Food Porn: Taste of Soul

UPDATE: Taste of Soul has since closed.

The only time “Soul Food” has made an appearance on Buffalo Eats was back in April of 2010 when Alli and I tried Garris BBQ’s Fried Chicken.   To be honest, that trip shouldn’t even count; the restaurant serves primarily BBQ, we got our food to go and we didn’t even try anything except Fried Chicken.  So, when I decided I was going to try Taste of Soul, I told myself that I’d go all out.  I’d try something new on the menu, I’d sit down for a full meal and I’d even get a dessert.  Taste of Soul’s menu is straight up soul food; you’ll find Fried Chicken, Ham Hocks, Salisbury Steak, Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas and other southern favorites.

So along with my friends Jay and Danny, we decided to try out Taste of Soul on a Saturday for lunch.  Here’s how our meal went…

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual/Take Out
  • Cuisine: BBQ/Southern
  • Prices: Individual items under $10, Some combos up to $15
  • Location: University District/Heights

Taste of Soul serves their food “cafeteria” style, immediately when you walk into the restaurant you’ll see the buffet counter with glass case covering.  Normally, I wouldn’t be that excited about seeing food that’s just sitting out and maybe we just happened to get their early, but everything looked really fresh.  My friend Danny and I ordered their ” $9 Dinner” which meant we got to choose a main dish (Fried Chicken/Ham Hocks/Salisbury Steak) and 3 choices of sides (Collard Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, etc).  The elderly woman behind the counter (I’m assuming the owner/chef) really piled on the food and made sure we each got our full $9 worth.

No shocker here, but the Fried Chicken was my favorite part of the meal.  No, it wasn’t anything ground breaking, but a really large and juicy piece of chicken with thin and flaky crust that had some good flavor.  In retrospect I probably would have added some hot sauce, but you could definitely eat it as is.  It wasn’t as fresh and eye opening as our Garris BBQ experience that we had at the 2009 Taste of Buffalo, but I’d go back for more.  The corn was sweet, the black eyed peas were sitting in a stew and gave them a strong pork flavor and the collard greens tasted fresh but still too bitter for my enjoyment.  Danny ordered the $9 Dinner as well and tried their Mac N Cheese which was good but his Candied Sweet Potatoes were really ridiculous (and were recommended from the cashier).  They were so incredibly sweet and soft that I could have made an argument for them to be listed on the dessert menu.


I ordered a side ($2.50) of their Peach Cobbler to go (I was a little stuffed).  Unfortunately, when she put my order into a small cup, the nice pastry crust on top was all broken up and when I got home it appeared that my order was primarily composed of only the peach filling.

Was my meal at Taste of Soul really anything ground breaking? Not so much, but you get a really large amount of food and everything was in the “good” range.  Having a really friendly elderly woman talk about her favorite menu items and the food being offered “cafeteria style,” I felt like I had a proper Soul Food experience.  Sadly, Buffalo isn’t really overflowing with Soul Food/Southern restaurants; Nadia’s Taste of Soul seems promising, Garris BBQ has been inconsistent and I’ve read good things about Gigi’s in the East Side.  So until I try those restaurants out I can’t declare Taste of Soul the best Soul Food in Buffalo.  However, for those of you who live near UB South, this is a great late night option for your drunk Friday or Saturday nights.  They are open until 1am on both days and I’m not sure what sounds better then corn bread and peach cobbler while working on a nice buzz.  Make sure that you have cash, they were not currently accepting credit cards during our visit.

Considering they moved into an empty restaurant building that has been sitting there vacant for as long as I can remember, I’m glad to see more new businesses opening on that strip of Main Street.

Taste of Soul on Urbanspoon

3 thoughts on “Food Porn: Taste of Soul

  1. Amstrad

    I have a feeling this place can very hit or miss as on the Saturday I decided to stop in the food looked the exact opposite of fresh and looked to have been sitting there for some time. It was bad enough looking that I decided against ordering all together and went elsewhere instead. I’ll have to give them another try in the future as I had high hopes for the place, it being one of the few restaurants in that area of the city.

    • Don Burtless

      I wouldn’t doubt that hit or miss nature, we happened to get there right after they opened so the food was still fresh and almost untouched.

  2. Peggy

    My boyfriend and I had dinner there on October 8th. The food was “melt in your mouth” awesome. The service was perfect and the family welcomes you with open arms. We had fried chicken and beef ribs. The yams had a sauce over them that instantly made you think of Thanksgiving. The chicken was perfectly fried with just a light crust and the beef ribs had a delicious sauce on it. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes soul food. You will not be disappointed.

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