South on Main has always built the menu around southern themes. It is one of the things we have always loved about the place, you can get food you grew up, only a bit more sophisticated version. The latest dinner menu is one of the largest updates we have seen in quite sometime at South on Main, and features a number of all new southern favorites.
One thing that quickly jumps off the page is the chicken spaghetti. Little Rock may claim to be the cheese dip capital of the world, but in all my travels I have never found an area of the country that loves chicken spaghetti quite like we do. It is a very unique variation, and one that South on Main worked hard to honor.
“Before coming to Little Rock when I actually managed to find chicken spaghetti it was always with a tomato sauce,” executive chef Matt Bell says. “I was surprised to find that around here it is usually cooked with a cheese and cream sauce, it is completely different than everywhere else. So when we wanted to add chicken spaghetti to the menu, the only way to do it was the true Arkansas way.”
It is true to form with two large pieces of chicken and a light creamy sauce over spaghetti noodles.
Along those lines there is also a new fried green tomatoes appetizer with a bit of a twist. The dish adds crawfish for something that fits Arkansas’ identity of an area bringing multiple food cultures, traditional southern and cajun being two of those, together. It adds a bit of extra spice to the traditional dish.
The smothered pork chop will likely be the hot seller from the entree portion of this menu. In fact it is chef Bell’s personal favorite from the menu. It features a bone in chop smothered in gravy and mushrooms over a bed of rice.
The appetizer menu also adds grilled quail and a garlic shrimp option to add some extra heft. Both make a great shareable option for the table. The quail comes with a bed of rice grits and beans, topped with pepper jelly. The garlic shrimp features several large shrimp on top of a bed of fideo noodles.
Even better, either one of these appetizers are a perfect companion to a salad, which combined makes a really great meal. New to the salad menu is the “Little Gem” which features romaine along with chunks of bacon and tomato. The whole thing is paired with a green goddess dressing, which is quickly becoming my personal favorite salad dressing.
Other new options include a new house braised bacon plate that comes with a couple of silver dollar pancakes for a nice brinner option, a “highfalutin” potato salad that is meant to fancy up the traditional dish, and a chicken fried cauliflower steak that should give a solid vegetarian option to the large entree portion. There are several favorites that return too like the pork ribs, bass, catfish hoppin john, and grilled ribeye.
Overall it is a great menu update that should freshen up South on Main. It, along with the bar food menu and new cocktail menu that we will preview later this week, cap off a strong period of change for one of Little Rock’s signature restuarants. If our preview of the new menus are any indication, it seems they are starting to find a groove again.