So it's been a while since you visited your cousins in Alabama, but you can't forget their sweet fried okra or tender collard greens. That's why, every so often, you simply must splurge with some Southern-style soul food at Coco's.
The sparse space is conveniently located inside the Loop's financial district. The lunch crowd piles in at around noon. Most order their Southern-fried guilty pleasure ahead of time and pick it up to bring back to the office. For those who can wait 10 minutes for chicken wings, fried seafood or a little longer for half-pound turkey burgers, there are nearly 10 tables for waiting. This is a no-fuss kind of place; lunch comes out on paper trays and in take-out boxes. Coco's is most well-known for its deep-fried lobster, $10.50 for the small portion and $21 for the large. The juicy, tender bits come served with a sweet cocktail-type sauce, thick fries and a few bites of coleslaw. For $7.95, the daily special is served exactly as it is at most places below the Mason-Dixon line: choice of one meat (pork chops, wings or fish), two sides (mac 'n' cheese, yams, greens, pinto beans, white rice, cabbage) and, of course, freshly baked corn bread. Make sure to bring cash, as the restaurant does not accept credit cards.
The crew at Coco's doesn't just serve Southern food, they give hospitality with a warm welcome and easy conversation. Want to bring a little heart and soul to your next event? Coco's caters with small pans of wings, catfish or perch and a selection of sides.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Pasha Carroll