I woke up earlier than usual this Saturday morning and decided to hit the Gym after 2 weeks due to my back problem. Today I attended a Belly Dancing class and for all of those critics who think that Belly Dancing is not a real workout, I assure you it is. It was hard and totally worked the stomach, hips, and lower back. I’m waiting to feel my abs in pain tomorrow morning, however I’m praying my lower back is not in pain.
The class was so much fun, and of course, all girls! The instructor was soooo hot, whatever, I can appreciate beauty when I see it, even if it is a woman. I think Belly Dancing is one of the most exotic and sensual types of dancing in the world. I’ve been fascinated with this form of art for years and have a bunch of workout home videos, but nothing compares to taking a class that can really kick your butt. The music is romantic, intoxicating, emotional, playful all at the same time. The moves are so sensual… at one point I was simultaneously shimmy-ing and undulating my hips… that was so incredibly HARD, but I deserve an A for effort. 🙂 I want to keep learning and get better at Belly Dancing, and thus I’ll be attending next Saturday’s class… I so wish I had a girlfriend close by to go with me, I can’t exactly drag my husband, you know? 🙂
Having said that, yesterday I ate Soul Food which totally negates everything I have been talking about. Gotta live a little, you know? My best friend, Jhiane, came over to hang with me which was long overdue. She bought me a Red Velvet cupcake from Cupcakes by Carousel which was very average, but it is the thought that counts. In general, I think my friends and I are just spoiled with our proximity to New York City because of the amazing cupcakes we so often enjoy there, New Jersey just doesn’t live up to the same standard as the Big Apple. In any case, Jhiane wanted to go to Soul Flavors which is a cute little restaurant in downtown Jersey City. I had no choice but to comply, my biggest weakness is Mac n Cheese! We missed our friend, Marian, who was suppose to join us, but instead ended up volunteering in Brooklyn… she’s great like that! Next time M&M!
Btw… tonight is Date Night with my hubby, I think we’re gonna order in… I can’t wait! It’s nice to have a lazy Saturday!
TELL ME: What is the most fun dancing class you have ever taken?
354 Grove Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(Grove St. PATH)
From the outside this restaurant appears romantic and slightly upscale, however when I walked in I was let down by the decor. The left side of the restaurant looks nice with gray curtains adorning the windows, this portion seems upscale, and however the right side is just all wrong.
On the right side you see the tables, hanging wires, coat hangers, and a stereo, it just seems like you are in dining at a shack. Not just that, the lighting is terrible, seriously, all they need to do is dim the lights and have a votive candle on each table which would give the entire room a nice romantic glow. I think my idea is GENIUS!
In addition, they have a stereo sitting above and you can see the wire hanging below which is so unbelievably tacky in my opinion. If they simply dimmed the lights, a lot of these flaws would be concealed.
Casual Dining, Couples, Groups, Kid Friendly.
Soul Food, Southern.
MENU – $$
Soul Food Menu. The prices here are reasonable. Entrees range from about $10 to $20 each. The sides are about $4 to $6. The portions here are pretty filling, but I didn’t feel so stuffed as you would normally feel after exiting any Soul Food restaurant. Lastly, Soul Flavors is BYOB.
Dinner for 2 people:
1 Home made Lemonade, 3 sides, 2 entrees = $54 (including 19% tip)
RECOMMENDED HEALTHY EATS… choices below are based on my knowledge of food and nutrition. Most dishes at any Soul Food restaurant will be quite high in fat and calories because most dishes are deep fried. Avoid the traditional Mac n Cheese, Cornbread, Biscuits, Fried Chicken, and opt for grilled or saute items. There is no online nutritional information available for Soul Flavors. Please use your own discretion when making a decision.
|Chili & Garlic Broiled Jumbo Shrimp|
|House Salad w/dressing on side|
|Melange “A” Salad w/dressing on side|
|Jerked Chicken (minus fried plantains)|
|Jerked Salmon (minus fried plantains)|
|Pan Blackened Catfish|
|Jumbo Shrimp (go easy on the Coconut Curry sauce)|
|Meatless Vegetarian Strudel (move the garlic cream to the side)|
|Garlic Sauteed String Beans|
|Black Eyed Peas|
|Carrot Mango Salad|
|Sauteed Baby Spinach|
First off, my friend, Jhiane, ordered a Homemade Lemonade which was extremely sweeeeeeeeeeeet in my opinion and hers. I forgot to take a picture… hehe!
Jhiane ordered the Homemade Cornbread and Homemade Biscuits. She loved both. Cornbread is not my favorite, but I have to say this was amazing cornbread and really liked it. It was slightly crispy on top and really moist. The biscuits were out of this world, I can honestly say these are the best biscuits I have ever had. They were so tender and you could taste some butter in it.
We both ordered a side of Aunt Dot’s Macaroni & Cheese. Mac n Cheese is my most favorite item at any Soul Food restaurant so I wasn’t about to pass on it.
The Mac n Cheese was cheesy and creamy, it was very good. So far, nothing beats the best Mac n Cheese I have ever had at Chat n Chew in New York City… CnC’s version was not only cheesy and creamy, but crunchy, too!
For her entree, Jhiane ordered the Smothered Chicken which was “buttermilk marinated fried chicken smothered in a rich chicken & caramelized onion gravy.” Did I tantalize your taste buds by telling you that? DAMN… it was good as hell, excuse my language, but DAMN, IT WAS GOOD AS HELL! The chicken was literally drenched in the caramelized onion gravy and I’m positive the sodium level was extremely high. According to Jhiane, “this is the best chicken I have ever had in my life.”
Lastly, for my entree I avoided fried food and tried to be somewhat good (yeah right), I went for the Jerked Salmon with Mango Salsa.
The salmon was served on top of the sweet fried plantains (maduros) alongside the mango salsa.
There were so many flavors going on here… the salmon was grilled, slightly spicy, and juicy, whereas the mango salsa was slightly sweet made with a combination of mango and onions. The salsa really complemented the salmon; I love the sweet & spicy combo.
The Sweet Fried Plantains were good, however I have to say I have had better, these were sweet and average.
VERDICT – 4 / 5
Now although the decor is just average, the food is at a whole different level. I would give the food alone 5 out of 5! Just check out the client list at Soul Flavors, this includes Madonna, Jay Z, Jon Bon Jovi, and more. I believe the client list alone speaks volume about the food at Soul Flavors. The food here is amazing, mouth watering, and delicious. Hands down, one of the best soul food restaurants I have ever been to. I bet my husband regrets not coming along with us, he would have totally indulged in the Buttermilk Marinated Fried Chicken, oh yes I know him that well! I really wish Soul Flavors would step it up with their decor, I mean they have everything going for them… amazing homemade food, friendly waiters, and very reasonable prices. $14.50 for my salmon is not bad at all, compared to most other places which charge over $19 for salmon. This restaurant could be kicked up several notches if they only fixed the lighting.
For my score, I knocked off 1/2 a point for decor, and the other 1/2 point because certain meals take over 25 minutes to arrive… this is stated on the menu, but man we were both so hungry which is why we ended up ordering 3 sides. Next time I want to try the Jerked Chicken which is much spicier than the Jerked Salmon. I also want to indulge in Ms. Vicky’s Bourbon Glazed Bread Pudding… I bet you are thinking, am I really a Jersey gal?!?!? And just for the record, both Jhiane and I were so comforted after eating Soul Food… isn’t that the point? 🙂 I LOVE Soul Food, this place is a definite keeper and shame on me for not having discovered it sooner… a hidden gem in downtown Jersey City!
TELL ME: What is the most fun dancing class you have ever taken?