Favorite

South on Main's brunch is a crowd-pleaser 

It's a breakfast smorgasbord.

click to enlarge BRUNCH TACO: A sunny-side-up egg with cheddar, punchy jalapeno relish and hot sauce in a warm tortilla.
  • BRUNCH TACO: A sunny-side-up egg with cheddar, punchy jalapeno relish and hot sauce in a warm tortilla.

There are some things you know for certain though you've never tried them firsthand. Skydiving is probably pretty terrifying, at least right before you take the plunge. Getting tased is probably quite unpleasant. And South on Main probably has a pretty good Sunday brunch. Yes, in the years since its opening, we'd never made it to one of Little Rock's most touted restaurants for breakfast. It turns out it's pretty much exactly what we thought it would be: delicious and fun.

It was also not too pricey and we got a ton of food. We've often defended South on Main against those two very complaints from lunchtime diners who want to see a chicken fried steak hang off the edges of a 10-and-a-half-inch plate. We appreciate stick-to-your-ribs home cooking in reasonable portions. And, frankly, we've never understood the overpriced charge: the food is always solid and we find the happy hour to be one of the most reasonable in town (especially for the caliber of drinks served).

At any rate, the Waffle Fry Poutine is a bargain at $10. You get a hearty portion of very well-seasoned waffle fries (we don't know exactly what the seasoning was, but it was reddish-brown and gave a good hearty kick). The sausage gravy is a vision: thick, chewy with chunks of sausage, and a wonderful brownish-gray color. A smattering of shredded cheddar rounds it out. We found this to be an ideal appetizer for a group of four — although it would've pleased six as a simple starter. The waffle fries are crunchy and sizable — the perfect vehicles for thick gravy — and the whole thing comes together quite well.

If you want something with a bit of kick to help cut through that gravy, order a Corpse Reviver No. 2 ($10). We're usually afraid of gin cocktails with lots of liqueurs we can't pronounce, but no more! This spritely devil is served up (no ice), with a good dose of gin, dry curacao, lemon, Cocchi di Americano and Herbsaint. It's pungent, but in a straightforward, citrusy and sweet way. It'll set you right.

click to enlarge A BARGAIN: Waffle Fry Poutine, with sausage gravy.
  • A BARGAIN: Waffle Fry Poutine, with sausage gravy.

We weren't in a huge hurry, which was a good thing on this particular busy morning. To keep the flow of nibbles coming we ordered up the Breakfast Tacos ($8). Chorizo, a sunny-side-up egg, cheddar, jalapeno relish and hot sauce come tucked in a warm and toasted flour tortilla. These were a table favorite. The chorizo had a kick, as it should, as well as a crumbly, but firm texture. The eggs were perfectly cooked, and the jalapeno relish was punchy enough to warm things up without scalding your lips.

You'll find the BBQ Shrimp ($16) under "Light Plates" on the menu. Of course, "light" is relative. No corners were cut in the making of SoMA's take on a Creole classic. Four beautiful, fat Gulf shrimp and roasted bell peppers rested on a bed of cheese grits. The whole dish was smothered in a rich, brown sauce, a beautiful combination of butter, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and spices. The grits were creamy and sharp from the cheddar. If you manage to finish all of the grits, grab a scrap of biscuit and sweep up the rest of the gravy. It's too good to stay on the plate.

If you're out for a hearty portion of something rich that will cure a hangover, you won't go wrong with the Fried Oyster Eggs Benedict ($14). The oysters were fried to a beautiful golden brown. Underneath was a thin strip of country ham that sat atop soft, toasted English muffins. Two "soft eggs" are served on the side and the whole thing is topped with hollandaise. We're not a huge fan of wobbly whites when it comes to eggs, so these might have been a bit under poached for our taste, but combined with the oozy yolks, the overall effect was quite pleasing, a sauce unto itself. With all this mushy richness, the crunchy texture of the oysters was welcomed. The dish rivaled similar creations we've had in a couple of New Orleans eateries.

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