Favorite

Take your body to Soul 

New Fayetteville restaurant does Southern cuisine right.

0214dining_image1.jpg

FAYETTEVILLE — Despite the name, Soul is not a classic soul-food restaurant, nor is it intended to be. We suggested “upscale soul” as a definition. Steven Brooks, who is the executive chef and one of the owners, says his restaurant deals in “international eclectic cuisine with strong Southern influences.”

For example: One in our party had hickory smoked pork tenderloin medallions — very good — with fried okra and wasabi mashed potatoes. Another had the herb-and-toasted-walnut-encrusted breast of chicken — also very good — with sweet potato hash and roasted vegetables. The sweet potato hash, made with bacon and onion, was new to us, and got mixed reviews from our party. It may take some getting used to.

On the other hand, the sweet potato pie — a soul food staple — was loved at first bite, and evidently that's a common reaction. Brooks said the pie won a Northwest Arkansas dessert contest held to raise money for charity.

As Sunday is good for your soul, Soul is good for Sunday. Soul's brunch is known for its Stackers — made to order scrambled eggs layered with, for example, andouille sausage, potatoes and Hollandaise. Our experience was that the Stackers were a standout, but if you like your eggs flatter, the Eggs Bennie were superb, poached perfectly, the Hollandaise light and rich at the same time, the muffin homemade. Soul's hashed browns are little cubes of deeply fried potatoes, delicious. A warning: At Soul, pepper is to the Bloody Marys as sugar is to very sweet tea. The drinks are made to suit, however, so if you like your Mary a little less bitter, say so.

Brooks, who grew up in Alabama, has been a chef in Northwest Arkansas since 2000, but Soul is his first experience with ownership. One of his partners is Case Dighero, who has been involved in the Northwest Arkansas culinary community, especially the Dickson Street branch, since the 1990s. Dighero works at Soul with Brooks. The third owner is Jim Smith, a Fayetteville lawyer.

The restaurant opened Oct. 2. Business has been good, Brooks said, despite Soul's being some distance from Dickson Street, the eating-and-drinking core of Fayetteville. It doesn't hurt that Brooks and Dighero have a twice-a-week cooking show on local cable television.

“Fresh field greens with soul-seasoned grilled chicken” is one of the salads on the menu. “Stuffed deep South shrimp wrapped in Arkansas bacon” is an appetizer. But if you prefer “Traditional Chicken Kiev,” you can get that too.

Soul has a fairly extensive wine list, a number of imported and domestic beers and a whole bunch of specialty martinis and other cocktails. It's a pretty place, and we found the lounge area, which has a few booths for diners around the walls, particularly comfortable. Most of the diners are at tables in the main room. It's a friendly place, too. Both Brooks and Dighero stopped by our booth at different times to chat, and they didn't know we were reviewers.

Soul Restaurant and Lounge

31/2

3878 N. Crossover Road

Fayetteville

479-442-0800

Quick Bite

Not a traditional “soul food” place, but if you want a pork chop, fried okra and sweet potato pie, you can get it.

Hours

Lunch from 11 to 2 Tuesday through Friday. Dinner 5 to 10 Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 11 Friday and Saturday. Brunch 10:30 to 2 Sunday.

Other info

Don't expect traditional soul food prices, either. A couple of the entrees for our party were $30 apiece. There's a full bar, offering a lot of “specialty” drinks in addition to the usual. Credit cards are accepted.

Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Latest in Dining Review

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation