Reading various recent posts, I take it that the consensus is that Charles' is just as glorious as it was when described in Jim's book.
We went last night for the first time (to get take out, not to the buffet), and while it was definitely better than Sylvia's, I was not blown away. The fried chicken was light and crispy but not that flavorful (I prefer a crust with some seasoning) and the mac and cheese was absolutely bland and unmemorable - not even a good cheesy flavor. Best were the greens and the candied yams. Corn bread was bland, a little too sweet and the texture was heavy without being yummily rich.
Now, truth be told, it was late (10:45) and the staff was tired and grumpy and maybe the food was past its prime....
Should we go back (it's a schlep) and are there strategies for having the amazing experience others have described?