Southern Eleven

1 Aug

I’m not a big fan of Spinningfields. As a marketing lady, I feel a nod of approval is necessary for the slick branding and integrated communications the area and businesses within it masterfully wield, but this shiny, corporate area of town, home to a bizarre mix of designer shops, chain restaurants and the occasional interesting pop-up has none of the character seen in the other slightly less polished but infinitely more interesting parts of Manchester.

Seriously, if it weren’t for playing host to one of the four sunbathe worthy patches of grass in the whole of the city centre, I’d rarely go, but occasionally, Spinningfields spews up a new restaurant that I can’t resist, and in the case of Southern Eleven, I have managed to not resist going twice.

Southern Eleven, Manchester

Now, despite my profession, I’m not much one for being marketed to, and resultantly am a perpetual late adopter, so forgive me if when it comes to (the not so new) Southern Eleven, you devotees of the Manchester dining scene have heard it all before. However, for those of you that haven’t, much like my friend Debbie whose attention it first came to when I lustily tweeted pictures of their pulled pork, feel free to tuck in.

On my first visit, having had absolutely no exposure to southern American style barbecue,* I fully immersed myself in the southern tasting platter, including the aforementioned pulled pork in addition to tender strips of beef brisket, juicy pork belly ribs and the most ridiculously tasty and over seasoned fries I could ever care to eat. Good lord, it was good, and started a love affair with brisket that I hope never comes to pass.

This time, however, I left the red meat eating to Debbie, (quite rightly with her husband being a vegetarian), as after a week or so of gorging myself at both Solita NQ and Almost Famous, I’m all burgered out. Resultantly, I have been dreaming of a decent piece of fried chicken for weeks now, so when I spotted the southern chicken dinner, I was sold.

Southern Chicken Dinner. Fried Chicken, Creamy Whipped Potato and White Gravy.

A feast for Debbie. Riblets Plate. BBQ Rib Cut Offs, Skinny Fries and ‘Slaw’.

Subtly spiced, (for the life of me I couldn’t pick out what was in that coating), crispy skinned buttermilk marinated chicken served on whipped potato (mash with no lumps to you and me) and white gravy, a creamy, sweet and peppery concoction that I’d love to recreate, I was in comfort food heaven. Served up with a side of deep fried pickles, retaining some of their crunch and vinegary essence whilst coated in a batter which softened with time, this tasty stodge was perfect for the pissy Manchester night we picked to eat here.

Deep Fried Pickle Spears

Sadly, the décor has been influenced by the area in which it is based, being a little too over stylised for a ‘southern joint’ (though if they had presented me with a hoedown, I would have been equally offended). It’s a good looking place however, with a convivial atmosphere due the healthy turnaround on covers, and the service is warm and friendly, with staff who are passionate about what the restaurant has to offer, and quite rightly too.

Southern Eleven, Manchester

When you are taking care to marinate then smoke your meat for up to 18 hours, in this case with the sweet, smoky flavour of hickory, you’d be hard pressed to do a disservice to these southern ‘home-style’ dishes. Further kudos to the place for sourcing all its meat locally too, paying homage to the quality meats reared and butchered in the North West. It seems that despite its location, Southern Eleven is in no way lacking in soul.

* In addition to burgers and dude food, here we have another full on food trend all the way from the USA, seen at Burnt Enz down London way and Manchester’s upcoming Southern Summer Barbecue, courtesy of our very own Mangechester. Check out that menu people! I believe there are still some tickets left.


4 Responses to “Southern Eleven”

  1. laurencoulman August 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    I haven’t been to either yet, but am making plans! Also fancy trying Rita’s Bar and Dining in Dalston. Not strictly barbecue but some pretty interest stuff. In the line of Solita but with offal thrown in. Chris Pople wrote a blog post on it a couple of weeks ago.

  2. mangechester August 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Thanks for the nod. Have you been to Burnt Enz yet? I follow their Tweets with great interest. I’m wondering if they could top Pitt Cue Co. as my favourite BBQ place in London.

  3. Debbie Palmer August 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Nom nom.


  1. Southern Summer Barbecue « Lickerish Split - August 18, 2012

    […] I had never been along to dine at someone’s house before and despite a brief introduction at Southern Eleven, American barbecue has remained a mystery to me. So when I realised fellow blogger Mal (of […]

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