Sweetie Pie's Kitchen (St. Louis, MO)
What you're getting: Show up on Saturday and score a whole catfish, ribs, and tips... for $11.75
Cooking up recipes brought to St. Louis via Mississippi generations ago, Sweetie Pie's is the fortunate child of Robbie Montgomery, a former backup singer for Tina Turner (and other lesser-known musicians like the Stones and Stevie Wonder). Sweetie Pie's two locations keep recipes grounded in tradition, serving up classics like oxtails and turkey wings alongside Jack salmon and roasted duck, plus some of the best neckbones around. Nevermind Mary. Miss Robbie might be the proudest woman this side of the river.
Casey's Buffet (Wilmington, NC)
What you're getting: Everything. Twice.
As Warren taught us, it's really tough, and really dubious, to trust a buffet. But Casey's is the real-deal, a soul food-lover's dream come true, and the perfect testing ground to the uninitiated, since they have pretty much everything: fried chicken, chitterlings, fatback, chops, okra... you name it. Unlike many buffets, everything is fresh, hot, and scratch-made. Pro tip: For optimal freshness, arrive right in the middle of the lunch rush, when the trays are being replaced with the freshest food possible. Also, never say no to the offered Kool-Aid. Unless you're dining with Jim Jones.