My culinary experience with "Soul Food" is pretty limited. I've had my share of what may (or may not) be considered soul food dishes in the past like fried chicken, collard and mustard greens, macaroni & cheese, hush puppies, but usually at places that refer to themselves as Southern, Cajun or Creole restaurants.
I've never been to an eating establishment where the words "Soul Food" were actually part of the restaurant name until I had dinner at Aunt Rosa Lee's Mississippi Soul Food restaurant awhile back and for some reason, I really had high expectations for a fantastic meal.
The dinner started off with what was either corn bread or corn muffins. Unfortunately, they were more burnt then they should have been. That wasn't a good start.
For my entree, I ordered a mini-dinner plate, which consisted of a meat item and two sides and believe me, mini was a misnomer. There was enough food for two people. I can't imagine how much food the regular dinner plate came with.
My meat of choice was the artery blocking fried pork chop smothered with gravy and for my two accompaniments, I chose the collard greens and macaroni and cheese. When my meal arrived, it was looking and smelling good. I was more than ready to dig in.
I started with the mac and cheese. (sigh) I was hoping for a cheese fest, but this side had a cheese sauce instead that was so thin, I didn't really get any cheesy flavor. The collard greens were underseasoned, but I just added my own salt to taste, so that wasn't a big thing.
As for the pork chop, my first bite of meat and gravy was wonderful, especially that gravy. Yummy! The second bite was just as good, but after a couple more bites, the food just seemed really salty. Perhaps, the salt that was meant for the collard greens hit the pork chop instead? Regardless of why, I certainly wasn't motivated to eat any more of the meat.
In general, I was disappointed with my meal at Aunt Rosa Lee's, but if I were in the neighborhood, I wouldn't mind trying again and only because I really liked that gravy. If it wasn't for the heavy-handed salt shaking, that pork dish would have been awesome from start to finish, so I think there's hope for better things. Also, the fried chicken that a couple of my dining partners had ordered looked and apparently was really tasty, so I wouldn't mind having a go at that as well.
To see pics, go to:
Aunt Rosa Lee's Mississippi Soul Food
2781 S Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90018