What? Sylvia’s for soul food
Where? 328 Lenox ave (New York)
The skinny: 1962. That’s when it all began when Miss Sylvia Woods, the Queen of Soul Food after she bought Johnson's Luncheonette. This woman is hugely successful. Not only does she have her Harlem location, but there’s also a catering hall, a line of products, cookbooks and even a “Sylvia and Herbert Woods” scholarship endowment foundation.
Definitely a must-hit-up place! I’ve never had authentic soul food before so excited was an understatement. We got here around 8pm and there was a nice queue going. There’s seating outside and inside.
After about 20 minutes we were seated in the busy dining room. Check it out, Sylvia’s Triple Strength Hot Sauce! Supposedly it wasn’t spicy enough to merit “triple strength” but then again, Christian’s Korean and can handle spiciness really well.
On the house, this cornbread was fantastic!! It smelled like cake! And it came steaming. It was so moist and light. Yummy yummy yummy.
Yeah, there’s butter to spread on your cornbread but you didn’t really need it. At least I didn’t find it necessary. It was great with and without. I didn’t know cornbread was this good! Yes, I was definitely missing out by never having tried it before.
Time to order. With each main you get to choose two side orders. I didn’t try over half of these things so I was more than looking forward to it.
Catfish with String Beans and Garlic Mashed Potatoes ($15.95)
Elyn ordered this and she liked it. She mentioned that the catfish tasted pretty fresh. This is the “standard” portion size, aka BIG and very filling.
Smothered Chicken with Baked Macaroni & Cheese and Candied Yams (13.95)
In the attempt to try a bit of everything, Christian went for the smothered chicken. He didn’t have much to comment on it but that the hot sauce did make it better. The baked mac & cheese was thick and creamy (aka delicious). As for the candied yams, they were actually as sweet as candy.
Fried Chicken & Ribs with Collard Greens and Okra & Tomato Gumbo (18.95)
The collard greens tasted like a sort of greens that my mom uses to make a sort of soup. So not spectacular but still tasty. Darian liked the fried chicken but as for the ribs, they were very regular.
Harlem Style Fried Chicken & Waffles ($11.95)
My dish was in the section where no sides are included. I was a little bummed at first since we all wanted to try a little bit of everything but it worked out in the end…because of the giant portions haha. The waffles came with butter & syrup. Made fresh, they were crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. The chicken was so good! The skin was so crispy. The meat was moist and flavourful! At some point though, I was just too full. I needed help to finish it.
So this is what it looks like. All our food with the (endless supply of) cornbread in the middle. Mini feast right there. I know it may not look like that much, but wholesome, made-with-love soul food is filling! ;D
Fried Chicken Liver ($6.95)
Oh and did I mention we were crazy enough to order an app on top of all that?! Yep. I’m guessing this isn’t ordered often as it took awhile for it to come (as in when we were more than halfway through our mains). I’ve never had fried liver before so it was something new! :D
Having been fried, the liver has another texture to it other than “smooth”, which was nice.
Bill comes. A little over $20 per person for a great meal of soul food afterwards which we’re toddling out of the restaurant? That’s got “perfect meal” written all over it.
Verdict? Great meal. Probably the perfect introduction to soul food. I’d definitely come here again, provided I gotta be really hungry coming in.
Check ‘em out! http://www.sylviasrestaurant.com/index.html
4 out of 5 NOMs