A Food Review

A Review of Ressie Mae’s Soul Food:

I read on this site that I should go and try out a little soul food spot right around the corner from where I work. It should be known that since leaving the comfort food haven of the South – I am always anxiously looking for any way to fill the empty hole in my stomach – my arteries – that this type of food usually allows for. So I jumped at the opportunity. Literally – I hop, skipped and jumped the entire way around the corner, straight through the front door and to the counter to get a heaping helping of food that would make my night. That would make-my-night-worth-eating.

I ended up ordering the candied yams or maybe they were sweet potatoes (they were orange), the macaroni and cheese and the green beans with bits of ham. On my way out, I was so impressed by how much the food weighed – that I got bleary eyed with excitement and was cajoled into buying a cup of $2.00 sweet tea. I must repeat that I am a sucker for soul food.

Before I tell you about the food – I want to point out that the reason I didn’t get the fried chicken was because there is a lot of typing to do at the job – and I didn’t want to gum the computer’s works up . . . I can now definitively look back at that decision as possibly being the point where everything went absolutely wrong.

The mac-n-cheese was a tasteless greasy plop of tightly bound pasta with a layer of orange wax resting on top. One of the sure fire ways to make crummy mac-n-cheese is to try to pack too much pasta in. No flavor can move around – no cheese can penetrate – nothing good can happen. A couple of other ways are evidently to forget to use anything approaching any kind of seasoning and the use of army grade cheese stuff. Sometimes, if just one of the cardinal mac-n-cheese mistakes are made – goodness overcomes, and the outcome is, at least, edible . . . unfortunately, for this meal, that just wasn’t the case.

After that mac-n-cheese rant, all that I will say about the yams (we’ll call them for now) and green beans is that they weren’t so good. The yams were the most edible part of the meal – so they get a pass. The beans, on the other hand . . . I’m not sure how to even go on except to simply ask this question. How can anything be cooked with chunks of ham and still come out so lifeless and tasteless?! I once cooked up a pair of socks with a bit of ham hock – and I don’t mind telling you one bit . . . they were delectable.

So the meal was the meal . . . and I ate what I could. But the real burr in my side came from the evil (and I don’t use that word lightly) concoction that they called sweet tea. Here is a quick sweet tea recipe – boil some water, add some tea bags, add some sugar and then (after letting it cool down) enjoy the best tooth rotting (and I say that in the best way) drink you will ever have. So easy. So simple. So not what they did. It tasted like some sort of mix – maybe from a syrup – maybe from a powder – but all from hell. I had two sips and threw it away. Later I had to console my trashcan when I found it retching in a bathroom stall – I will never forget the sad look on that trashcans face. It (and that tea) haunts me to this day.

I ate at Ressie Mae’s. I gave it a shot. I have decided that maybe they should get a nifty new slogan – something like “Come to Ressie Mae’s where we’ll take your money, give you crummy food stuff and hurt your soul – just a smidge!” or something similar to that. I take it back. That slogan is obviously really long and not entirely fair . . . maybe just “Ressie Mae’s. We’ll hurt your soul!”

They certainly hurt mine.

Maybe next time – I’ll try the chicken.