Soul Food Served by Southern Grace

By Owen Miguel, Staff Writer

Tired of the monotony of Currito burritos, Xavier students have been asking for better food options on and near campus. The wait is over: New soul food restaurant Southern Grace Eats opened on Montgomery Road next to the All For One shop over the summer.

Chances are you haven’t heard of it if you did not live in Norwood over the summer. But once you go in and have a meal, you are going to want to tell everyone you know about this place. I was lucky enough to catch the grand opening with friend of Newswire Sebastian Aguilar and needless to say, we were blown away.

Right when we walked in, we were greeted with a sense of community as residents of Norwood came to celebrate this opening. There was live music, a raffle, free drinks and speeches from those who made the restaurant possible.

Owner and head chef Nickey Stevenson gave a speech about how much the opening meant to her. 

“Thank you to all of you for coming out and making this opening such a success. We could not do any of this without you,” she said.

Alongside the community feel, the restaurant itself is visually appealing. You can see the kitchen right behind the register, and the dining areas are cozy and welcoming. 

Southern Grace Eats offers several dining options, but its main entrée option consists of one protein and two sides, plus a choice of cornbread or a roll. The proteins include baked or fried chicken, lemon herb salmon and BBQ brisket.

They also have wing and shrimp baskets, burger combos, salads and other sandwich options. I ordered the shrimp basket with fries and a sweet tea for $17, and Sebastian ordered the baked chicken entrée with mac and cheese, green beans, cornbread and a drink for approximately $20.

Now, the way to tell the quality of a good soul food restaurant is by its mac and cheese, cornbread and sweet tea. All were a 10/10 for me. The cheese on the mac was stringy and melted to perfection, the cornbread was soft and gooey in the middle and the sweet tea was as sweet as my grandma. It was the ultimate encapsulation of the quality of the restaurant.

The rest of our meals were just as good. My shrimp and fries were fried immaculately and seasoned scrumptiously.  Sebastian’s chicken fell right off the bone and was also seasoned beautifully. His green beans were cooked just right. 

One complaint I have is that I wish I received more shrimp for the price I paid. The amount of food that Sebastian got more than justified the price, as you could feed two people or have two meals with the portion the hot entrée provided. However I only received about five or six pieces of shrimp. It’s a small complaint, but higher prices might turn some potential customers away, especially in a college crowd. 

Regardless, the food and atmosphere were amazing, and I hope Southern Grace Eats and Chef Nickey get the recognition they deserve.