Restaurant Review

Writing up these notes got me thinking about the intersection of race and food.  A great soul food restaurant in Seattle in the early 90’s was Thomas’ Point of View, up on Capitol Hill.  It was sort of a hang out for some interesting thinkers and a very welcoming place to learn about the black experience – narratives completely missing from my white bread, suburban upbringing.  They had some amazing collard greens, too.  I’ve tried to replicate them scores of times, but they did something I’ve never quite managed to accomplish.  I was too shy to ask how they made them then – but sadly we can’t change who we were – just who we are, and I’ll probably never know the secret.  Anyway, Thomas’ has been closed for quite some time now.  Now when I get a nackering for some soul food, my first thought is always the Southern Kitchen ( - 1716 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA).  You feel welcome the moment you walk in the front door.  It isn’t a huge space, and it always has a bit of an electricity to it that I appreciate.  The people in that restaurant are always happy they are there, and that feeling just sort of floats around and soaks into your bones.  I’m a fan of the catfish – an underappreciated seafood here in the Great Northwest.  Their fried chicken is great, too.  My cardiologist might say otherwise, but you can’t go wrong with the chicken fried steak.  They really shine in their sides.  The fried green tomatoes are spot on, and the mac and cheese is grandma-quality.  They do breakfast too, but for some reason this is mostly a lunch spot for me.  That said, the biscuit and gravy is worth the trip.  Anyway, if you want a lovely meal and that famous southern hospitality, pop in to the Southern Kitchen.  And don’t skip the sweet tea, unless it is for their strawberry lemonade – if you don’t smile when those drinks are set before you, I don’t know what to say.

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