Count us in.
North Carolina is one of the best southern states for soul food. Fried chicken, candied yams, mustard greens, oxtails, and meatloaf are on offer at hundreds of diners and meat and threes stretching from Nag’s Head to Cherokee. Jessie Bell’s in tiny Kinston recently opened with the motto: “Once you have the best you’ll forget the rest.”
Addie Garner is dead. She was one half of the husband/wife team that ran Mr. and Mrs. G’s Home Cooking in San Antonio. The old meat and three opened in 1990 serving: “buttermilk and sweet potato pies, banana pudding and cheesecake… smothered steaks, pork chops, ham hocks, crispy fried chicken and traditional Southern sides.”
Soul food’s dirty little secret is that it’s not always made from scratch. We can spot canned collards, French onion soup mix, canned corn and “brought-in” cupcakes from a mile away. Often it doesn’t even matter. If you’re a good cook you can take a convenience product and turn it into a show stopper if you know how to aggressively season your food. Leach Family Restaurant recently opened in Memphis and writer Jennifer Bigg’s has the details, even the dirty ones.