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Gambit's 2012 Winter Restaurant Guide: Soul Food 

BIG MOMMA'S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES 5741 Crowder Blvd., 241-2548; Fried chicken is tops at Big Momma's but grilled chicken strips also are available. Waffles are topped with strawberries and whipped cream. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch daily, dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

CAFE RECONCILE 1631 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 568-1157; This nonprofit youth training center and restaurant serves creamy crawfish bisque daily and seafood gumbo brimming with shrimp and crab on Fridays. Seasonal fruit cobblers are made with fillings such as peaches or mixed berries. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

FRAN'S PLACE 3100 Toledano St., 821-9876 Stop in for Creole comfort food dishes including fried chicken, chitlins, stuffed crabs, fried crawfish, crawfish pasta, red beans and gumbo. Side items include mustard greens, potato salad and cornbread stuffing. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun. Credit cards. $

FRERET STREET PO-BOYS & DONUTS 4701 Freret St., 872-9676; Roast beef stuffed with garlic is slow-cooked in gravy and served on a po-boy dressed with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. File gumbo brims with shrimp, chicken, oysters, smoked sausage, hot sausage and crab. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

LI'L DIZZY'S CAFE 1500 Esplanade Ave., 569-8997; The Whitney Wyndham Hotel, 610 Poydras St., 212-5656 Trout Baquet is topped with lump crabmeat and lemon butter sauce and served with salad and a side item. Southern fried chicken is served with red beans, greens or potato salad. Reservations accepted. Esplanade Avenue: breakfast and lunch daily, brunch Sun. Poydras Street: breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sun. Credit cards. $$

LIBERTY'S KITCHEN 422 1/2 S. Broad St., 822-4011; Boiled shrimp are tossed in remoulade and served over romaine lettuce with vinaigrette, hardboiled egg and pickled haricots vert. Traditional Leidenheimer bread cradles smoked sausage in a po-boy dressed with Creole mustard. No reservations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.-Fri. Credit cards. $

WILLIE MAE'S SCOTCH HOUSE 2401 St. Ann St., 822-9503 The renowned fried chicken is wet-battered and cooked according to an old family recipe. Green beans come with rice and gravy. Order bread pudding for dessert. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Credit cards. $

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