Sisters of the New South
A swirl of the paint brush and New South Cafe transformed into a Soul food kitchen that's causing traffic jams on Skidaway Road. My recent visit found a line to the door and a steam table ripe with hot, fresh choices.
I selected a plump Salisbury steak smothered with sautéed onions, bell peppers and gravy. It was hot, spiced just right and delicious. Classic sides of cheddar-y mac-n-cheese, slow-cooked seasoned green beans and ho-hum fried okra were more than a filling lunch. The cornbread is nicely flavored, but be warned it comes down on the cake-y side -- sweet and fluffy.
The meat and three sides is $6.99; more pricey daily specials include choices like ox-tails, barbecued ribs and fried shrimp.
And, I can't wait to slide back in for breakfast!
2601 Skidaway Road/ 335-2761
Chiriya's Thai Cuisine
I pop into this Southside Thai eatery when I'm in the mood for a beautiful plate of Thai food -- or a hearty serving of Chiriya's Hawaiian-inspired dishes. Oyster sauce brings together the ingredients of chilies, bamboo shoots and one of my favorite herbs, Thai basil in Thai Basil Stir Fry. I added chicken to mine and chose medium heat. The seasoning was perfect, the portion just right. Crispy Noodles are a fun appetizer to share -- pick your way through a towering stack of flash fried Vermicelli noodles! Chiriya's features an awesome selection of imported and craft beers -- with an emphasis on Belgian-style brews.
7805 Abercorn St. (Chatham Plaza)/ 303-0555
Can't make it to Joi-see? Hard-working young entrepreneur Mike Costanzo has opened a second location of his namesake New Jersey-style pizzeria in the shopping center near Eisenhower Drive and Waters Avenue.
Pizza by the slice rules in the new location, as it does at the original store in Medical Arts Shopping Center. His second joint is sandwiched between Subway and Sushi Zen. My crew and I dropped in last week for the lunch deal: Any two jumbo slices and a drink for five bucks. The crust is chewy and pays respectable homage to the original style. Toppings are fresh and high quality. Salads are available, along with calzones and whole pies by special order.
1100 Eisenhower Dr. (Waters Avenue side of Eisenhower Square)/ 354-4136, www.costanzospizza.com