top of page


Gayle Bell

The well equip Black Folk café will contain the following:

Ammonia smelling checkerboard faded plastic table covers, salt pepper hot sauce and pepper sauce pickled pig feet and pickled eggs next to the register.

Chicken fried, smothered chops, steak (ditto) falling apart with hunks of gravy you can eat with a fork. Collards, turnips and mustard greens in the winter, cabbage in the summer with hunks of bacon, salt jowl or (in the case of a healthier alternative, smoked turkey leg). Mac and real cheese, cornbread, baked or hot water, anglish pea salad made by Big Momma in her kitchen and brought in an ice chest with a white tablecloth covering the bottom.

In the fall and winter months, beef and pork neck bones, chitlins (no thank you); super clean with lots of hot sauce to keep down the dizziness, ox tails (trust me, the aromatic juice can withstand the hunk of cornbread put in the bowl), the cost is high as hell but, it’s worth it.

Uncle Bubba’s que; ribs brisket, sinus clearing sausage, you can sit with him out back, smoke cigars and drink while he tends the meat. He’s sweaty, toothless, big, and has two cup towels tucked in this apron, one for mopping sauce, one is mopping the sweat.

But, don’t get too full cause we have to take our shoes off and eat dessert; behind the glass counter we have sweet potato pie, wiggle your toes good, peach cobbler; a big heaven weighty affair made all the better with a slap of ice cream on it. There’s pecan pie and some unusual thing called a chess pie (after all these years I still don’t know what’s in it, but it’s sure good). Wash all this down with some diabetic-ally sweet iced tea.

The cook must be full figured and say stuff like never eat from a skinny cook and everything free is not good, whereupon the owner will respond while looking at the cook everything good's not free, while ducking a swinging towel. Add a couple of badass kids running in and out the back (the cook's grandbabies), a rolling eye waitress (the cook’s sister), pictures of musicians (white and black), King, Malcolm, Mandela, signed publicity pictures of several C movie actors, a radio personality, and a 1972 calendar of Mahalia Jackson, finally, a napkin large enough to cover your Sunday clothes. Come on in, you’re letting in flies 


Courtesy of Gayle Bell (2)

One of the last meals I made for my momma was baked chicken, cabbage with bacon ends and pieces. Her favorite, because she wanted something boiled, and cornbread. For dessert, I made banana pudding and peach cobbler, which she announced was better than hers. I still sail on that compliment. My gravy will never be as good as hers. I’m still searching for the best local bar-b-que and soul food place.

bottom of page