I go to Mr. and Mrs. G’s Home Cooking and Pastries largely for one reason: the fried chicken. It has always been among the best in the city, crisp and delicately coated on the outside, moist and delicious at the center.
Everything else at this cafeteria-style haven of Southern cooking is gravy —and rich gravy, at that.
On a recent visit, I decided to branch out a bit and let my friend order the fried chicken. I knew I’d get a taste, and if need be, I would could always go back and order some more.
His order was just about perfection, though a touch more salt in the batter before frying would help it reach the heavens.
After browsing through a selection that included such temptations as smothered pork chops and ham hocks, I ordered the chicken fricassee, which was served with a sauce full of bold chicken stock flavor. Surprisingly, though, the leg and thigh quarter I had was mealy and texturally unappealing. I don’t think it was overcooked. I just think that quality of the meat was less than it should have been before the cooking process started.
I contented myself with sopping up every last drop of gravy I could with my cornbread and then tore into the vast array of side dishes, which included a medley of fresh, firm okra tossed with tomatoes and onion as well as a bowl of boiled cabbage. Mashed potatoes, vanilla-scented sweet potatoes and a Southern-style creamed corn, with an accent on the sugar in the cream sauce, are among the other choices available.
Home cooking needs a homey environment, and I’ve always enjoyed the pleasant company of the other folks who crowd into Mr. and Mrs. G’s. This visit was no different, as we struck up conversations with several tables around us. I haven’t gone as far as to eat off anyone else’s plate, but give me time.
Photos: Nicholas Mistry