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Feb 21, 2001 05:22 PM

any thoughts on Aunt kizzy's back porch

  • j

thinking about going there some time

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  1. What a coincince, I just went there for the first time just this past Sunday. Even though we went fairly early, there was still a 20 minute wait (they don't accept reservations), but it was a holiday weekend.

    Aunt Kizzy's is a soul food restaurant in the middle of a strip mall. They have interesting decor where there is a "back porch" inside of a smallish restaurant. One side of the restaurant is covered from ceiling to floor of celebrities, presumably, those who have visited Aunt Kizzy's. The other side of the wall included servers spooning food from steam trays. This made Aunt Kizzy's look like a glorified cafeteria.

    Looking at the dinner menu, the entrees were fairly inexpensive, everything was $12.95 and below. They have a special fish of the day, which was fried snapper. No one in my group tried it. They were out of the fried catfish (which I wanted), so I settled for the Jambalaya with chicken and sausage. Though it had a nice spicy background, I'm sorry to say that it was disappointing. The rice has got to be Uncle Ben's, in texture and looks. While eating the chicken, I noticed that some pieces were very mushy. Upon closer inspection, it wasn't chicken at all, but dumplings. I'm not an expert on Cajun/Creole cooking, but I didn't think dumplings were a traditional ingredient. Possibly, but it was unsettling finding some in my jambalaya. It really was the Uncle Ben's that turned me off to the dish, though.

    My friends ordered the smothered pork chops. The bite I had wasn't bad. The winner of the table was the baked short ribs. They were satisfingly meaty, tender, and delicious.

    You get a choice of 2 sides per entree, which includes mac & cheese, collard greens, corn & okra. I wanted to try the candied yams, but this cost $3 extra.

    Although we didn't try desserts being so full, I wanted to try the Sweet Potato Pie. Dessert seem to be a good value at $2.95.

    Service was a bit difficult to receive at time, maybe because of the full house. Our server rushed around to meet the needs of diners but often forgot things we requested.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kev

      Finding dumplings in jambalaya is extremely weird, not at all traditional. As to the Uncle Ben's rice, however, "converted" or parboiled rice is used quite often with good results in authentic jambalaya-making. It may be that the restaurant overcooked the rice until it became mushy. Or were you thinking more of minute rice? If you'd like to make it yourself, check out Paul Prudhomme's first cookbook for some jambalaya recipes that work very successfully.

    2. I also went there for the first time this weekend (and saw the Rev. Jesse Jackson to boot).

      We had brunch, which was reasonable priced and had a decent variety of southern dishes, but not what I would call brunch. The only breakfast item on the line was some sort of egg dish.

      I tried the green beans, black eyed peas, ribs, mashed potatoes, eggs, roasted potatoes, biscuits and cornbread. All were faithful and tasty reproductions/interpretations of dishes I've had many times in the South. They also had fried chicken, greens and other sides I didn't try.

      Our service was good, but not excellent. It was certainly adequate for the buffet style meal we had.

      I know understand where Rev. Jackson's weight gain has been coming from in recent years.


      1. My wife and I ate there a while back. I think we both had the Chicken fried steak, which was incredible. It wasn't realy what I think of as Chicken Fried steak, like you would get at a diner, more like the cube steak I make at home, but it was realy realy great. We did have the sweet potato pie, and it was pretty good. The only thing was the price, since I moved here from the south, where this style of cuisine is usually about half the price of Aunt Kizzy's. That said, Kizzy's food was a little more sophistimacated than most of those places--though not necessarily better.

        1. i've only been once but it was disappointing. we got there for a late weeknight dinner. all the entrees were fatty (pork chops/chicken fried steak) and not very tasty. the peach cobbler was just runny...not enough dough or peaches. the one highlight was the corn bread...should have just kept asking for more of that and skipped the rest. it may have been just been an off night, but i have trouble being interested in returning.

          1. I have found Aunt Kizzy's to be highly variable, more so in recent years. The place was very good five years ago but the last few times I was there half the food was good, half mediocre at best. Pick things that can keep a while on the steam table (which does not include fried chicken) and you'll probably do fine. If you are standing right there and you see them adding more fried chicken, pounce like a leopard because when theirs is fresh it is really good.

            The original cook from Aunt Kizzy's opened her own place in Torrance at the corner of Redondo Beach Boulevard and Yukon. The place is called Flossie's, and the food there is every bit as good as Aunt Kizzy's and a lot more consistent. She makes very good "Mississippi style" tamales. I would have bet that nothing resembling a tamale was native to Mississippi, but she said that everybody ate them in the town where she grew up. Anybody else know anything about tamales being part of Southern cooking?