Update: Southern Flava has closed.
The food inside Southern Flava is as homemade as the sign outside, and it's that homemade aspect that keeps the customers coming. This downtown takeout restaurant has something for everyone. Owner Amie Noel brought a little bit of the Alabama sunshine with her when she came to Syracuse. “Ms. Amie,” as she is known to her regulars, has been warming Central New York up with her classic Southern cooking, as well as her friendly smile, since July 2010.
When to Go: The lunch crowd loves this place, so it's busiest from noon till about 2 p.m., but there is still plenty of service. If you plan on having dinner Monday through Thursday, get there early since closing time is 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday night, you have till 10 p.m. to get your fill of Ms. Amie's fried classics. Southern Flava is closed on Sundays. The bottom line: Anytime is a good time for a little Southern Flava.
On Tap: You won't find any beer, wine or liquor here, but you will find sweet tea – another Southern classic. You can also have soda, bottled water, or Ms. Amie's punch with your meal. Since Southern Flava is primarily a takeout place, if you feel like a beer, you can always take your burger or wings home and see what you have there. The bottom line: Have the sweet tea if you want to keep it classic. Otherwise, you can grab a soda or something from your own fridge.
Blue Plate Special: The Southern fried chicken dinner is a customer favorite. It comes with your choice of two sides and a drink for $10. Ms. Amie is particularly proud of the fried okra side. There are also standard sides like french fries and corn bread, and a rotating menu of special sides that includes options like mac and cheese. If you are feeling adventurous, try specialties like fried gizzards or ox tails. If you want to play it safe, there are hot dogs, wings, and a variety of burgers and sandwiches. Ms. Amie began her culinary pursuits as a baker, so there are plenty of dessert choices on any given day. The bottom line: The menu is cheap, wide and primarily fried. Come here for comfort foods or to try uniquely Southern dishes.
The Scene: The sunny orange walls and green patio tables and chairs give the storefront an atmosphere like an Alabama porch, which is perfect for sitting and waiting for your food. But for the most part Southern Flava's style is no frills since it's designed for takeout. There is other incentive to take your food back home or to your desk; if you stay too long you will walk out with the odor of fried catfish clinging to you. The bottom line: It's takeout – you come here for the food, not to lounge in style.
The Crew: The owner, Ms. Amie, greets you at the counter with a smile. She is warm and friendly, and her chit-chat is as comforting as the food. Ms. Amie runs the show, doing most of the cooking herself, but she does have two local college students who help out. The staff are accommodating and will cook your food just the way you like it. The bottom line: You'll be welcomed with Southern charm.
The Crowd: Expect to see anyone in Southern Flava. Neighborhood locals love this place as much as the business crowd that stops in for lunch. People from all walks of life have become regulars. Ms. Amie says anyone is welcome to come sit inside and get out of the cold. The bottom line: This place appeals to anyone who enjoys a good, fried meal.
The Deets: Grabbing lunch at Southern Flava, located at 207 E. Jefferson St. in Syracuse, is convenient. If you are feeling lazy, delivery is available. Whether it's the bright walls, Ms. Amie's friendly disposition or the homestyle food, you are bound to leave Southern Flava in a good mood. This place is also budget friendly; you can easily have a full lunch or dinner for under $10. If you like the food, Ms. Amie also does catering. The bottom line: Come here for takeout Southern indulgences served with a smile.
Profile by Heather Duggan