Home cookin' on the South Side

January 27, 2010 9:52:22 AM PST
Southern-style soul food is the focus at Morrison's, where Sunday waits can be long- but worth it- after church lets out. All month long, ABC7's Hungry Hound has been seeking some tasty ways to stay warm. For today's final "Wednesday Warm-Up," he heads to the South Side where southern-style soul food is the focus. He says you won't leave hungry.

The West Side has Edna's and MacArthur's. Army and Lou's and Captain's Hard Time are pillars of the community down south. And for the past seven years, another South Side family has been dishing up comfort on South Ashland-- complete with fried chicken, candied sweets and some crazy-good corn muffins.

Like most weekdays, the crowd gathers throughout the afternoon at Morrison's. The Southern, soul food restaurant has only been on this stretch of Ashland for seven years, but it has quickly become a neighborhood favorite for dining in or carryout.

"It's all Southern, authentic food. It's all homemade. Nothing comes from a can," said Kevin Morrison.

And nothing costs more than nine dollars, except for the braised short ribs and one or two other items. Decisions are difficult. Should it be the fried chicken, with a side of cheesy mac-and-cheese? Or maybe those short ribs with candied sweets and some braised turnip and mustard greens? Everything comes with homemade corn muffins - warm and soft - one of the many reasons the restaurant is packed every Sunday after church.

"Hectic, just a lot of people. Lines down the street; if it's cold, we twist them around in here," Morrison said.

Desserts are predictable, and yet they soar above so many other soul food joints. Peach cobbler maintains that delicate balance between soft peaches, sweet syrup and a slightly crisp crust.. while the banana pudding is thick, containing just the right amount of vanilla wafers. Morrison says his family opened the pizza place next door 37 years ago, but when they started cooking beans and chitlins and other familiar fare, the neighbors quickly spoke with their stomachs.

"You got a lot of first generation South Siders and West Siders that actually migrated from the South, so they still miss that home cookin', and we have it right here," said Morrison.

Sundays are obviously big with the church crowd, so be prepared to wait in line.

Morrison's Restaurant
8127 S. Ashland Ave.