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Da South in ya Mouth serves up Southern food, togetherness

Da South in ya Mouth owner, operator and head chef, Andra Riles said he knows exactly where his passion for food comes from.

"Growing up in rural Georgia, my grandma, she was a serious cook, man," Riles said. "She could put anything together. Just watching her, learning from her, that passion comes from her. The way she brought family together, changed people's lives, different things like that. I think that's what resonates with me."

That ability to bring people together is why Andra Riles and his wife, Rinda, decided to open the restaurant on South Mission Road.

"It's a really funky concept," Rinda Riles said. "We wanted to create a fun and welcoming environment for families to come out and play. We've got a game cabinet; we've got cornhole. We've actually leased the building here, but we're operating out of a food truck because there's no kitchen. But within the building, there is this amazing community space with, when you walk in, you think you just walked into your grandma's house.

"There are dining tables, there's a couch, there's a TV. There's always something entertaining going on the television. We've got recliners and rocking chairs inside and out."

Rinda Riles said after people place their food orders at the truck, they head on inside to find a place to eat.

"They go in and make themselves at home, grab a game, chat with people, hang out on the couch and watch the TV and then we run the order in when they're ready," she said. "Then they can dine in or they can take it to go."

Rinda Riles said she wanted to be sure to inform people that because they work out of food truck, it's not quite the same as a taco cart.

"Where everything is pre-done and it takes two seconds to, you know, whip up a couple of tacos and send them out the window," Rinda Riles said. "They're literally getting a restaurant experience where there is a wait time because everything is made to order. There's a lot of stuff that has to be cooked when it's ordered so it can take 15 or 20 minutes just like a restaurant to get your food, which is why we created the space to welcome people to get comfortable while they wait for their food."

On the restaurant's Facebook page, the restaurant is described as "Southern Food done the Southern way, by Southern People. ... So you will feel the Soul of proud Southern Folks who care more about pleasing you than themselves."

After transferring to the area to serve as a general manager for Buffalo Wild Wings, Andra Riles said he left the corporate life to start his own business.

"I decided to do what I love to do," he said. "And that's please people, of course. Please customers and cook Southern food. Give people a taste of what the South is all about."

The menu will carry a lot of consistent favorites such as barbecued pork ribs and tri-trip and dives into the world of Cajun seafood with fried catfish and shrimp and Cajun fried lobster bites.

Soul food favorites like mac and cheese, baked beans and collard greens are also on the menu. Diners will also find desserts like banana pudding and peach cobbler on a constantly rotating menu.

When asked what his specialties are, he said, "Catfish is definitely a big-time reputation of the South. The baked beans, Cajon shrimp, gumbo all the way down to the ribs and the chicken and the tri-tip. All that stuff is a representation of the South. The homemade potato salad to the homemade Cajun sauce, the homemade barbecue sauce. All of that is just things that I learned over the years."

Interestingly enough, the entire menu will rotate from time to time for a variety of reasons, he said. Another thing to make a note of, they said, is that no dish will ever be made the same way by Andra Riles.

"It would be like going to your mom's house," Rinda said. "You never know what she's going to cook. Right? So, it's not like going to an Olive Garden where you've already studied the menu and you know what you're going to get every single time you go there.

"He doesn't follow recipes," she said. "He follows his heart. They may come and get baked beans one day and it's got hotlinks in it, and they may come next week and the baked beans have ground beef in them. The mac and cheese might be different week to week. Everything is done from the heart. Nothing is made from a recipe, and everything varies week to week."

They opened a couple of weeks ago, and people are just starting to find the spot just south of town. They are so new the restaurant still doesn't have signage on the building, and they have yet to announce a grand opening date.

"We've got some really big plans for the future as far as building a big outdoor deck by the stream for outdoor seating," Rinda said. "We want to eventually bring in live bands and maybe a comedian every now and then do movie night on the TV. We want to do themed days where he might have a Louisiana Saturday and he might have a Georgia Wednesday."

Diner can find Andra Riles out cooking in or barbecuing outside the truck most days, working out the kinks in the business and serving up South-inspired food five days a week, from 2-8 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Da South in ya Mouth is located at 3137 S. Mission Road in Fallbrook. Call (619) 738-2918 or email [email protected] for more information.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected].


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