Chef/Owner Darnell Reed of Luella's Southern Kitchen (4609 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-961-8196) in Chicago's Lincoln Square is making all the right decisions. This new restaurant, which has received rave reviews and is on Chicago Magazine's restaurant hotlist for April, continues to treat its guests' taste buds with impeccable yet very reasonably priced Southern regional specialties.
Having recently updated his lunch, dinner and brunch menus for spring, Chef Darnell has now enhanced Luella's beverage program by carrying three legendary Southern all-natural craft sodas distributed by Homer Soda Chicago. These delicious soft drinks, all served in glass bottles ($2.50 per bottle), are made with pure cane sugar and are the perfect accompaniment to Chef Darnell's Southern hospitality.
Among the new sodas are Blenheim's Spicy Ginger Ale from South Carolina. This bottler was the earliest and arguably, finest independent soda bottling company in the U.S. The zesty soda is made with water from the natural mineral springs in Blenheim, South Carolina and Jamaican ginger.
From the Galveston-Houston area of Texas comes another old-time favorite, the delicious Triple XXX Root Beer, bottled since 1918. During the 1920s, Triple XXX operated more than 100 "Thirst Station" restaurants across the South and West Coast in addition to its wholesale business. Although the Great Depression took its toll on the restaurants, this delicious root beer has continued to be bottled and distributed throughout the United States.
North Carolina is nicely represented with Cheerwine, a soft drink with a hint of wild cherry that is known as the "Nectar of North Carolina." It has been bottled since 1917.
"We are thrilled to bring these unique and exceptional soft drinks to our guests," said Reed. "We want everyone to know that, at Luella's, we are passionate about serving food and beverages that are delicious, authentically Southern and made with love. Each of these legendary sodas had their origins at small independent businesses and we're proud to continue the tradition here in Chicago."
Luella's Southern Kitchen will continue to serve Coke products and also brews a delicious homemade sweetened iced tea. The restaurant is BYOB and guests are invited to bring their favorite alcoholic beverages; there is no corkage fee.