I went to try a new place today, the 5th outlet of a local chain called “Southern Belle’s” a breakfast and lunch place with a “Southern” twist.
In addition to “regular” breakfast and lunch dishes, you’ll find their take on Southern foods like “Shrimp and Grits,” “Biscuits and Gravy,” and “Pork Belly and Eggs.”
For some reason, apparently, the proprietor’s definition of “Southern” extends out to Arizona, as there are also Tex Mex breakfast and lunch dishes.
Burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads round out the midday offerings.
I went for breakfast around 9AM, business was fairly brisk for the time of day and the place being new. There was a mix of demographics, young families, seniors, singles, and there was a large group standing in the lobby – – I thought they were waiting to be seated in one of the large private rooms, figuring them to be a company, church group, or extended family. Nope. Turns out they were local Chamber members participating in the traditional “giant scissors” photo op out front.
Southern Belle’s has done a clever thing, the front of the restaurant, where the cashier station is, the area doubles as a coffee/smoothie bar, I imagine, creating another revenue stream by roping in passers by (Not sure if this option is in all locations). Only problem I noted with this concept, is there no signage for this segment outside. Maybe it is still to be installed.
The restaurant is in a strip mall, across the street from a major mall, and has good street signage, so traffic should be fine. It’s on the large side for the casual segment, I think, immaculately clean, as were the restrooms.
My server, Genevieve, was friendly, and attentive without being intrusive. She stopped by a couple times to make sure I was happy. A person that clearly understands what the words “hospitality industry” mean.
Ordering coffee, I was happy when she brought a large thermal pot to leave at the table. They also have an “amuse,” 3 mini corn muffins. I’m not a corn bread fan under any circumstances, I ate one, but I can’t really give you an opinion on whether they are good or not.
I opted for Country Fried Steak and Eggs, which comes with a split buttermilk biscuit, hash browns, and a substantial quantity of sausage gravy.
I’m also not a big biscuit eater, so I won’t opine on that, either, except to say it was buried under the gravy, so if you’re an egg mopper (my mother would slap you if you are), ask for the biscuits on the side.
Hash browns? Not made there. Shreds that most likely came frozen or dried from a supplier like Sysco. I apologize to the owners if they aren’t, but that’s what they seemed like. I’m a big fan of really, really great breakfast potatoes. I’ll drive a long way to try some that somebody has bragged about.
I’m split on the steak. Good flavor, nice texture to the batter, not particularly flavorful, and I was unable to tell whether this was also a heat and eat food service item or made from scratch in house. I was quite happy with the sausage gravy. Flavorful, a little spice, and large chunks of pork sausage. To my liking.
All in all? It’s pretty OK. I lean more to favoring greasy spoon type diners, but this is a nice alternative for local families. They boast that a number of items are sourced locally and they are fans of “farm to table.”
There’s also Healthy, Vegan and Gluten Free portions to the menu, if you’re fussy about that kind of stuff.
Here’s the menu, and the locations. Breakfast and lunch seven days.
$20 for breakfast, coffee, tax and tip for me today.