A black owned business always catches my eye because in the grand scheme, there aren’t too many here in the United States. But a black owned restaurant catches my eyes, ears, taste buds and everything else because 1. I love food and 2. I haven’t met a cuisine that black people can’t put their foot in. When my mom told me about a black owned restaurant right in my area that has it’s own show on WE Tv, you could imagine how ready I was to go there. I’m not going to talk about the show “Hustle and Soul” however; I will touch on my experience at The Pink Tea Cup.
I went with my mom and her fiancé on Easter Sunday so as you could imagine, I was nervous. A soul food joint on Easter was bound to be an hour wait at the least. When we arrived, we were greeted and our names were written down for a 20-minute wait. “Yea okay, 20 minutes in cp time. They are just saying that to keep our patronage.” Well, I was wrong because it really was a 20-minute wait!
We went in to be seated and the setting immediately caught my eye. It reminded me of that busy great aunt’s dinning room. It was small. There was just enough walking space in the aisles to get where you needed to go. The décor was very great auntie-ish as well. I mean that in the most respectful way as possible. There were blues and pinks and greens, and oranges but no two blues were the same blue and no two oranges were the same orange. The seam on our seat fabric was becoming slightly (I’m being polite) undone, which is a sign of a bomb restaurant and ya’ll know that. It was off but it worked. The joint wasn’t stuffy. It was familiar.
The menu was one page front and back but it covered everything you’d expect from a soul food spot. I ordered the half and half and it. was. amazing. I did not get lock jaw or sour face from drinking it. There was a perfect balance of lemonade and tea. I think they should bottle it. I ordered the catfish, cornbread, and sweet potatoes. My mom ordered a side of baked mac and cheese that we all shared. The service was efficient. The servers were friendly.
Now, usually I have low expectations for soul food restaurants. Not because I expect it to be nasty. I just don’t believe anyone’s is better than family’s food. I’ve tasted a many baked mac and cheeses and to this day, I firmly know that my family’s is THE best I have ever had and I feel blessed to be inheriting the recipe. But, The Pink Tea Cup…their food was the best soul food I’ve had from a restaurant. Their mac and cheese rivals my family’s recipe. I can tell that they seasoned their noodles. There were layers of complex cheese flavors (they used smoked gouda) and it held up very well. The sweet potatoes or candied yams (depending on where you’re from) were the perfect amount of sweet, perfectly cooked and not too greasy or buttery however, they did melt in your mouth. Usually, I am very much against cornmeal cornbread. It has a tendency to be too grainy, but that component was smoothed out. Maybe that can be partially accredited to the fact that it was cooked in a cast iron pan. The catfish was crispy but not burned and I can tell they used a grandma’s seasoning combination for the flour because the fish wasn’t too salty. My meal (not including the mac and cheese) came up to about $22. Us poor millennials should not be going there every week but it’s definitely worth that “treat yoself meal” that comes after the 1st of the month paycheck.
So treat yoself.