America’s Next Great Restaurant Is Actually Pretty…Good

The words “healthy” and “soul food” would probably send shivers of terror down many people’s spines, but these things no longer surprise me. It seems like every new place opening in or near the Financial District is trying to make their food healthy-sounding. And this is what you get from Soul Daddy, a new restaurant at the South St. Seaport, begat from a reality TV show, that we first showed you Tuesday. The restaurant takes soul food, puts it in a space that is reminiscent of Chipotle, and tries to let you eat lunch without having a heart attack afterward. Fair enough, but how does it taste?  

I went on opening day but lines were not out of control because of its odd location. You kind of have to know it’s there unless you’re particularly observant and work near the Seaport. It’s a fairly large space with a lot more seating than I’m used to seeing. There’s a choice of six mains including ribs, baked chicken, pork and a vegetarian option, along with a pulled pork sandwich. One annoying thing about the menu is you have to get most of it as a meal meaning if you want more than one piece of chicken you’re out of luck. The meals come with either a whole wheat biscuit or cornbread waffle.

I got the baked herb chicken meal ($8.95). It’s a little hard to tell the scale but this was a decent amount of food. The meal included a chicken breast, two sides and a bread item. The wild rice salad was more successful than the cheese grits which didn’t really seem cheesy (I’m guessing in a bid to go with the healthy theme).

This was a great piece of chicken and edged out the cornbread waffle as my favorite part of the meal. Again, hearty eaters may be hungry even after eating an entire meal so you might want to get an extra bread item for $1 if you’re starving. I’d definitely eat there again and I’m curious about the pulled pork sandwich (even though it comes on a whole wheat bun).

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • It’s nice eating soul food and not feeling gross afterward.
  • I work by the Seaport and this is a far better option than Uno Chicago Grill.
  • Cornbread waffles!

THE — (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I wish they had more options other than meals.
  • Pulled pork does not belong on a whole wheat bun.

Soul Daddy, 189 Front St. (at John), (212) 269-2324



  • I wouldn’t go just to spite Curtis Stone and that stick in the arsed Chipotle dude. Sucks that there wont be fried chicken.

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    Ugh!!! Baked chicken and waffles suck together! The great thing about the fried chicken with the soft waffle is a combination of the sweet and salty coupled with the contrast of the crispy chicken and soft waffle. They could, at least, oven fry the chicken.

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