Monday, August 31, 2009

Soul Food Heaven

Soul Food Heaven
1847 Hwy 14
Lake Charles, LA
11:00 AM to 7:00 PM Seven days a week $1 to $7
Located along side Jones Grocery on Gerstner Memorial, someone is making another run at making this spot a success when so many others have failed. These people might have a chance based on good food, low prices and enthusiasm. They have put out deck tables with umbrellas to make the courtyard both visible and inviting. The interior has changed little.
First foray I went for Ham Hocks and Cabbage. This was served over rice with Candied Yams and Potato Salad. The hocks were meaty and smoky. They proved delicious but some more time in the pot would not have gone amiss. The cabbage contained smoky flavor and cooked down almost to caramelization. The yams sported nice sweet spice syrup and the potato salad perfect. Distinct chinks of potato (firm but cooked) with pickle relish and chopped eggs held just together with mayonnaise. You also get with each plate lunch cornbread (slightly sweet) and a dessert usually bundt cake.
The next plate proved the heaven part to me. Pork Bones, Sausage and Beans. Some great greens accompanied it (nice vinegar tang). The bones held sufficient meat to satisfy me. It was cooked tender and flavorful. Slices of a fine ground sausage and huge butterbeans went well with the rice. It was definitely heaven for me. I love eating low on the hog, so much more flavor. This dish gave some excellent bones to gnaw on also, a plus.
The last plate lunch is for those people who want something normal. They cook that here also. It turned out to be Smothered Pork Chop over rice. Plastic fork tender with excellent taste and spice. The gravy reflected that. A huge hunk of Baked Mac & Cheese and Stuffed Bell Pepper came with it. The mac & cheese proved true comfort food, the cheesiest. The bell pepper stuffed with rice, ground meat and shrimp and not topped with tomato sauce mirrored another stuffed pepper I ate recently. My mother was of the school of rice stuffing with tomato sauce. I am beginning to take to this new way for me.
Final time in I went with a short order, Catfish and Shrimp Platter. I received two large fillets and half dozen large shrimp fried fresh in a spicy corn flour coating with fries and a salad. While not my favorite coating for shrimp the fact that it came right out the fryer made up for it. The catfish was excellent. The fries were perfect also. I seldom like the way fries are done but I ate all of these dipping them into an in-house tartar sauce of mayonnaise and herbs, delicious.
I love this place, I am so happy it is on my way home. I suspect I will be dropping in a lot more than I should

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