Due to a combination of irresistible opening offers and a generous prize-winning friend (thanks Polly!) my groaning stomach has thrice been satisfactorily stuffed at Southern Eleven since it opened. They started out in Yorkshire and the arndale food court apparently, but are now gracing the top of the steps next to Pure Gym in Spinningfields. Here they serve up a slightly glamorous take on the meaty soul food of the eleven old confederate southern United States. (*If you can be bothered to name all eleven, see answer below.) Having now sampled most of the menu, I feel at liberty to state that you will not be disappointed…as long as you are a hungry carnivore with an adjustable belt!
The menu starts with ‘while ya waits’ a.k.a starters, which include chicken wings coated in heavenly-amazing-gloupy-sticky-stuff. Mmm. It gets all over your hands, teeth and face (this is not first date tackle) but it is well worth it at 10 for £7.50
The main events are also a meaty affair with the likes of tender pulled pork and hickory smoked belly ribs on offer. I advise going for the ‘southern hospitality sharing platter’ (at only £11, there’s financially no need to share) which will give you a taste of all the meats you can handle.
Oh and I have to mention the sides. The parmesan truffle fries are addictive but for me, they are slightly surpassed by the awesome courgette fries. They’re green inside so they must be healthy, right?
If you’ve actually got room for dessert (which you will have because we all know that technically, it feeds into a separate stomach) then you can try the mammoth knickerbockerglories or the homemade brownies / cheesecake. I regressed to the Louisiana childhood I never had with warm home-baked cookies and honeyed milk. It even came in one of those adorable 1950s milk bottles!
The service has been quick and friendly each time I’ve been. It’s a smart looking venue with an impressive looking cocktail bar inside but the best thing of all are the prices; this is really very reasonable priced stuff, given its location and the quality of the food. Having said that, I don’t know if it’s actually a false economy – what you save on eating out, you may need to invest in bigger trousers for your new waistline.