Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area

Army and Lou's-South Side Soul

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Army and Lou's-South Side Soul

tony | Jun 16, 2003 10:11 AM

This place has been here a long time and is no secret. Since 1945 according to the menu. It’s clean and tidy inside with a nice collection of mostly religious black art. I’ve been here several times in the last year and it’s very consistent for both food and service. While not fancy, it’s it looks like a well kept Greek owned diner that serves soul food. Definitely a step above BJ’s Market in both consistency and quality. BJ’s does have excellent mustard fried catfish however.

The wife started with a bowl of chicken gumbo which contained both shredded turkey and chicken, okra and some rice. It didn’t have any real heat to it, but a definite dash of file powder; a well executed and simple bowl of soup. I went with the smothered pork chops and got sides of candied sweet potatoes and pickled beets. Probably about ¼ inch thick, breaded and moist, topped with standard brown gravy and long cooked onions. Basic and delicious. A basket of cornbread muffins provided came in quite handy to sop up the gravy. The sweet potatoes are heavily spiced with cinnamon and clove and could stand on their own as a dessert. The beets were most likely not homemade, but tasty nonetheless.

The wife had the special of a BBQ Turkey leg with sides of cabbage and potato salad. A gigantic portion of meat falling off a Menacing Bone(band name 1), which if wielded overhead, would scare off all but the most adamant attackers. We were both puzzled by the cabbage because it seemed so simple and probably was, but we couldn’t figure out what was in it other than some carrots, onions, butter and maybe some Lawry’s season salt. So simple and good. The potato salad had a health dose of sweet pickles in the dressing.

We both finished with peach cobbler, which sells out pretty early from previous experience. It could have handled maybe 5 more minutes in the oven for browning, but was a nice mess of peaches, sugar and dough any way you look at it.

I’ve tried the catfish, ribs and smothered chicken on previous visits and all have been excellent. I don’t believe the ribs are smoked, but I could be wrong. For Oxtail Lover’s(band name 2), they have a Saturday only special. So in general if you have a craving to hunker down on some soul food and you are on the south side, Army and Lou’s is a nice place which is quite welcoming to everyone.

Army and Lou’s
422 East 75th Street
773-483-3100

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