Sharing a kitchen with the Restaurant Iris next door, local celebrity chef Kelly English's latest endeavor is a Cajun joint with attitude—as evidenced by its signs and some of the menu items, like the "fancy-ass cole slaw." The Second Line doesn't believe in reservations, so the wait can be up to two hours on a weekend night, but diners don't seem to care; they belly up to the bar and wait in anticipation of English's Creole delights like fried Gulf shrimp or the fried Mississippi catfish. Don't pass on the barbecued-shrimp starter; it's so good, you'll want to drink the sauce, which is a mix of Worcestershire, spicy pepper, and oyster liqueur (soak it up with the loaf of homemade bread that arrives at your table upon ordering). The "happy enchiladas" pack a lot of heat, and the fried oyster salad (dressed with an amazing blue cheese sauce) will win over even those not traditionally in favor of shellfish. Definitely save room for a po'boy (I suggest the roast beef with gravy and Swiss cheese); and although it sounds odd, the beet and feta "shawarma" may very well have been my favorite part of the meal. Among the creative cocktails here is the Kudzu, similar in taste to a mojito but with cilantro instead of mint. There are plenty of local beers on tap, as well as an extensive wine list. The service is top-notch, so if you don't know what to order, leave your fate in the hands of your waiter.
The Second Line
2144 Monroe Ave.
Our Rating Neighborhood Midtown, Overton Square Hours Mon–Fri 5–10 pm, Sat–Sun 11am–11 pm Phone 901/590-2829 Prices Main course $10–$18 Cuisine Type Cajun, Creole Web site The Second Line
Map2144 Monroe Ave. Memphis
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