Open daily 11:30 a.m. to midnight. No credit cards. Food: Buffet, plentiful choice of fair to middling food Style: Slightly refurbished from a chain restaurant Price: $5.95 at dinner, $3.25 at lunch
From outside, Chef's Table looks like an ex-drive-in restaurant. Inside, they have added blinking lights and stained-glass lamps over a stainless steel buffet line, but it remains a clean, plain sort of dining room. If you time your dinner right, you can hear the music coming from the lounge across the hall. Wednesday is the big earing night at Chef's Table, when the buffet focuses on soul food. But every night includes fried chicken and fish, several other hot entrees, salad, vegetables, and desserts in a revolving refrigerator.
The dinner has its high points - hot rolls brushed with butter, and barbecued ribs mildly tangy and tender are enough to make a meal. The fish cakes are piquant with sweet pickles, the fried chicken pungent with garlic; the bread pudding dense and lemony, to their credit. And on Wednesdays there are chitterlings, if that is your meat. The choice of vegetables - potato salad, greens, corn on the cob, fried rice, for a start - is eclectic, with some good while others drown in their steam table pools. But too many hours have the stews and fried fish sat over heat.Desserts are a full array of supersweet, vividly colored factory confections. Not much soul in this soul food.