BEST SOUL FOOD RESTAURANT - 2004
The food at Jumbo's certainly qualifies as soul food but will read, and eat, as simply Southern to anyone who has spent time in Georgia or the Carolinas. The iced tea is sweet, and the greens -- collard, mustard, kale, or turnip -- are salty with bobbing bits of fatback. Other sides, such as black-eyed peas, bring good luck as well as memories of holiday feasts. As is the case with many old-timey diners, the smell of batter and grease is deeply ingrained in all porous surfaces, and will remain with you as a reminder of your hearty meal until you next wash your hair. In Jumbo's case, the ageless odor is understandable -- the Liberty City restaurant has been in constant operation for more than 40 years. Open late, open early, and located just a short jaunt from I-95, Jumbo's survives on more than sentiment. The crackling fried chicken, generous shrimp platters, and groaning, comforting plates full of biscuits, gravy, corn, peas, and beans are beloved by many psyches. For that kind of well-being, you can forget fat and carb grams for a while.