Featured photo: Smoked Buffalo chicken wings from Blue Southern Comfort Foods.
It’s been two years now since Carolyn Manning’s Blue Southern Comfort Foods opened at 1173 Louisiana Avenue, becoming the latest in a string of quirky eateries (including a barbecue joint named Slap Your Mama Barbecue) to call the address home. Blue quickly established a reputation on the strength of Manning’s Blue burger, a burger topped with a house-made bacon jam that may very well be Shreveport’s single best burger topping. In the two years since opening, Manning’s vision for the place has grown, as has the physical footprint of the restaurant. Some things have fallen off of the menu, other things have been added, and the funky, Highland neighborhood vibe of the place has been dialed way up.
If you haven’t eaten at Blue in a while, you should absolutely try the smoked Buffalo chicken wings ($8, pictured), an attractive basket of smoked chicken wings drizzled with Buffalo sauce and served with a ranch and blue cheese dipping sauce. Serving the entire wing instead of just the drumette makes this meal a messy undertaking, but worth the effort. Other smoked items on the menu include pulled pork, which can be served as a sandwich or over cheese grits, and pork ribs braised in locally brewed Great Raft beer. I enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich ($9) topped with crispy, sweet and tangy coleslaw. On a previous visit, I’d been wowed by the powerfully tart key lime pie, which deserves to be considered among Shreveport-Bossier’s best slices of pie.
Out of all of the things that surprised me on revisiting Blue, the biggest surprise was the patio. Talk about a funky atmosphere: mismatched furniture, Christmas lights, wind chimes, bird houses and art hanging everywhere. In the restaurant’s fenced-in yard (where dogs are welcome), picnic tables surround a fire pit. Give this place local beer on-tap, and it could easily become the go-to restaurant for the Highland crowd.
I waited a year between visits to Blue. What I found upon revisiting it was an overhauled menu, a patio with great potential and honest-to-goodness key lime pie. I can’t wait to see where Blue goes from here – and I won’t wait a year before I stop in again to see what happens next.
Blue Southern Comfort Foods is located at 1173 Louisiana Avenue in Shreveport. The restaurant is open, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. On Mondays, Blue opens to serve burgers only. The place can be unpredictable, you may want to check their Facebook page for the latest offerings.