A Southern Inspired South Street Escape at The Twisted Tail

The Twisted Tail is located close enough to South Street you would think it would have been infected by it. Luckily, this “Southern inspired Bourbon house” is a nice escape from tourists and wayward teens. I was invited to try their lunch menu, available Monday through Friday, though many of the lunch items can be found on the regular menu.

There is a full list of bourbon, whiskey, beer, and cocktails. Pictured is the honey apple side car and Lynchburg lemonade. My favorite though, was the Smokestack Lightning ($10) with Johnny Walker Black, muddled cherries, Sweet Vermouth, and orange juice.

The lunchtime menu has 2 appetizers listed, 4 salads, and 8 entree plates. The tuna tartar($12) is a refreshing way to start the meal; small chunks of raw tuna are served with micro greens and chips to scoop them up.

Here, Southern inspired means touches of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Louisiana, though I am not sure how consistent raw tuna is with that idea.

If you are looking for hearty over refreshing, the other appetizer, crawfish mac and cheese ($10) could have easily worked as an entree. This appetizer is more in line with the theme. Corkscrew pasta in a cast iron skillet was covered in a generous amount of cheese and sweet pieces of crawfish.

Our sandwiches came out on wooden cutting boards with a sliced half sour pickle (not for me, full sours only). The buttermilk chicken ($8) had juicy pieces of fried chicken on ciabbata. The breading did not stick to the chicken as well as it should have. This was a big sandwich to try to finish.

The better between bread choice was the impressive pastrami sandwich ($9). The sourdough bread, swiss cheese, and whole grain mustard were the perfect simple companions for the strips of grilled pastrami. Grilling pastrami is something my family has been doing for a few years now when we get a fatty batch; it melts the fat and makes for the best pastrami ever. It isn’t something I have seen much at restaurants, so I was a happy diner.

For more carbs, a small skillet of cornbread  is a fine side dish, especially with the addition of thyme, though the bottom was slightly burnt.

Or for an even sweeter carb option, try  the hot, sugar dusted beignets with a cooled bourbon caramel sauce for dessert.

We were seated downstairs, which is decorated in a cleaned up version of Southern style. The upstairs is more authentic and fun, featuring a game room complete with shuttle board and a bar made of whiskey barrels, plus a performance area where blues music plays most evenings.

If you find yourself needing to recharge on the east side of South Street, keep The Twisted Tail in mind.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Grilled pastrami and skillet mac and cheese are delicious
  • Varied drink selection

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The broad Southern inspiration could be seen as disjointed

The Twisted Tail, 509 South 2nd St., 215-558-2471


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