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CLOSED Like all good soul-food eateries, Willy D's sits across the street from a storefront church, and its dining room has zero ambiance. Service is friendly and laid-back. (Northerners should be advised to slow their roll, lest they be requesting dessert while the waitress is still writing down the appetizers.) Health is not Willy D's first objective. Here even the vegetables-okra, collard greens, corn on the cob-come battered and fried. The okra, a Southern staple, is fine, but the others are more intriguing. Take slow-cooked, tissue-tender greens, wad them into balls, batter them in a thin, Pronto Pup-like batter, and cook them in hot fat. Take half a cob, coat its sweet, plump kernels in a different but equally light batter, and fry it until it's encased in a light-brown jacket. No need for salt or butter. There are better places for barbeque ribs and pulled pork in the Twin Cities, but it's hard to find more heavenly fried chicken. Dinners are made to order, which takes about 20 minutes, but it's well worth the wait.
A half-dozen or so years ago, Minneapolis's soul-food scene was really cooking. The heart of it was Lucille's Kitchen, which served home-style meals with a side of social and political activism and functioned as something of the North Side's de... More »
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