By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
Or maybe I'm most fond of the soul food platter -- all four versions -- served with three pieces of Southern fried or smothered chicken, or 12 to 15 ounces of catfish or red snapper plus two side orders and cornbread. They're massive meals, but I order them again and again, and never grow too full or tired to start over.
Lo-Lo's fish is much lighter than its chicken, rolled in cornmeal and pan-fried. This food might actually be good for me, but that's okay, I like it anyway, and I damage any benefits by pairing my fish with gooey mac-n-cheese (an interesting recipe, dotted with mushroom), cubed russet potatoes drowning in gravy, candy sweets (intensely sugary sweet potatoes), rice and gravy, or barbecue-like beans over rice. Heaven? It's in an order of fish and chips -- my preferred mix of both catfish and red snapper -- piled atop French fries, dipped in hot sauce, and taken with bites of old-fashioned, down-home greens. On weekends, we're treated to another delight: soft string beans cooked with red skin potatoes and red bell pepper in lush vegetable liquor.
Larry makes a point of telling me that breakfast is served all day -- the waffle theme, of course. But these morning meals are deserving of dinner, like Aunt Hattie's croquettes, or Aunt Portia's omelet. Two slender cakes comprise the croquettes, stuffed with bits of salmon, red bell pepper and shallot, presented alongside grits, cheese eggs and toast with grape jelly. The omelet is a four-egg monster chock-full of chicken, cheese, sweet onion and bell pepper -- a buck more lands me a side of waffle.
10 W. Yuma St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Region: Central Phoenix
602-340-1304. Hours: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 10a.m. to 2a.m.; Saturday, 10a.m. to 7p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Red velvet cake is one of Larry's specialties. This confection has always freaked me out because of its bloody color, but what the hell, it almost upstaged Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias, so there must be something special about it. I'm stuffed to the gills after a pig-out meal, but as I pay my tab, Larry wonders whether I'd like to try a piece of his fresh-baked creation. I cart it home, intending to try a single bite. Yet it's not long before I'm looking at an empty Styrofoam container, licking walnut-studded vanilla frosting from my fork and re-checking my to-go box for remnants like any crack addict rummaging the carpet.
Eating like this is dangerous for my diet, certainly. But then, what's the point of living, if not for the thrill?