Outside Sweet Magnolia Southern Cooking

Searching for creative and delicious dishes within Detroit’s Black food ecosystem has become easier and easier.  Cameraman Joe and I visited Sweet Magnolias Restaurant where we were thrilled to encounter the Magnolia’s Southern Omelet ($11.75) with a side of sumptuous Green Fried Tomatoes. This six egg monster omelet infused with collard greens, mac and cheese, on a bed of yams topped with red beans served with homemade pancakes should be #%$^&# illegal.  As you can imagine, flavors were spiraling from savory, salty, and sweet; each bite carried you on a journey through the African Culinary Diaspora for an unforgettable gastronomic experience. I know it looks crazy, but believe me, looks can be deceiving. A MUST HAVE for sure.

Magnolias Southern Omelet
Fried Green Tomatoes

The brainchild of Detroit native Carolyn Cannon, Sweet Magnolia’s is known for its Southern innovation. The restaurant is affectionately named after her mother, Magnolia, and committed to a standard of culinary excellence.  Manager and kitchen motivator Lauren Cannon provided our team with a tour of the kitchen, which could have easily been the set of Top Chef. She also introduced us to the joys of waffle making, which resulted in my enjoyment of a delightful, fluffy, and buttery Belgian Waffle with 4 scrumptious pieces of fried chicken wings for $12.25.

Chicken and Waffles

Next came the Shrimp and Grits ($14.95) with Parmesan cheese, sautéed onions, butter, and salt, for a harmonic meshing of flavors creating the perfect bedding for 5 char grilled shrimp served with a side of fresh baked and toasted Challah bread. What a magnificent homage to the New Orleans inspired dish.  Another MUST HAVE!

Shrimp and Grits

Feeling the New Orleans love, I turned to yet another African-American staple in their Fried Catfish Dinner ($15.95).  Each perfectly golden fried filet provided a window into the love for southern cooking embraced by this culinary team.  The delectable crispy exterior is an in-house creation blending sea salt, bread crumbs, spices and cornmeal. What’s inside is juicy and tender white fish.

Sweet candied yams braised with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and hints of black pepper and nutmeg were baked to a nice soft, yet firm texture along with classic red beans and rice which, a little added salt, had a great taste.  Oh, and a nice sweet cornbread muffin is served with all entrees.

Fried Fish Dinner

A healthier alternative to the catfish could be the Grilled Salmon ($18.95) topped with a cranberry cherry reduction and served with a sweet potato puree risotto and asparagus.  Savory, sweet, and salty, when eaten as a collective this dish carries an evolving flavor that can only be described as magical! The salmon was grilled to a tender, yet intact texture, preventing the filet from being too soft, flaky, and falling apart or the other extreme of being tough and chewy.  Another winner and MUST HAVE!

Grilled Salmon

Visiting various Detroit eateries, I had the opportunity to taste turkey ribs.  Now, please don’t think these are actual ribs of a turkey like Cameraman Joe did.  How the hell are you going to eat a damn turkey rib anyway?  That #$@% would be too small. Instead, a turkey rib is created by cutting and boning the bird but including the scapula bone and its associated muscles (meat)which are separated from the turkey carcass.

The BBQ Turkey Rib ($14.95) was tender and juicy, but it was the Memphis style BBQ sauce that truly brought out an incredible flavor.  Each side was enjoyable; however, the corn was the BEST SIDE ON THE MENU.  Seriously, the corn was spectacular. The collard greens needed a little Hillary Clinton magic so yet again, I called her up to borrow her hot sauce bottle. She’s such a good friend to The Hungry Black Man.

Turkey Ribs Dinner

Named after an amazing Black woman who was a wife, mother, grandmother, and an extraordinary cook who helped in setting the standard for Southern cuisine and hospitality for decades in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and who has left Detroit with this gastronomically pleasing eatery.

Manager Lauren, Head Chef, and The Hungry Black Man

Offering large and spacious seating with cozy booths and large tables, the natural light bursting through the many windows gives the restaurant’s interior a vibrant and inviting feel.  Friendly staff added to already amazing dining experience, which masters southern home-style cooking in the African-American tradition.

Sweet Magnolia’s received 10 out of 10 stars from this foodie along with The Hungry Black Man Approval.  You can reach Sweet Magnolias at (248) 281-6641 or visit them at 29221 Northwestern Hwy, Southfield, MI 48034.

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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


  1. We’re new readers of your blog and are loving your recommendations. We had lunch at Sweet Magnolia’s yesterday and it was fabulous and we wrote them a 5-star review on TripAdvisor. Can’t wait to see what you turn up in the Detroit area next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny you say this. I called today after reading this post on a friend’s page. I called to get their hours and to say the least I felt I disturbed the person who answered the phone. Not friendly at all. Even when I said I read the article and that’s what made me call. No reaction of thank you. I’m going to still visit tomorrow as planned hoping to have a different experience.


      1. I pray you have an enjoyable experience; even after my visit, I see more of the same type of posts on their Facebook page that mirrored my experience; thus I’m not inclined to return (just yet, I won’t say never)…

        A repost from my July 30th Review:
        “So far, not so good.

        Arrived 11:30am, informed of a 15-20 minute wait, bit was seated in 10 (11:40am) and another waitress finally came to take our order at 12pm…

        Nice ambiance though…we’ll see how the food is shortly…

        well it’s now 1:15 pm and still no food on our table….and to make matters worse the waitress who is not our waitress just informed us the kitchen doesn’t have our order….Chicken Shack we’re on our way…”


      2. I’m sorry about that! Please do come visit us, I will make sure you have an enjoyable experience. Just ask for Lauren, I’ll be there until 3pm. Otherwise ask for Courtney.
        Hope to see you!


  2. The food is pretty good…just don’t go towards the end of the day…you will definitely get the scraps! I don’t mind paying for a good meal but to pay $20 for 1 meal and get what I would consider picked over food is rediculous …I rather cook at home


    1. At least you were served….we arrived at 11:30am and left at 1:15pm and only had coffee…

      Funny thing though on Facebook I know they see all our complaints but they only respond to compliments….which says to me they don’t care…


  3. Visited once–hash browns were salty; ladies should wear hair nets–especially the ones with weaves. One young lady walked through the dining area running her fingers through her ‘weave’…not a good picture. Service provided by Kyra was awesome–very attentive.


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