I can't stand generalizations, but this has been the case at the last four places I've had this food all across the country, so I can't help it. I'll happily overpay for food if it is really well prepared and good, and this is often the case at soul food restaurants. I've eaten quite a bit of the stuff, and needless to say, I don't go to these places for the ambiance, which often includes lots of formica, plastic china, vinyl and perhaps a hole in the wall for passing food from the kitchen, but for really good fried chicken, collards, cornbread, black-eyed peas, sweet tea, etcetera. I've noticed over the years that an entree combo plate is usually well over $20 (I just finished eating at Mrs. White's in Phoenix and paid $26+tip for a plate of smothered chicken: three thighs, greens, peas and a cup of tea). The chicken isn't usually free range, and I'm guessing that they aren't sneaking saffron into the batter spices, collards, cornmeal and peas are cheap...so what is it? This food is made from some of the cheapest ingredients out there. Why does it cost a quarter of a hundred dollars for a basic soul food lunch? Or am I just picking all the wrong places?