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Restaurants & Bars 3

Edna's (Soul Food)

Rene G | Dec 2, 2001 07:38 PM

I had a very good meal at Edna’s the other day. Edna’s is an old-school soul food restaurant that does all the standards and, judging from what I tasted, does them exceptionally well. It’s a pleasant old lunch room with lots of mauve and purple, big plants, and overhead fans. Everything about the place is welcoming and friendly. There are even fresh flowers on every table, a nice touch.

I had the short ribs (one of the most expensive items at $9.70) with biscuits, greens, and macaroni and cheese. The sign outside claims the best biscuits in the world. I don’t know about that but they are awfully good. Short ribs were great, tender as could be with an excellent beefy, peppery gravy. Mac’n’cheese was good, much more solid than many other versions. Collard greens were superb, some of the best I’ve had. I’m still thinking about those greens. Each table has its own red squirt bottle of hot sauce (certainly not Tabasco but not sure what kind). I barely used it because the food needed no help.

Service could not have been nicer. When delivering my food my waitress said in a slightly worried tone "I hope you like it." After a few mouthfuls I assured her everything was great. I think she became convinced I was serious when I ordered another plate of biscuits. Then they brought me a bowl of peach cobbler on the house. Truly not necessary but very good. Afterwards Edna stopped by to say hello.

The menu has all the old standards like fried chicken, smothered pork chops, and fried catfish. Lots of people seemed to be ordering the fish which looked good in its cornmeal coating (I had taken a booth near the kitchen so I got a good look at the orders being wheeled out on an old wooden trolley). Everything is homemade and they bake all their own desserts. Cakes and pies are proudly displayed in a large revolving glass pie case or on covered pedestals on the counter. Cheesecake and coconut cake looked especially impressive. Pies seemed underrepresented (only apple I think) but it was late afternoon so they might have sold out. Clearly these desserts merit more investigation!

Breakfast, served all day, would be another way to go. Eggs with salt pork, bacon, pan sausage, hot links, or salmon croquettes. Or maybe brains and eggs. Pancakes seemed popular and looked good.

Only a few blocks away is the beautifully renovated Garfield Park Conservatory, currently hosting an exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures. A stroll through the gardens and a meal at Edna’s would make for a great morning or afternoon.

Edna’s Restaurant
3175 W Madison St
Chicago IL
773-638-7079 or 80
6am-7pm Tue-Sun (but menu says only to 3pm Sun; better call to be sure)

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