Soul food should be simple, decadent, and reasonably priced. The salty, butter-soaked grub should send your body into an energized, heart-racing rage by the meal’s end, with pupils dilated from the salt rush of the meal. It’s not exactly healthy, but you don’t eat it to trim down the waist; you eat soul food because it’s the mother of all comfort foods. Enter Uncle Willie’s Original BBQ, a dive joint with some of the most delicious barbecue chicken and beef brisket in the East Bay, delivering the soul essentials for a reasonable downtown Oakland price. Although it serves up sliced bread plastic-wrapped, the thick and delicious chunks of the saucy barbecued meat, the mouth-watering collard greens, and thick and creamy potato salad bring about memories of Louisiana cooking. The portions are large, too; a $12 dinner will be quite fine for either one ravenous eater or two nibblers. And if you’re really ambitious, grab some of the deep-fried catfish while you’re at it.