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Flavors Soul Food
Smoked or fried? Pick your pleasure at this hidden soul food spot.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published October 11, 2006
Cheap Eats (2009)

Flavors Soul Food
Address: 3420 Carlyn Hill Dr., Falls Church, VA 22041
Phone: 703-379-4411
Neighborhood: Falls Church, Baileys Crossroads
Cuisines: Soul Food, Southern, American
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Friday 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 5:30 to 9; Saturday 2 to 9; Sunday 1 to 7.
Kid Friendly: Yes
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Best Dishes Fried chicken; fried pork chops; fried whiting and croaker; smoked ribs; smoked-pork-shoulder sandwich; potato salad; candied yams; mashed potatoes.
Price Details: Sandwiches $5.75 to $6.50; dinners $7.95 to $10.95
Special Features:
Kid Friendly, Good for Groups

From June 2006 Cheap Eats

The first time, you might drive right past this drab building set back from a muddy parking lot next to a complex of garden apartments. But Francine Helton and her two sons have been running this kitchen for close to a decade, and once people find it, they come back.

During the week, workday regulars pile in for lunch. Weekends are a quieter stream of churchgoers, couples, and guys looking up from their meat-and-twos to catch a minute of a Redskins game or the Food Network, depending on the season.

The Heltons are experts at smoking and frying. It takes 20 minutes for Troy Helton to fry his chicken. Wait it out in a booth--he'll yell when it's done. Faithful to his Virginia great-grandmother's recipe, it's a juicy, hulking portion with a brittle, peppery crust. Pounded-thin pork chops and curling filets of whiting and croaker get similar, if quicker, treatment. Meat from a slab of ribs, smoked over hickory, glides off the bone. The smoked-pork-shoulder sandwich is tasty, too.

Our favorite side is the potato salad, both vinegary and creamy and thick with hard-boiled egg. Candied yams and pepper-spiked mashed potatoes are both winners. Mac n' cheese would benefit from a sharper cheddar but has a nice golden crust.

What's not to love? Maybe the greasy sweet-potato pie, the too-sweet tea that sits in a plastic cooler. But all that is easy to let go after one bite of fried chicken.

 



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Posted at 04:11 PM/ET, 10/11/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews