I'm a fried chicken fanatic, so living in South LA, I'm in nirvana -- where there are soul food restaurants and fried chicken fast food citadels on almost every corner. Now I don't eat fried poultry all the time, but I do have a weak spot for a "2 Pieces for 99 Cents Tuesday Special" from the local Popeye's Fried Chicken outlet. (Be sure to check-out my Popeye's excursion in "My 99 Cent Dinner With Nuno" video, to see what a typical Tuesday is like - just click here.)
Where there is fried chicken there are tasty sides. Popeye's has a delicious Dirty Rice, M & M's Soul Food makes the best Corn Muffins, Roscoe's has waffles, and Cajun's Fabulous Fried Chicken has an eight ounce serving of Gumbo for a dollar (plus tax.) It's an incredible deal that I have to try every time I drive by. And fortunately it's only a mile away in a mini-mall, on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Coliseum Street (for a map click here.) I first stopped there to try their fried chicken (which is quite good) and spied a "Gumbo for $1" sign. It's well within my price range and what's to lose? It is an 8 ounce serving in a Styrofoam container that they give you in a brown paper bag, along with a white plastic spoon, paper napkins, and a packet with two saltine crackers.
Since there was no seating I retired to the parking lot and onto my front car seat, turned on 90.7 FM's Reggae Central, and dug in. They serve it pipping hot, so I couldn't wolf it down, thus allowing time for savoring. As I scooped and stirred the contents around, I was surprised how substantial it was. It's only 8 ounces, but it's loaded: huge pieces of chicken, in a broth filled with veggies and rice -- there's even a few small bay shrimp and thin slices of what appears to be real Cajun Andouille sausage, which gives the broth a rich complex flavor.
The broth is tomato based and is very spicy - so this is best paired with a cold beverage like beer or ice tea. The chicken is mostly white meat, and the veggies are chunky bits of bell pepper, carrot, onion and celery. On the bottom is white rice -- it's a very hearty Gumbo. Everything I like is in it, except one thing.
click here to see a video of my Mom's homemade recipe. A typical gumbo starts off with a dark brown Roux (cooked flour) as the base, so you get a slight nutty and flour/gravy flavor - this $1 Gumbo is missing it -- or has very little. But I'm being picky, it really is a fabulous find.
So if you are ever in the 'hood and want a deliciously cheap quick to-go, give Cajun's Fabulous Fried Chicken's $1 Gumbo a try, and tell them The 99 Cent Chef sent you. I can also recommend their fried chicken. And for all you out-of-towners, just check out my video below to see what I'm talking about.
If anyone else has an incredible dining deal around where you live, leave a comment and let everyone know. I'll make a note of it, and if ever I'm in your area I'll be sure to drop by sometime!
$1 Gumbo in Los Angeles - VIDEO
Play it here. Video runs 2 minutes, 53 seconds.
To view or embed from YouTube, click here.
Address: 4501 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90016
phone: 323) 290-0001
For map click here.