Southern Lights Bistro
Casual DiningFood ★★☆☆☆Ambiance ★★★★☆Service ★★★★☆Creativity ★★★★☆Value ★★★☆☆
$30-70 meal for 2 plus drinks
Southern Lights Bistro is located next to a mattress store on Lawndale Dr in Greensboro. It is almost hidden as the exterior is very unassuming and the large tacky brightly light mattress store draws your eye away from the fact that there is a restaurant there. I don't know how many times I have driven by and did not see Southern Lights Bistro. Once you find the restaurant, you will find a very professionally designed restaurant. It has to be one of the best-designed restaurants I have seen in a strip center. Most create a strip restaurant with one large room with the kitchen in the back. Southern Lights Bistro did a fantastic job of breaking the area up into several distinct dining areas. The restaurant's walls are covered in art from local artists creating a cozy and modern dining area.
The servers are very professional and did a fantastic job. After we were seated a server for an adjacent table noticed no one greeted us and she immediately came over to see if we have been helped. This all happened within 3 minutes of being seated and the new server took over our table and did a fantastic job of serving us. Very well trained and professional servers who took care of the customers and who was very knowledgeable of the menu.
Southern Lights Bistro obviously does a good job as the restaurant was quite busy and they have spent a lot of time addressing the details. However, the food was a mixed bag on our visit.We started off with Southern Lights Corn and Crab Chowder. The
We started off with Southern Lights Corn and Crab Chowder. This dish was true to typical Corn and Crab Chowders. Nothing special, it was good, but I expected better from this restaurant. The crab was fresh, not abundant in quantity, but adequate. The texture was a bit lumpy and the broth was not overly smooth.
Next, I had Southern Lights Bistro's Buttermilk Fried Chicken Small Plate. This was served with Neeses's Sausage Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese, Haricot Verts (thin green bean) and a drizzle of Honey Mustard. This was one of the largest small plates I have seen. I am glad I did not get the full portion as this had 2 small boneless chicken breasts. When I mention small chicken breasts, this is a good thing as most of the chicken you now buy in the grocery stores is grotesquely oversized and tough. This chicken reminded more of a poulet rouge chicken as it was much juicier and tender than most. The batter was VERY crunchy and the meat was succulent and tasty. The flavor of the buttermilk came through and I felt this was very well done. It is hard to find a sauce to dress up fried chicken and they chose a drizzle of honey mustard. The side of Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese was very creamy and more like a pasta dish than a typical mac and cheese. The flavor was good and the sausage was there without overpowering the gouda.
The last dish we had was Southern Lights Bistro's Tuscan Meat Loaf. This dish had Beef, Pork and Sausage Meat Loaf served with mashed potatos, Green Beans and Demi-Glace. The Demi-Glace sauce ruined this dish. They obviously had a problem in the kitchen that night as the Demi-Glace had a strong distinct taste and aroma of burnt plastic. It is hard to say much more about this dish as the sauce ruined the dish.
We were served one terrible dish during our visit, however, I do not feel this is what this restaurant normally serves. The restaurant was full of diners who many appeared to be repeat patrons, so they must do a good job on a regular basis. The Fried Chicken was fantastic and this was an indication of what they can do. Unfortunately for us, we were served something that should have not left the kitchen. We will go back to try them again in the future and hopefully we are more impressed.