Fried chicken is having a moment. What you once thought of as your grandma’s favorite Sunday lunch is now the hot dish to try at Old Standard Fried Chicken, Juniper, Byrd & Barrel (read the Picky Eater’s Guide here) and Southern. So what do you do when your friends want to sample these new takes on the classic fried chicken — and you're not into meat whatsoever? Or maybe you're trying to do the paleo diet? Not to worry; we’ve scouted out the options for you at Southern (3108 Olive St.), one of Midtown's newest restaurants.
We arrived at Southern at 11:20 a.m. on a Thursday, and the line to order was already 15 minutes long. While we ate, the line grew out the door and onto the sidewalk. Was it worth the wait for someone with dietary restrictions? Read on to find out.
Vegetarian: For starters, there are southern pickles, deviled eggs, a buttermilk biscuit and fried green tomatoes – although we would skip those since you’ll probably be ordering the vegetarian sandwich, a fried green tomato po’boy. Perfect fried green tomatoes, plus pickles, greens and spicy mayo make this a delight.
The sandwich comes with a side, and while you can’t really go wrong with pickled beets or vinegar slaw, the macaroni and cheese casserole is awesome — and vegetarian-friendly.
Gluten-Free: The chopped salad, with its house-made buttermilk ranch, is gluten-free except for the crispy onions – you’ll want it order it without those. Aside from that, your choices are the sides – seasonal vegetables, southern greens, vinegar slaw and pickled beets.
Paleo: This is a tough place for a paleo diner to find something to eat. There are some sides to choose from: southern greens, vinegar slaw and pickled beets.You could also order some of the sandwiches without bread and with some modifications, cobbling together a meal from the sandwich meat and sides. There’s a Gobbler (smoked turkey), Knuckle Sandwich (braised beef), a Cubano (pulled pork) and a Dirty South (bacon).
Kids: There is no kids' menu, but they do offer chicken tenders, which our kid taster was happy with, and they do have high chairs.
While Southern does offer a vegetarian sandwich, and a delicious sandwich at that, there’s not much on the menu for gluten-free or paleo diners. However, we''d go back tomorrow for that fried green tomato po'boy and macaroni and cheese.