November 29, 2012

Happy Hour at Hot Suppa! and New Otto Expansion

Hot Suppa! is mostly known for its Southern style brunch, with great biscuits and sausage gravy, crunchy hash browns, grits, and fried green tomatoes. There is frequently a long wait, as this restaurant is small and cozy, with about 35 seats. 

They started serving dinner a while after they opened, and while their jaunty Mardi Gras-themed sandwich board advertising happy hour has always caught my eye, I've never been in for anything other than weekend brunch.  

So the perfect storm was created after my friend Phil and I realized they serve poutine. We've become obsessed with eating this French Canadian dish of french fries covered in brown gravy and cheese curds. 

$1 oysters and cocktails ('The Dude' for Phil, a White Russian with Allen's Coffee Brandy- his fave, and a Hurricane for me) cleansed our palates while we waited for our happy hour selections. Hot Suppa's happy hour features $1 off all drinks and a selection of appetizers at smaller portions and lower prices. 

The poutine was the star of the show, with crispy fries that yielded to a potato moosh under the hearty gravy and stringy cheese curds. I could have eaten another plate of this, although I would have regretted it, since it was very rich.  

The calamari ($5) was good, with a cornmeal crust and served over a garlicky, basil pesto aioli, grape tomatoes, and sliced scallions. The St. Lois style ribs fell short, being dry and tough. 

While I think the prices are a little steep (our tab with 2 cocktails, 2 beers, and the aforementioned food was $52- is that expensive or am I just cheap??), the $1 oysters and poutine are well worth a visit at happy hour. 

After happy hour, I swung by the soft opening of Otto Pizza's newly expanded space at 567 Congress St. (the downtown location). The new space fills the former Wild Burrito space and is a mirror image of  Enzo. 

Of course, the Otto aesthetic is present with white subway tile, exposed brick, and reclaimed dark wood as paneling. My boyfriend and friends did the construction, so it was nice to see the space cleaned up and full of pizza smells and happy customers, rather than trash cans, sawdust, and building materials. 

The space probably doubles the seating capacity at this location, so many more people will be able to relax and enjoy a slice and a beer. 

Stay tuned for more poutine reviews around town; please leave suggestions for good versions (I know Duckfat, obviously), and maybe Otto will make a poutine pizza??