Charles Gabriel likes to have a finger in a lot of pies. Last year, the soul food master from Charles’ Southern Style Kitchen in Harlem helped launch Rack & Soul in Morningside Heights. This year he’s branched out again, opening a buffet operation inside Slice of Harlem, a pizzeria owned by his partner in Rack & Soul.

From the steam table at the new outpost, jerseyguy2000 has sampled superb ribs, oxtails, and macaroni and cheese. Greens are very good, though a tad less meaty than at the uptown original. Charles’ signature fried chicken may need some work; jerseyguy2000 found it flavorful but dry, though he allows that a fresh batch could be better. Unlike the all-you-can-eat original location, the satellite kitchen charges by weight.

For Midtown hounds craving a taste of soul, there’s an unlikely bargain option: Jezebel, the dressed-up Southern restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. But don’t try to enter the fancy dining room on Ninth Avenue. Instead, head around the corner to the kitchen door on 45th Street, where there’s a sign that says “Piece of Chicken.” There, you can buy fried chicken or fish, mac and cheese, and other takeout bites, all for $1 each.

Quality and portion size are highly variable. Fried catfish benefits from tasty breading. Some like the chicken; others prefer Popeyes. Collards and mac and cheese also get mixed marks. “But for a $5 plate,” says sandsage, “this is the best lunch deal around for this kind of stuff.”

Charles’ Southern Style Kitchen [Harlem]
At Slice of Harlem, 308 Lenox Avenue (near 125th Street), Manhattan

Charles’ Southern Style Kitchen [Harlem]
2841 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (at 151st Street), Manhattan

Rack & Soul [Morningside Heights]
2818 Broadway (at W. 109th Street), Manhattan

Kitchen door at Jezebel [Clinton]
630 Ninth Avenue (at W. 45th Street), Manhattan

Board Links: feedback on the Charles Southern Kitchen outpost at 125th?
Piece of Chicken

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