Gloria’s Kitchen is another one of those places that could be considered “off the beaten path,” or at the very least a “hole in the wall.” Yet “discovering” Gloria’s and realizing how convenient it actually is does Gloria’s a disservice. Despite it’s easy-to-find location, Gloria’s is tucked into a corner of town where most metro residents likely don’t often go. Located on Bailey Avenue in what appears to be an aged and weathered building, Gloria’s Kitchen is truly a diamond in the rough.
There are just a few mismatched tables and chairs in Gloria’s, some of which appear to be old lawn furniture. But Gloria’s is definitely clean and comfortable. Upon arrival, we parked aroun’ back. As we approached the front door, we were greeted with “it’s about time y’all found us.” And just in case you needed them…there were also voter registration forms on the “front porch” of Gloria’s.
Once inside we were greeted and told to seat ourselves where we were comfortable. Gloria’s is a small restaurant. Two TV’s sit atop two refrigerators in the dining room. One is for the closed circuit system and you can watch yourself dine. The other was tuned to WLBT for the noon hour news. The walls are decorated with the portraits of African American heroes and heroines.
There is a board posted with the day’s specials and other menu choices. Plus, a printed menu is available. The number of choices is amazing: fried chicken, baked chicken, spaghetti, chicken spaghetti, red beans, hamburger steak and on and on. The sides were not limited either: rice and gravy, green beans, greens, corn, corn nuggets, mac and cheese, limas, peas, and more.
The fried chicken is some good yardbird. Hot, crispy, salty. It is plain good fried chicken. A close second was the red beans and rice. Because I asked real nice, they let me try the red bean as a side instead of the entrée. The beans were seasoned – that is my biggest gripe with some other area red beans – I think most are under seasoned. These were not. And the sausage. The sausage was delicious. Really, it was smoky and had a good bite to it. This was some really good sausage. I wished I would have asked where they got it. We also tried their version of chicken spaghetti. Perhaps there was a miscommunicae’ about what that was or what we ordered, but what came out was a cream of mixture of chicken, noodles, black pepper and cheese. This was the only dish I would not try again; think hospital food.
The sides were all seasoned and good. The green beans were your standard fare, but cooked with experienced hands on the salt, pepper and bacon grease shaker. The macaroni was just about the cheesiest mac and cheese I have ever seen. It should have been cheese and macaroni. I also had some corn nuggets. I am a sucker for corn nuggets.
SERVICE: Service is good, friendly smiles and a welcoming spirit abound.
ATMOSPHERE: “Hole in the wall” only begins to describe Gloria’s, dearly loved, and an anchor in its community. Gloria’s has redefined “off the beaten path” and is now a regular spot for lunch.