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“I can't believe all the good reviews.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Kitchen

Southern Kitchen
1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405-3310
(253) 627-4282
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Ranked #61 of 596 Restaurants in Tacoma
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Barbecue
Restaurant details
Gig Harbor, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I can't believe all the good reviews.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2010

I grew up on a farm in the Deep South in a family that has lived there for hundreds of years. And not only did my Grandmother have a cafe, but she was well known as one of the best Southern cooks in the area, so, perhaps, I am a bit spoiled as far as Southern cooking is concerned. But, from all the great reviews I've read about this place I expected some really good food. What I had today was just awful and I'm having a hard time believing that whoever cooked it is from the South.

I started with the Fried Green Tomatoes and they were the best part of my meal.

I also had the Chicken Fried Steak with Collards, Black Eyed Peas and Okra. This was supposed to be served with a piece of cornbread, but what arrived was a super thin, hard pancake looking item that wasn't tasty at all and didn't resemble any cornbread or corn pone or hoe cake I've ever eaten.

The Chicken Fried Steak was mushy and tasted much like what you get in a cheap frozen dinner and was smothered in a gelatinous brown gravy that I can only believe came out of a can or a jar. Everyone in the South serves Chicken Fried Steak with milk gravy not brown.

The collards were okay, but I was still a bit surprised to see them listed as collard greens on the menu. Perhaps it is a regional thing, but where I'm from no one calls them collard greens, just collards. It's a bit redundant to say collard greens since you never eat the collard roots. You refer to a combination of collards, mustard and turnips as greens, but you'd never call just collards or just mustard, collard greens or mustard greens. I know this sounds picky, but it just struck me as out of place.

Also, in the South, whenever any type of greens are served, there is always a bottle of pepper sauce on the table. I'm not referring to Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce, though that should be there too, and it was, although it was extremely difficult to get it out of their proprietary bottle, what I'm referring to is a bottle of whole, small peppers bottled in vinegar that's allowed to sit for a time so that the vinegar gets flavored from the peppers. Then the pepper sauce is sprinkled over the greens, or whatever else you want to douse with it. After you've emptied and refilled the vinegar a few times, the peppers will have mellowed enough that you can enjoy them with the greens, too.

The black eyed peas were "vegetarian", which is so wrong and tasteless that I hardly know what to say about them except that they were inedible and worse than any you'd buy in a can. I ate one bite and that was it.

Finally, it was apparent that the okra was a pre-packaged frozen product that had just been fried.

All in all I was extremely disappointed and I truly do not understand all the positive reviews for this restaurant, especially those by folks who claim to be Southerners themselves.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tacoma, Washington
1 review
“Nothing fancy, just good food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

I stopped in here for an early dinner with one sunday with my husband and daughter. I had read many reviews and saw the restaurant featured on "Diner's, Drive-Ins's, and Dives". There were many things that we wanted to try but, we settled for the half chicken (fried chicken), chicken fried steak, and beef brisket. All the main courses we delicious. For the three sides that come with each meal we all ordered similar things. The green and mashed potatoes and gravy were awesome, the buttered corn was just that, and the macaroni and cheese left something to be desired. I would call it more "cheezy noodles". The cornckaes were good and the cornbread stuffing, that I ordered as a side, was my favorite side dish. Don't come here expecting to get fast, dazzling service. THey are busy and if your mama taught you right, you know how to be patient.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Pacific NW
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

Funny how a thing about not getting your corn cakes can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

We arrived around 4pm and were promptly served our beverages and had our order taken. It took 35 minutes to get our food, and they were "out of corn cake batter, but making more," according to our server when he delivered our food. We ate, watched the other server serve her tables corn cakes - even a table that had just arrived! We were nearly finished with our meal and our server served the couple behind us their food WITH corncakes, and then immediately turned to tell us our cakes weren't ready yet, but would be out soon. We told him to not bother. Seems silly to me that this bothered me so, but it did and we will not return nor recommend the place.

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Eden, North Carolina
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Enjoy Southern Delicacies Without Being In The South!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2009

Being from Virginia and stationed in Ft. Lewis, Washington, I really, really missed southern cooking! No one in the area sold Sweet Tea, it was always the God awful Raspberry Tea or Unsweet! The food just wasn't the same like at home! Then a fellow soldier and I got to talking about missing down home, southern style cooking. She told me that there was this place in Tacoma called Southern Kitchen. So, I googled it to find out where and drove...I almost missed it b/c it was so small and right on the corner at the stoplight. I walked in and it was even smaller on the inside but when I ordered my food, I was in for a treat. On my first visit, I ordered Fried Chicken, collard greens, mac & cheese, corncake, and mashed potatoes and gravy!!! When I first took a bite....I was in heaven!!! I was back home again instantly. The Fried Chicken was savory, the greens had a little zip which is just right, the mac & cheese was homemade not boxed, the corncake aka cornbread was sweet and succulent and the mashed potatoes and gravy was decadent! Everything there is HOMEMADE! Even the lemonade and thank God almighty they served SWEET TEA!!! In Mason Jars! I left there feeling so content. I had my southern soul food fix! I returned several times...the only let down for me was the way they serve catfish. It tastes excellent but it is bone in with the tail. The old-fashioned way so I had to eat bones too. I am so thankful I found Southern Kitchen...it was my home away from home!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Tacoma, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Used to love it, cleanliness not even close to good enough. Found bugs in my food.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2008

Used to love it, cleanliness not even close to good enough. Found bugs in my food.

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