JOLIET – I love fried chicken and I love greens.
Aisha’s Southern Cuisine in Joliet excels in both.
Recently, a friend and I were in the area, so we both ordered fried chicken dinners for $11.99 – my friend with mashed potatoes and corn, and me with greens and, of all things, spaghetti.
Yes, spaghetti. And corn muffins, which came with each order.
The restaurant is run like a fast-food restaurant with dine-in meal choices and daily specials.
For instance, a meatloaf dinner is available for $9.99 (Fridays) and smothered chicken breast or smothered pork chop for $10.99 (Saturdays) and turkey, pot roast or chicken and dumplings for $10.99 or beef short ribs for $13.99 (Sundays).
Lunch specials include a 20-ounce drink. Choices include three wings and fries for $7, one catfish with fries for $7.49 and a BBQ Beef Sandwich with fries for $6.49. Heck, there’s even a kids’ menu: one meat, one side, corn muffin and small drink for $6.49.
And yes, when ordering chicken, one can order all white meat (we did). For heartier appetites, extra corn muffins are 75 cents.
I ate the chicken first because, to me, fried chicken is best straight from the fryer. The outside was crisp, the inside juicy, and I was in Southern heaven.
The greens came out an intense dark green and seasoned with just enough bite to complement the bitter collard taste. And the spaghetti, well, you have to try it. With chicken and greens.
We also ordered a fried pork chop dinner for $10.99 to surprise a friend, along with corn and green beans, favorite sides for this person.
Our friend said the pork was well-seasoned with a nice little bit of spice to it. Ditto for the corn, which was well-peppered. However, staff did forget to pack the corn muffin.
Before we left, I wanted to try the caramel cake ($3), but Aisha’s didn’t have any that day. That’s when my friend pointed out the dessert I’d overlooked: sweet potato cheesecake ($4.50).
Oh heart, be still.
Stuffed from dinner, I was only going to try a bite and bring the rest home for late-night snacking. Somehow that one bite turned into another and then another. I tossed the empty Styrofoam box before we left.
Yes, it was that good – a smooth cheesecake with a praline-like layer on a graham cracker crust.
But don’t take my word. Check it out yourself. Just remember to call Aisha’s first for updated hours.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at The Herald-News. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Aisha’s Southern Cuisine
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: 2777 Black Road, Joliet
INFO: Call 741-2800 or visit Aisha’s Southern Cuisine on Facebook.