Monday, June 20, 2011

Amy Ruth's - A Taste of The South Up North

Whenever I feel homesick I go for a taste of the South at Amy Ruth's in Harlem, New York. Um. Um Um. The best way for me to describe how I feel about their food is with the video clip below. Specifically, at 1 minute and 47 seconds into it. The guy in the blue shirt jumping for joy and swinging his head around, yes, that describes perfectly how I feel everytime I bite into their sweet candied yams or cheesy, creamy mac and cheese. In fact, I have my own Amy Ruth's dance, which I will perform for those curious readers if you ask.  

{Cornbread - Sweet, just how I like it}

{Amy Ruth's Signature Chicken and Waffles}

One of Amy Ruth's most popular dishes, especially on the weekends when they stay open 24 hours, is the Chicken and Waffles. Now, Chicken and Waffles has been a popular dish in Southern cuisine for a long time and there are many speculations on its origins. The one I most commonly heard growing up goes along the same lines as this one from Wikipedia:

"As unusual as it might seem, the marriage of chicken and waffles actually has deep roots. Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron back from France in the 1790s and the combination began appearing in cookbooks shortly thereafter. The pairing was enthusiastically embraced by African Americans in the South. For a people whose cuisine was based almost entirely on the scraps left behind by landowners and plantation families, poultry was a rare delicacy; in a flapjack culture, waffles were similarly exotic. Chicken and waffles for decades has been a special-occasion meal in African American families, often supplying a hearty Sunday morning meal before a long day in church...".[2]

{Honey - Dipped Fried Chicken with a side of Candied Yams and Mac & Cheese}

 However in my household, we didn't eat before we went to church we had to wait until after. Because in my family, my Dad is always on time and everyone else is always late; so we never had time to eat breakfast before church. So you can imagine how my brother and I were starving by the end of church, especially since Catholic church runs long. Our treat would be going out to eat Soul Food, our after church tradition and one that we were always excited about.

Now, at Amy Ruth's I've tried almost everything, but my favorites are: the Salmon with Peach Butter, the Fisherman's Platter, which comes with Catfish, Shrimp and Crab cakes and the Southern Honey- Dipped Fried Chicken. But Soul Food isn't just about the entrees a major component are the sides; I like the Sweet, Sugary Candied Yams, The Creamy and Cheesy Mac and Cheese and the Fluffy, Mashed Potatoes.

Ohhhh weeee! It's so good, just thinking about it makes me want to stop writing, hop in a cab and go there right now. My mom who dislikes most restaurants in the North that claim they're "Southern" restaurants wants to go there every time she visits and has even taken my cousins there. If you haven't tried it then you must. 

Amy Ruth's
113 W 116th St. Near Lenox
(212) 280-8779

1 comment:

Vera from Lady and the Blog said...

I LOVE fried chicken - YUM YUM YUM!!!

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