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It’s not often that a restaurant lives up to its reputation. More often than not, you go out to try a fancy restaurant, and you are usually let down by a lackluster experience. While walking to “Alive” last night, we passed by this Sylvia’s Soul Food in Harlem, my wife and I both looked at each other, and we knew this is where we would be coming for dinner after the show. Years ago, we were at a supermarket, and we saw some products labeled “Sylvia.” That was the first time we ever heard of her, and when we discovered that she had a restaurant, we put it on our to-do list.
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that unlike so many other fancy places that we have dined at, Sylvia’s totally lived up to the hype. The food was absolutely spectacular. Soft, mouth watering ribs that melt in your mouth. Delicious mashed potatoes, and delectable mac and cheese were my choices for the evening. My wife went with the fried chicken, mashed, and some string beans.
Both dishes were extremely flavorful, and as close to a perfect dish as one could ask for. The mac and cheese were not runny at all, the cheese was firm yet chewy and stood guard over the macaroni like a sentry on their barracks. The ribs were so soft. I didn’t need to use my hands or a knife to cut through them. It just came right off the bone! Yum! The mashed potatoes were just delicious as well.
I don’t often eat fried food, but you can’t go to Sylvia’s and not try everything that made it to the table! Next up, the deep-fried chicken! Like I said, I don’t often eat deep-fried chicken, but this chicken was so very good! I don’t recall Popeye’s, or KFC’s, or any other chicken I have eaten in any restaurant tasting this good. It wasn’t greasy or heavy either, just seems like perfection. I can’t help but think that this is the standard that should be set for fried chicken. I didn’t try the string beans, but that was the one thing my wife stated she wasn’t overly impressed with. She believed that they were a bit overcooked, and visually I’d have to agree on this. However, in all fairness, I can only write about what she stated as I didn’t have any. Normally, I wouldn’t share someone else’s opinion here, but since my wife is also a NYCTalking contributor, I felt it was justified.
We all had the lemonade, again. You can’t come to a restaurant like this and not try their main products. That would be wrong and sinful!
My friend Susanne also had dinner with us, as did my son, and they too were extremely pleased! Susanne stated that her herb chicken was the best she has ever had! My son didn’t say much, but he devoured his dish without a complaint, and that is a great sign, because my son is very picky when it comes to food. So good job Sylvia, you have done excellent my lady! Where ever you are; I hope you are hearing the kind words about your delicious food.
The restaurant itself appeared slightly dated, but I would guess that this is part of the original, true charm of the place. The service was pretty good, although they did forget to refill my wife’s lemonade after she had asked for it, but whatever, that doesn’t make or break a restaurant. We are all busy, and it’s easy for something like this to happen. I’ll leave guys with a powerful statement, coming from a creature of habit like myself. I don’t often commute uptown, it is out of my way, however, Sylvia’s is a place that I will definitely return to again. The food was simply that good.
Growing Up Bronx