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Suggestions for soul food in the DC area?

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I've been wanting to find a good soul food place in the DC area, but haven't had much luck. I don't mean a restaurant that trends upscale like Georgia Brown's, but something similar to the family-owned, low-key places we used to have around Atlanta. Country-fried steak , fried chicken, fried okra, collard greens, corn bread, cobbler, sweat tea... I'll stop now before I salivate all over my keyboard.

Any suggestions? Thanks all.

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Georgia Brown's
950 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005

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  1. Oohs and Aahs on U St.

    Fla Ave Grill in a pinch (I stopped by the last time about 4-5 years ago and it wasn't bad - but O&A surpasses).

    Flavors in Arlington - especially for fried chicken.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      I second Oohs and Aahs. The place does not look like much, but it's head and shoulders above Florida Avenue Grill.

      1. re: indcgirl

        I third Oohs and Aahs. Also, I have yet to try Levi's Port Cafe, but a lot of people like it.

        1. re: woodleyparkhound

          Thanks! I'll put Oohs and Aahs on the list and try it this week. Much appreciated.

          1. re: carmstrong07

            Second Levi's. I prefer it to Oohs and Aahs primarily because the air conditioning actually works. I nearly had my face melted off last time I was in Oohs and Aahs. Also Levi's tends to be a few bucks cheaper and they have an all-you-can-eat buffet option if you're interested in killing yourself for $15. Their mac & cheese is also perfect.

        2. re: indcgirl

          One more thing about Oohs and Aahs--some people don't realize that it has an upstairs where you can eat. Not a great space, but it's there.

      2. You are in luck! I have a brand new place for you. Margaret's, once located in Landmark Plaza a few years ago, has *just* opened a new location. I went to get a haircut at the Star Barber Shop next door, saw the new sign and grabbed a plate as I left around 11:30am. Like many new places just opening, I settled for what they had ready rather than what I really wanted from their delicious menu.

        From their menu I recall the entrees being: Fried Chicken, Pulled Pork, Ribs, Fried Pork Chops, Jerk Chicken, Smothered Chicken, Fried Fish and Chicken Kabobs with the expected sides of: Collard Greens, Mac & Cheese, Green Beans, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, Yams and Cabbage. Price point for and entree and two slides were roughly $8-11. Definitely had sweet tea. Not sure about okra.

        I loved their food when they were in Landmark. The plate of Jerk Chicken, Yams and Cabbage on the way out did not disappoint.

        Anyway, here's the info:

        Margaret's
        Catering and Carry Out
        2534 S Shirlington Rd
        Arlington VA
        703-608-9226

        5 Replies
        1. re: malveaux

          Thanks, malveaux!

          1. re: malveaux

            I went here today. Very good fried chicken. Nice greens. Good candied yams. The two women were wonderful and nice. It is a tiny place just to go, a real meat 'n' two. Oh yeah, they have sweet tea. Woot!

            Mac 'n' cheese wasn't ready so I missed out, but it looked good in the making. Everything is scratch made. Next time I want to try the jerk chicken. They were talking it up.

            1. re: malveaux

              I remember Margaret's as a Ghanaian place more than a soul food joint--fufu, jollof, etc. This was the place hidden in the breezeway around the corner from the Big & Tall store in Landmark Plaza, right?

              1. re: sweth

                That was the location of the old Margaret's but it always featured soul food. Maybe you are thinking of Weyone in Landmark Mall that always carries some Ghanaian dishes along with their Jamaican menu. Or maybe the Ghanaian colors (red, green, yellow) of their logo had more significance than I realized. Anyway, besides the jerk chicken, Margaret's menu is entirely soul food now.

                http://www.margarets-catering.net/hom...
                http://www.weyonesportslounge.com/mai...

                1. re: malveaux

                  When they first opened, I'm pretty sure Margaret's was Ghanaian. That was ~Sept 2001, though, so it's very possible that for a variety of reasons they retooled the menu soon thereafter.

                  Weyone is good; IIRC, I was actually the first one to post to the board about it, and you were the second. :)

            2. The woman who started oohs and aahs is from coastal carolina and her best dishes reflect that. My favorites are grilled shrimp, broiled crabcake, and lemon pepper wings. Sides of collard greens and rice with gravy. Other dishes I've enjoyed there are the turkey chop, the meatloaf, and the short ribs. 4 stools in front of a tiny kitchen or you can bring your food upstairs. A true hole-in-the wall.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Steve

                Sounds great, both on the low country menu and the layout. Thanks.

                1. re: Steve

                  dont forget the wings-fantastic.

                2. Oohs and Aahs on U street, and Flavors in Baylies Xroads (for fried chicken and fish).

                  -Foodgeek

                  1. For something a little different: http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarti...

                    1. Saints Paradise Cafeteria.