I have not spent anywhere near enough time in Harlem, New York.
When I watched the above video I realized I need to get up there right quick to do some eating at Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken. Owner Charles Gabriel is a North Carolinian who has lived in NYC for over 50 years. It’s anybody’s guess how much longer he’ll be able to keep his soul food joint open however. If you think Austin and New Orleans are experiencing the changing forces of time then you need to get up to New York.
If you don’t like watching videos then read about Mr Charles here in a piece by Sophie Brickman.
Would you like to step inside ‘Erykah Badu’s Intimate Vegan Soul Food Dinner Celebration?’ Then start typing out some search terms and find out what that shit was all about because it’s outside our purview. We like our soul food to have lots of animals cooked up in it.
We all remember the first time we had bunny chow. I was at a food truck in Austin when I first saw a menu featuring the old South African dish. It was touted as being ‘good for expectant mothers’ so I went all in. You can make it yourself if you’re so inclined. Check out Zainie Misbach’s version here.
Executive chef Jerome Grant is the boss in charge of the kitchen at Sweet Home Cafe inside the New Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. If you go expect soul food and plenty of it. “We want people to really understand (that) African Americans were great cooks. We were true cooks, we helped formulate American cuisine.”
Over in Houston Alice Levitt visits Soul Food By Catherine and develops an instant obsession with deep fried pork ribs. We remember back in the late 80s when this first became a thing. It’s an easy way for barbecue-based restaurants to breathe life into yesterday’s leftovers. But we commiserate with Ms. Levitt as they are delicious.