Southern Kitchen is a little red building with a screen door on a busy intersection in Tacoma, next to a Jiffy Lube. Out in the parking lot, the smell of chicken frying is so good, you could probably gain weight just standing there. Inside, it’s country-diner-roadhouse and (as the menu accurately says) “Southern cooking at its down-home best.” Drinks come in mason jars, which does not feel like an affectation here, and the chicken and the brisket are great. Also the fried okra. And the black-eyed peas. And pretty much everything else. Regarding portions: Pace yourself. (Southern Kitchen, 1716 Sixth Ave, Tacoma, 253-627-4282, 8 am–8 pm)

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