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It's a Hard Knox Life... - Review by Avery G | Hard Knox

Hard Knox

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It's a Hard Knox Life... 4/29/2006

Ever since Art's Country Kitchen closed down, I've been looking for some good soul food. You know what I mean... the sort of food that makes you gain a dozen or so pounds just looking at the menu. Places where collard greens and okra happily give up their lives to become something so much better than just plain vegetables. Places where the only thing better than something fried or something smothered in gravy is something fried THEN smothered in gravy. Mmm.... gravy. In a strange way, the Hard Knox is and isn't that sort of soul food place. It's fantastic... the Jambalaya was great, the corn bread inspired, and the red beans and rice were absolutely amazing. However, it gets better... so, so much better. The mac and cheese is an experience in itself: perfectly creamy cheese sauce combined with al dente elbow macaroni. It's quite possibly the perfect pot mac and cheese (which is completely different from baked mac and cheese). Even better: the country fried steak, covered in a thick gravy that just bursts with flavor. Add a couple of shots of Crystal hot sauce and a Sierra Nevada and you have yourself a great meal. However, the purveyors of the Hard Knox don't have fried okra on the menu, a staple when it comes to soul food in my book... and I would have loved to see some biscuits and sawmill gravy, even though I know it is more of a southern breakfast thing than a lunch menu item. The only thing is that sometimes the food is a little too measured. There's enough grease, butter and/or fat to make it tasty, but not enough to really stir your soul. It's possibly because the owner trained in the south, but is from Vietnam... he learned it but didn't live it. Still, it's some of the best soul food you'll find in the city... and once the 3rd street light rail starts running, it will probably become more popular than ever. more
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