Black-owned restaurants: upscale Southern food spot heads to Northwood, joins other diverse black-owned eateries – Entertainment – The Palm Beach Post

Black-owned restaurants: upscale Southern food spot heads to Northwood, joins other diverse black-owned eateries – Entertainment – The Palm Beach Post

Looking for black-owned restaurants to support? Here are some highlights from a dining scene that ranges from soul food to Caribbean to barbecue.

A fine dining chef with a knack for modern Southern food, Malcolm Prude has been refining the menu for the restaurant he’s helping to open in West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village.

If all goes as planned, Southern Spice restaurant will debut within months in the former Hutton location, a sprawling space with a large, covered patio that will be home to the restaurant’s open-air cigar bar, the Majestic Ash Lounge. There will be fried chicken that’s first cooked sous-vide for tenderness, then fried to order for a crispy finish. There will be yeasted waffles fortified by fresh corn and served with black-pepper maple syrup, plus bites like charred chicken wings in pickled jalapeo barbecue sauce and smoked lamb neck with grits and lemon gremolata.

And once the doors are open, a new black-owned restaurant will add its light to Palm Beach County’s dining landscape. At a time when locals are seeking ways to support black-owned businesses in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing and the national awakening it has brought, there’s a diverse range of local black-owned restaurants to consider. The mix of concepts include old school soul food, barbecue, Caribbean classics, newfangled vegan and just about everything in between.

For Southern Spice co-owner Jerome Byrd, a former firefighter who brought the first Zaxby’s fried chicken franchise to West Palm Beach in 2015, opening Southern Spice and Majestic Ash Lounge is all about adding to that variety by “enhancing” the county’s dining options.

“I wanted to do something totally different. I want the place to be a destination,” says Byrd, who fell for the concept as a customer of the original Southern Spice location in Hollywood.

The restaurant was owned by his friend Natosha Gonzales, who closed it last year. They teamed up to bring the concept to West Palm Beach, adding the cigar lounge element to fulfill one of Byrd’s business dreams. They called upon chef Prude, the restaurant’s executive chef/partner, to create the culinary concept, refine the menu and train an executive chef for the Northwood Road location.

Byrd had planned to open the place in April, “but then Covid hit,” he says. “We don’t have a staff right now, so we’re playing it by ear for the moment, watching the reopening phases. We’ll open when we feel it’s right.”

Opening a new restaurant during a pandemic is indeed daunting, says West Palm caterer Trinnette Morris. It’s a six-minute walk from Northwood Road to Spruce Avenue in Pleasant City, where she debuted Trindy Gourmet in mid-March, just before the governor announced the shutdown of restaurant dining room operations.

The place has been a hit with locals, who flock to Trindy’s for everything from Alfredo-jerk pasta to fried catfish to stewed turkey wings and pork chop sandwiches. The global/soul food spot, which opened as a takeout lunch and dinner restaurant, is her second Trindy concept. Morris also owns Trindy Gourmet caf, a downtown West Palm breakfast spot that draws a diverse crowd (including lifestyle personality Martha Stewart, who visited in 2018).

As a longtime business owner who works to empower other black-owned culinary businesses, Morris says she’s both gratified and slightly taken aback by the surge of national lists detailing black-owned businesses.

“Here’s the thing: We’ve always been here. We didn’t just show up. It shouldn’t take a tragedy to recognize us. This should be the conversation all the time,” says Morris.

She believes black-owned businesses don’t get the attention they deserve outside their own communities because sometimes the marketing resources are not always within reach.

“So if you’re not in those places, it would be hard to know who we are. If those places could market in more mainstream publications, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” she says.

To that end, here are 10 black-owned restaurants you may or may not know about. They are highlights in a growing and diverse community of restaurants.

Trindy Gourmet

Chef Trinnette Morris has grown her catering operation to include two West Palm restaurants, one of them opened in March. There’s a downtown breakfast spot serving everything from fish and grits to French toast and the new takeout (and soon dine-in) spot in Pleasant City serving daily specials like Tuesday soul food classics, Thursday jerk pastas, Wednesday burgers and waffles and other options.

Trindy Gourmet: in downtown West Palm at 407 N. Rosemary Ave., in Pleasant City at 2055 Spruce Ave.; to place orders at either location, call or text 561-570-6325.

Bamboo Fire Caf

This family-owned spot has been serving home-spun Guayanese and Caribbean dishes in a funky setting in Delray’s Pineapple Grove for 15 years.

Bamboo Fire Caf: 149 NE 4th Ave., Delray Beach; 561-749-0973

Sweet’s Sensational Cuisine

Check the handwritten menu on the wall for the daily specials, dishes that tell the story of owner Ivet “Sweet” Henry’s Jamaican culture. From curry goat to brown stew chicken to ackee and saltfish, this lunch and dinner spot keeps it authentic just off Delray’s main drag. The small restaurant is a popular stop on the local Taste History Culinary Tour.

Sweet’s Sensational Cuisine: 25 SW 5th Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-7086

Troy’s Barbecue

What began as a roadside barbecue stand in Boynton Beach grew into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2017. Last year, pitmaster Troy Davis added a Boca Raton location.

Troy’s Barbecue: in Boynton Beach at 1920 S. Federal Hwy (561-740-1125), in Boca at 1198 N. Dixie Hwy (561-609-2469)

The New Vegan

When Rahein and Patricia Jones opened this Delray Beach spot in 2013, they were new vegans, the very poster kids for their new concept. Seeking a healthy, new lifestyle after years of meaty indulgences, they adopted a vegan diet almost overnight. They created a menu that’s both delicious and healthy — in fact, their vegan burgers have won local competitions.

The New Vegan: 528 NE 2nd St., Delray Beach; 561-404-5301

Ganache Bakery Caf

Local baker Jamal Lake, who creates eye-catching cakes and other treats at his downtown West Palm bakery caf, gained national attention when he appeared on Food Network’s “Halloween Baking Championship” nearly two years go. But he’s locally beloved for other reasons, namely his range of confections.

Ganache Bakery Caf: 306 S. Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach; 561-507-5082

McCray’s Backyard Bar-B-Q

Barbecue master Derrick McCray’s meat-smoking talents are well regarded beyond Palm Beach County. He’s been catering NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl events since 2007. A longtime roadside pitmaster, McCray is the owner of McCray’s Backyard Bar-B-Q spots in Mangonia Park and Riviera Beach. The Mangonia Park location, which opened last August, boasts drive-through and takeout windows.

McCray’s Backyard BBQ: 1521 45th St., Mangonia Park; 561-370-3216

Le Bistro 2.0

Welcome to chef Greg Romulus’ dream turned reality, a small restaurant where he could turn out all his favorite Haitian specialties. He opened the mostly takeout restaurant in the summer of 2018. Want a peek? Romulus features his daily specials on Le Bistro’s Facebook page (@LeBistro20).

Le Bistro 2.0: 9846 Sandalfoot Blvd., Boca Raton; 561-465-5767

Blue Mountain Coffee House

This newish caf serves Blue Mountain-grown coffee and other Jamaican delicacies on Clematis Street. The menu inspiration comes from owner Allison Boettcher’s Jamaican homeland. She hails from St. Andrew Parish, which includes a stretch of the majestic mountain range that grows some of the world’s best coffee.

Blue Mountain Coffee House: 540 Clematis St., Unit 3 (facing Rosemary Avenue), West Palm Beach; 561-318-7296

Queen of Sheeba

Owner Lojo Washington used to run a soul food takeout window at the building that now houses Queen of Sheeba, a restaurant that pays homage to her Ethiopian culture. The transition from American soul to Ethiopian home-cooking took some getting used to in the restaurant’s Historic Northwest District location, where locals clamored for her former menu. But Washington not only won them over, one dish at a time, she grew her customer base to earn regional acclaim.

The restaurant closed temporarily for the coronavirus shutdown. It remains closed, due to road construction along its street, but there are plans to reopen it. According to the restaurant’s Instagram page, that date will be announced “once we have a better idea.”

Queen of Sheeba: 716 N. Sapodilla Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-514-0615

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