Best 99-Cent Menu

Lena's Soul Food Cafe

Dollar menus have long been the purview of fast-food chains, and highly processed, sugar-laden foods are the name of the game. You get what you pay for, as they say. Lena's turns that paradigm on its head by putting a variety of slow-cooked, homemade items on its popular 99-cent menu. Everything at this family-run restaurant is served cafeteria-style, and it's not health food by any stretch. But dishes like rice smothered in rich pork gravy, fried chicken drumsticks and thighs (fried in small batches throughout the day), and beef hot links (glazed with a sticky-sweet barbecue sauce) are good for the pocketbook and the soul. Thrifty diners can cobble together an entire meal ordering exclusively off the 99-cent menu; those with hearty appetites can top off their dinner combo — say, a plate of oxtails or smothered pork chops — with a couple of sides.

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