Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fish & Chips Soul Food Heaven – St. Paul, MN

EnyaFace! and I like to grab delicious food from time to time and on our way back from the Rice Street Deli, I drove past this place called the Frogtown Deli. I mentioned we should eat there and we finally managed to coordinate our schedules enough to both make it. When I showed up, it no longer said Frogtown Deli, and the sign on the window said it was now the Fish & Chips Soul Food Heaven. No worries there. I was going to eat whatever was inside.

I went inside to have a minute to check out the menu. They have a printed menu and also a menu over the counter. Look at both, just to be on the safe side, because the menu over the counter has better descriptions of what things are. Oddly enough, it had some similar items to Rice Street Deli on it. In fact, it had Gangsta Burgers and Gangsta Fries on it. Wait, did Rice Street Deli change locations? I’ll have to get to the bottom of this. The inside is sparsely furnished with a couple of booths and a couple of tables. And the walls had crazy tropical murals painted on them like it used to be a Mexican restaurant or something…. But I’ll get to that.

Also, one of the guys coming out of the restaurant told me they deliver, so definitely keep that in mind. Here’s the menu, since there isn’t going to be one online for some time.

I finally decided what I wanted just in time for EnyaFace! to show up. I got a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich and EnyaFace! got some fried chicken. I also thought we should share a SMALL order of Gangsta Fries. (We tried the large order before and barely made a dent between the both of us.) And I scored an Orange Fanta, since I’m a fan.

And yes, it does say maximum occupancy is TWELVE. Awesome.

The food you order gets shouted out from the counter and you go get it. I got my sandwich first, and it looked delicious. Really really really delicious. It comes with fries (which I hadn’t realized, so I guess I’ll have double fries. I had to go up to the counter to get ketchup on them (the guy squirted it on my fries for me – I only knew he would do that because I overheard another customer getting the same thing done), but it isn’t a big deal. He was generous with the ketchup, so no complaints. I had to wait for EnyaFace!’s food to come out before I started in on mine.

I went up and got the Gansta Fries next. If you haven’t heard me rave about Gangsta Fries, then you haven’t hung out with me very much. I talk about them a lot. They’re fries, covered in gyro meat and then covered with tzatziki sauce. You can also get a bunch of other ingredients on top – which I did: peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers, etc. So I picked up the Styrofoam container that came in and waited for the fried chicken to get finished. It wasn’t that long, I promise you.

We got all of our food and dug in. The Gangsta Fries are as good as I remember. Slathered in cucumber sauce, they start crispy and then get soggy towards the end, just like I like. The gyro meat is delicious and the other toppings give it some zing. These are some of my favorite fries (that aren’t poutine, of course). Again, stick with a small order unless you’re feeing a family of you’ve got 20 people over for football or something.

The Philly Cheesesteak was delicious as well. Great flavor in the meat and the green peppers weren’t overpowering. (I also ordered it without onions, to save my guts for certain doom, so keep that in mind.) The cheese they put on there was tasty and there was just a small amount of mayo on the top, so I was happy to see the focus was on the meat (twss). Really a delicious sandwich. It isn’t going to compete with one from Philly, but it certainly hit the spot for me.

EnyaFace! gave me one of her fried chicken wings and I was surprised they were as good as they were. They didn’t look flaky like KFC, but they had great flavor and weren’t greasy. There was a decent amount of meat on them, which is sometimes not the case at other places with wings. But again, the flavor was great, so no complaints. I’m not sure if 6 of them would fill me up though. I’d probably have to go with 12 if I was going to order this.

As we were finishing up our meal, the owner walked in and asked how everything was. And I’m almost positive it is the guy from the Rice Street Deli. I should have asked, but I was in a food coma. The owner said he had just bought the place two weeks ago and changed the name. In fact, he was going to close for a few days and totally renovate the place. Actually, there were guys there all of a sudden with buckets of paint and moving furniture so they could paint the interior walls. “Oh. You mean NOW.” He said he was going to put in some flat screens and spice it up a little bit and make it more inviting. The owner is a super nice guy and again, I’m pretty sure it’s the guy that let me take pictures of my first Gangsta Burger a couple of years back, over at the Rice Street Deli. Very good guy and proud of his work – he should be, it’s top-notch.

I’m hoping he’s open again now and I can’t wait to see the inside of the place. The food is delicious and not expensive and it’s a pretty low-key operation. If you’re in that neck of the woods, go grab some food to go. Or apparently, they deliver. Sadly, I’m positive I’m out of the delivery zone, but I can always come harass EnyaFace! and bring her chicken. I’m sure she won’t complain.

Top 5 things about Fish & Chips Soul Food Heaven
1. Gangsta Fries
2. Philly Cheese steak
3. Fried Chicken
4. Really nice owner and staff
5. They deliver AND they’re open until 11pm weekdays and midnight on weekends!!!

Bottom 5 things
1. It isn’t fancy – this isn’t a downside, but I like to warn people who are more high-falutin’ than I am
2. I have no idea what the interior will look like, since they were painting when we left
3. They ran out of forks while we were there, so we had to spoon everything hahaha
4. Really, there’s nothing bad about this place, I’m gasping for straws (which they also did not have hahaha)
5. Quit reading. I’m done. There aren’t any more bad things!!

Chicken & Fish Soul Food Heaven
444 West Maryland Avenue N.
St. Paul, MN 55107

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is the best !!!! good food, no flash all substance

Anonymous said...

I love the Rice Street Deli!!! I actually witnessed a brawl between the young cook at RSD and a couple guys from Frogtown Deli who were handing out flyers outside the RSD when Frogtown first opened. They totally highjacked RSD's menu. Glad to see that they are out of business and the owner of the RSD bought them out. He's the coolest guy ever. :)

Anonymous said...

Finally remembered to stop over and read the review! We HAVE to go back! My hair looks like crap in that photo. Thanks, bro! lol

EnYa Face!

little1 said...

I looked around at all the post and any comments that was made of this place. Sadly I am disappointed to say my experience was not the reaction that all those positive and rave reviews had to say. The food was cold except for the greens. The sad part of that is that the smothered chicken and pork chops wad in a buffet warmer before it was served. the food was also bland I have never eaten bland soul food a day in my life. Idk maybe they was having a bad day. I hope so. I will try them again seeing as how it is the only soul food joint in st. Paul, MN.

Anonymous said...

I did not appreciate my experience today at Soul Food Heaven. The cook was sticking her finger in the food on the stove to taste it, which I found to be very inappropriate. The lobby and ceiling was very dirty, the floor was sticky. One would expect a more cleaner environment when ordering or eating food.

Anonymous said...

I went to soul food hell tonight
oh soul food heaven. This is the worst food I have had in a long time. mac and cheese brown smothered chicken was like brown paste