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In Logan Heights, a home kitchen dishes Superior Soul Food

Lemon pepper chicken good enough to break a Nashville hot chicken habit

Lemon pepper chicken tenders and sides from Superior Soul Food
Lemon pepper chicken tenders and sides from Superior Soul Food

In search of soul food, I found myself parking in a dark corner of Logan Heights. There were no streetlamps, only the flash of headlights speeding onto the freeway onramp at the end of the block. A photo texted to my phone confirmed I was at the right place: a large blue house, split into apartments (722 South Evans Street, Logan Heights).

Out of one of those apartments, a former Navy chef cooks up the menu of Superior Soul Food. It sprung up in June, a pandemic-born business set up as a ghost kitchen: you order food first online, then have it delivered. Or, as I did, drive over to Logan Heights for curbside pickup.

And I would do it again. The menu is set up as plates built around a choice of fried entrees and southern comfort side dishes. Fried chicken tenders or chicken wings are $12 with two sides and cornbread, while catfish with one side runs $15.

You can get the chicken options straight up, or flavored with the likes of BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, or Slap Ya Mama, a Cajun hot pepper sauce. I’ve been feeling the burn of Nashville hot chicken all year, so I went for a refreshing alternative that seems to be most popular among Superior Soul Food’s fanbase: lemon pepper chicken tenders.

The site of a cottage license ghost kitchen operating in Logan Heights

Best decision I made all week, including election day. The citrus and salt smothering those lightly breaded tenders found their way into every crease of my mouth, bright and peppery over a deep umami savor. It’s the kind of dish you just want to keep eating.

But I did have to put my chicken down to enjoy the sides. These go 4 or 5 bucks apiece, or two with the Build a Plate chicken option. I chose the excellent collard greens and a spicy red beans and rice mixed together with slices of hot dog. For $5, I added mac and cheese to satisfy my perpetual need for it. All were super satisfying. A fourth side, candied yams, can wait for next time.

From a storyteller’s perspective, I would love to see Superior Soul Food to evolve into a more traditional restaurant after the pandemic. Though I’m not sure it has to. Take-out and delivery remain my preference whatever the legal status of indoor dining happens to be in the state and county. As long as I can take home a meal like this, out of a residential neighborhood or otherwise, for under 20 dollars, the guys behind this business might as well continue to work from home. It’s certainly a perk I enjoy.

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Lemon pepper chicken tenders and sides from Superior Soul Food
Lemon pepper chicken tenders and sides from Superior Soul Food

In search of soul food, I found myself parking in a dark corner of Logan Heights. There were no streetlamps, only the flash of headlights speeding onto the freeway onramp at the end of the block. A photo texted to my phone confirmed I was at the right place: a large blue house, split into apartments (722 South Evans Street, Logan Heights).

Out of one of those apartments, a former Navy chef cooks up the menu of Superior Soul Food. It sprung up in June, a pandemic-born business set up as a ghost kitchen: you order food first online, then have it delivered. Or, as I did, drive over to Logan Heights for curbside pickup.

And I would do it again. The menu is set up as plates built around a choice of fried entrees and southern comfort side dishes. Fried chicken tenders or chicken wings are $12 with two sides and cornbread, while catfish with one side runs $15.

You can get the chicken options straight up, or flavored with the likes of BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, or Slap Ya Mama, a Cajun hot pepper sauce. I’ve been feeling the burn of Nashville hot chicken all year, so I went for a refreshing alternative that seems to be most popular among Superior Soul Food’s fanbase: lemon pepper chicken tenders.

The site of a cottage license ghost kitchen operating in Logan Heights

Best decision I made all week, including election day. The citrus and salt smothering those lightly breaded tenders found their way into every crease of my mouth, bright and peppery over a deep umami savor. It’s the kind of dish you just want to keep eating.

But I did have to put my chicken down to enjoy the sides. These go 4 or 5 bucks apiece, or two with the Build a Plate chicken option. I chose the excellent collard greens and a spicy red beans and rice mixed together with slices of hot dog. For $5, I added mac and cheese to satisfy my perpetual need for it. All were super satisfying. A fourth side, candied yams, can wait for next time.

From a storyteller’s perspective, I would love to see Superior Soul Food to evolve into a more traditional restaurant after the pandemic. Though I’m not sure it has to. Take-out and delivery remain my preference whatever the legal status of indoor dining happens to be in the state and county. As long as I can take home a meal like this, out of a residential neighborhood or otherwise, for under 20 dollars, the guys behind this business might as well continue to work from home. It’s certainly a perk I enjoy.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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