african-american-table
The African-American Table at Beans and Cornbread

Have you ever been to a restaurant where everything was simply amazing? I mean every damn thing – the drinks, service, food, and atmosphere – all magical? Well, such a place exists, and it is Beans and Cornbread Restaurant and Bar located at 29508 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034.

This Miami Foodie loves the 305, but increasingly Detroit is becoming my second home. (I even found myself bumping Big Sean, please forgive me Rick Ross.  I still look to be a true boss one day.)  I love seeing my people and Detroit’s beautiful food ecosystem. Honestly, many of the natives don’t know what they have in this amazing chocolate city.

Beans and Cornbread’s owner and operator Mr. Patrick Coleman developed his concept into a powerhouse restaurant that has been serving grateful customers for over 20 years!  This is honestly the Best Soul Food Spot in Detroit. His amazing managerial staff includes the formidable Ms. Jaquitta Terrell, who could have easily served as general in the Persian Gulf War.

end-of-article-phot
From Right to Left: Patrick Coleman, The Hungry Black Man, and Jaquitta Terrell

I started out at the bar. For those of you who support and understand why I decided to visit the bar first, I salute and appreciate you.  For those of you who are judging me, my feelings are terribly hurt.  I had a Peach Long Island Ice Tea that was absolutely delicious. It was made with top shelf spirits and mixed by a beautiful young lady bartender.

hennesee-cocktail
Peach Long Island

The Ice Tea was slamming, but my second drink was the show stopper!  A Grape and Strawberry Kool-Aid Martini! If this doesn’t show you there is a God, I don’t know what the $%@# will.  This absolutely delicious martini is a MUST HAVE! To get an idea of what I experienced, imagine stepping into a time machine to the candy lady’s house, getting a frozen cup, letting it melt, adding premium vodka and shaking it. If anything, this martini should be experienced above all!

grape-kool-aid
Grape Kool-Aid Martini
strwaberry-koo-laid
Strawberry Martini

My last drink was a Hennessy Cocktail of some sort that I honestly don’t remember the exact name, nor do I have a picture, because I had a slight challenge with keeping my drink at the time.

Because of their significance, I will start out with the side items and then go to the entrees. Sides are super important to a soul food plate.  When it comes to African-American culinary traditions, sides are almost more important than the main dish.  To order separately, the side prices range between $2-$4; but they are all included in the prices of the main plates.

beans-and-cornbread-food-truck
Beans and Cornbread Mobile Truck parked outside the Restaurant

My first side was the Candied Sweet Potatoes, definitely Black Thanksgiving ready.  Cooked to a beautiful firm yet soft texture, with a nice sweet taste and a hint of cinnamon giving you that holiday spice!  The Macaroni and Cheese embodied all the key elements of just enough salt, butter, and cheese for a nice hearty side. The cheese was melted through and through, while actually sticking to the pasta.  I hate it when the cheese separates from the damn noodles.

yams
Candied Yams

Following the mac, came the Black Eye Peas, which I had with white rice.  The peas were cooked to a great texture and were very tasty.  Next up – the Red Beans and Rice; interesting because last week I visited New Orleans (Red Beans and Rice capital) and ate myself drunk.  The Red Beans at Beans and Cornbread were actually better than some of the spots in NOLA.

sides
Mac and Cheese, Red Beans and Rice, Green Beans

My favorite side, however, was the Green Beans! Lord have mercy, these were the best green beans I have ever had in my life and they are a MUST HAVE!  The Collard Greens were pretty good, but benefited from the bottle of hot sauce I had like my good friend Hillary Clinton. I put a couple of drops in there so you may want to do the same, or a couple drops of vinegar, depending on how you were raised. There needs to be a Council to decide which condiment is the key to Collards, vinegar vs. hot sauce?  A true mystery of the universe!

potato-salad
Potato Salad

The Fried Okra is not to be missed.  Each little nugget was fried to golden glory with amazing flavor and a crisp exterior.  The Potato Salad was exactly the way I like it with a slight, not overpowering sweetness. Lastly, the Cornbread was definitely on point; which I love to eat with my collards.

fried-okra
Fried Okra
black-eye-peas
Black Eye Peas and Rice

In sampling all these items, I had a crazy craving for a grilled cheese sandwich, so when I saw it on the menu, I ordered one.  THIS GAVE ME LIFE!  I am a sucker for a good grilled cheese sandwich.

grill-cheese
Grilled Cheese

Every single entrée was a MUST HAVE!  I started with the Fresh Salmon Croquettes with two sides ($16).  Each delicious fish patty was pan fried to perfection.  The taste was absolutely incredible. To be honest, these were the best I’ve had. Detroit keeps surpassing my culinary experiences! It comes with a nice roasted red pepper sauce at the top.  You can ask to omit the sauce if you just want the fish.  I ordered a side of grits with mine because I’m country as $%&@. Definitely a MUST HAVE.

salmon-croquette
Salmon Croquettes

Second was the Swamp Thing!  Yes, that is the name of this dish that comes with a fried catfish filet topped with gumbo, rice, collard greens and two large shrimp! I ate this thing so fast you would have thought I was starving.  The gumbo was so good I ordered a bowl ($6).  Good God, just writing this I need to take time for the man upstairs.

swamp-thing
Swamp Thing

Lord, thank you yet again, for allowing me to come to the City of Detroit and eat to my just reward.  You gathered all these black people in one city with the knowledge that they would create AMAZING food just as you are AMAZING. After tasting the awesomeness of this restaurant, it confirmed that you are pleased with me and my work.  Please continue to rain your blessing in both culinary and non-culinary forms. Amen

gumbo
Gumbo

Following Swamp Thing we ordered the BABY SISTER’S BACKYARD-STYLE RIBS (Market Price)!  These ribs were cooked to tender perfection with a delicious tangy sauce that was like no other. I really couldn’t put it in a category, but if I had, it was more Kansas City in texture, flavor, and cooking style.  I would only order this if I’m truly hungry.

ribs
Baby Sister Ribs

The decor is beautifully nostalgic and culturally impacting with pictures of famous African-Americans and amazing commissioned art work from local artist. I love that most of the photos on the walls appear to be from the Harlem Renaissance.

artwork
Beautiful painting by local Black artist

 

Cozy and spacious booth seating as well as individual tables are available. You can also choose to eat and drink at their spacious bar.  The place is pretty popular and the bar gets jumping for their amazingly affordable happy hour.  I ended up getting drunk but I had the pleasure of speaking to some beautiful black professional women before I embarrassed myself and catching an Uber to my hotel. This was honestly the best SOUL FOOD in the City of Detroit. The experience was nothing short of amazing and I can’t wait to visit again. Beans and Cornbread gets a 10 out of 10 and the HUNGRY BLACK MAN’s stamp of approval.  Call for reservations at (248) 208-1680. 

Follow The Hungry Black Man on Facebook @thehungryblackman and Instagram at #thehungryblackman! Sign up for great eateries around the country by dropping your email below!  

Written by thehungryblackman

Starex Smith is an accomplished and experienced public administrator, fundraiser, foodie, and culinary business developer who has committed himself to maximizing the Black experience in the United States! He currently serves as Vice President of Strategy and Development for Black Tech Week with over twelve (12) years of experience in managing public/private partnerships, large scale events, and nonprofits. He has successfully raised over 20 million dollars in funding for various governmental entities, food companies, and individuals. Starex has assisted countless food industry businesses successfully obtain funding, taking mom and pop storefronts to scalable businesses. His success in working with restaurants sparked a passion for food and entrepreneurship which led to the launching of Sothern Bytes, a teaching platform food business dedicated to an ever evolving food industry with a focus on technology, culture and innovation. Having constantly run into stereotyping negatively affecting his dining and vacationing experiences, Starex decided to curate great destinations, restaurants, and discuss issues surrounding being a hungry Black man. Starex completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s coursework in Public Administration at Florida International University where he served as president of the Black Student Union and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Lambda Tau Chapter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s