- Pat Oct 25, 2004 10:32 AM
Where in the city or suburbs can we get good old fashioned Southern style cooking?
I've no first-hand experience with any of the following places, except Wishbone years ago, but I've seen mentions on this board of these places which might have Southern-style cooking. You could search using the names of these restaurants. Also try searching for posts by JeffB.
Wishbone--yuppified Southern food, some say
McArthurs--soul food on the West Side
Army & Lou's--soul food on the South Side
And a fond R.I.P. for Savannah's, which once served Low Country food on W. Grand in the space now occupied by Saussy. Does anyone know if this crew is running another restaurant?
As a native southerner, I asked myself the same thing often when i moved to Chicago. There are some great soul food places on the south side including some of those mentioned.
I'm not a big fan of Wishbone. The food is really overpriced for what it is there. It is also quite inconsistent.
If you're looking for barbeque, there are a number of excellent options on the North side including Merle's in Evanston (excellent) and Fat Willie's of Western Ave. fat Willies makes a kick ass barbeque chicken though I'm not so fond of their ribs.
For southern style food on the North side, I much prefer Stanley's Tap on Armitage with its excellent fried chicken and sides to Wishbone. It''s unfair to call either of these places soul.
On the southside, both barbeque and soul are abundant. Some of the better takeout rib places that I like are Lems on 75th St., Ribs Unlimited on 79th Street, and Barbara Ann's on Cottage Grove.
Good sould food can be found on the west side at OT's on Division at Cicero. Go during lunch when items are fresher and ask them to spice conservatively as they can go overboard with the salt.
Morrisons and Johnson's Soul Food are within a block of each other on Ashland Avenue in the South 80s. Very nice folks fix very good soul food at both places. Johnson's tends to be a bit timid on seasoning. However, they make great greens and candied Sweets.
Down in Dolton, IL, right off of I-57 is Dustie's Soul Food Buffet. Really excellent choices every day including fried chicken, country style steak, ham hocks, sausage, fish, great veggies and salad bar. Its all you can eat for around $10.
There's a good small chain on the south side called BJ's Bakery and Market. They have an excellent mustard fried catfish. Veggies are seasoned with smoked turkey rather than pork.
I heartily endorse the recomendation Edna's on the west side for great biscuits, breakfasts and desserts.
Honey 1 barbeque on the west side is excellent and a favorite of many on this board.
Finally, way down Western Ave at 118th Street, there is an excellent southern style bakery caled AM's Sweet Lil Me Me's. They have awesome pecan pies, excellent caramel cakes, and excellet cobblers.
The Slow Food Guide to dining in Chicago is now available in most major bookstores. It's a really great guide with many of the entries written or inspired by pareticipants in the Chowhound and LTH Forums.
It has great sections on both soul food and barbeque with some unique recommendations.
And, there's always Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop which has a range of southern specialties from fried green tomatoes to catfish po'boys, one in Harper Court and the other at 825 Church Street in Evanston. I've never been to the Evanston branch but I've rarely been disappointed in the original Hyde Park venue. Since they don't take reservations except for groups, be prepared to wait on prime dining hours. Their site's below.