Monday, February 22, 2010
Soul Food in Harlem
It’s two days later and I still get a queasy feeling in my stomach when thinking back on the soul food that did me in. I had such high hopes when I had approached a line that went out the door at Amy Ruth’s in Central Harlem. Friends of mine that are accustom to southern cooking rave about chicken and waffles, and I had considered this the perfect opportunity to embrace a traditional southern dish.
The dinner started with a brick of cornbread and butter that was placed on every table. Baked macaroni and cheese, bar-b-q spare ribs, collard greens, and anything else you can find at a Sunday picnic in rural Alabama is listed on the menu with nicknames of prominent African American figures from Ludicris to Barak Obama. I felt almost criminal spreading butter and syrup all over Reverend Al Sharpton and drinking cherry Kool-Aid that shared the same consistency of the warm syrup. Upon completion of my dinner I immediately felt ill. At first I thought it was just an unconscious shame of what I just did to my body, but a few hours later it all came back up and on my bedroom floor and continued with a series of dry heaves the next morning.
I’ve had food poisoning once before and the same familiar feelings returned to haunt me. I’m convinced that it was the chicken, but it probably didn’t help having fried food, syrup, and sugary drinks. I don’t think I can ever step foot in the place again without feeling nauseous, but for anyone who has a craving for soul food, try the spare ribs and let me know how it turns out.