Southside food heats up with 2 new kitchens
By Greg Sabin
Southside Park is changing. Known as a quiet corner of the grid, a sleepy residential neighborhood centered around a tree-lined park, Southside isn’t considered a dining destination.
With two recent arrivals, Southside Super and Betty, the reputation gets a reboot.
Southside Super is a breakfast and lunch counter. Taking the space of June’s Cafe on V Street between 9th and 10th, this small, mighty enterprise delivers Vietnamese and Korean comfort food.
It’s cozy and comfortable. The eight-seat counter and handful to tables cater to quickly arriving crowds. Open since April, the restaurant has fans who stop in for the grab-and-go case and short-order menu filled with dishes found in Vietnamese and Korean home kitchens but rarely in restaurants.
Korean kimbap, a seaweed-wrapped dish similar to sushi but on a totally different flavor spectrum, is available to go. This is a hearty lunchbox stuffer that travels well and hits hard with punches of kimchi, bulgogi and pickled radish.
Simple-sounding yet complex plates such as spicy chicken or ginger chicken over rice are good any time. Vietnamese lemongrass beef noodle salad is a winner for breakfast or lunch.
For me, the standout is the Vietnamese meatball sub. It’s the best meatball sandwich I’ve had in years.
The meatballs are a hearty yet delicate mix of steamed pork and jicama. They fill a pocket-sized baguette. A dose of pickled veggies brightens the dish. But that’s not all. The topper is a bowl of intensely spiced tomato sauce, perfect for dipping.
I wasn’t sure I’d like a cross between a banh mi, Italian meatball sub and French dip. But now I can’t stop thinking about it.
Southside Super’s vibe is casual, with the petite kitchen on display and a cash register wedged into the corner like an afterthought. The cooking is serious. Every dish is vibrant and comforting. Every face in the place has a smile (when not stuffed with meatballs).
A few blocks away you’ll find Betty, a wine bar and bottle shop. Open less than a year, Betty turned a quiet storefront into a wine destination. Thursday night tastings are a draw with local winemakers such as Craig Haarmeyer and his radically delicious chenin blancs. Niche varietals show up from Spain, France, Croatia and elsewhere.
Betty is welcoming. A tidy bottle shop and cozy patio provide plenty of space to sip wine and sample the kitchen’s substantial options.
Rarely does anyone visit a wine bar for the food, but the offerings at Betty are worth the trip. Lobster rolls and charcuterie boards get things started. A great lunch selection of sandwiches—oil-packed tuna, Italian cold cuts, porchetta and more—makes the wine bar a midday destination.
On top of wine, Betty offers curated groceries, cleverly paired with approachable selections of vino.
Whether your goal is to share a bottle with a friend, work your way through a beautiful selection of small plates or pop by to pick up a bottle, Betty has you covered.