July 23, 2014

Just follow the sign and look for the pink building.
This is how you open a new restaurant.

The first month Mouth of the South opened, I was impressed that they appeared to be firing on all cylinders right out of the gate. (And you've gotta love when places live up to expectations and overcome challenges like broken AC in Omaha summers).

Keep on growing, little delicious herbs.

The interior.
Perusing the pictures and reviews on Facebook before my first visit, the culmination of less than 5 days worth of actual operation (building on a weeks' soft open) looked too good to be true. Craft cocktails, southern style comfort food with a bit of flair, and a window herb garden in hanging mason jars?

Sign me up.

I've been thrice now and I severely enjoyed all three times. They were all different days and times too, so I got a nice variety of experiences.

First up, an early dinner on a Saturday afternoon back in May. I sampled my way through a Cajun Lemonade (vodka with pimms, lemonade, hot sauce and sierra mist). Yes, strange but good. They have lots of interesting drink options. From the early menu, some offerings included: the Southern Sunset, Kentucky Mule, Southern Iced Tea, Creole Kiss, Louisianna Thyme, and the Chocolate Cherry Cha Cha.

For appetizers, we started with Boudin Balls (sausage!) with remoulade sauce and Gizzards (pepper jelly sauce!). Hands down, best gizzards I've ever had.

Boudin Balls
Gizzards with pepper jelly glaze!
Then, I rounded out the gut-busting meal with a pulled pork sandie (slaw on top, of course) and a cup of gumbo.

Pulled Pork Sandie and Gumbo
Apparently I wanted to try everything in a single visit... but turns out there was still plenty to come back for.

Our second was in June on a Sunday for lunch, and I went for the Cajun Burger with andouille, tasso ham, gruyere cheese and - again - remoulade. For $8.50, it was a LOT of meal for the money. But why stop there? We also had the Crab Dip, which included lump meat, poblano and cheese gratin.

Crab Dip. (Order two).
No shortage of flavors here folks. The only issue with the crab dip is I that wanted moooooooore. Would've easily taken down the whole Dip myself but was unfortunately forced to share. Obviously we also had gizzards too.

When it came time to maw the burger, I barely made it through the sandwich and was sad to have to leave some of the thinly sliced breaded onion rings behind as well. Side options include the aforementioned hand cut and battered onion rings, french fries or sweet potato fries. OR, for another $1.50 you can upgrade to gumbo, soup of the day, salad or red beans and rice.

Cajun Burger - pretty perfect.
Give me a mason jar of water and I'm happy.
My most recent visit was Wednesday lunch, and I had my entree all planned out ahead of time: Mahi Tacos (blackened), with slaw, comeback sauce, & cilantro. Because it's summer and you just can't eat enough tacos in the summer! Sweet tea also really hit the spot also.

Oh, but what is 'comeback sauce' you ask?

No worries, I had to look it up as well. "Comeback sauce is a dipping sauce for fried foods or as a salad dressing in the cuisine of central Mississippi.Similar to Louisiana remoulade, the base of the sauce consists of mayonnaise and chili sauce."  Thanks Wikipedia!

So... remoulade-esque. At least I'm consistent.

To complete the trifecta, yes, again... bring on the gizzards. Nom Nom Nom Nom.

Gizzards, take three.
Mahi tacos. Not the best thing they have going, IMO.
And while I probably wouldn't order the tacos again, even now, I'm plotting my return.

Next up? Smokestack burger with dill chips? Yellowfin tuna sandwich? Wings with a bucket of beer? Maybe some GIZZARDS? (What is wrong with me...?)

On the topic of plating, I don't understand the switch from paper lined baskets to salad-lined plates. Maybe this is because I feel compelled to eat lettuce instead of wasting it as a garnish - and because that just doesn't work out well in this case. Or maybe waste is what this is about and the paper-lined baskets are somehow cost prohibitive? (In which case, there has to be some type of reusable platter or dish that would be better suited to gizzards than a lettuce plate). The baskets seemed to match the tone of the restaurant more and I hope to see them again sometime. Fingers crossed on this one.

Also, the gumbo has been updated. Honestly, I think I preferred the older iteration, which was a bit creamier. But at least the gizzards have stayed consistent. Apparently I'd come back for those alone... which is strange, since I NEVER think to order gizzards anywhere else. (Though I can see a trend emerging here).

Anyway, enough about my sudden strange gizzard fetish.

Mouth of the South is great. Yes, perhaps it's not what some would prefer, or expect, but they do what they do pretty darn well. Also, now they do offer reservations also for parties of 4 or more, but keep in mind that it's it's a small space and establishment. There's only one 'low' table also. Some things you just have to roll with.

Anyway, there's no chance I won't return. Boom. Double negative out.


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