by Abby McDowell and Trinity Tran, FOOD CRITICS
21 November 2017
DISCOVER GRANNY B’s
If there is anytime to indulge in soul food, the time is now. November is a month about family and gratefulness. And what better way to do so than following our stereotypical American tradition of being thankful over a plate of fried comfort.
With an insatiable hunger for authentic Southern food, we set out to find a restaurant that also valued the authenticity of their comfort food.
If you’re looking for a place with a cozy ambiance and a welcoming atmosphere, we wouldn’t necessarily point you to Granny B’s, but the flavorsome, home style cooking with an influence of soul makes Granny B’s a go-to destination for all your comfort food needs.
It may have been the fact we arrived at Granny B’s at 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday, but Granny B’s was a desolate place. Upon walking in, there was a grand total of three people. Those people included the two of us and the kind lady who took our order and presumably cooked our food.
The lack of customers made us a bit apprehensive of the restaurant’s merit at first, and the wait time for our food did not lend peace to our hangry judgments either, considering the wait lasted a long 30 minutes.
However, the wait was unquestionably worth it once two hefty and steaming plates were placed onto the checkered tablecloth before us.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT GRANNY B’s
Granny B’s offers numerous options for those looking for a filling meal while simultaneously accommodating your personal preferences with its variety of dinner options.
Each dinner includes two sides, cornbread, and the meat or seafood of your choice. We ordered what any soul food enthusiast’s go-to meal would be: fried chicken with a side of macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and a garden salad.
But soul food doesn’t just have to be restricted to meat lovers, as we also decided to opt for one of the dinner options (two of which are vegetarian & pescatarian friendly): the catfish dinner.
There are a total of eight different sides to choose from, ranging from mac and cheese to a garden salad. The catfish dinner is paired fries along with the mac & cheese, which comes in at $13.99, the fried chicken meal about $3 less.
At a first glance, the prices may seem a bit high for a meal that is generally quite ordinary. However, the prices end up being miniscule in comparison to the heaps of food that come with your order and the exceptional quality of the meal itself. When ordering, keep in mind that you will most likely end up needing a to-go box, so don’t order more than you can eat.
At left, Granny B’s catfish dinner, served with cornbread, a side of fries, and macaroni & cheese. At right, Granny B’s fried chicken dinner, served with cornbread and macaroni & cheese.
THE FOOD AT GRANNY B’s
The cornbread tastes just as satisfying as it looks, baked to perfection without being too dry or too moist. The golden brown bread is warm with hints of sweetness, without being completely overwhelming, light enough that you won’t have to worry about being filled up before eating other parts of your meal.
The mac & cheese surpasses all expectations. The cheese covering the soft noodles is creamy and indulgent, the kind of mac & cheese that you know isn’t made out of a Kraft mac & cheese box. All of the ingredients taste real which, sadly, is not an easy thing to find with something as simple as mac & cheese.
The fries are typical and run of the mill and aren’t anything exceptional in comparison to the fries at other food joints. On the other hand, the mountain of fries tends to make you look past the lack of a defining taste.
The meals [at Granny B’s] speak for themselves when it comes to deciding whether or not to come back. It may not be the healthiest option, but soul food fiends often don’t cook for the heart but from the heart.
The main entree of the crispy, golden brown catfish will steal the show of the entire meal as the fish pairs exceptionally with the tartar sauce provided on the side. Any doubts that one might have about the restaurant’s downtown Aurora location will entirely vanish as certainly as the catfish will melt in in your mouth.
The home style feel that Granny B’s achieves really shines through in its chicken.The chicken is juicy with a delightful crispy exterior that provides just the right amount of flavor. Although it isn’t the healthiest option, Granny’s menu allows you to pair it with a fresh garden salad, which will help you justify devouring the macaroni & cheese without the slightest bit of guilt.
The meals speak for themselves when it comes to deciding whether or not to come back. It may not be the healthiest option, but soul food fiends often don’t cook for the heart but from the heart.
Don’t visit Granny B’s for the ambiance or the engaging atmosphere.
Visit Granny B’s for the delectable homestyle cooking and the kind staff. It is a genuine version of the food that others have been trying to sell you for years: food that is full of flavor and full of heart.
Granny B’s is located at 733 Aurora Avenue in Aurora, IL. You may learn more about Granny B’s by visiting them online at grannybsoulfood.com.
Abby McDowell and Trinity Tran are food critics for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the HOWL