Bob Jeffries writes in his “Soul Food Cookbook” (Bobbs-Merrill, 1969)
While all soul food is Southern food, not all Southern food is soul.
Soul, for this writer, means cooking with the heart and using every bit of beans, greens, pork, fish and cornmeal in every facet of your recipes – right down to the pork fat.
We stopped in to visit one of the new kids on the block: Richies Soul Food Restaurant and Lounge located on Main Street in Buffalo just a quick hop from the UB campus. The interior is Spartan at best but steeped in music and history depicted in the wall art throughout the venue. Although we visited on a weeknight I estimate it can get pretty busy on the weekend.
My guest ordered the Jerk seasoned Perch with potato salad, cole slaw, grilled asparagus and corn bread and I ordered the meatloaf with red potatoes, rice, grilled asparagus, corn bread and mac-n-cheese. The jerk seasoning had a nice bite to it; the fish was cooked well and we both enjoyed it. The potato salad seemed house made and was a delicious side. We both agreed that the grilled asparagus was a nice side dish as well.
The cornbread, a basic staple, needed improvement. It was dry and, although I wanted to like it; we both left it on the plate. The meatloaf was similar; very dense and lacking in flavor beneath an overcooked sauce. The rice, lacking any seasoning, was also flavorless and was left behind.
The star of the show was actually the mac-n-cheese which I thought was wonderfully authentic. It was full of cheesy-gooey-flavor and I know I’ll order it again next time I visit. Service was polite, professional, swift, and consistent throughout our visit and a definite reason to return for more. Richies offers breakfast, lunch and dinner at any time you like. So, if you’re at a table and your group can’t decide – you all win!
Richies offers some area favorites like wings, chicken fingers, fish-n-chips, chili, hoagies and tacos and is also vegan friendly with some tofu offerings as well. Wings come with a variety of special sauces like honey jerk, cajun and lemon pepper in addition to typical Buffalo style and range from medium to extremely hot. That’s right – extremely hot! They also offer a variety of house-made desserts to try as well.
Menu: Some good flavors here, strive for better consistency.
Service: Excellent service – pour it on. We love it!
Ambiance: Cool vibe, great art.
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