Strut on Over to the Second Line for Flavorful New Orleans Fare

Chef Kelly English. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks

Chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris and the Second Line gives us the succulent scoop on why Memphis cuisine is some of the best in the country. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Second Line Seafood Plate

Second Line in Memphis is the newest Kelly English restaurant. Photo by Tiffany Langston.

Second Line Dining Room

Check out the Second Line in Overton Square in Memphis. Photo by Tiffany Langston.

When you step into Kelly English’s new Midtown eatery, the Second Line, you can almost hear the trombones playing. Chef English named his much-anticipated follow-up effort for New Orleans’ famed second line parades, and just like those parades, this is one jazzy good time.

Diners can sit inside and enjoy the sleek, wide-open dining room or, when weather permits, they can dine alfresco and enjoy the Second Line’s expansive outdoor patio.

The menu is full of classic New Orleans dishes. The appetizers are listed as “Eat These Things First” and feature some of Chef English’s favorite dishes from his childhood in the Big Easy. You can’t go wrong with the midnight snack – brioche toast topped with Gulf shrimp, remoulade and a poached egg, or the fried Natchitoches meat pies.

Entrees are dished up in two flavors: po’ boys or plates. Plates come with fries and hush puppies and showcase fresh Gulf seafood like sautéed catfish, fried oysters and fried shrimp. The po’ boy is a traditional New Orleans sandwich that was originally used to feed the “poor boys” who were on strike against the streetcar companies during the 1920s. On the Second Line menu, there’s a po’ boy option for every palate. From the mushroom-filled Chubby Vegetarian to the Verno stuffed with braised chicken thighs and Swiss cheese, you could eat at the Second Line every day for a week and not try them all. Po’ boys are served with one side, or “Grocery.” Popular choices include braised greens, hot potato salad and creamy cheese grits.

You can get several local beers at the Second Line, including Ghost River and High Cotton brews. Soon, the restaurant will feature a full bar, as well as the entire Restaurant Iris wine list. The Second Line is open Monday - Friday starting at 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until the party is over and the last reveler heads home.