Harlem on Fifth

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★★★½☆

Yesterday I headed uptown to Harlem for an open mic with some of my artistic homeboys! Big Rob ran this open mic at the Harlem on Fifth Bar and Grill. I got to catch up with my homies Mark, Scott, Matos, and of course Big Rob! I met a few new folks, this one dude went in with some freestyle that blew our minds. In the middle of his flow, someone handed him some water, and he seamlessly incorporated the glass of water into his rap. That was the craziest improvising on the mic that I have ever seen! The open mic was a good time, we had some pretty bad audio issues with the system, but hey, what are you gonna do?

Big Rob going in! #openmic

A video posted by Angel Rodriguez (@angelrmedia) on

Let’s talk about the food.

Seeing as though I was in Harlem, and very close to Sylvia’s, it goes without saying that I had to eat some soul food. Initially I wanted to try the restos take on Crab cakes, but that dish did not include any sides, so I kicked that one to the curb. I decided to keep it simple and went with some fried chicken, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes.

My man Marky got this crazy ass beer sampler which included quite the selection of drinks. That came with some croutons, and I tried one of them, very crunchy, delicious, and spicy! Very spicy!

harlem on fifth beer sample

What about the food? Well, the food, once it eventually arrived, (it took FOREVER) was delicious. That chicken was as crunchy and delicious as any fried chicken I have ever eaten. The mac and cheese, as my man Charlie Scott put it, was truly mastered to perfection. The style they prepare it in is amazing! It’s like your typical mac and cheese, but it has some crunchy cheese on the top, soft cheese on the inside, and cooked to perfection. Not too thick, not soggy, just flawless. The mashed didn’t floor me, but they were also very good. The food here is top notch! I had all that, plus 2 ginger ales for under $20! If you have a lot of free TIME, I recommend you go try out the food here.

Harlem on fifth chicken

The service was good, though I felt bad for the lone server on duty. Running around a fairly jammed up restaurant, trying to keep everyone happy, relying on the bartender and the kitchen for support. Makes you think about our troops and how they rely on air support that sometimes doesn’t come. Respect though, you held it down! My group appreciated you and your efforts.

The ambiance is fairly simple, ample seating for a relatively small space, and it really is “normal.” My only gripe was with the massive delay, the amount of time the food took to come was unbelievable. I’m thinking nearly an hour and a half. Since we were there for the open mic, the time wasn’t an issue, however if we were just there to dine, perhaps we’d be more troubled. We all kept looking at each other, and rubbing our stomachs to signify hunger. I don’t know what was going on down in that kitchen? Maybe they are understaffed like the front of the house is? I do have to say, that the food was worth the wait. Had the food sucked, or if our server wasn’t so cool, I don’t think my review would have been this generous. The food and server saved this place from the wrath of Rodriguez! LOL.

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