North & South Seafood & Smokehouse
In a word: Could use some direction.
JM ate the ribs and shrimp with mac & cheese and hush puppies.
Nichole ate the Biloxi tilapia with potato cakes and veggies.
Tiffany ate the pulled pork with mac & cheese and hush puppies.
We split some cornbread.
The bill was $60, or $20/person, plus tip.
JM and Tiffany gave North and South a B+; Nichole gave North and South an A- (see our grading rubric).
The former location of Joey's Seafood has transformed from just seafood, to seafood, BBQ, and soul food. Fans of Joey's may miss the free mini cornbreads and the deep selection of fish to go with chips, but, for the most part, the upgrades North and South brought in were well needed. One thing that was fortunately left undisturbed was the beautiful fish tank near the entrance, where you can watch various piscine creatures swim while you wait to be seated. (There was a lovely jellyfish bobbing around in there when we went.)
As indicated, North and South serves a pretty wide array of smoked meats and seafoods. You can have them in just about any combination, with any one of nearly a dozen preparations, including some dry rubs and some regionally sanctioned versions. Check the large chalkboard for the kinds available.
We started with an order of their new-style cornbread, which was served like a small cake. It was very moist and tasty with just enough kernels of real corn baked in. With a dollop of butter, these cakes are very tasty... though the honey butter of Joey's has joined their muffins in retired menu item heaven.
JM's "competition style" ribs were a little more chewy than he'd expected, which moves them out of the category of meat candy where he'd often find them. That said, they became great vehicles for the sauces, which were tasty and fun. (More on them later.) His shrimp tended toward the small side, but it was a reasonable value given the price, and that was comforting enough. Tiffany's pulled pork was also a healthy portion which made a great vehicle for the sauces. Both eaters proclaimed the mac & cheese fine, but not worth a special trip.
The sauces were a mixed bag, with the Kansas City sweet being the big winner early. Tiffany and JM both thought it was a nice rich a balance with an expected and desirable sweetness. The mustard BBQ sauce was delicious as well with clean vinegar flavor, though it used mustard powder instead of whole seeds, which is JM's preference. The smoke-y was the most contentious, with JM protesting that it didn't taste like anything, while Nichole tasted real smoke and felt that it was robust and probably her favorite. The whiskey sauce was basically a bottle of booze with peppers mixed in.
Nichole took a suggestion for our server and tried the Biloxi tilapia. It was a great choice - light and fresh-tasting, topped with a corn salsa and not overwhelmed by its Cajun spices. The potato cakes were pretty amazing.
North and South may not have as many fans as some other BBQ joints in town yet. It is going to take a lot of customer-base-building to make us forget the brief blazing star that was Porky Pine Pete's, the west side wonder. But with a robust seafood menu like North and South's, there are definitely times that we'd follow our compass back here.