Mannie’s Fire Feast Review: Gud Cooking, LLC

October 17, 2022

It’s a new week, so there is a new opportunity for me to find some fire eats in Southern Illinois. For this edition of Mannie’s Fire Feast Review, I visited Carbondale’s Gud Cooking, LLC. The restaurant’s location is 715 N Giant City Road. 

The restaurant makes soul food, or what I would like to call comfort food. Gud Cooking, LLC is one of the few restaurants, if not the only one in town where you could get such a meal. So without further ado, let’s see if the restaurant can make our taste buds sizzle and tingle in a good way!



Food Flavor: 2 

I probably ordered more than I needed because I was very excited to go to a restaurant like this in town. I ordered baked chicken, candied yams, macaroni and cheese, cabbage and a corn muffin. I also ordered a colleague of mine some fried chicken wings. 

The baked chicken had no flavor whatsoever and lacked a dash of seasoning. I requested a side of barbecue sauce to help add some flavor, but it wasn’t good. The macaroni and cheese was also underwhelming. There was barely any cheese, and it tasted like plain pasta noodles. 

The candied yams tasted great! There was a sweet cinnamon taste to it that made me finish the side dish expeditiously. The cabbage was also good and had the proper seasoning and herb taste. However, the corn muffin tasted burnt and had no sweetness to it. 

Lastly, I had a chance to eat one of the fried chicken wings from my colleague’s plate. The chicken tasted satisfactory, was sufficiently seasoned and had a good aftertaste to it. The chicken wings didn’t need any sauce on them because it was seasoned fine. 

I’m giving the food flavor a generous score of two flames. I didn’t finish my food and didn’t take any home with me. 



Food Texture: 3 

Despite the baked chicken not being seasoned well, it was cooked at a great temperature because the meat fell off the bone. The candied yams and cabbage were soft and smooth, which made for great digestion of the food. 

The chicken wings had a good balance of crunch on the outside and tenderness on the inside. The macaroni and cheese was overcooked, and the noodles felt a bit hard during consumption. The corn muffin was harder than a physics exam. Usually, corn muffins are supposed to be buttery and soft, but this was not the case here. 

The food texture receives three flames. Although some sides were overcooked, the restaurant did a satisfactory job ensuring that the meat was adequately cooked. 


Food Presentation: 2.5 

The restaurant uses the simple approach of putting all its meals in a Styrofoam takeout container. This approach is great for takeout but not so great when dining in. 

The containers were durable, so there was no fear of the food spilling. The restaurant also uses plastic utensils and provides paper napkins. 

For food presentation, the appropriate score is two and a half flames. On the one hand, I think it’s good that the restaurant gives everyone food containers because once they are done eating, they can either toss it or take it. But, this isn’t an ideal method for dine-in patrons. 


Customer Service: 2 

I arrived on a slow night, and no other customers were inside the space. The cashier seemed reserved and wasn’t interested in engaging much about the menu. 

Once the food arrived, the waiter just brought the food to the table and walked outside. I also requested sauce on the side, but it wasn’t given to me. I had to walk to the front and ask the cook to provide me with the sauce. 

The cook came out and checked on us, so I credited them there. For customer service, I am giving the restaurant two flames. It wasn’t the best dining experience I’ve had with a server. There is room for improvement. 


Value/Price: 2.5 

The baked chicken and sides were less than $25. The six-piece chicken wings were roughly $11 but didn’t include any sides. 

The restaurant gives you pretty sizable portions of the food. However, the price is not cheap and would be workable if you almost guarantee that the food would be good. For the value/price category, the restaurant receives two and a half flames.


Convenience: 5  

The restaurant is located inside a plaza and shares a parking lot with other businesses. The parking is free, and there are tons of spaces available for drivers to park. 

A significant part of the restaurant’s appeal is its location and how it benefits from being next to more popular businesses in town. The convenience score that best fits the restaurant is five flames. 


Cleanliness: 4  

Finally, the restaurant’s cleanliness. I fully scanned the restaurant and was generally satisfied with its ambiance. 

There was a hand sanitizer dispenser in the front of the restaurant. The tables were all cleared and cleaned. The restaurant also uses plastic utensils and containers, which are safe in the middle of a pandemic.

The restaurant’s minor interior design defect is that they are still remodeling. I thought it was pretty neat that the restaurant had luxury massage chairs in the back; however, they were covered in plastic. I am giving the cleanliness criterion four flames. 


Overall Score: 3 

The overall score that Gud Cooking, LLC will receive is three flames. I believe if the restaurant could add a little bit more soul to their food’s taste, the customer experience would dramatically improve. However, until that time, I will be on the search for fire eats!


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