X Marks the Spot

By Xavier Sanchez

‘X Marks the Spot’ is taking on its third year of restaurant reviews for The Lorian. To start this year off, I ventured down to the Millwork District of Dubuque on a cold fall night but was immediately warmed by some southern comfort. This was all thanks to the new Dubuque restaurant known as Southern Ego.

Southern Ego is MasterChef Season Nine winner Gerron Hurt’s first restaurant. He wanted to establish his restaurant concept in a smaller city to see how it does before launching it elsewhere. If successful, Hurt would love to bring the restaurant to other, larger cities across the United States.

Hurt had a ribbon cutting ceremony for Southern Ego alongside the opening of The Comedy Bar on Thursday, Nov. 7. People were treated to samplings of Southern Ego menu items and other snacks. The following day, the restaurant opened to the public.

The menu for Southern Ego is not complex and keeps things simple for the customer. They have five different sandwiches, four different sides, and two dessert options.

I tried the ‘Blazin’ Bird’ which is Hurt’s take on the famous Nashville Hot Chicken. The sandwich consists of fried chicken tenderloins that were lightly fried and “cooked to perfection” before being tossed in their signature Nashville Hot oil. The sandwich is then topped off with their horsey slaw and a few dill pickle chips. Unlike most Nashville Hot Chicken sandwiches, Southern Ego holds it together in a buttery crescent instead of white bread slices.

Next time, I plan to try the ‘Goodness Gracious Turkey’ and the tater chips. The ‘Goodness Gracious Turkey’ is Southern Ego’s Kentucky Brown. I have faith that Chef Hurt will deliver perfection since I tried part of his menu. I am intrigued by the cornbread stuffing and cranberry dipping sauce that are featured in the sandwich.

The tater chips are potatoes sliced in chip shapes, fried, and then coated in some spices. I knew I made the wrong decision when I saw many other customers enjoying these. I have made it a priority to try them next time I stop in.

While eating, I was taking in everything the restaurant had to offer. It was nice to see MasterChef Hurt walking around and visiting with customers. He eventually made his way to me and we chatted about Southern Ego and he even asked to take a picture together.

Before I left, he told me to “bring some friends down” the next time I dine. I give Southern Ego my stamp of approval and want all who read this to head down there and give it a try.

Southern Ego is located at 333 E. 10th Street in Dubuque, IA. Their hours are Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m..

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Xavier is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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