A Hidden Gem! Love It!
So today after a week of finding out about this place called Real Deal Soul Food I finally got a chance to try it out. Soul food is one of my favorite styles and wish more places served it. But not very many places in Waco and surrounding areas serve traditional soul food, so I was really excited to hear about this place… . I tried to go here last week, but apparently Google gave me their old address.
They apparently used to be over on Clifton street and used to get great reviews from the locals… Im not sure why they had to move. So while searching for The Real Deal I ran across a place called Pop Walton’s… but we’ll get there later.
It is a nice small place, right off I-35 & New Dallas Highway. We go inside and the crew working all welcome you in, find a table and sit. They have their menu written on the wall; its real simple, you choose one main item and 3 sides. They have a lot of great items ranging from ox tails, meat loaf, baked chicken, yams, mac, and squash… and so much more.
A friend of mine goes here often and she tells me they have great meatloaf… and I love meat so I chose the Meatloaf with a side of yams, mac & cheese, corn bread and sweat tea; my dad chose the Smoked Ribs, yellow potato salad and yams…. he didn’t want his 3rd side.
So while we are waiting on our food the lady brings out some corn bread and our sweet tea. The corn bread is cooked in a skillet (cast iron Im betting), and it was delicious. Nice and crispy, nicely sweet and great flavor… was some great Corn Bread. Not much later, our food comes out nice and steaming… Looks great and smells great. I get 2 big slices of meatloaf (covered with some ketchup), and big servings of each side. I try the meatloaf first, its nice and hot, juicy (not dry like some places) and has a great flavor. They probably could’ve cut back some on the ketchup, since the meat was so juicy and flavorful. So next time Ill ask them for that. It also has no veggies in it, besides a chopped onion here and there, which I like… cant stand veggies in my meat loaf. This was some of the best meatloaf Ive ever had. They yams are chucky style, cooked nice and tender, with a very sweet flavor… I really enjoyed them. The mac and cheese consists of shell noodles, which are cooked al dente, the cheese is nice and creamy with nice flavor (and definitely wasn’t Velveeta like some places try to get away with). The corn was alight. I also stole one of my dads smoked ribs and a bite of his yellow potato salad. The ribs were great, the meat was tender and the flavor was nice. The potato salad was nice and creamy, with just the right amount of mustard, will definitely get that as a side next time.
When we first got there, we were the only people there. But while eating our meal, the place started to fill up… which is great to see. Over all I really enjoyed the food, service and atmosphere. Ill definitely be going back to try EVERYTHING on their menu! I think next round Ill try their Salisbury steak. If you enjoy Real home-style soul food, I highly recommend you go give them a try. For both our meals, we paid around $21, which might seem a little pricey for a local joint…. but they are well worth it.
To write a review of Real Deal Soul Food would be somewhat akin to writing a review of your favorite Thanksgiving Feast cooked by your grandmother. There is something so qualitatively better about the food there than anywhere else, that it feels wrong rating it. It's like comparing the power of God to a sneeze.
When you order, don't be afraid of the things you have always been afraid of everywhere else because they remind you of school food-- such as salisbury steak and meatloaf-- because these are the best things on the menu. The flavor of everything is so rich that I imagine Paula Deen back in the kitchen saying "Are you sure you want to put THAT much butter in the gravy?"
On top of the amazing entree, before your meal they serve free corn-cakes that will fill you up. With the entree comes several sides-- green beans, mashed potatoes, and numerous other items-- that each taste like bacon. You can't beat that.
There is nothing wrong about this place, except for the small dining room and the hard-to-find location. If you can make it past that, you will be fine. This is one of those places that you don't want to go to that often, it is so good.
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