go to Declancy's -- Oakland
Declancy's Welcome Table in Oakland is the reason I created a Chowhound profile. Talk about down-home Southern soul food done right!
If you like: fried chicken, fried pork chops, homemade mac n cheese, red beans and rice, buttermilk mashed potatoes (with gravy!), Southern food generally ... this place will knock your socks off.
The owner I think is also the main chef and personally brought everyone their food, checked up on all the tables, etc. Fantastic gentleman, as were the rest of the people in the joint - workers and diners alike.
Admittedly, there were several drawbacks. Food took a while. The upside to this is that it was made fresh to your order. And it was fantastic. The chicken was flavorful to the bone, the greens not too bitter, the red beans and rice better than what I ever ate in N'awlins ...
There was only one server on the floor. I think this would have been okay had 6 tables not come in within 10 minutes of one another. this created some pandemonium, I think (not to mention delays in food), but the workers were very apologetic and the diners understanding. it was a rather friendly atmosphere. again, did I mention the food was good? plenty of lip smacking and raves throughout the room.
final drawback: the iced tea wasn't ready! ahhhhhH!!!!
we brought home four boxes worth of leftovers and our wallets were not that much lighter for the wear. my boyfriend ate so much last night that he only got around to eating breakfast/lunch at 3pm or so this afternoon.
so, in short: bring your appetites and fun conversation(alists). it will take a while to get your food, but it's more than worth it. and tell your friends! this place and the people in it are too good to not have a ridiculous amount of business. unless, of course, you're taking my table. :-)
oh yeah -- they have breakfast options too! like chicken and waffles! i'm forcing boyfriend to go there with me after our race around Lake Merritt next weekend ...