Eating with Your Soul at Lillian’s Soul Food Take Out
***While our food was comped, all opinions expressed are our own.***
Soul food has always been a favorite of mine. And in our food landscape, sometimes it is hard to find food that fits exactly what you are looking for. Well, I think I may have found it at Lillian’s Soul Food Take Out. The food is freshly made and made with a lot of love. They make mac and cheese that is moist but not wet (ugh what is up with the restaurants?). They have a huge spread to choose from including a number of vegetables, which is always a plus. Their meats are flavored with traditional Caribbean flavors. And they also have flavored juices and teas as well as a number of desserts.
Lillian’s Soul Food Take Out is a co-partnership between Lillian Taylor, who is the master of the kitchen, and Edward Wood who runs the front of house and knows everyone who walks in. They joined business forces because they were friends and wanted to bring good food to the market. The store re-opened in the Fall 2016 after a fire unfortunately took the whole shop. While, the fire was a definite set back, the store has been busy ever since it reopened and is it actually a destination.
The shop is located in Hillside, New Jersey just south of Newark and while we were eating a couple came in and said they had travelled from Flemington because they found it on Yelp. To give you perspective, Flemington is 50 minutes away Hillside. I traveled 25 minutes because I was invited to eat at the shop; these people travelled because they really wanted soul food. There was also someone there getting take-out because it tastes like home when she doesn’t want to cook. If you go to their yelp page you will see that everyone has something good to say.
So, how did I get invited to an eatery outside of Jersey City? Perez, who runs their social media account (click here for instagram) and is Ed’s daughter, reached out to me and asked if I could stop by. I am not one to turn down food so I made the trip and made it a mother/daughter lunch day. What did we eat: baked chicken, spinach, collard greens, mac and cheese, and corn bread. And for dessert, I got the banana pudding which was amazing! The portions were huge and we had enough for leftovers and they might have given us some extra cornbread since we ate it all.
At the end, I got a tour of the kitchen, which has state of the art equipment. Lillian told the story of how she bought one of the stoves and fryer from someone who was on Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares. Let’s just say the range was really beautiful and she bought it for an amazing price. She is so proud of her kitchen and her food and you can really tell.
Their hours are Tuesday through Friday 12 -7pm and Sundays 1-5pm and the flow of people on Saturday at 3 was the same frequency as at lunch time. So, once the shop runs out of food they close up. They do provide catering services and if you love soul food, I would definitely take the trip and try them out!