Move over Paula Deen – the real queen of southern cooking is and always has been Sema Wilkes and the recipes that live on through her restaurant, Mrs. Wilkes. Started as a boardinghouse in 1943, locals and visitors have been lining up for her food since 1970. Mrs. Wilkes is no longer with us, but her recipes continue through 4 generations of family and workers who have been preparing them for decades.
I dont regret much in life, but I do regret not eating more at Mrs. Wilkes. Now wish I had that 2nd piece of fried chicken and another bisquit; I left satiated, not stuffed. In retrospect, this was one of the best meals I’ve had all year, including meals at Michelin starred restaurants.
“Get there before 10 for the 11am seating,” warned Rebekah, my co-worker and expert in all things southern, Brooklyn or food oriented. I followed her instructions and was there at about 9:45, putting me first in line. Seconds later, 5 women emerged from different cars and joined me. By 10am the line was down the block.