For those of you who are reading or hearing about this for the first time, Soul Kitchen is a charitable restaurant where payment is not required. A $20 donation is requested for a 3 course meal, if you cannot afford the suggested donation you can eat for free and volunteer as payment for your meal.
On June 27, 2019 myself as well as 13 of my fellow Ho’s held a gathering or more affectionately knows as a Ho’down at Soul Kitchen. In lieu of the suggested $ 20. donation we offered to pay $ 50. pp in order to “pay it forward”.
I arrived at about 6:30pm to ensure everything was “set” and there were still diners in the dining room. Wendy, the executive chef and my main contact for the event asked that we give them time to finish their normal dining then the venue would be ours. By 7:05 all of our guests had arrived and the room was set. The dining room itself is very nice, probably a dozen or so tables of which they set up two primary tables for us. They also set up a bar with the various BYO"s generously supplied by our guests. (shout out to @PHREDDY @joonjoon @MsBean @jsfein et al for their BYO contributions)
The meal was a 3 course choice of soup or salad, entree, desert. I chose the salad, burger and the desert was an apple spice cake. This is a charitable venture and they pride themselves on locally sourced farm to table ingredients, I went into this with the charity first and my “foodie expectations” second. I was happily surprised that the food was actually good, very good. The salad was light, fresh and the homemade dressing was perfect. The burger while not a kobe/wagyu etc. style burger, it was topped with a pinapple slice, fried onions and aioli sauce that truly worked perfectly together. I was very pleasantly surprised by the burger. I had a bite of my wife’s chicken, which was a non breaded cutlet made parmesean style and it was very good. The other entree offered was salmon and while I didn’t’ try it I did not hear any complaints or see any dishes go back. I almost forgot they had a ravioli on the menu in a pesto sauce which was very good as well. (we had a few extra to share around the tables)
The apple spice cake for desert was a perfect end to a wonderful meal. Once again though the highlight of the night was being able to share the experience with my fellow Ho’s, another shout out to @SteveR (I think I tagged the right Steve lol) & @PHREDDY who both made a trip from the outer boroughs of NY to spend the night with the Motley Monmouth County Ho’s.
I know pictures were taken so I’m going to ask that those with pics please share. I want to say Thank you to Wendy Escobedo, Executive Chef for all her help, excellent job on coordinating and your kitchen/ menu skills. Lastly a special thank you to:
@seal & Mrs. Seal
@BossaNova & Mrs. Nova
@jsfein & Mrs. Sein
@MsBean & Mr. Bean (who was missed)
@heidicooksandbakes (thank you for the donation(s) even though you couldn’t attend)
@CurlzNJ (especially for all the help coordinating and the name tags!!)
@SteveR (still hope this is the right Steve)
@PHREDDY & Mrs. Phreddy (Thank you for the wine and your company)
@joonjoon (The Current Hot Dog Eating Champion of Asbury Park)
@ Mrs. Notjr (Yes believe it or not there is a woman who can tolerate me for 25 friggin years!!!)
Lastly…@sck for providing us this format where a group of stragglers that were left for dead on Chow Island were able to transplant themselves and continue our good times and food adventures.
Peace my friends.