June 18, 2020
In 2019, Alexandria Jones set out on a mission: to interview owners of a handful of black-owned eateries across Tampa Bay. She turned those interviews into a half-hour documentary called A Soulful Taste: Exploring Tampa Bay’s Black-Owned Food Scene.
In February 2020, Alex uploaded the video to YouTube, where you can watch the film in its entirety. Alex often writes about food on her blog, The Frugalista Life. She’s also a freelance food writer for Creative Loafing. Those connections came in handy when it came time to select restaurant owners to interview for the film.
The eateries featured in A Soulful Taste are:
7th + Grove: This Ybor City newcomer has quickly become the go-to spot for Sunday brunch, Friday fish fries and colorful cocktails. Menu items include fried chicken and waffles, catfish po’boys, crab cakes and collard greens.
Cask Social Kitchen: Sure, this South Tampa hangout includes traditional soul food staples like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes. But you’ll also find unexpected options like buffalo cauliflower tacos and a mimosa salad. Moreover, there’s a vast selection of wines, cocktails and local craft beers.
Grant’s Crabs Seafood & Grille: Blue crab, snow crab, mussels, shrimp and fish sandwiches are a good catch at this Largo eatery. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, there are chicken wings and plenty of sides—think garlic potatoes, french fries, broccoli and corn—to keep you full. Take home a jar of Studdah Buttah, the restaurant’s signature “liquid gold” sauce.
The Hall on Franklin: The fare at this upscale food hall in Tampa Heights ranges from Southern to Mexican to Korean and more. The eatery is full-service, meaning customers place their order with a server rather than standing in multiple lines, as owner Jamal Wilson explained to The Zest in 2019.
Main Course Restaurant & Lounge: With locations in West Tampa and Brandon, this comfort food spot serves up seafood, pasta dishes, chicken wings, breakfast sandwiches and more. Its popular Instagram account showcases the latest droolworthy specials.
Ya Boy’s BBQ: Ribs, pulled pork and chicken are the menu headliners are this West Tampa comfort food spot. Side dishes include soul food favorites like macaroni and cheese, baked beans, fried okra and potato salad.
Explore The Zest
Host: Dalia Colón
Producer: Dalia Colón & Robin Sussingham
Photo Credits: Dalia Colón