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Powell's Place lost a soul food trial versus Gravy's

Powell's Place
511 Hayes Street/Octavia St., SF
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Pretrial hearing at Place Pigalle


Well, I lived a few blocks from Powell's for over a year but never, ever ate there -- and I can't explain why. I'd been there years before, and quite enjoyed everything except the very slow service.

This time service was prompt and very friendly, and the füd was better than I remembered. I enjoyed the fried catfish (three large pieces), with mashed potatoes and corn as my two sides. I forget the price but I know it was under 10 bucks, and that's a good deal for this much stuff. The mashed potatoes were the surprising weak link -- I'm pretty sure they weren't real. No lumps anywhere and a taste suspiciously reminiscent of KFC. But, hell, I enjoy KFC mashed potatoes.

A mysterious man named Stron joined us for the meal. I'd like to say he's some reporter or documentarian shadowing the judges in order to make us (even more) famous some soon day. But that's not the case.

Powell's is swell. For a fine evening, get a drink at Place Pigalle, cross the street to Powell's, eat, and then go right back to the bar. That's what we did.



This wasn't my first time to Powell's Place and I'm sure it wasn't my last. There is definitely enough about the place to enjoy. The ambiance is homey and the folks are friendly. Friendly to the point of inviting us in off the street to come on in and sit a spell.

If fried chicken is what you want then Powell's will give it to you. I have to say that the chicken is all I've ever had. Next time I'll be a little bold and try another dish. My dinner was a nice portion of chicken and two sides, plus corn muffins. The chicken is good -- crispy skin and a tasty flavor. I have to say that some bites were a bit dry while others were moist and juicy, but altogether, YUM. The sides: Mashed potatoes were great, but of the flake variety so if you don't like that and want the real mash, steer clear. Baked beans were bland but you can splash some of the hot sauce provided over 'em and that does the trick.

I recommend a trip to Powell's Place. They serve a respectable plate of food at a reasonable price, but don't ask how much 'cause I can't remember.



Fried pork chops. What more do I need to say?

Not much, I guess, except that they were some fine fried pork chops. But we're talking about fried pork here -- kind of hard to go wrong. They go right at Powell's, and the crispy coating sticks right to the pork chop. Which is nice. I imagine that's the same batter they use for the golden fried chicken that my cohorts had.

I chose red beans and rice for my two sides with my "dinner." Sadly, red beans and rice are considered two sides, when everyone knows they go together. But they were pretty good, and plentiful, as were the chops. I lucked out and got three chops as two were kind of small, but you can expect to get two big ones. Well fried, these chops. Crispy and noticeably non-greasy outside, and just maybe slightly dry inside. But still, good ol' rib-sticking food.

It was a pretty hearty meal for $9.25 and that includes two buttery sweet corn muffins. Cold can of Budweiser with your meal? That'll run you $1.75. That's 11 bucks (not including tax) for a good soul spread, and that's fine by me. You could get out of there much cheaper if you don't get a dinner deal or the cold can of Budweiser. Stop on by and see what you think.






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