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Chicago Area Buffet Soul Food

BJ's Market (Soul Food Buffet)

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BJ's Market (Soul Food Buffet)

Rene G | May 22, 2002 03:33 PM

BJ’s Market, on the far south side, has been open about 5 years. During the week it’s cafeteria style service but on Sunday they lay out an impressive buffet. Most of their regular items are on the buffet.

One big reason to go is the mustard-breaded catfish. Catfish is usually not a big favorite of mine but this stuff is just great. Pieces of fish are spiced with a mustard dip, then breaded in a thick but tasty coating, and fried, almost greaselessly. There’s a squirt bottle of sweet mustard sauce that’s pretty good but really not necessary. This is clearly the most popular item on the buffet (with good reason) so it’s replenished often. The fried green tomatoes are also exceptionally good with flavorful but almost greaseless breading. A couple of the salads I also thought were just great: the red potato salad and the creamy cole slaw. Both clearly homemade and first-rate. Also the thick disks of sweet potato were outstanding with an almost pudding-like texture.

Fried chicken wings were good but not in the class of the catfish. Salmon croquettes were also decent but awfully salty. Roast turkey and cornmeal dressing were fine but nothing out of the ordinary. Macaroni and cheese was good when it first appeared but suffered from its time on the table. Collard greens, made with smoked turkey, were also good.

Jambalaya and red beans and rice were nothing special at all and I wasn’t at all fond of the meatloaf, rib tips, or spaghetti. Shredded carrot salad was much too sweet for my taste. Pasta salad was completely ordinary as was the creamed corn.

There was a good dessert selection including peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, banana pudding, and a variety of cakes. I only managed to try the fairly light banana pudding (with vanilla wafers) and peach cobbler. Both were tasty but not best-of-type.

The Sunday buffet costs $12.95 including unlimited serve-yourself beverages. It’s a bright, modern, crowded, friendly space. Parking lot next door.

BJ’s Market
8734 S Stony Island Av (Stony is 1600 E)
773-374-4700
Mon-Thu 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11am-8pm

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