Ask Lauren: Mondays in the Near West End, real Southern food, and dinner for a loud family

This week on Ask Lauren: where to go on Monday (when everything’s closed); true-blue Southern cuisine; and feeding a big, loud family.

Now, through the magic of the internet, you too can ask Lauren your myriad food-related questions. Well, technically, you can leave your questions in the comments below, I’ll ask Lauren, and then I’ll let you know what she says. It’s like the three-legged stool of restaurant recommendations.

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I live in the Near West End, and I feel like most of the restaurants in my neighborhood are closed on Mondays. Is there somewhere within walking distance I can go for an early bite to eat?

Stella’s is open on Mondays1 and has a great happy hour from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM that includes $10 carafes of house wine, $4 beers, $4 small plates, and a $6 featured cocktail each night. It’s a great Monday night spot that has huge portions so you won’t have to worry about packing your lunch for Tuesday either!

My boyfriend’s parents are coming in to town this weekend and we are planning on taking them out to dinner. They love Southern food, as in “mac and cheese is totally a vegetable” type Southern food, but every time we take them someplace we miss the mark. I think we keep hitting “new” Southern as opposed to “true blue give me those collard greens” Southern. What would you suggest?

Comfort is upscale but true Southern food. You can impress your boyfriend’s parents with how many national shout-outs the restaurant always seems to get, but they will walk away full of delicious fried okra, mac and cheese, and pecan pie.

I have a big, loud family, and we’re looking for a spot to go for a celebratory dinner. We want to go to a nice place but somewhere where we won’t get stares for our boisterous behavior.

Portico’s atmosphere is incredible and gives you that special occasion type of feel. The patio is where it is at, and since it’s outside the noise doesn’t get caught in the room so you guys can talk over each other as much as you want!

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  1. Note for East Enders: The Roosevelt is now open on Mondays as well. Maybe our long national nightmare of no food on Mondays is ending! 
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