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Review: Southern Recipes Grill in Arlington

Southern Recipes Grill 2715 N. Collins St., Arlington 817-469-9878 http://www.southernrecipegrill.com Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

Posted 5:25pm on Tuesday, Feb. 05, 2013

Around Arlington, you don’t have to go far to find stellar Southern fare. From homemade cornbread to gumbo, it’s all there.

And because there’s no such thing as too much home cooking, here’s another to add to the list: Southern Recipes Grill in Arlington. Nearly all of its menu items are made in-house, from the ranch dressing to the mashed potatoes.

Take the sampler platter ($7.99), for example, which at first glance seems to be just another pile of fried stuff. But there’s more to it than just a loaded plate.

Included are fried chicken fingers, sliced in-house; cheese-filled jalapeños; and mushrooms — all double battered, which makes everything extra crispy and extra juicy. And the accompanying cheese sticks are fried perfectly to avoid stringy cheese.

The beef stroganoff soup, served as a side, is a dish I’ve never seen at a restaurant. Its beefy broth has that sour cream flavor reminiscent of the non-soup version of the dish.

You’ll immediately notice that a lot of the menu space is taken up by chicken dishes. Southern Recipes Grill is fond of poultry: There’s chicken Milanese ($9.99), breaded and sauteed; chicken Florentine ($9.99), char-grilled and topped with a wine sauce; Monterey chicken ($9.99), seasoned and grilled with barbecue sauce ($9.99); and many others.

The blackened chicken pasta ($9.99) with Alfredo sauce (or marinara), a customer favorite, can easily feed a couple people. The kitchen nails the sauce, too — not too thin and or too thick. The two sliced chicken breasts on top are Cajun-seasoned with a bold, peppery flavor.

Char-grilled pork chops, while slightly dry on the outside, have a moist center. And eating your way around each chop might induce possibly inappropriate moaning at the table. Like the rub on the blackened chicken, it’s the seasoning that really makes the dish.

Plates come with your choice of sides, again, made in-house. We recommend the seasoned rice and the slightly buttery mashed potatoes with gravy.

We thought the Hawaiian chicken sandwich ($6.99), with its sweet, honey-like, ginger-marinated chicken breast, would be the dish to floor us. But that honor went to the country burger ($7.59) with sauteed mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and thick bacon..

We ordered our burger medium-rare, with juices flowing into the bun, onto our plates, and all over our faces. We took calculated bites, with pauses in between to stare at the well-seasoned burger, and wondered how it had never flashed across our best burgers radar before. It’s been hiding in this very unassuming Southern-style restaurant the whole time.

Burgers aside, this friendly bar and grill is very much the “Cheers” of Arlington. With daily lunch specials and a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. (featuring discounted beer, liquor, wine, and appetizers), it’s no wonder customers are packing the bar right after work.

And because the staff knows almost every customer by name, you won’t have to go far to feel right at home.

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