sugar - soul food - dc
So I was looking for some good carry-out between my house (Capitol hill) and BWI, and landed at Sugar Upscale Soul Food, on West Virginia Ave. NE in the Brookland area. Looks like not many reviews yet ... I am by no means a soul food expert but here are my impressions:
fried chicken "wings" -- Excellent - initially I was concerned that they were just "wings" but I shouldn't have been ... these were not buffalo wings but full size, meaty, and plenty satisfied a full portion fried chicken craving. They had a deliciously herbed homemade crust, with rosemary, thyme and who knows what all, really nice. I was so flustered by seeing just wings that I turned down the offer of sauce; i think this may be the famous DC mambo sauce, sorry to have missed out on a local specialty but maybe next time.
mac and cheese - seemed good, soul food style, I'm more the bechamel mac n cheese type so maybe i'm not the best judge but it was def. homemade.
fried whiting - good, large portion, different homemade herb crust, nice flavor with maybe a hint of celery seed? A bit heavy. Maybe my fault since i ate the chicken first. They also sell fried croaker.
yams - a puree, a little diff than I'm used to, but tasty, my 3 y.o wolfed them down, so this counts as success.
cornbread - had corn kernels and cheese in it, moist, yummy and super fresh.
Sugar is carry out only at the moment, though there is a sign up indicating there will be cafe-style seating at some point in the future. Overall, my impression is positive; everything seemed (to me) homemade, so if you are tired of food that tastes like it just fell of the Sysco truck, this place may be for you. There were some homemade cakes on the counter that looked very tempting. You may want to go on a seltzer water fast after eating here, this is not lo-cal fare but they seem to know a thing about food. A worthwhile stop if you are visiting gallaudet, CUA, the arboretum, or just find yourself around the NY ave. corridor NE.
Nice find. Will have to check out the croaker-- you don't see it much on restaurant menus. More flavorful than the ubiquitous whiting you find in these parts. Funny, being from the South the mac and cheese of the bechamel sauce variety was always foreign and "inauthentic" to me. I've complained often that I've found no place in DC that serves a classic custard-like mac and cheese I grew up with in South Georgia.
I see on their menu they have a drink called "Tiger Woods"--- cute.
Love croaker! I often wonder why the "local, sustainable" crowd hasn't discovered it. Locals call it "hardhead" and I get a good bit from friends who fish. Good eating!
I grew up with the custardy macaroni and cheese too, and that's what I make at home. I wonder if that's a Gulf Coast thing. We could cut it into squares. Not that runny stuff. Not a fan of that.
To be clear on the mac & cheese, Sugar's version had shredded cheese melted into the macaroni rather than either bechamel cheese sauce or custard. Sugar's is like I remember my best friend's mom made when we went to her house for neck bones and collard greens. I'm guessing this shredded cheese thing is the more authentic soul food version (but what do I know? :) ...
Now i'm really intrigued to find a custard version somewhere to try.
I've been hearing good things about Sugar's. But it was winter.
Now that it's warm, its possible to grab some carryout and head to the Arboretum for a picnic.
Lots of good food options in that area now. Deli City. And Sullivan's (also carryout), my fave old-standby Horace and Dickey's, Taylor, Litteri's.
All basic good food at reasonable prices.
Thanks for the scouting report.
Deli City Restaurant
2200 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018