Osgood File: Comfort Food

chicken dinner on a plate
It may be a sign of the times that one of the best home-cooked meals in America doesn't come from a home at all - it comes from a restaurant, Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Ga.

The former boarding house serves just two meals a day - breakfast and lunch - and if you don't mind waiting for a seat at one of the family-style tables, you can try some of Mrs. Wilkes' famous fried chicken. As she says: "If the Colonel made it as good as mine, he'd be a general!" Even at age 94, she still has the Southern charm that makes diners feel like they're eating at grandma's.

For those who want to re-create the Mrs. Wilkes experience, her recipes are collected in two cookbooks - one for sale only at the restaurant, the other available nationwide and on the Internet.

More information:
Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Cash only.

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room
107 West Jones Street
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 232-5997

Web site: www.mrswilkes.com

Buy "Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House Cookbook"
Here are two comfort food recipes taken from "Mrs. Wilkes' Boarding House Cookbook":

Fried Chicken:
(Serves 4 to 6)

1 (2 1/2 pound) fryer, cut up
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 tablespoons water
All-purpose flour
Vegetable oil


  1. Sprinkle the fryer with salt and pepper. Pour the milk and water over the fryer and marinate for about 10 minutes.
  2. Dip in a bowl of all-purpose flour. Shake off excess flour.
  3. Heat oil to 300 degrees and deep-fry (or heat oil to medium and pan-fry) the chicken. Make sure the chicken is covered with oil at all times.
  4. Fry until golden brown.
NOTE: This recipe can be used for pork chops, too.

Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
4 eggs beaten to a froth
3 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the macaroni in salted boiling water as directed on the package and drain.
  2. Return to the pot and add the butter, then the eggs and milk. Stir in the cheese and add salt to taste.
  3. Place in a gresed 1 1/2 quart casserole and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is firm but not dry.

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