Po’Man’s Kicked Up Soul Food offers healthy take on soul food

chwright@macon.comOctober 26, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Soul food has often been deemed unhealthy, but Carl and Terri Murray set out to change the notion years ago by opening Po’Man’s Kicked Up Soul Food.

“It seems like a lot of times people want to get away from soul food because it’s fattening,” said Carl Murray. “It’s not fattening.”

A trip to Po’Man’s is equal to a trip to Big Mama’s, right down to the Styrofoam cups and plates. It’s a homey atmosphere for a home-cooked meal that’s neither over-seasoned nor without flavor.

There are sandwiches and snack foods, but what’s the point of going to a soul food restaurant if not for the soul food?

There are nine entrees: liver and onions, baked or fried chicken, gizzards, pork chops, chitterlings, meatloaf, fried fish, oxtails and a veggie plate. Not all entrees are always available, such as the chitterlings.

Each meal is served with a hoe cake, a pancake-shaped breading that tastes much like sweet corn bread, and two side dishes.

The mac-n-cheese is one of my favorites because it’s nowhere near Kraft-y. Just the clumpy cheese tells you so.

My least favorite is the collard greens. They’re a bit too bland for my taste. But that’s just it with collard greens, the taste depends on the person. My co-worker enjoyed the greens very much.

Of the entrees, the pork chops are by far the highlight of a long week.

If you order the smothered pork chop, you have the added bonus of a bed of rice beneath it (plus your two sides).

Unfortunately, the utensils are plastic and don’t help much with table manners. Maybe eating them with your fingers is part of the home-like experience. For me, the taste outweighs the lack of proper utensils.

For dessert, Terri Murray makes Baby Cakes. I’d say they’re oversized cupcakes, except that wouldn’t do them justice. The moist miniature cakes come in several flavors.

But like the entrees, not all are always available.

Overall, Po’Man’s reaches the top of the go-to list when you’re looking for a home-cooked meal made by someone else.

The downside is the business still has some kinks to work out when it comes to uniformity and reliability.

In addition to missing menu items, there aren’t any store hours posted and the phone sometimes rings to the answering machine even when the restaurant is open.

Po’Man’s Kicked Up Soul Food

Address: 409 North Commercial Circle, Warner Robins

Phone: (478) 225-9498

Hours: No specific hours posted

Payment: Cash, credit, debit

Smoking: No

Alcohol: No

Kids Menu: No

Noise Level: Low

Health Rating: 89

Price range: $5-$12

Rating: 3 stars

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