The Dish

Miss New Orleans? Southern Kitchen brings it home to south KC

By D’Ann Dreiling

New Or “leens”, New Or “linz”, “Naw “lins” or “Big Easy”, no matter how you say it, when it comes to southern cuisine, New Orleans reigns supreme.  But wait!  No need to travel south to get a taste of that delicious comfort food. Just opened at 13135 State Line is Southern Kitchen.

You’ll think you’re seated at Cafe de Monde when you bite into one of their delicious beignets, or the French Quarter as you taste their jambalaya.  When you’ve finished eating at Southern Kitchen, you’ll walk out the door crooning Louie Armstrong’s “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans”.

 Mark and Robin Drouin opened their restaurant with a menu of comfort food you’ll be dreaming about.  The Drouins grew up in New Orleans.  Mark worked at a community center serving the homeless, and Robin owned a dance studio.  When Hurricane Katrina struck their beautiful city, they lost everything.  Continuing to serve the homeless, the couple set up a stationary food truck in the disaster area to feed those whose lives and livelihoods had been destroyed.

Owners Mark and Robin Drouin with a painting given to them as a thank you for their assistance during Hurricane Katrina. Photo by Nicolette Vescovi

      In 2011, the couple moved to Kansas City to start over.  They purchased a 26’ food truck and their adventure began.  “Learning to drive that truck around town was quite an experience “, says Mark, “but we loved it.  We named the truck Cajun Cabin and off we went.  We traveled to festivals, concerts, weddings, corporate events and developed quite a following.  Our niche was authentic Creole, Cajun, and soul favorites.  All of our recipes are road tested.”

     Customers urged the Drouins to consider a permanent location.  In January they signed their lease and with great enthusiasm, planned to open in April, not knowing that the world would collapse.  “We’re open now and following all of the Covid rules,” says Mark. “ We have distance seating inside, some outside seating and are enthusiastic about our carry out service.  We made it through Katrina, and we’ll get through this as well.  People love our food!”

Southern Kitchen is open 4-8 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am – 8 pm on Friday.

Roast Beef Po-Boy 1.jpg

Roast Beef Po’ Boy


  • 3 Lbs Chuck Roast
  • 1- Pk of Brown Gravy Mix
  • 1- Pk of Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1-Pk of Onion Soup Mix
  • French Bread
  • Toppings- Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle

Combine seasoning packs in 2 cups of water and stir. Place pot roast in crock pot and pour seasoning mix over roast. Cook on low for 4 hours on high, or 8 on low ( recommended). When done, pull out roast and shred meat. Place back in with seasoning mixture.

Cut French Bread, place desired toppings, add Roast Beef and enjoy !