Southern cuisine and traditional family food. The daily menu is divided into “Old School” and “New School” dishes.
My friend was torn between the Old School meatloaf and the fried chicken. As South’s specialty is the fried chicken he settled on the Petey’s Fried Chicken (fried chicken, southern style kale greens, buttermilk biscuit, honey butter) ($13). It was a good choice and the fried chicken received high marks, as did the biscuit and honey butter. He even ate the (steamed) kale – which he had expressed some misgivings about prior to ordering.
I decided to order from the New School side of the menu the Debris Po’ Boy (roasted brisket, sliced green tomato, shredded lettuce, spicy aioli) and fries ($13). The shredded brisket was tender but not particularly flavorful, and the sliced green tomato and the small dab of spicy aioli on the bun did not add much in the way of flavor. After eating some of the brisket so that I could more easily pick up the sandwich the taste of the bun dominated. The fries were fine – but nothing special.
As my dining companion and I compared notes after lunch we both agreed that we would try South again – but that we would try different dishes.
See related blog post: 21 Sacramento Restaurants Reviewed!
(2/22/2023) The Sacramento Business Journal reports that N’Gina Guyton is taking over historical landmark Jim-Denny’s hamburger stand, located at 12th Street & Terminal in Downtown Sacramento.
The restaurant is tentatively scheduled to open in Spring 2023.
(6/5/2022) Owner N’Gina Guyton, who opened South with her (now-ex) husband, has announced that South will close at the end of this month. The good news is that she is pursuing a solo project and plans to open a new restaurant in either Downtown or Midtown towards the end of summer. The tentative name of the new restaurant – Miss N’Gina.
(10/20/17) South was voted #1 in the Sacramento Magazine 2017 Best of Sacramento survey for both Fried Chicken and Comfort Food.
(4/2/17) South has recently obtained a full liquor license, so your choices of libation has expanded beyond the beer and wine it has long served.
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