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Susan Sermoneta Sep 3, 1997 10:49 AM

Is there life after Sylvia's? I'm going to the Schomburg tomorrow, and I've eaten at Sylvia's too often. Any good alternatives? Do you know anything about Charles Southern Style Kitchen on Eighth Avenue?

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    Jim Leff RE: Susan Sermoneta Sep 3, 1997 11:43 AM

    "Do you know anything about Charles Southern Style Kitchen on Eighth Avenue?"

    Do you mean the Charles Southern Kitchen Eric Asimov reviewed in the Times? The one he reported being tipped to by a trombone playing food writer?

    yes, Susan...I AM that trombone playing food writer.

    : )

    Charles is a genius. Screamingly great food. Forget Sylvia's. Syvlia's Shmylvia's. Go to Charles, 2841 8 ave between 151 & 152, 926-4313. Actually, that street number is approximate...he just moved a door down.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff
      Susan Sermoneta RE: Jim Leff Sep 3, 1997 05:34 PM

      Charles sounds great--I really got psyched, called to check that they're open (I'm one of those compulsive types sometimes) and find out they're NOT open for lunch: hours are 4 to 3....So that's out for tomorrow's lunch, but definitely I'll go soon. In the meantime, is there another Harlem place you can recommend that might be open at lunchtime? (This is a wonderful website!)

      1. re: Susan Sermoneta
        Jim Leff RE: Susan Sermoneta Sep 4, 1997 08:27 AM

        "is there another Harlem place you can recommend that
        might be open for lunch?"

        susan, Charles is such a category-killer that it pains
        me to think of other places. Sylvia's is overpriced
        and overrated (though she's ready for a revisionist
        look from serious chowhounds who wrote her off when
        the big tour buses of Japanese tourists started
        pulling up...all the food ISN'T garbage, though the
        prices are ridiculous), Copeland's is too inconsistent
        (it had it's moment of greatness....when Charles was
        cooking there), Singleton's is downhill, Pam Pam is
        fun but not great, Wilson's Bakery likewise, La
        Detente is pretty good, there are good African and
        West Indian possibilities, but I don't think that's
        what you're looking for.

        Know what? If Charles is closed, just go to Soul
        Fixin's on 34th and 9th (10th?). it's pretty darned
        good, price is right, and more convenient in you live
        or work downtown.

        Now, if you want to go to Brooklyn or Jamaica, that's
        another story...there's treasure out there...


        1. re: Jim Leff
          Frank Language RE: Jim Leff Sep 12, 1997 10:39 PM


          Ooh, Jim, you're such a tease!

          Please, please - I've already ordered my box of Quisp -
          I'm hanging on your every word, Master. Tell us of the
          treasure in Brooklyn and Jamaica - and if necessary,
          direct us to the appropriate section of this fine
          website, of course.

          1. re: Frank Language
            Jim Leff RE: Frank Language Sep 14, 1997 01:53 AM

            Ok, soulfood rundown coming up. Keep your eye on
            the main page (upper right hand corner, where I
            plug new stuff)


            1. re: Jim Leff
              robert sietsema RE: Jim Leff Sep 11, 1998 09:33 AM

              Too bad about Charles, I was planning on going for lunch today, too!

              Here are a couple of worthy alternatives:

              Majester's (378 Malcolm X Drive, 860-9875) is an old-style Harlem seafood joint. The steamed crabs are magnificent and cheap (bring your own nutcracker and tweezers), as is the fish and chips. Skip the shrimp.

              M & G Diner (383 West 125th St, 864-7326) is an old standby serving the standard soul food menu. Check out the salmon croquettes on the breakfast--its the best meal here, although the fried chicken is usually superb, or anything stewed, like oxtails.

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