In my opinion eating out is an experience. In reviewing places I often take into consideration certain things that have nothing to do with the food. While the food takes top priority the atmosphere, the decor, the service, etc. can make or break the "eating out" experience. So before I get on to the food portion of Soule I have to talk about two little things that bugged me.
First, there's a television.
I find a television in a restaurant terribly distracting and in very poor taste.
And as hard as I try I can't seem to stop looking at it. It's like we're conditioned to look at it even when the sounds is off. (More on this in a second.) There's no reason for me to be looking at it either. I'm dining with good company (Lesterhead) and we're having good conversations yet every once in a while I have to turn my head and watch Wheel of Fortune.
Second, their choice of music.
I'm going to date myself here but does anyone remember that commercial for the "Hey Love..." album?
(Yes, I said ALBUM.)
This is the commercial that starts off with several attactive black women sitting on a couch extremely bored and to get the "action" started one of the guys puts on the "Hey Love..." album.
Of course this gets the party started and everyone's now slow dancing.
It ends with one guy trying to take the album home and the other guy saying:
"No, my brother, you have to get your own. This one's mine."
(Or something like that.)
They only aired this commercial around 1 or 2 in the morning when your will is at it's weakest and your judgement is at it's poorest.
I'd swear they were playing the entire collection while we were having dinner. Music while you eat is a good thing but the "Classic Sounds of Sexy Soul" isn't what I would call music to dine by. It's just didn't feel right.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest I can continue with my normal review.
Soule is nice. They've got about 12 tables so it's decently sized. It's very sparsely decorated and a little darker than I would like but overall it's a nice place. It has a sort of homey feeling to it.
(But that could just be the television.)
The service was prompt and friendly. We were offered several glasses of wine while we waited for our entrees, which is a nice touch. They also brought us complimentary corn bread.
The corn bread was served warm and the dipping sauce was really nice and unique in flavor. The sauce had a coconut/pineapple type of sweetness and flavor but it was very hard to place.
Our appetizer was Deep Fried Catfish Strips with a Curry Pineapple Sauce. Tasty stuff but, then again, anything fried I'll usually like. I did think the breading or the fish was seasoned with something spicy to give it a bit more flavor. It's not unbearable but just enough that you notice it.
Overall it was okay, not great, but all I could think of was how good a Catfish Po'boy these strips with make. Add a little remoulade on some crusty french bread with a bit of lettuce...mmm. Reminds me of N'Awlins.
I ordered the BBQ Chicken and Ribs platter with a side of Collards and a side of Mac and Cheese.
BBQ sauce on meat does not a barbecue make. (What was I thinking?)
It wasn't bad but I guess I was expecting barbecue, one of my favorite food groups, and got this.
The Mac and Cheese was good but I'm a fan of the Blue box. I grew up on the Blue box and when it's not gooey and drippy like the Mac and Cheese from the Blue box I feel a little disappointed.
The Collards were good.
Lesterhead got the Fried Chicken and, of course, I had to try it.
(She's small, I'm large and there's starving children in China! I can't let food go to waste! What would my mother say? Plus I need to have some so I can review it! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
The Candy Yams are awesome! Sweet and oh so good. I think I'm officially hooked on them.
The piece of Fried Chicken I had was okay. I thought it was a little dry. Then again, if you want Fried Chicken there's a Crown across the street.
(A review of all the neighborhood Crowns will be forthcoming and, no, they're not all the same.)
Overall, I liked Soule.
I thought the food wasn't bad and for the amount of food we got it was a decent price. I would probably get takeout from there -- they offer free delivery -- only Soulé is on all the way on Fulton and I'm closer to Myrtle.
(5 Spots and Ruthie's on Myrtle is closer to me and offers the same type of dishes. )
I seriously doubt I would ever "eat in" there again. The television and the music was just enough to turn me off from doing that again but, hey, don't let that stop you. If you like to dine to the "Classic Sounds of Sexy Soul" be my guest.