One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is finiding the diamond ring in the sand when you were not even looking. Today I had a diamond ring moment.
Whilst driving down route 1 one afternoon I was scoping the area for good eats. I wanted something new, a place I had not already tried. Most places were not restaurants in this part of the highway, and I did not see the sign for Ann’s Soul Food till we zipped right on by. It was small, and unassuming. The only proof that good ol country cooking resided inside was that sign. For true soul food, we needed to turn around, it is not something you usually see in these parts.
Upon entering the dining area, I had the immediate sensation of entering someone’s home. The kitchen was open, so we spent our time talking with Ann and a family friend working the counter (I apologize for not getting her name) as if we were old friends.
I had my sidekick with me on this culinary adventure, my husband. He ordered the fried chicken, and I decided on the pigs feet with mac and cheese and cabbage. First thing I knew for sure was that everything was handmade, the second was all the recipes were passed down from Mama. No air conditioning, so the restaurant door stood wide open. There were regulars sitting outside conversing and gospel music playing over the radio. This is the real deal.
Décor was a collection of furniture pieces scrounged together. I have read other reviewers who talk about the shabbiness of the building, but this is the experience. I did not want a place any shinier than that, for that would be the façade. What Ann is giving you is not a show, but food prepared with love.
This is not Cracker Barrel (Thank goodness). If it were, then there would be nothing to separate it from the pack of boring cookie cutter food establishments. Everything I was served was fantastic. The pigs feet had great flavor, as did the mac and cheese and cabbage. The corn bread was just sweet enough, and the fried chicken is worth driving to Stafford for sure (The best fried chicken I can remember having in a long long time). There are certain cuisines that are about the food, but also the experience. Everything about Ann’s was the perfect experience to me. I would change nothing.
3349 Jefferson Davis Highway