Arnold's from Southern Foodways on Vimeo.

This is the first time we’ve ever seen Arnold’s when there wasn’t a line out the door snaking down the way. Got four minutes? Then check out this short film by Jordan Berger for Southern Foodways Alliance. Oh and that giant chasm between soul food and country people’s meat n 3? It’s really not that wide.

Phyllis Coleman, 61, of Memphis took the nightclub that she and her husband had opened and turned it into a soul food restaurant. And she sent him packing. Now Ms Coleman operates Madea’s Soul Food in Memphis. She runs through 150lbs of chitlins per shift and serves chicken and dumplings, blackeye peas (cooked with okra) and oxtails among other soul food staples. We’re putting her at the top of our Memphis list for our next visit.

Craig Joseph is a generational soul food restaurateur who owns This Is It in Houston. His grandparents founded the restaurant in Houston’s Fourth Ward in 1959. The restaurant, serving pepper steak, short ribs and ham hocks (among other delicacies) has since moved to the Third Ward.

Ya Ya’s House of Southern Cuisine has opened all the way up in Schenectady, New York. Schenectady is nearly three hours north of New York City if you were wondering. Ya Ya’s is featuring fried haddock, barbecue ribs and string beans amid a list of other soul food staples.

Tamiya King of the Atlanta Black Star wonders if we’re living in a belle epoque of soul food. The writer looks at the cuisine of the Fat Ham in Philadelphia, Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, and Salare in Seattle to make her case. Soul food cooks across the US are changing their techniques and incorporating new ingredients into old standard-bearer dishes, This is exciting news. Soul food is the backbone and template of our foods and we’re constantly analyzing how we can improve our output. As always we tend to turn towards Vietnam anytime we’re aiming to update our flavors. Maybe one day we’ll branch out.

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