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Monday, July 21, 2014

Stellar Soul Food on Capitol

Stella Js, Milwaukee
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Located inside a former church, Stella J’s Soul Food (7434 W. Capitol Drive) has been transformed into a roomy space accented with arched colored brick, the kind of setting one may at first mistake for the sort of Greek family eatery. Amid chicken and pork chops fried or smothered (that is, drowned in gravy), barbequed pork ribs and the chicken and waffles entrée (a rising presence among African American restaurants in the city), catfish makes for a flavorful, lightly filling spread. Two long, thin filets, crisply fried in what tastes like cornmeal, served on a large, white plate. Choose from two of a wide array of sides; greens on a recent visit combined turnip and mustard greens in a mix not soupy but with a pleasant grittiness. Speckled butter beans come in a uniformly rich maroon color, unlike the traditional green variety. Yams might be a good pick to accompany a main dish, too, to give a bit of moisture to the griddlecake of cornbread.