Cleveland seems to be experiencing an uptick in Southern food joints, and we have to say, we like it! We didn’t set out to go to SOHO (1889 W 25th St), but after the bar next door, Townhall, proved to be too packed and noisy we decided wanted a more relaxing evening. And boy were we glad we stopped by SOHO, right next door. SOHO specializes in elevated southern food in a comfortable restaurant with a relaxed ambiance and good Motown tunes on the jukebox.
The menu, influenced by Low Country cuisine from South Carolina, is small but well-curated, with only a few selections for each appetizers, entrees and desserts. Keeping in that theme, SOHO boasts menu of over 130 bourbons and a large menu of bourbon-based cocktails and other brews, as well as a selection of unique southern sodas (think Cheerwine). Dinner started off with complimentary biscuits, which were a nice surprise (and were excellent). For appetizers, we started off with heirloom tomato salad with buttermilk dressing and a rich bowl of gumbo with chicken, pork and sausage.
The specialty at Soho is buttermilk fried chicken. It comes in three varieties, named for the times of the day, Mornin’, Evenin’ and Late-Night (all $17). However, they are available any time. Mornin’ style comes with Rosemary waffles and Ohio maple syrup; Evenin’ comes with mashed potatoes, braised collard greens and sausage gravy; Late Night comes with pulled pork mac ‘n’ cheese and smoked cherry BBQ sauce. Three in our party got the fried chicken: two “Late nights” and one “Mornin’.” The fried chicken came out piping hot and freshly fried – with a crispy exterior and juicy meat. The sides were equally delicious – creamy mac and cheese and a savory waffle that could have stood on their own.