Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Harlem East Side - Revisited

I went to Harlem East Side (@harlem1920with my newly-wed best friend, Ray, and his lovely wife Rian last week for dinner. I've been to Harlem once before about a year ago (see post here) and thoroughly enjoyed the food there. So when Rian suggested Harlem I was totally up for it (and it's not everyday that I get to eat soul food). Speaking of which, check out my post here which detailed my dinner at Gladys Knight and Ron Winans' Chicken and Waffles in Atlanta while on my business trip last year ^_*

Last time I was at Harlem, I had dinner upstairs where they had live jazz music. This time, dinner was downstairs where it was a lot brighter. 

That night's specials.

I wasn't too hungry as I ate a bit before dinner so I munched on appetizers that night while Ray and Rian had mains as well.


Catfish Lafayette - Seasoned deep fried morsels with a sweet chili hot sauce ($9.95)

I had this app last time too; it is really perfect for those who like sweet + chili sauce (i.e. me). I also love deep fried stuff so I naturally gravitate towards this dish :)

Candied Plantain - Ripe Plantain sautéed in a brown sugar caramel sauce ($5).

I've never had something so sweet for an app before! It was thick, sticky, sweet, and really filling. I enjoyed it since it is something different but personally, I don't know if I would order it again as an appetizer; I would rather have it as dessert, if possible.

Deep Fried Pickles ($5)

These deep fried pickles were a disappointment. The batter was way too thin and didn't even cover the whole pickle. The batter also didn't stick - when I picked it up it would fall apart so I had to be really gentle. Rian also preferred longer and thicker pickles (i.e. 3 big pickles over 5 small ones). 


Southern Fried Chicken - Crisp, tender and full of flavour. Served with Mac-n-Cheese and collard greens ($16.95).

Jerked Smoked BBQ Chicken - Served with collard greens and Mac-n-Cheese ($17.95)

Mac-n-Cheese (side) - I had a few bites and didn't like it. It needs to be a lot thicker with a lot more wasn't hearty at all. This was a far cry from the Mac-n-Cheese I had at The Gabardine a week ago! I remember that the last time I was at Harlem their Mac-n-Cheese was inconsistent too as some were a lot cheesier and thicker than others.

Since I didn't have any of the mains, I thought it was important to let you know what my friend Rian thought of our dinner. Rian's background is biracial (her Dad is Caucasian and her Mom is Black Scotian) and she grew up eating soul food.  This is what she had to say:

"Overall I was impressed with the authenticity of every dish. Chicken was moist inside, crispy on the outside and it was the perfect amount of seasoning. It reminded me of my youth eating my maternal grandmother’s fried chicken.

The jerk BBQ chicken was delicious b/c it was saucy, and was cooked perfectly. If you’re looking for a spicy jerk chicken, this is not the one. I enjoyed it nonetheless b/c I was aware that this is more of a Southern style as appose to a Caribbean/West Indian style."

Rian (@Mommy_Instincts) and I ^_^

We didn't order any dessert because we weren't too excited about what they had that night, which was red velvet cake. We would've totally went for a peach cobbler.

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