My wife, teenage daughter and I decided to try out TheSouthern Table Restaurant, a new restaurant in Bunnell. It was a Friday evening at dinner time and although the place was pretty busy we were immediately greeted and seated in a clean and comfortable dining room, by Courtney, our smiling server. It seemed as though all of the waitstaff were genuinely happy to be there, and the coordination between the kitchen and waitstaff was evident and flawless. Courtney was knowledgeable, helpful and friendly and made sure that we wanted for nothing. The atmosphere was friendly and pleasant. Prior to ordering, I glanced at the other customers and saw only happy and smiling faces.
During our meal, Joseph, the owner stopped by our table to insure that we were satisfied. Whenever I try out a new restaurant, I like to sit by the door and watch and listen to the people leaving. It is the most accurate measure of what I can expect from my dining experience there. At other restaurants, I've seen sour faces and heard mutterings of, "I'll never come back here."
I have given the positive things I saw that impressed me about the Southern Table, but just as important, are the things I did not see. I did not see one plate of food returned to the kitchen. I did not see panic, stress or sourness on the faces of the staff. I did not see one sour face leaving the place. The opposite was true. I saw people leaving with smiles, and saying goodbye to their servers and letting them know when they'd be back. Instead of mutterings about not coming back, I heard people saying things like, "We should bring so and so here".
So the service was great and the staff was friendlyand worked as a team and the owner and the staff were engaged with the customers with a warm and welcoming demeanor -What about the food? Good service is important but the food is the star of the show.
When we first entered the restaurant, the smell of the shrimp boil special was lightly and pleasantly in the air and my wife, a lover of seafood boils, knew that was what she wanted, without ever looking at the menu. She really enjoyed the boil. She found the flavor and quality of ingredients to be excellent and she was shocked at the low price, considering the very generous portions.
My daughter saw a plate of ribs being delivered and made up her mind quickly as well. She ordered a baked sweet potato and fried okra to go with her ribs. This is a teenage girl who usually picks at her meal and then takes the majority of it home in a to-go box. She cleaned her plate. Normally if asked if her meal was good she replies with, "I guess." This time she raved the whole way home about how good everything tasted.
I love fried fish and often drive several miles to an overpriced theme restaurant for fried grouper. I ordered the fried Haddock, completely expecting to be disappointed, as I have been at other local restaurants. The fish was light, flaky, perfectly cooked and tasted like heaven. The portion was generous and the price was less than half of what I have paid at the aforemetioned overpriced theme restaurant. The coleslaw was wonderful - because what's fried fish without coleslaw?
I would like to thank the staff at The Southern Table Restaurant and Joseph Portal, the owner, who has truly brought a wonderful, local restaurant to Flagler County. The high quality food, generous portions and positive attitude of the staff is proof of his commitment to his customers and the community.If you want great food, great service and a great value in an unpretentious and comfortable setting, then I urge you to try The Southern Table Restaurant.