When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
Restaurant: Old Dixie's Southern Kitchen Location: Valley streets Open: Around a month and a half Eats: Southern food Price: Between $8 and $13 per person
There are food trucks some of us are happy to see show up at events, others we make sure to visit during Food Truck Friday, Lunch at Luhrs, or a neighborhood farmers market, and a select few that, when cited, we'd trip over our own mee-maws to get to -- screaming and waving our arms like sugar-crazed children after the ice cream truck.
Old Dixie's Southern Kitchen is the latter.
Courtesy of owners Michael Babcock and Jenn Robinson, Old Dixie's just may be the Valley's start of the Southern food trend already happening in other parts of the country. And this mobile kitchen's got the eats to prove it.
Courtesy of self-taught chef Michael Babcock (whose previous gigs include Gallo Blanco and The Duce), Old Dixie's small, focused menu features a selection of homemade Southern classics like fried chicken and biscuit sandwiches, red beans and rice, Carolina-style pulled pork, gumbo, and housemade boudin sausage.
You could start with any of the buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, in which a thick biscuit with a moist, rich crumb makes for a first-rate foundation. My chorizo meatloaf ($8) was as unique as it was flavorful. Its standout chipotle sauce -- lusciously rich, smokey, and mildly spicy with a touch of wine -- slathered over a chunk of perfectly seasoned meat was enough to make me consider going back for a second round.
And I would have, too, if not for Old Dixie's red beans and rice ($10). Babcock's interpretation of this classic New Orleans favorite brought me back to my holiday spent in The Big Easy last year, where I devoured my fair share of this dish. Filling and flavorful, the seasoned beans meshed with the rice and slices of smoky and peppery Andouille sausage from Schreiner's.
Old Dixie's seems to have come right out of the food-truck gate with a highly focused, expertly prepared, and local-ingredient-heavy menu of stellar Southern eats. I'm looking forward to trying Babcock's roast beef and debris gravy po' boy, chicken and smoked sausage gumbo, and, oh hell, anything else he has to offer.
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For more information on where Old Dixie's will show up next, follow them on their Facebook page.