Take your body to Soul 

New Fayetteville restaurant does Southern cuisine right.


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


3878 N. Crossover Road



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.


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.


From the ArkTimes store

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

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Dining Review

  • Right at the corner

    The Restaurant at the Market dishes up date-night deliciousness.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • Tastes right

    But Brave New needs a tune-up.
    • Sep 14, 2017
  • La Ha forever

    The newly spiffed-up Mexican favorite still warms hearts, bellies.
    • Sep 7, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  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

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tastes right

    • 'Diogenes - I'm glad you've had good meals there. However on Saturday May 28th 2011…

    • on September 20, 2017
  • Re: Tastes right

    • Big Fun you seem to be suffering from Pteronarcophobia :-)

    • on September 20, 2017
  • Re: Tastes right

    • BeoWulfie, how many dead-for-days flies did you see at Brave New?

    • on September 20, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation