should there be a soul food forum topic?

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marberthenad
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2004/06/05 09:28:39 (permalink)

should there be a soul food forum topic?

When I was downtwon Philly a few years ago, I went to a small hole in the wall bbq/soul food restaurant that served really good pigs feet and other soul food delicacies. I haven't been able to find something similar (maybe the Florida Avenue Grill has it, but I always end up there for breakfast.

Any soul food suggestions in the DC metro area?

And shouldn't we have a separate topic for soul food? Or does BBQ cover the soul gambit?

#1

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    shanklemsw
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/05 21:45:34 (permalink)
    Soul food and BBQ are different. I say start a new topic yay![:o)
    #2
    shanklemsw
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/05 21:47:36 (permalink)
    I used to live in Dc and I loved the Fl Ave Grill AND Ben's Chili bowl! I went to Howard so I was around there often.
    #3
    EdSails
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/07 20:50:55 (permalink)
    There is a place here in LA called M&M Soul Food (I think they've got several locations around the Los Angeles area). Killer smothered pork chops and BBQ shortribs with all the sides----greens, cornbread, corn etc. A great place!
    #4
    tiki
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/08 08:07:09 (permalink)
    I'd be there!--hopefully, i may have just found place to lkist in it---noticed it the other day in Muskogee and though i havent eaten there yet---the building is one of those classics that most folks dont even notice---but roadfooders are inexplicably--sp?-drawn to them. I dont even know it name yet, but had noticed "Soul food" painted on the wall---went past it a noon time for the first time and saw cars---i had thought it was long closed until then--planning on check it out in the next week or two--will let you know how it goes.

    #5
    emsmom
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/08 09:47:50 (permalink)
    We had a soul food restaurant in our downtown area but it recently closed. It was called Moma Nems.

    It served Collard Greens, Pintos, Cracklin Cornbread, Fried chicken with waffles, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, country style steak, pork chops and lots of other soul food dishes. The smells coming from it always smelled so good. It had to close due to downtown redevelopment though.
    #6
    Kristi S.
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/08 11:20:27 (permalink)
    Mmmmm. chicken & waffles!


    We had a soul food thansgiving last November...smoked turkey, collards, yams, mac&cheese, sweet potato pie, cornbread muffins...one of the best I have yet turned out!
    #7
    Milt
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 09:28:23 (permalink)
    Soul food, as has already been said, is quite different from BBQ. The greatest similarity, in my mind, is with what is referred to as southern. As a long time (22 years) Georgia resident who grew up in New Mexico - I think the difference in the two terms is racial/ethnic. Southern cuisine is from white operated restaurants and soul food is from African-American operated restaurants. Many times the dishes are identical. There is, at least, a lot of overlap in the menus. I would vote for a soul food/southern cuisine board. When I lived in my hometown in northwestern New Mexico there was only once place where I could get grits with my breakfast. Everyone else served hash browns only. A place to focus on this food, especially outside of the southeast, would be very helpful.
    #8
    Art Deco
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 10:54:32 (permalink)
    I've been delaying posting to this thread while trying to get my thoughts together on the subject. Fortunately, Milt's post said it better than I could have. My only suggestion would be that rather than saying "Southern Cuisine", which I think more accurately refers to high-end restaurants incorporating traditional southern ingredients into more refined presentations, to make it a "Meat & Three/Soul Food" forum. That is, if you must have a separate forum. To my mind this just belongs in the "Lunch" forum, same as for Diners. As Milt stated above, there is little distinction (in the Nashville area, anyway) save for the race of the ownership. You rarely see or hear "soul food" used in this area -- they are all generally lumped together as "meat & three"...
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    Rusty246
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 11:36:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by emsmom

    We had a soul food restaurant in our downtown area but it recently closed. It was called Moma Nems.

    It served Collard Greens, Pintos, Cracklin Cornbread, Fried chicken with waffles, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, country style steak, pork chops and lots of other soul food dishes. The smells coming from it always smelled so good. It had to close due to downtown redevelopment though.

    We have a place very similar to this here call "A & B Soul Food". It's delicious! Ox tails and gravy over rice is the number one seller, then chicken gizzards. Family owned, no chain here, which is very rare for where I live.
    #10
    Alexander
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 12:00:15 (permalink)
    At the risk of becoming embroiled in a flame war, I suggest that it be call "Southern Cooking." Please do not use the term "cuisine," which puts entirely too high-faluting (see, we can use a "g" at the end of a word) an aspect on the whole thing.

    In my experience as a life-long Southerner, I have never encountered any foods labeled "soul food" that wasn't plain-old southern cooking. Nothing on the list given above by Emsmom, or anything else on this thread is anything but ordinary everyday fare in the south. For instance, I've been eating ox-tail since I was old enough to suck the bone (this from a born and bred Charlestonian), and the same is true for most of the other foods mentioned as soul-food, although I remember hearing someone say "Nice people don't eat collards." If people would care to do a little research, they will find that the term itself is of relatively recent origin, coinciding roughly with the popularity of James Brown's "Soul Music", or certainly not much before. I never heard "meat and three" until within the last few years.

    I think the major movements in population have stirred up the terminology, not always in a helpful manner.
    #11
    Rusty246
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 12:04:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Alexander

    At the risk of becoming embroiled in a flame war, I suggest that it be call "Southern Cooking." Please do not use the term "cuisine," which puts entirely too high-faluting (see, we can use a "g" at the end of a word) an aspect on the whole thing.

    In my experience as a life-long Southerner, I have never encountered any foods labeled "soul food" that wasn't plain-old southern cooking. Nothing on the list given above by Emsmom, or anything else on this thread is anything but ordinary everyday fare in the south. For instance, I've been eating ox-tail since I was old enough to suck the bone (this from a born and bred Charlestonian), and the same is true for most of the other foods mentioned as soul-food, although I remember hearing someone say "Nice people don't eat collards." If people would care to do a little research, they will find that the term itself is of relatively recent origin, coinciding roughly with the popularity of James Brown's "Soul Music", or certainly not much before. I never heard "meat and three" until within the last few years.

    I think the major movements in population have stirred up the terminology, not always in a helpful manner.


    The only way in my opinion to eat oxtails is with your fingers and to suck the meat off the bone, never once reaching for a napkin until they're all gone. I would like your recipe if your willing to share.
    #12
    mayor al
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 14:06:41 (permalink)

    Years back Mother would do an Ox-Tail stew..haven't enjoyed that for a generation. I happened across Ox-Tails in the Meat Dept the other day ...at $3.75 a lb. I don't think many of the "forefathers" no matter what ethnic origin they had, would jump to buy them at that price.
    #13
    1bbqboy
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 14:49:07 (permalink)
    Ox tails were a daily menu item at the late, lamented Sanderson's Lunch on 8th street in KC. On a larger scale, and I know we've had this discussion in the past, narrowing down a forum to one region seems counter to finding the next special roadfood place. I still think we need a "Regional Specialties"
    spot , divided geographically, where we can talk about food that's native to a certain area, but might have migrated to other parts of the country. Southern cooking Is a worthy topic, but every part of the country has food that's a part of the culture. The interest in the BBQ in NY event certainly illustrates that.
    Here's a great KC place: http://www.peachtreekansascity.com

    Bill
    #14
    Rusty246
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 14:54:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    Years back Mother would do an Ox-Tail stew..haven't enjoyed that for a generation. I happened across Ox-Tails in the Meat Dept the other day ...at $3.75 a lb. I don't think many of the "forefathers" no matter what ethnic origin they had, would jump to buy them at that price.

    Oxtails are very expensive here too and the way they are packaged makes no sense. There will be like 5 small to medium ones then 2 or 3 large ones. I guess I could ask the meat cutter to repackage so that the sizes are more uniform(when I want to fork out the cash). One of my co-workers Mother makes them all the time but it doesn't sound like a stew. I believe she simmers them in water with a little salt and onions until the water is simmered out and the ox tails start to brown, she adds fresh water back to the pot which is where she begins the gravy process...that's when magic happens. I do know that ox tails are not something you cook when you're in a hurry.
    #15
    BarbaraCt
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 16:39:52 (permalink)
    I would like to add, that even though I live in Ct. now, I was born and raised in Georgia. I left shortly after graduating from the University of Ga, (HI Ort). I NEVER had chicken and waffles. It is a relatively recent dish.
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    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 18:02:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by marberthenad

    When I was downtwon Philly a few years ago, I went to a small hole in the wall bbq/soul food restaurant that served really good pigs feet and other soul food delicacies. I haven't been able to find something similar (maybe the Florida Avenue Grill has it, but I always end up there for breakfast.

    Any soul food suggestions in the DC metro area?

    And shouldn't we have a separate topic for soul food? Or does BBQ cover the soul gambit?




    Marberthenad,
    YAY!!!!! to you for your suggestion! Although "soul" food encompasses items well-covered elsewhere, it is enough of a subgenre to merit its own thread.
    Athens has several "soul" places of merit: Weaver D's on East Broad Street, Wilson's on North Hull Street, Chonell's in the Kroger Shopping Center on West Broad Street are the first three that flip out of my head. There are surely six or seven others as well.
    Atlanta has several killers: Paschal's, relocated to posh new digs on Northside Drive, N/W, is the first stop. Then I can recommend The Busy Bee Cafe on old West Hunter Street, S/W (now M. L. K. Boulevard), which is soon to move into the old Paschal's location up the street. Also I've been recommended a place in West End - Chanterelle's on Evans St., S/W. Since I haven't driven to Atlanta since November, I've not tried anything yet... but I wil get there and will report back.
    Thanks for including The Florida Avenue Grill. It's a treasure, like The Coffee Cup or McDonald's Cafeteria in Charlotte.
    And thanks to Ray Charles for his use of the term "soul" so that it now has a wider meaning than it once literally did. The more I research his life to write a column about him, the more impressed I am - now I am in awe... just like I am over great soul food.
    My thanks also to Eel Ranch for taking me by Willie's in Waterbury, CT.
    Hung Up On Jazz And Funk, Ort. Carlton in my library soul pad in Athens, Georgia.
    #17
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/14 18:16:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pogophiles

    As Milt stated above, there is little distinction (in the Nashville area, anyway) save for the race of the ownership. You rarely see or hear "soul food" used in this area -- they are all generally lumped together as "meat & three"...


    Pogophiles,
    Much the same is now true in Atlanta and has been true in Charlotte for years. I think the reason for this is that these cities were less racist, more moderate, than many Southern cities of the same size; there has always been a large interplay between the Afro-American and white communities, not to mention integrated neighborhoods that have remained stable for 40-50 years.
    It does my heart good to see African-Americans running successful eateries - especially when they manage to attract more than a modicum of white clientele. Just a short generation ago, black folks' "place" was all too often in the kitchen and not at the cash register. Maybe the playing field is s-l-o-w-l-y being levelled. I have tried to help level it, whenever possible, one good plateful of food at a time, with honest and ample compliments when deserved.
    One of the best stories I can tell is of a locally-loved eatery in a friend's small Central Georgia hometown. The 45-plus-year owner retired and sold the place to her 25-plus-year head cook. The old owner had quietly integrated her cafe in the early 1960's (very few people even noticed; it wasn't a big deal even if it was historic). I refer to that as poetic justice. Everything has continued exactly as before, with only a handful of minor changes taking place. I wish more such history could have been made as quietly, as troublelessly, as painlessly.
    Nostalgic Just A Tad For Once - For Nashville, Ort. Carlton in Almost-As-Musical Athens, Georgia.
    #18
    Alexander
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/15 09:10:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen


    Years back Mother would do an Ox-Tail stew..haven't enjoyed that for a generation. I happened across Ox-Tails in the Meat Dept the other day ...at $3.75 a lb. I don't think many of the "forefathers" no matter what ethnic origin they had, would jump to buy them at that price.


    I seem to be particularly fortunate in that the butcher shop I frequent for ox-tails charges a lot less than $3.75/lb. Furthermore they bring out several whole ox-tails for me to select from. They then joint them for me so that when cooked, most of the gelatin will come over into the stew. And no worry about bone dust, either. Their regular sawed-up ones are packaged in 5 lb bags - What on earth is the use of cooking ox-tails if you're not going to eat a lot with the neighbors. If you don't have neighbors the eat ox-tails, move.


    #19
    Alexander
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/15 09:34:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty246

    The only way in my opinion to eat oxtails is with your fingers and to suck the meat off the bone, never once reaching for a napkin until they're all gone. I would like your recipe if your willing to share.


    I couldn't agree more - and don't use a napkin, use paper towels.

    As far as my recipe is concerned, it varies. I brown the ox-tails unfloured in lard, add water or beef stock, onions, carrots, maybe potatoes, and sometimes turnips or rutabagas, and occasionally some garlic. Some people use tomatoes, but I don't care for the acidity and flavor with ox-tail. Simmer for about 3 hours, stirring enough to keep it from sticking. Don't worry about the vegetables - they're still there, but you just don't recognize them anymore. Season with salt and pepper to your taste either at the beginning or end of cooking - I do it at the beginning and correct later. Thicken with flour and water to suit your taste (I like it thick), simmer it a while longer (don't let it stick), serve it over rice, and gnaw and suck those bones - the neighbors will hear the racket and come a-running.
    #20
    Rusty246
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/15 10:10:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Alexander

    quote:
    Originally posted by Rusty246

    The only way in my opinion to eat oxtails is with your fingers and to suck the meat off the bone, never once reaching for a napkin until they're all gone. I would like your recipe if your willing to share.


    I couldn't agree more - and don't use a napkin, use paper towels.

    As far as my recipe is concerned, it varies. I brown the ox-tails unfloured in lard, add water or beef stock, onions, carrots, maybe potatoes, and sometimes turnips or rutabagas, and occasionally some garlic. Some people use tomatoes, but I don't care for the acidity and flavor with ox-tail. Simmer for about 3 hours, stirring enough to keep it from sticking. Don't worry about the vegetables - they're still there, but you just don't recognize them anymore. Season with salt and pepper to your taste either at the beginning or end of cooking - I do it at the beginning and correct later. Thicken with flour and water to suit your taste (I like it thick), simmer it a while longer (don't let it stick), serve it over rice, and gnaw and suck those bones - the neighbors will hear the racket and come a-running.



    OMG! It's 10a and this is when I usually am the most hungry during the day. This sounds awesome and a must try. Somehow the watermelon I'm eating just doesn't measure up.....might have to break out the pork chop and okra/tomatoes. Thanks for sharing. I most definetly will try this Sunday.
    #21
    fcbaldwin
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/15 12:02:27 (permalink)
    I don't think I remember the term "soul food" being used much, if at all, until the 1970's. And it was then that I came to realize that "soul food" was just "home cookin'" in my personal experience. My mother grew up in rural central Louisiana (of Scotch-Irish lineage), and her knowledge of, and exposure to, cooking was of soul/southern/french-cajun-creole/meat+3. I can tell you that I definitely ate well while growing up!

    Frank

    PS: Still do!
    #22
    Hillbilly
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/15 12:22:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by BarbaraCt

    I would like to add, that even though I live in Ct. now, I was born and raised in Georgia. I left shortly after graduating from the University of Ga, (HI Ort). I NEVER had chicken and waffles. It is a relatively recent dish.

    I lived and traveled in the South for more than 60 years, still spend more than 50% of my time traveling around the Southeast, and I had never even heard of combining chicken and waffles until I saw it in this thread. Contraptions such as waffle irons would have been a real extravagance in southern kitchens, what with the versatility of the old black cast iron skillet.
    #23
    emsmom
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/15 12:44:46 (permalink)
    I also have lived in the Southeast for 50+ years and have never had chicken and waffles. I have recently seen them of the menus of several places, but to me, the combination sounds unusual. I'd rather have biscuits or rolls with my fried chicken. With my waffles, I want sausage and syrup or fruit.
    #24
    Pwingsx
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/16 15:09:20 (permalink)
    According to what I just heard on "Roker on the Road" last night, it's a misconception that people think that Chicken and Waffles is of southern origin.

    He said it originated in Harlem in the early part of tne twentieth century, in the 20's.
    #25
    i95
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/16 15:27:49 (permalink)

    http://www.chitterlings.com/
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    Extreme Glow
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/06/26 11:07:55 (permalink)
    What ever you guys want to call it, Delmonico Diner at corner of Euclid and Delmar in St. Louis.
    #27
    tiki
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/07/21 16:59:57 (permalink)
    Got the chance to check out the place id mentioned in Muscogee Ok---Stewarts Diner---open 11-5---and im glad i did! KILLER LUNCH STOP!--5.00 for meals that include pork chops,chopped pork,fried chicken,chitterlings--when they feel the urge,neck bones,--with 2 sides---mustard greens and red beans and rice for me--but they had plenty of others---and corn bread with every meal--light but not sweet!---the AC was weak but the fans were great and the lemonade homemade and exellent!---and two cakes and three pies too! The waitress said they never know what they will have on the menu---depends on whats available and how much it costs---and that they get alot of thier vegies froms friends gardens---very homey, great old diner like building---long with booths down the length and a few tables at the end ---the one next to the fan is nice----so if you ever in Muscogee---its on the Shawnee bypass just west of the new walmart----maybe that will bring them some new business,but they didnt seem to care if it did--they 90% of their business is locals that come in for lunch pretty regular---think i may be one of them!
    #28
    garykg6
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/07/21 17:14:40 (permalink)
    10 thumbs up for a 'soulfood' seperate category, soul food encompases much more than just BBQ
    Sylvia's in Harlem is the top of the mountain but there are loads of good eateries throughout other parts of NYC as well...anyone ever eat at 'Jack's nest'? might not be there anymore but what food! fried porkchops,fried whiting,sweet potato pie,oh my heart!!!!!
    #29
    Lone Star
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    RE: should there be a soul food forum topic? 2004/07/21 17:40:03 (permalink)
    My husband and I had lunch last weekend at the THIS IS IT! soul food restaurant near downtown Houston. As we were eating our BBQ rib ends, mashed potatoes and gravy, smothered cabbage, green beans and cornbread (with sweetea of course!) we were talking about the term "Soul Food". We both thought when we first started hearing the term in the 70's or so, that it must be something really different, only to find out it is what our mothers and grandmothers had fed us for years! 'cept maybe the chitlins .
    #30
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