Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Dec 5, 2006 01:58 AM

Are There Any Upscale Soul Food Restaurants In Philly?

I remember when Bluezette opened years ago on 3rd & Market St. I read the menu outside and was really intrigued (fried lobster, etc). I made a reservation but was really disappointed with the food and service. However the atmosphere was nice and the beer, wine, and whiskey selections were great. Overtime however that even changed. Upstairs became a very loud dance area and the booze was reduced to the usual suspects mostly. Has anything as ambitious been attempted in terms of upscale Soul Food since in the area?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I believe that Warmdaddys on Front & Market could fit the bill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Main Line Tracey

      Warmdaddy's is now at Reed and Columbus right? That was the place that came to my mind though.

    2. What about the new Ms. Tootsie's Bar & Lounge? As I understand it, it is an upscale club version of the longstanding soul food joint next door.

      Anyone been?

      1. The Bride & I went to Ms. Tootsie's for Saturday lunch, maybe 2-3 years ago. It was already white-tablecloth and nice inside. I had a truly great fried chicken platter with fantastic sides (greens and a really good mac/cheese), good cornbread, and The Bride had fried whiting, also good.

        1. Glorias on Fairmount Avenue somewhere around 21st Street might be such a place. Band, blues atmosphere, but focus perhaps on seafood soul food. I've only been once,a lont time ago, but enjoyed.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Bashful3

            I believe that Gloria's is now Heaven's Fine Dining, an alcohol free soul food place with a gospel brunch on Sundays. Have not tried it yet, but plan to in the future...

            1. re: scrappytea

              When you say "alcohol free" does that mean that you can't bring alcohol either as in a BYOB?

              1. re: Chinon00

                The owners are both ministers and as part of thier vision (, they wanted a completely alcohol free (No BYOB) environment. If anyone has been there, I would like to hear about it.

                1. re: scrappytea

                  Yes I went to the sight and actually contacted them by email about their alcohol free policy. I've never understood why this must be in any environment. Wasn't Christ's first miracle changing water into wine? Wasn't there wine served at the Last Supper?

          2. Just yesterday I heard about a new place in Norristown that looks like upscale soulfood (without the absolutely outrageous prices). I have not tried it but it looks interesting.


            Not sure if that is too much of a trek for you.

            If anyone knows, I would be interested to hear about it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jcmods

              I was there not last weekend but the weekend before last. I had a few of their bar menu items down stairs. Here's a quick review:

              Voodoo Shrimp - Not very good. The shrimp are cooked in their shell and then tossed in what is apparently Old Bay seasoning. As a consequence, when you remove the shell you remove the seasoning (which really isn't a big deal because again it's nothing more interesting than Old Bay seasoning).


              Southern Pride Wings – Not very good. The two ultimate hot wing sins were committed:
              1) They wings were those “bready” types
              2) The hot sauce wasn’t hot, nor anything more complex than typical Louisiana Hot Sauce


              Black Angus Burger – Good. The meat was good along with the great choice of bread (the softer style bun grilled) and solid fries. The only draw back was the fact that I was asked how I wanted my burger done. I told the bartender Medium. When I sliced it down the middle to share with the SO the meat was solid gray. It was still a good burger but don’t go through the pretense of asking if the cook isn’t going to observe the request.


              The beer and whisky selection is solid (didn’t see the wine list so I can’t comment). Local brews from Victory, Weyerbacher and Stouts to name a few.


              To be fair I guess I should go back and eat upstairs in the dining room. But if the food is coming out of the same kitchen as the bar menu I think that I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to get.