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Who doesn't like soul food?  You? You must be a communist!  You? You damned socialist!

I'll admit that soul food is like Five Guys Burgers for the meat-lovers:  more than once or twice a year will make you make you fat and give you CAD.

But I visited Chef Eddie's located in Washington Shores on Orange Center Boulevard this morning with two close friends.  It's just off JYP on Orange Center.

The menu selection was like trying to choose from an AYCE buffet.  My dish of choice was Fish and Waffles, and among the three of us, we split a breakfast appetizer of fried green tomatoes.  Fried catfish and fried green tomatoes -- yikes!  I'll need to pray the rosary or say a few Hail Mary's for that, and I'm not even Catholic.

One of my partners had salmon croquettes with grits and eggs, the other had a traditional breakfast of eggs, meat and home-fries.  All was good.

The place used to be called Queen Bee's and is pretty spacious.  There's a grand piano and musical this-and-that in the back, so I presume there's some entertainment on weekends.  

I met Mr. Chef Eddie himself, a congenial man.  The sign outside says "Grand Opening" but he told me they've been open for two years. Nothing wrong with a long celebration.  Prices are incredibly low and the amount of food they give you can last for three meals.

Best soul/southern food in Orlando?  It may well be.  We will return for dinner -- can I get a witness?

This restaurant is underrated. The food tastes great & prices are great along with the amount of they serve.

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My husband and I had been on a diet for a week and decided we needed a "cheat day".  I found the reviews of Chef Eddie's and decided to try it.  In all my years in Orlando, I had never been to the Washington Shores area.  I guess it is a good thing because my husband and I would need to diet for 20 years!

We walked into Chef Eddies (in a small strip plaza) and was greeted enthusiastically.It was not a large place but they had plenty of seating (until word gets out).  Diane was our server.  She had a great smile and was a wonderful server.  She never let the tea get empty and was quick on any request.

We decided if we were going to cheat, we were going to go big.  Our meal included appetizers, dinner and dessert!  

Diane brought over the jalapeno corn bread muffin with honey butter.  My husband does not even like cornbread and he ate the entire thing down without the butter!  When the owner (Eddie) found out we did not try the butter he brought out another one to try with the butter.  Wow, add a bit of sweetness with the kick of the jalapeno and you have an addiction.

We had the garlic shrimp and scallop appetizer.  They were served in heavy butter, garlic, old bay (I think) and garlic bread.  Good but I would say "save room for dinner" because you will need it!

We ordered the BBQ (this time).  I chose the ribs and my husband went with the combo platter (chicken, pulled pork and ribs).  The chicken meat fell off the bone-literally.  The ribs were very meaty and moist.  The pulled pork rivals any competitor (even the famous bbq off Fairbanks ave).  Now the side dishes are really special.  I went down home---give me some mac & cheese and sweet potato casserole.  I know---bad for the diet-pure carbs but oh, so worth it!  You could tell he used love in making these dishes.  The casserole was sweet and the mac & cheese was rich.

We had to close out our meal with dessert.  I chose the Gran Marnier chocolate cake and my husband chose the carrot cake.  They were so good that we did not even share with each other!  The chocolate was rich and you could taste the liquor (just a hint).  My husband said the carrot cake was dense and the frosting was just sweet enough.  The couple next to us had the peach cobbler and they were "oohing and aahing".

We took home leftovers. The portion sizes of the dinner was huge.  Chef Eddie came out a few times to make sure we were enjoying dinner and was welcomed us back as we were heading out.

We will be back.  Maybe we should travel to the west side of Orlando more often!  Thanks for a great experience Eddie and Diane.

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