Ever had one of those itches that you just had to scratch? A couple of months ago I was just itchin' for some fried chicken....and collard greens. Kinda weird, but I love good collard greens, smokey-salty-mildly bitter-and even perhaps a bit sweet. So first I headed down to.....
Bonnie Jean's Soul Food Cafe:
Off of the Euclid exit, right where it turns into 54th street. I've been here a couple of times, but for some reason it's starting to look a bit older.....
This little place has a whole lot of personality.........
As well as games and other stuff to keep you occupied...... because everything is made to order, which is mostly a good thing! Funny thing, I realized that I'd never had straight up fried chicken at Bonnie Jean's, I'd had it smothered, which I enjoyed (what's not to like), and with the Honey Pecan Glaze, which I recall not enjoying that much. What was even more interesting, was that on my last visit, not long after Canine Cologne's visit (please check it out here) which had me wanting my smothered chicken; I dropped by Bonnie Jean's.... and the place was full of Asian's!!!
Anyway, today I was after some straight up Southern Fried Chicken ($10.99). I went with just the dark meat, even though the menu says, ahem, "The Breasts Are Huge!!"
My chicken, greens, and mashed potatoes and gravy arrived after the usual wait, which gave me time to catch up on my reading. The chicken was as I remembered, the coating crisp and light, and the chicken adequately juicy. But without gravy, or a glaze, it tasted really bland, and I needed a good dose of the (not so) hot sauce on the table. I'll stick with the smothered chicken next time.
The mashed potatoes were decent.
The folks here were pretty heavy-handed with the black pepper today, but I had no complaints about the thick potatoes, and the even thicker gravy.
The one item that made this meal worthwhile were the collard greens, which looked on the dry side, but were the beat I've had in a long time.
I appreciated the fact that these weren't over done and mushy like creamed spinach. There were many bit of smoked meat, and after a goof look-over I'm pretty sure it was hamhock, not smoked turkey. They're pretty stingy with the "liquor" here, some I think they save it as the "mother liquid" for the next batch. The flavor is just about perfect for my taste.
I ended up buying a large order to go for the Missus, who scarfed it up in one sitting...... I'm sure to be back soon for more greens... and smothered chicken.
Bonnie Jean's Soul Food Cafe
1964 54th St
San Diego, CA 92105
By the way, if you think Bonnie Jean's has lots of character, check out Sister Peewee's if you haven't done so already. One of these days I'll do a post on the place.
As I was headed back to the 94, I noticed a new place had sprung up, named Annie Belle's...... I'll save that post for next Friday!