Does anyone travel out of the country for Thanksgiving? In 2011, I traveled to Ghana. Instead of eating traditional food, I had a tuna sandwich and chips. I vowed to never be away for Turkey day! I was only fooling myself, in 2017 I booked another trip out of the country.
Although my food this year was a bit better, I missed all the homemade Thanksgiving food like Turkey, dressing, mac and cheese, cabbage, potato salad, ham etc. I told my mom to freeze some turkey day leftovers so that I could enjoy when I returned back to the USA. (Oh don’t tell me I’m the only one that enjoys leftover food!) Anyhow, due to missing traditional Thanksgiving food, I was on the hunt for some good soul food in Oakland. So I checked out 3 different soul food restaurants in Oakland Ca.
Brown Sugar Kitchen
Address: 2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607
Ambiance: I was grateful that they opened up at 7 am in the morning because I was able to go before my work training began. I enjoyed the ambiance, it felt cozy and they were playing one of my favorite neo-soul music artist Lauren Hill on the radio.
Food: I ordered the chicken and waffles but sadly I didn’t enjoy my meal. They use cornmeal batter to make the waffle. I was looking for something light and fluffy instead I received thin and grainy due to using cornmeal as an ingredient. The waffle came with apple cider vinegar syrup. Sometimes restaurants try to be different and make meals fancy. In this case, I would have preferred plain old maple syrup. The chicken was just alright, nothing to write home about.
My co-worker ordered the shrimp and grits. She reported it was good but she would have preferred a thicker consistency of grits.
Price: It was expensive, we paid about $26 each for our respective meal.
Recommendation: Would I go back?? I would go back and try a different dish. Everybody deserves a second chance!
Rating: 1 thumb
Lena’s Soul Food
Address: 1462 High St, Oakland, CA 94601
Ambiance: It reminds me of a mom and pop restaurant.
Food: The waiter reported that the turkey wings were good. I ordered the turkey wings that were so tender they fell off the bone. You know when they fall off the bone, they are delicious. Red Beans and rice, dressing and gravy were delicious. The mac and cheese could use some work. My first bowl was not creamy and the second bowl was too creamy.
Don’t forget to try the fried lobster.
Price: 14.99 for an entree and includes 2 sides and a cornbread muffin.
Recommendation: I would definitely eat here again. Food was good, service was quick and the waitress was very friendly. I also hear that they give the leftover food to those in need after the restaurant is closed. Kudos to Lena’s for helping the less fortunate.
Rating: 2 Thumbs up
Address: 2000 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602
Ambiance: Family Style restaurant, great place to feed the entire family.
Food: I ordered the catfish, macaroni & cheese, red beans & rice, cabbage and cornbread. Everything was really good. Catfish was fried to perfection and was hot out of the grease. I’m skeptical about ordering cabbage at a restaurant but the cabbage was seasoned very well. The mac & cheese was great and had just the right amount of cheese.
Recommendation: I would highly recommend this restaurant. The only drawback of this restaurant is the amount of time it took to receive the food. We waited for over an hour to eat.
Rating: 2 Thumbs and a Toe (they put their foot in the food)
Have you tried any great soul food restaurants in Oakland that we could add to the list??