5039 Imperial Avenue,
Muhammad Ali ate here. So did Jesse Jackson, Roger Hedgecock, George Stevens, Sheriff Bill Kolender, Susan Golding, Tom Bradley, Archie Moore, Jim Brown... Their photos, with owner Brooks Huffman, line the walls to prove it. They, too, came in for the most scrumptious smothered-fried chicken in town. For $6.85, you get three large pieces of chicken with a rich aroma and a dark, burned, seasoned flavor in a sea of gravy, along with collard greens, yellow peppers, red beans and rice, or other sides. Your MO: take a piece of the chicken, add a mouthful of gravy, cram in a forkload of collard greens, top off with red beans, then unwrap your two squares of white bread from their grease-proof paper and start sopping-up operations. Of course, Mississippi native Huffman created the whole soul gallery: chicken gizzards with green beans and macaroni salad ($6.04); pork ribs and a side ($6.95); or the magnificent Louisiana Creole Gumbo, with crab, shrimp, links, ham, and chicken, for $8.40. Brooks died earlier this year, but his wife Bobbi is carrying on the business.