We were led to Southern Kitchen by our good pal, Mod Betty at Retro Roadmap. It was her review, and Southern Kitchen's location (directly en route to Washington, D.C.), that made it a must-see destination on our adventure. From the stacked-stone exterior with its angled picture windows and gloriously-aged neon signage to the hearty portions and exceptional service, Southern Kitchen definitely gets the wacky tacky seal of approval!
|I don't know what "ABC-ON-OFF" means, but there was plenty of on site parking.|
|I think if I had to choose a fraternal order to join,|
it would definitely be the Knights of Pythias.
It's a funny name...and who doesn't want to be knight?!
Lately, I've had to reexamine what wacky tacky actually means. Is it enough that a place is just "old?" Is it enough just to have a cool, neon sign? Is it enough to just have an unusual menu item? Walking into Southern Kitchen I wasn't sure if one of these things was enough to qualify for wacky tacky status...but three out of three ain't bad! More than just the age, the sign, and the menu, it is the spirit with which Southern Kitchen maintains its spotless dining rooms and serves its soulful menu that makes it a mandatory stop on the wacky tacky highway.
|The formica front counter|
Don't you love the display case of candies and the plant nook?
|The beautiful, counter seating was a very tempting option|
especially with the two-tone, banded formica!
|Y'all can keep your chrome dinette sets! I would be more than happy to|
take off with these bent wood, upholstered chairs with nailhead trim!
A trio of materials to love
Neatly tucked into our turquoise booth, I was taken with how pristine the entire restaurant looked. The chrome was shiny, the furniture polished, and the formica was spic-and-span. Even the faux foliage (faux-liage?) in the planters was dusted and well-chosen. It is obvious that the folks in charge put a lot of love into their restaurant. I could wax poetic over the well-waxed linoleum for days but we were there with a real purpose - to EAT!
|It was high time to explore the menu.|
My sister likes to maintain a certain level of ordering privacy.
|Don't look at me like that!|
Venison is NOT on the menu!!!
Taxidermy always seals the deal for Mr. Tiny.
|One of Southern Kitchen's signature dishes is their "Peanut Soup," of which|
our server was kind enough to bring us some samples. More than the
soup, I wanted those dishes!
|The soup, a Thai-like combination of peanut butter, |
onions, and milk, was tasty but the sample was plenty.
Based on our charming server's recommendations, we made our selections and waited. I used the opportunity to take some pictures. Springing up from the table every few moments when I noticed something else that was in need of photo documentation, I got the feeling that the staff probably thought I was insane. They were far too polite, however, to make comment.
|The Fried Chicken Sandwich with Potato Wedges|
I wanted to keep the plastic sword that speared pickles to bun!
|The Open-Faced Pot Roast Sandwich|
|Southern Kitchen's famous Fried Chicken|
I was assured that the taste was far superior to the presentation!!!
For all of its 55 years of service, Southern Kitchen seems to have aged not a single day. In Southern California it is a regular sight to see a 55-year-old fighting to combat age by any means and at any cost. With Southern Kitchen, its youthfulness is refreshingly effortless. I'm thinking that the fountain of youth just might be fried chicken!!!
Thanks Mod Betty for sending us in the right direction! If ever I am in the area again, I will absolutely make my way back to Southern Kitchen.