[Update: Jean P's was closed, sadly, sometime in early 2009. Alas.]
After seeing Big City Poz's photo of the blue-plate special he whipped up for himself, I was inspired to share this fabulous meal that has a similar combination of protein, starch, and green:
The meal is from Jean P's Soul Food Express, which is on the corner of Adams and Figueroa, tucked into a plaza that is dominated by 7-Eleven and Popeye's Chicken. I had ridden my bike past it numerous times, and was always intrigued by the rusting barbecue grill that they keep in the parking lot. I was skeptical, though, of a place that advertised 99-cent food, so I assuaged my fears first by reading reviews of the place on Yelp.com (oh Yelp, where would we be without ye?).
I walked in at about one in the afternoon and the place was nearly empty. The place is very small, with room for approximately 10 people in the dining area. The buffet was piled with southern food: collard greens, macaroni and cheese, hot links, and many other things that I can't recall at the moment. There was one other person ahead of me, and when I went to order, the woman behind the counter said "Wait a minute, baby." Something about Southern women allows them to get away with calling anyone "baby," I love it.
The meal came to about $8.00 and was actually enough for both a satisfying lunch and dinner for me. The collard greens were some of the best I've had 'round these parts, and the macaroni and cheese was fantastic, creamy and cheesy but still not overwhelmingly rich. The fried chicken was not the most spectacular I've had (which was at Babe's & Ricky's Inn on a Monday night), but it was good, especially with the Louisiana-style hot sauce.
Next time I go, I'll have to actually try some of that barbecue that comes from their parking lot grill!
Jean P's Soul Food Express
2540 S. Figueroa St.