Chef Brian Siebenschuh is sort of a legend in these parts. His previous venture was as executive chef of Restaurant Orsay in Avondale. Now at South Kitchen & Spirits, Chef Siebenschuh is serving up family-friendly southern fare in a fun, casual atmosphere. I’ve tasted some of the menu, and the item that stuck with me the most was the Crispy Chicken Legs. They are South Kitchen’s version of buffalo chicken wings, but better. What makes this dish so wonderful is the cooking method. The wings are slow cooked prior to service then quickly fried to order. Slow cooking the meat breaks down all the tendons and makes for a very tender piece of chicken. Frying them to order makes the outside nice and crispy. Once out of the fryer they get tossed in what Chef Brian calls a “southern version of buffalo sauce.” His buffalo sauce has a hint of molasses. I love the sweetness that it adds to the sauce without taking away too much heat. The dish is served with a side of shaved celery salad and creamy house-made bleu cheese dressing for dipping.
The Crispy Chicken Legs appetizer is a well put together from the moment they cook it, ‘til the time it hits your table. The first thing that you notice is the size of the legs; they are not the traditional little drumettes you get when you order wings at a restaurant. They are large and meaty, making for a great portion size. With some wings, you kind of have to really fight to get a good bite. They are either too wet with sauce, or too chewy and tough. South Kitchen’s Crispy Chicken Legs have a crunchy skin, and the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. The sweet heat of the buffalo sauce is delicious and aromatic, and the blue cheese dressing is perfect to mellow it out. If you’re looking for a great local beer to pair with this dish, Aardwolf Brewery’s San Marco Sour goes very well.
South Kitchen & Spirits is a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. Great things are happening in the food scene in and around the urban core, and Chef Siebenschuh and his team are making sure it stays that way.