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Best Soul Food: Tenderness and gravy 

Nellie's Soul Food

Nellie and Quinette Ozen, the mother-daughter team who own this West Oakland restaurant, smother their chicken in tenderness and gravy. Love and smoked beef bacon imbue their greens with the kind of flavor that lingers on your lips for days. The Ozens' customers have followed them from one kitchen to another, and now that the pair have their own space, they reciprocate that devotion by pouring their generous hearts into their stewed oxtail, fried catfish, braised green beans, and sweet-potato pie. Sometimes the service is brusque, and the food may take a while to come, but when you taste the fried chicken, whose juicy interior is as fine as its nubbled, golden crust, all is forgiven.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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