Old Dixie's in the Welcome Diner: The Coolest Place You (Probably) Haven't Been to Yet
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out and let you know our initial impressions. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).
All photos by Laura Hahnefeld Fried chicken biscuit sandwich with cheddar, bacon, and gravy
Restaurant: Old Dixie's
Location: The Welcome Diner: 924 East Roosevelt Street
Open: Almost a month
Price: $11 to $30 per person
What happens when one of the best food trucks in the Valley food scene switches from four wheels to four walls?
If you're Old Dixie's, owned and operated by Michael Babcock and Jenn Robinson, you keep on making the same killer Southern eats but in a retro-cool, 200-square-foot Depression-era diner in Central Phoenix.
The menu is mostly the same as it was on the truck: Southern-style sandwiches and sides made with locally sourced ingredients. There is dinner, a weekend brunch, and, because of its diner home, there are burgers, too -- one even topped with peanut butter -- but they are not why you've come here. You've come for Babcock's fried chicken biscuit sandwich ($9).
Kiltlifter-braised pork sandwich with onion slaw and Carolina mustard sauce
The chunks of fried chicken in this standout sandwich would make the Colonel blush. They're topped with crispy bacon, melted cheddar, and thick, peppery Southern-style gravy and are barely contained between biscuits with a moist, rich crumb. It definitely eats like a meal. The same could be said for the Kiltlifter braised pork sandwich ($8), in which the biscuits hold moist and tender braised pork, a smoky onion slaw, and a sweet and tangy mustard sauce.
Grow House salad
The red beans and rice ($10), Babcock's interpretation of the classic New Orleans favorite, is pretty much perfect. Made with seasoned beans slow-cooked with ham hocks and mixed with rice and slices of smoky and peppery Andouille sausage from Schreiner's, it's as filling as it is flavorful.