A very southern VIPeek at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen

Sissy’s ain’t for sissy’s, y’all. There’s plenty of heat, bacon and booze at this southern-fried joint that formerly housed Hector’s on Henderson. According to owner and former The Next Food Network Star contestant Lisa Garza, Sissy’s refers to the southern term of endearment for sister, rather than the old-school term for wimp.

Anyway, being the lucky, lucky foodbitch that I am, I scored a seat at the media lunch for Sissy’s, which is set to open Monday, 2/27. Start calling them reservation lines now, folks. It’s gonna be a brawl-of-a-time gettin’ a table soon enough.

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The family of deer heads pictured above reminded me of another thing Garza said. She talked about how she wanted Sissy’s to be a place where you feel like family, which is why she stuck to hiring a chef who already felt like family to her, Jeffery Hobbs. They used to work together at Suze. Garza thinks modern fine cuisine has become a bit too stuffy and thinks fancy can still be fun, in not so few words.

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Let’s just start with the fact that this place is cute as fuck. The flora, the color scheme, the bar, and especially the dishes all ooze southern style. In a real good way. The patio, which is open yet protected from the elements, is like the epitome of a southern porch swing. White, bright and so damn adorable.

Exhibits A-H:

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If it’s true that Garza wants everyone to relax and enjoy good food like they’ve just come to a family reunion, this is a family I could get used to. They’re good looking, they feed me delicious food and booze, and they don’t even mind when I take pictures!

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This drink menu had me at Arnold Palmer [comma] Tipsy. Not your typical lemonade + iced tea concoction, this one features orange, pineapple, safflower and both green and black teas. Oh yeah, and Belvedere vodka.

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Look how great that Tipsy AP looks with a deviled egg out front? Garza tops hers with creme fresh and tobiko caviar. Luxe.

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They brought us out some pickled gulf shrimp with house-seasoned Saltines. I don’t dig on shellfish but my tablemates said that shrimp was briney good. It looked fantastic and the Saltines had a kick for sure.

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Bring on the bacon! Well, that’s what they did. I enjoyed baconless bites of both the chopped wedge and grandma’s layered salad. They were tasty, sure, but pretty down home and basic.
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Then they brought more bacon to the table. This was a baby spinach salad tossed in ham hock vinaigrette and topped with lardon. The poached egg on top was a little under-done for my taste, but to be honest, bacon-less me didn’t taste a thing on this plate.

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Then came the star of the show, followed closely by sides, some that were great, and some not so much. Sissy’s fried chicken is buttermilk soaked and the meat really shows it. Crunchy, fried goodness sealed in the really moist, tender chicken inside.

It’s craveable, for sure.

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Another glamour shot of the chicken goodness.

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Squash cassarole was a winner…

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Fried okra tasted country-good as well.

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Squash puppies were another tasty bit. These are served with Texas Honey Guild butter and jalapeno jelly. I’m a fan.

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Quail is cute, to be sure, but I wasn’t too much of a fan of the black eyed pea business sitting underneath. Probably wouldn’t order this knowing that fried chicken is an option.

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Let’s skip to dessert. This gorgeous and tiny cake wasn’t my favorite. Too boozy for this bitch, the layers were adorable once cut and the coconut added a homemade flair that made this cake way visually appealing. I wish it’d get back on the wagon a bit.

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Next I tried the buttermilk pecan pie. A good representation of a southern classic, for sure.

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Finally, “better than sex” chocolate cake, which surprised me with a slightly savory taste. The chocolate cake was gooey good, and it sat on a pool of peanut butter. They topped it with an unsweet cream that made me wonder if buttermilk made it into the mix. Different and tasty? Yes. Better than sex? Not even.

But, news that might be giving sex a run for its money is that Sissy’s plans to be open for brunch every day once they’ve got their whole dinner thing on a roll. BRUNCH. EVERY. DAY. Like, as in, Tuesday. When Garza said that, it took most of my remaining resolve to not run up and kiss her on the mouth. You’re welcome, Lisa.

We tasted a lot of things over lunch and the grand opening party the following evening. My favorites, in no particular order, were the bourbon bread pudding, jalapeno margarita, fried chicken, squash puppies, deviled eggs and squash casserole.

All in all, Sissy’s is an adorable space with food you’ll find it easy to love. Well done, Lisa and Jeffery!

TRANSPARENCY ALERT: The aforementioned southern-fried deliciousness came out free as free can be. All I did was tip my valet.