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Eating with a Southern California accent

Deep-fried tomatoes get their due

Remember, biscuits get equal billing here.
Remember, biscuits get equal billing here.
Place

ACME Southern Kitchen

901 E Street, San Diego

Americans tend to be sentimental about Southern food whether or not they've ever lived below the Mason-Dixon. It seems to be linked to some sort of nostalgic national identity, to the point that poor-quality biscuits, beans and even collard greens can be taken as a personal affront.

So when you hear about a new Southern kitchen spot downtown, you've gotta roll right on down with your waggin' finger at the ready.

Corner spot near the old central library.

All skepticism aside, Acme Southern Kitchen won me over with fried green tomatoes. The seasoned, breaded, and deep-fried slices manage to be crunchy and juicy, both savory and refreshing.

The appetizer's served with what they call a "comeback sauce," as in "you'll wanna come back for the sauce." Typically this sort of Southern "secret recipe" condiment mixes mayo with some spice; here at Acme, all they would divulge is that pimentos may be involved.

I also tried some deviled eggs, which tasted fine, as they should. I'm loathe to imagine what kind of place could screw them up.

I tried a bit of corn muffin, served with whipped butter and jalapeño honey, and washed it down with some sweet tea. Without even making it past the starting plates I was feeling Southern comfortable.

Fried green tomatoes: not just a hokey movie title.

The restaurant space is quite tastefully assembled, with tons of natural light, exposed brick, rooster wallpaper, and high beam ceilings. The high-backed country chairs might do well as rockers. Service was prompt and engaging, and though my waitress never tried to affect any Southern speech, I did find myself needlessly dragging out syllables and droppin' G's.

As much as I'd already eaten, I was still rarin' to go when my slaw-topped fried chicken and biscuit sandwich arrived. If the meal had one misstep, it would be the chicken, acculturated as I am to sneer at fried chicken served in a nice sit down restaurant. It held up well enough though, especially squeezed between light and tasty biscuit halves, with a side of cheesy grits.

It certainly wouldn't stop me from ordering chicken and waffles next time. Acme might not be the pinnacle of Southern cooking, but it handles comfort food well without letting you feel too heavy. If there's any lingering disappointment here, it's that they're not currently open for breakfast.

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Remember, biscuits get equal billing here.
Remember, biscuits get equal billing here.
Place

ACME Southern Kitchen

901 E Street, San Diego

Americans tend to be sentimental about Southern food whether or not they've ever lived below the Mason-Dixon. It seems to be linked to some sort of nostalgic national identity, to the point that poor-quality biscuits, beans and even collard greens can be taken as a personal affront.

So when you hear about a new Southern kitchen spot downtown, you've gotta roll right on down with your waggin' finger at the ready.

Corner spot near the old central library.

All skepticism aside, Acme Southern Kitchen won me over with fried green tomatoes. The seasoned, breaded, and deep-fried slices manage to be crunchy and juicy, both savory and refreshing.

The appetizer's served with what they call a "comeback sauce," as in "you'll wanna come back for the sauce." Typically this sort of Southern "secret recipe" condiment mixes mayo with some spice; here at Acme, all they would divulge is that pimentos may be involved.

I also tried some deviled eggs, which tasted fine, as they should. I'm loathe to imagine what kind of place could screw them up.

I tried a bit of corn muffin, served with whipped butter and jalapeño honey, and washed it down with some sweet tea. Without even making it past the starting plates I was feeling Southern comfortable.

Fried green tomatoes: not just a hokey movie title.

The restaurant space is quite tastefully assembled, with tons of natural light, exposed brick, rooster wallpaper, and high beam ceilings. The high-backed country chairs might do well as rockers. Service was prompt and engaging, and though my waitress never tried to affect any Southern speech, I did find myself needlessly dragging out syllables and droppin' G's.

As much as I'd already eaten, I was still rarin' to go when my slaw-topped fried chicken and biscuit sandwich arrived. If the meal had one misstep, it would be the chicken, acculturated as I am to sneer at fried chicken served in a nice sit down restaurant. It held up well enough though, especially squeezed between light and tasty biscuit halves, with a side of cheesy grits.

It certainly wouldn't stop me from ordering chicken and waffles next time. Acme might not be the pinnacle of Southern cooking, but it handles comfort food well without letting you feel too heavy. If there's any lingering disappointment here, it's that they're not currently open for breakfast.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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