Soul food is the epitome of Black culture. At every family gathering – at least at my family gatherings – we always make sure there are turkey wings, mac and cheese, cornbread, string beans, pasta salad, potato salad and a bunch of seafood.
The term “soul food” likely comes from the fact that it provides comfort during dark days. Generally, the food contains so much flavor it elevates your dining experience. I’ve been to numerous soul food restaurants throughout the South Jersey region that were unforgettable.
If you’re looking for a few restaurants to celebrate Black History Month or African American culture in general, two restaurants come to mind: Kelsey and Kim’s Southern Cafe and Kelsey’s, each located in a different part of Atlantic City.
At Kelsey and Kim’s, the décor and ambiance is homey with warm tones. The staff is always serving with a smile on their face and are quite welcoming.
Their buffalo wings are perfectly crispy. They had an old southern kick to them that reminded me of the way my mother makes wings with a distinct Louisiana flare. If you’re looking for a classic, I recommend their chicken and waffles. It’s one of my favorites and the type of chicken that’s offered is customizable.
If you’re looking to try something more unique, the turkey chops are the way to go. The variety of seasonings meshed so well together, it was like a Mardi Gras in my mouth. It was topped with savory macaroni and cheese and sweet cornbread that came apart like melted butter.
Kelsey’s holds a special place in my heart. I remember going with my dad as a child and moving to the sound of the jazz music that would play on the weekends. The atmosphere almost felt like a nightclub.. When I was able to revisit the menu, it did not disappoint. Like Kelsey and Kim’s Southern Cafe, Kelsey’s offered chicken and waffles for those that are looking for something that doesn’t contain a huge amount of spice.
However, if you’re looking for something a little bit more extravagant and fun, I recommend the southern fried chicken with jasmine rice or string beans, smothered with delicious gravy. Finally, it was topped off with amazing cornbread that I honestly couldn’t get enough of. The experience transported me back through time. The bill only ran around $60 overall.
If you’re looking for a great night out, you can’t go wrong with either of these two restaurants. Both are pretty much around the same price, however, with Kelsey’s you also get to hear some amazing music on the weekends. With Kelsey and Kim’s, you get an amazing atmosphere. Ultimately, whatever restaurant you chose you can expect a night filled with culture.
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