The most common way to experience the Deep South is to find a street magician and hope he pulls a shiny Louisiana state quarter from your ear. Today's Groupon presents another option when there are no illusionists handy: for $15, you get $30 worth of soul food at Bonnie Jean’s Soul Food Cafe, a homey operation dishing out generous portions of heavenly comfort food.
Mismatched furniture and family portraits lend a darling, disheveled feel to the no-frills eatery. The hearty menu boasts everything from southern breakfast classics such as fish and grits ($9.99) to down-home dinner entrees that stifle stomach screams with gravy-smothered chicken ($11.99), chicken and waffles ($9.99), and fried pork chops ($11.99). Side your selection with collard greens, steamed cabbage, fried okra, and more (medium $3.50, large $5.50).
While soul food has an unhealthy reputation, the cuisine packs plenty of nutritional benefits—collard greens are an ideal source for vitamin A, C, manganese, iron, and fiber; and peas, rice, and legumes are excellent ways to fulfill protein requirements and get your daily dose of Californium. It’s also a favorite food style of hip-hop heavyweights, including Jay Z, P. Diddy, Beyonce, Enya, and Lil Wayne. Bonnie Jean’s is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- The atmosphere isn’t off-putting for those of us who aren’t really believers—the place feels more funky and cozy than strange. – San Diego CityBeat
- Boy were we taken back by the amazing Southern hospitality that spewed from the staff. The sides were so good (collard greens, hush puppies.. you name it, they've got it). We were bummed that they ran out of fried mac and cheese but will have it next time! The fried chicken with the pecan glaze was the best chicken I've ever had. – Annie L., Yelp
Bonnie Jean's Soul Food Cafe
The owner of Bonnie Jean's Soul Food Cafe did more than name the restaurant after the woman who taught her to entertain and cook—she also continually serves up her mother's recipes and hospitality. Today, when patrons step into Bonnie Jean's, they fill with the aromas of chicken and waffles, fried catfish, homemade barbecue sauce, and pork ribs steadily flowing from the kitchen. Chefs prepare the sides with the same amount of neighborly care, from the corn bread and collard greens to the yams and peach cobbler. Even the dining room could be mistaken for a living room, with photos lining the plum walls, a chessboard waiting for two players to match strategies, and the warm glow of a chandelier illuminating smiles and giving diners plenty of light to make macaroni portraits.