May 19, 2013

Choplin Puts Her Spin on SoWe

SoWe is a gastropub in the Graduate Hospital/South of South area that we have been to a few times since its opening in April 2012 but never wrote about. Good thing since SoWe recently underwent some changes, the most notable being new Executive Chef Jennifer Choplin.

We stopped by when the redesigned and expanded menu debuted in early April. SoWe remains a good place to check out for a laid-back, above average bite to eat, especially if you live in the area like us. We were glad to see a longer and well-pieced together menu. Here's our take on the few items we've had so far.

Small Plates:

Loaded Bacon Tots
The bacon tots jumped out as a new appetizer we had to try. More dense than your typical tot, these came with chili, jack cheese and jalapenos. Think of this dish as tots in a spicy red meat sauce. We also ordered the spicy chickpea fritters. Between the two, go with the tots.

The buffalo shrimp appetizer survived from the old SoWe menu and we can vouch from earlier visits that it is a good starter and/or small main dish if you aren't famished.


Kristy's SoWe burger was solid, no complaints  there. Has anyone else noticed how difficult the burger craze had made it to stand out against comparable restaurants? That's a good thing overall, we guess, but makes us tough critics. The SoWe version comes with a half-pound angus burger, fried peppers and onions, sharp cheddar, naturally smoked applewood bacon and horseradish mayo on brioche. It's a safe option but we'd more enthusiastically recommend...

Fried Chicken:

My fried chicken came as a healthy portion of a breast and leg. A side of bourbon-based tangy barbecue sauce was an excellent addition and Choplin's mashed potatoes were licked clean off the plate. The fried chicken won't win any awards and is a expensive at $17, but it's good enough to cure a craving.

SoWe Fried Chicken
Side rant: In the last few months, I've tried a lot of fried chicken and concluded that you just can't beat Federal Donuts. The more I eat, the more I respect Federal Donuts. 

Resurrection (where SoWe's Chef Choplin learned much of her trade) comes close, although I'm still stinging over them giving me a leg and thigh last time, no breast. Come on! If you offer $15 fried chicken shouldn't a breast be required? I think so. Thank you SoWe for agreeing. 

Also, don't get the fried chicken at Devil's Alley. Not good at all. 

And More...

You can also order a stack of 3, 6 or 9 sliders at SoWe, which is a cool way to try a variety of available sandwiches (burger, pork belly, meatball, veggie reuben, etc.). The rotating draft beer and bottle selection is is rich enough to sample some great new brews.

delightful Pot de Creme
Dessert took our meal to an entirely new level. SoWe's pot de creme that night delivered a smooth and creamy chocolate custard with whipped cream, raspberries and a chocolate cookie. It was superb and just one of several delectable-sounding items on SoWe's creative dessert menu. (Red Velvet Krimpets? Carrot Cake Waffle Sundae? hello!)

We love to see all these new places popping up in our neighborhood and SoWe was a great addition. Follow Jennifer on Twitter or Instagram to find out what's cooking and especially to see her awesome photos straight from the kitchen! Warning: they are guaranteed to make you hungry.

SoWe Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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