In an industrial part of Englewood populated largely by empty lots, factory buildings, and fast-food restaurants is the 77-year-old Washburne Culinary Institute—and inside of that is Sikia Restaurant, where Washburne students prepare and serve food in a room full of white tablecloths, tasteful artwork, and soothing music. Sadly, the $7 three-course meal that Sikia used to offer is no more (though the website still advertises it), but all the entrees are under $10, and most of the appetizers and desserts are $3. And you can make your own $7 meal by ordering the $4 crawfish-and-andouille grits along with the $3 rhubarb cobbler. While the grits are technically a starter, the generous bowl of rich, creamy grits topped with bits of tender crawfish and spicy andouille sausage is enough for a meal—especially if it’s followed by the cobbler, which is more like a mini rhubarb galette, ingeniously topped by a buttery cookie shard that keeps the frozen yogurt on top of it from melting all over the warm dessert. It’s best to call ahead for reservations and to make sure the restaurant will be open; it closes when the students are on break, and the website tends to be out of date (regular hours are 11 AM to 1 PM Thursdays and Fridays).
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