Read Part 1 here.
Step 2: Soul Food Buffet
Captain Hard Time’s Buffet was our next stop, no more than a ten-minute drive from the church. As we shuffled into the building, we were pleasantly surprised by (and took a few Snapchat pictures of) the restaurant’s entrance. The walls were so completely covered with portraits of black men and women that only small slivers of pink wallpaper were peeking from beneath. In the dining area, chandeliers filled the room with a romantic glow and soul food set in silver platters were lined up against the wall. Each table was draped in white cloth and delicately decorated with a bouquet of white or red roses in a tall glass vase set at the center.
Of course, hungry students couldn’t care less for interior design. Some of the students’ family members who were living in Chicago came to share a meal with us as well. We dug into macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, dumplings, collared greens, salmon croquettes, stuffing, potato salad, peach pie, and so on, and washed it all down with water or sweet tea.
By the end of the hour, the Phelps Scholars were full and happy. The owner of the restaurant jubilantly spoke a few words of thanks and an invitation to return next year. Mr. Brown and Prof. Vega herded us to the center of the room where we took several memorable photos.
Keep in touch for Step 3: Magnificent Mile, Chicago.