Sunday, October 14, 2007

Soul Food for the Soul

That's what the sign said outside of the place where I got this (Somewhere around W 65 and Lorain). They were out of mac and cheese, hence the sweet potatoes. The greens have bits of smoked turkey in them, the chicken was alright, and the corn bread, well, a slice or two of regular bread would have been better.

When I move to a new city,* one of the first things I try to find is a good soul food place. Cleveland has plenty of choices for soul food, but some places are definitely better than others.

Some that I enjoy:

Hot Sauce Williams -- 7815 Carnegie (and other locations) -- Can't miss blue and pink building is one of the best known Cleveland soul food places. Offers a drive through option and is open late. Great sweet "hot" sauce, but I'm sure to get mine on the side. Chicken, yes. Ribs, generally not so much for me, thanks.

Just Like Mom's -- 3030 Superior -- Might be my favorite. Service isn't quick but the food is nearly always great, and they are open incredibly late on the weekends. Nice people, and the best rib tips I've ever had.

Whitmore's Bar-B-Q -- 13187 Cedar Rd. (Cleveland Heights, there are other locations too) -- Good in a pinch in you live/are in the area. [HAS CLOSED]

Honorable Mention: Rachel's Caribbean Cuisine -- 14417 Cedar Road (University Heights, I think) -- not really soul food, but a terrific little place nonetheless. The ribs are very good, as are most of the options on the menu. Can't think of a better place to get a meal and a Red Stripe in the area. But they're always out of conch fritters.

There are countless other places in town, and I'm sure I haven't been to them all. But above are the ones I've enjoyed the most. For a more upscale soul food experience, try The Lancer Steakhouse at 7707 Carnegie, right by the Hot Sauce William's mentioned above. It's not cheap, and it's not diverse, but during my one experience there the server was friendly and food pretty good.

*Two Portland, OR, soul food notables (at least as of a few years ago):

Yam Yam's -- 7339 NE MLK -- They had the best all you can eat Sunday brunch, starting at 11 or 12. Great food kept very organized. Just don't make the guy behind the counter go back and forth too much. Really, the best buffet I've ever encountered.

Delta Cafe -- 4607 Woodstock Blvd. -- Soul food for hipsters, with a great bar next door. Where else can you get vegetarian collards? Great hush puppies.

Sad times: Soup and Soap in the North "quadrant". I hear it closed. Truly a loss; who else offers 7 Up cake, and plenty more, while you're doing your laundry? Gentrification at its worst. This restaurant should have thrived anywhere people had a need for a laundromat.


Deitri said...

The Whitmore's in Cleveland Heights is closed, but I think some of their other locations are still open.
The best soul food in Cleveland used to be Phil the Fire on Shaker Square.
I like your other suggestions.

The CFT said...

That's too bad about Whitmore's in The Heights, it was nice knowing it was there. I'll edit the post to reflect the departure--now that I'm on the West Side I miss those things. Glad you're with me on the other places. Feel free to post recommendations.