Apologies for the dated post (and resulting faded memory,) but I thought I'd throw in comments regarding H&A Restaurant and Daley's, given the mention of the latter in the allnightathon messages by VI and ReneG.
I dropped by H&A during the last Saturday of November 2002. The front of the restaurant has a steam table, 10-seat counter, a handful of booths, and a bullet-proof glassed-in cash register. A portrait of Malcolm X hangs on the back wall, leading to a dining room with additional tables. After being informed that I was too early for the lunch menu (the purpose of my trip was to follow-up on a link posted by Zim on southern meals on the southside,) I ordered ham & eggs. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavorful ham and its nice, crusty pan-fried edges. The eggs and biscuits were also good, lending hope for a satisfying lunch or dinner on my next visit. The daily specials were heavy on smothered and fried dishes, with lots of typical southern sides.
I went to Daley's the next weekend, ordering the same for comparison. What a disappointment. The ham was of such a quality that it had rendered all of its moisture when fried in a pan. I was served that which was left: salty, dry, curled up pig fiber. The scrambled eggs were better in an unhealthy sort of way. They went down smooth, too smooth. The kind of eggs that are amazing for the first two bites, before your tongue and throat sense it's too much of a good thing. I wouldn't be surprised if it was two parts egg to one part butter. The biscuits, touted as homemade, were a bit too sweet for my tastes. The service was -- as noted -- wonderful and comforting, "Sugar" and "Honey" being the preferred terms of endearment.
If I were still in Chicago, I would very much be interested in exploring the rest of H&A's menu, whereas I would only go back to Daley's to try their ReneG/VI-recommended pancakes.
Mumon in Queens (in Woodside, just off Roosevelt Ave. for those who know the area)
H & A Restaurant
432 E. 63rd St.
809 E. 63rd St.
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