'soul food' on Serious Eats

Bronx Eats: Southern Comfort Has Seen Better Days at Johnson's BBQ

Located off a quiet corner of Tinton Avenue, Johnson's BBQ's awning proudly reads "Since 1954," and they would have you believe that things are still, more or less, the same. Inside, there isn't a seat or table to be had. Once upon a time, there may have been a soda fountain; but no longer. Fordham's Dr. Mark Naison, a noted professor of African-American history, crowned Johnson's his "Number One Thing to do in the Bronx." Unfortunately I can't agree. More

The Vegetarian Option: Jacob's Pickles, House-Made Style on the Upper West Side

A restaurant that features house-made pickles, pours craft beer, and specializes in home-style Southern food seems tailor-made for Brooklyn, but it sticks out like a sore thumb on the Upper West Side. Yet that's exactly where you'll find Jacob's Pickles, and if the crowds were any indication on the night of my visit, the West Siders are clamoring for exactly this kind of thing. More

Family-Style Meals at Monell's in Nashville

"The Pass to the Left Policy works out well—everyone gets fed eventually. But it gets a tad intense when the fried chicken arrives." Monell's 1235 6th Avenue N., Nashville TN 37208 (map); 615-248-4747 Meals: lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Saturday, breakfast on the weekends and Sunday afternoon meal. Monell's in Nashville is one of those places where you shouldn't eat breakfast that morning (or maybe even last night's dinner). You're basically in for a Southern Thanksgiving, except with 10 or so people you've never met. Every meal here (lunch, dinner, the weekend country breakfast, and Sunday meal) is served family-style like they did back in the days of Southern boarding houses—except with other peoples' families. But you'll get... More

Harper's Soul Food Cafeteria in Nashville, Tennessee

"The fried okra nubbins are just asking to be snacked on pre-cash register." [Photographs: Erin Zimmer] Harper's 2610 Jefferson Street, Nashville TN 37208 (map); 615-329-1909 Hours: Open 7 days a week. Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many restaurants in Nashville are closed on Sundays and Mondays, but Harper's—the cafeteria-style soul food restaurant near Tennessee State University—isn't. And that was sure a good thing this week when bundles of people filed in here after the annual Martin Luther King Day march to the university. Instead of the usual Southern tradition of "Meat and Three" (your choice of one meat and three sides—a beautiful thing), Harper's does Meat and Two. But... More

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