Fried chicken used to be the staple on every Southern table and obviously is still wildly popular. I like the version here, described as "cast iron pan-fried." Tender and moist inside, its batter is thin and crisp ($9.95). Crosscut short ribs of beef ($9.95) are meaty and tender, obviously slow cooked, and served with a good sauce that's perfect with a side of mashed potatoes. Other entrees ($6.95 - $11.25) range from a plate of four side dishes to a grilled 12-ounce steak.
For Southerners, Southern Grille is on an increasingly short list of places to get traditional food whether it's a part of your normal diet or a nostalgic trip.
550 E. Grace St. (at Sixth Street)
Mon. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tues. - Fri. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.;
Sat. 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. No credit cards.
Julian's Restaurant ($$)
Julian's Broad Street location may be a Richmond institution, but the West End spot on Three Chopt is an abomination. At Julian's you have three choices: white, red or brown. White is olive oil and garlic. The garlic is shaved, one of the few maybe the only nice touches.
The Linguini Clam Sauce (whoever writes the menu needs a lesson or two in grammar and adjectives) was supposedly tossed with cherrystone clams and an olive-oil-and-garlic sauce. In actuality, it was drowned in a half-pint of oil and peppered with salty gray gristle. It cost $12.95. It felt like highway robbery. Red is marinara. This was served with the calamari appetizer. Other than being red and chunky it bore little resemblance to marinara. It was bland. And red. Brown is "brown gravy." It was served with dry chicken. It also seemed to be supersaturated with salt and applied with wild abandon. Everything about this restaurant suggests a "from the package to the plate" approach. I can think of nothing to recommend it. Randall Stamper
11129 Three Chopt Road Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.