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November 30th, 1999 Deeda Schroeder | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Cheap Eats 2008

     
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In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it storefront in Northeast Portland’s Woodlawn neighborhood hides a new place for real Southern comfort food, from cornmeal-crusted catfish to collard greens. Chef Jewel Thomas’ catfish ($11.95) alone could be the basis of a business: crunchy cornmeal coating envelops a tender, generous portion of the super-moist, sweet fish. A seafood stew called the Sandra Lee ($12.60) is packed with shell-on shrimp, crab, crawfish and bone-in chicken, held together with a thick, heavily seasoned tomato broth. Choosing the two sides that often come with your entree can be the ultimate challenge. You cannot pass on the greens: either collards or mustard. They’re both tender and smoky, and there’s never enough. Or try the pimiento-studded corn and okra, a savory, rich combo that’s actually vegetarian. Don’t come to Izogie’s if you’re in a rush. The pace is slower here; people come in off the street to visit and linger, and the kitchen timing appears to be driven by the food itself—most of it delivered hot and straight from the stovetop—rather than getting diners in and out. (DS)

 
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