|Fried Chicken and Ribs Combo at Sylvia's in Harlem|
Harlem lays claim to one of the most popular soul food restaurants in New York: Sylvia's. With national acclaim and quite a bit of press to back it up, the Queen of Soul Food is definitely on the map as a restaurant. I decided that I ought to sample a few things while sitting in the breezy curbside dining area, so I ordered the Bar-B-Que Ribs and Fried Chicken Combo ($18.95).
The chicken leg quarter had a crispy crust but lacked significant flavor. The ribs had been oven-roasted in a "barbecue" sauce that tasted more like sweet and sour to me. While both items were quite tasty, they didn't really compare to soul food from the South. I know many Louisiana kitchens where I would have gotten three times the food for the same price, and it would have all been amazing. The greens and mac and cheese tasted fairly authentic and I enjoyed them with the meats. I washed my meal down with a highly drinkable Sugar Hill Golden Ale from the Harlem Brewing Company. In the end, Sylvia's presented edible food with a southern soul feel, but didn't live up to my lofty expectations. It happens. I'm yet to find a New York style pizza in the South that lives up to what you can actually find in NYC!