RL Reeves Jr reports on the U.S soul food scene

Vegan soul food is having a moment and we’ve been leading the resistance from New Orleans 9th Ward. Our neighborhood is filled with soul food cafes, hot plate joints and meat markets selling hog balls, maws, knee caps and snouts.

A common meal deal is two pieces of fried chicken for .99c.

If you opened a vegan soul food cafe in the the 9th you’d better buy some pigs to feed all the leftovers to. We suspect the rate of veganism in our neighborhood is among the nation’s lowest.

But now we’re rethinking our stance after reading about the old-school roots of African cuisine. In an article in Quartz online magazine, African chef Kenn Ayere, owner of Hombaze Restaurant in Johannesburg, touts a vegetarian diet and puts his money where his mouth is offering: “yam and vegetables, Ghanaian beans and plantains, South African pap and chakalaka, and Kenyan chapati and vegetable stew” at his restaurant.

Of course he hedges his bets by also selling meat-based dishes. After all he’s got to keep a roof over his head.

Chef Nicole Kagaro adds

“Veganism originated in Africa. We keep sheep and cattle, but back in the day, when we slaughtered these animals, it was only for special reasons…”

We’re not ready to fully embrace the idea of vegan soul food as we’re deep in the trenches of New Orleans soul food scene but we’re ready to take a step back and consider the possibility that such a concept should at least be considered.

Summers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina are breathtaking when you’re a teenager.

The beaches are crowded with bathing beauties, there are all-ages nightclubs and the locals rival folks from Louisiana when it comes to cooking and fantasizing about food.

We lost count of how many warm days we spent in Myrtle Beach before we were even old enough to drive. Ms. Margaret’s Soul Food is now open in one of our favorite Deep South towns and the menu is dreamy:

Pork chops and chicken bog, liver and onions, rice and mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, candied yams, potato salad, sweet corn and cabbage, fried okra and stewed tomatoes.

Lord only knows when we’ll be back in that neck of the woods but we’re penciling Ms Margaret’s in for a visit when we do. link

We’ve been eating at Seafood Express in Meridian, Mississippi for eons but our last visit there was dreadful. Now we need a new place to eat in the Queen City and we think we found it. Mom and Pop’s Soul Food has only been open for a couple years but they somehow managed to become the caterer for the Golden State Warriors during last year’s NBA tournament. Them ballers know how to eat.

We’re bookmarking Mom and Pop’s for the next time business carries us up that way. link

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