Feb 1, 2010

Soule Restaurant: Let it Snow!

It snowed in every state in the U.S. last month, except for Hawaii.

The storms were particularly brutal in the Washington, DC area, where they experienced a record snowfall that paralyzed the city for days.

New Yorkers experienced a good deal of winter-weather as well, with two rare snow-days for public school students. Yet, business continued as usual, with oblivious New Yorkers bustling around the city as usual. How does snow affect us so little?
Based on National Climatic Data Center records, New York State is home to the snowiest cities in the United States. Syracuse averages 115 inches of snow per year, and Rochester, 93.

Buffalo once experienced a 39-inch snowfall in a 24-hour period.

These are records for New York State, however, not the City. The more likely reason for our apathy is the convenience of an almost weather-proof underground system of transportation that eliminates the necessity to drive under treacherous weather conditions.

So, no, we’re not super-people. We’ve been described as rude and abrasive, jaded and impervious.

Flasher on the subway? Most of us wouldn’t flinch. Naked Cowboy running for mayor? Uh… okay. This is NEW YORK.

So what’s a little bit of snow?

Soule Restaurant: Island Taste

Many people who aren’t of Caribbean descent generalize island cuisine, unaware that different islands have different specialties. In fact, many islands have the same dishes, cooked with completely different styles.

Jerk is a style found throughout the Caribbean, but it originated in Jamaica. A spicy medley of allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg are mixed together with other herbs to form a marinade that is rubbed on meat and grilled over a smoky fire. Delicious, but its spices are not for the faint of heart.

Curry is also found throughout the Caribbean, with styles varying depending on island.

Guyanese tend to use nutmeg in their curry, while Trinidadians use coconut cream.

Barbados is home to the flying fish, and is delicious when eaten with coo coo, a cornmeal and okra mixture unlike any other dish.

Trinidad’s diversity rivals that of New York City and its cuisine reflects this with dishes ranging from Chinese and Indian to British, all modified with an island influence.

Enjoying fried bake with shark while liming on Maracas Beach in Trinidad is a custom comparable to visiting Times Square in New York.

Bake is a soft, fried bread, served with fried shark and toppings that include lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, cole slaw, tamarind chutney, pepper sauce, and chadon benny chutney (also known as cilantro).

Coconut curry crab with dumplings are popular in Tobago. Its taste is incomparable; creamy and spicy and flavorful. While visiting this Tobago, try this with mango chow on the beach.

Corn soup is also popular in Trinidad. Its hearty broth is thickened with split peas, and its peppery flavor the perfect end to a night of fetes.

In honor of Trinidad Carnival, Soulé has added Fried Bake & Shark, Coconut Curry Crab with Dumplings, and Corn Soup to its menu for the month of February.

These items are available for a limited time, so don’t miss it!

Soule Restaurant: February Highlights

• For Valentine’s Day weekend, Soulé is offering a special 3-course meal for $25. Pamper your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank!

• Soulé is hosting its first themed Spoken Word Open Mic on February 16th with Love Letters at Soulé! Come share your work, and bring your sweetheart!

Soule Restaurant: Spotlight on BRAZIL

It’s been said that Trinidad Carnival is second only to Brazil, which sets the standard for Carnival celebrations worldwide!

Unlike Trinidad’s Soca-focused festivities, Brazil is famous for its themed Samba and Rumba performances, performed in colorful, elaborate costumes.

The Rio de Janiero Carnival can be viewed from the streets or in the Sambodrome, a huge arena that seats about 100,000 people. In the streets, you can join in on the dancing to the beat of huge drums, said to have originated in Africa, bought to Brazil with the slave trade.

Brazil’s population includes a racial mix of 54% white, 38% mixed, and 6.2% black.

The country is slightly smaller than the U.S., and shares the boundaries of every South American country except Ecuador and Chile.

Nudity is not allowed in the Carnival floats; however, paint is considered an appropriate cover.

With exploding rhythms, colors, magnificent floats, and samba beats, Brazil’s Carnival is second to none!

Soule Restaurant: Black History Month

Soule Restaurant's Food Facts: Mangos

Mangos are sweet, juicy tropical fruit native to Asia, Africa and the Caribbean with a distinct flavor unlike any other.

The health benefits of mango differ based on level of ripeness.

Green mango is hard and starchy with a bitter aftertaste. In the Caribbean, it’s commonly made into Chow; soaked in a brine that makes it more palatable… actually, mango chow isn’t just palatable. It’s delicious!

As mangos ripen, they change to glucose, sucrose and maltose. The ripe mango is rich in vitamins C, B6, A, potassium, and copper. Mangos also contain beta-carotene, which is known to slow the aging process, reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer, and improve lung function.

Although fat-free, mangos have a particularly high sugar content and are optimal in shakes for weight gain.

In some countries mangos are used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Green mango is combined with salt and honey to treat diarrhea, dysentery, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation. Treatments for heat stroke, bilious disorders and scurvy have also been recorded.

The presence of gallic acid in mangos make them an excellent blood cleanser by binding to the bowels. It is also purported to reduce excessive heat and prevents body odors.

Soule Restaurant: Carnival Menu!

In honor of Trinidad’s Carnival, Soulé’s Carnival menu returns! Try our signature Carnival dishes:

Fried Bake & Shark

Creamy Coconut Curry Crab & Dumplings

Spicy Corn Soup

These items are available for a limited time. Don’t miss it!

Soule Restaurant: Announcements

Soule is looking for artists to feature in a new monthly

Talent Spotlight

Please contact Nichole at soulerestaurant@comcast.net if interested in performing.

Soule Restaurant: Love Letters

Sex and the City's Mr. Big had the right idea when he sought to recapture Carrie's heart.

Love letters.
Admittedly, he wasn't a writer, so he copied the love letters from Love Letters of Great Men and Women: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present Day, and sent them to her regularly.


I want a love letter. But with today's broad range of communication options, snail mail has lost its general appeal, eliciting imagery only of credit card statements and household bills.

I’d like to surprise someone this Valentine’s Day with a love note.

Dear Crush,

Has anyone ever told you that your eyes are like windows to your soul? When I look into them, I get lost, because I SEE you.

I see your strength and concern, your honesty and sincerity, your desire... And I'm adrift... unable to focus.

I imagine the comfort of being in your arms; the security and the danger. I’m perilously close to falling from the edge of a cliff but I can’t tear myself away.

I imagine standing close to you and whispering in your ear while your heat permeates my skin, so vividly that it's almost tangible.

I imagine your touch, so sweet that it burns, leaving trails of fire on my skin.

I open my eyes and you're gone.

I’m desolate, but only for a moment, because, my crush, my love, the feelings I have for you are so painfully sweet, I fear consummation would be death.

And so... I'll admire you from afar and love you in my dreams.

No, I’m not confident enough to sign my name… but who knows? Maybe I’ll write again. And maybe I’ll eventually sign my name… and maybe we will eventually meet.
Maybe my crush will keep my letters as mementos. Maybe he won’t be able to discard them as easily as he’d press delete.

You know, Mr. Big sent letters every day, and he got his love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Soule Restaurant: Be My Valentine?

When I was in High School, members of the Student Government Organization, hosted an annual event where students were given the opportunity to buy inexpensive gifts for their Valentines which were hand -delivered on Valentine’s Day.

From plastic roses to teddy bears to balloons, delivered anonymously or with special, hand-written love notes, it was a fun way to celebrate.

We all pretended that receiving these gifts meant nothing. But we all secretly coveted them.

We fixed our teddy bears to the zippers of our backpacks; we placed our roses strategically inside so they wouldn’t completely fit, and we acted as if carrying our balloons was the biggest inconvenience. And yet, no one would just let them go.

For adults, Valentine’s Day is sometimes perceived differently.

I’ve heard it described as a bogus holiday created to promote capitalistic agendas.

(See From the Mind of ILL)

I’ve heard complaints about the pressures associated with expressing your love on one day, when it should be expressed all year long. I’ve heard romantics who take it for simply what it is: a day spent with the person you love, being in love.

The truth?

Valentine’s Day originated when the Roman Emperor Claudius II decided that young men could not marry because they were subsequently more reluctant to serve in the army and leave their wives at home.

St. Valentine was a priest who secretly continued to marry these couples.

His actions were discovered and Emperor Claudius II commanded his execution on February 14th, 270 A.D.

So in actuality, Valentine’s Day is nothing about capitalism or the expression of love. It isn’t even about the person you love.

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate your right to love.

So celebrate!

Soule Restaurant: From the Mind of ILL

Happy February, people.

Or as I like to call it: CONSPIRACY MONTH…

Yes, I said it. And what would make me think that?

Not that it’s Black History Month and it’s the shortest month of the year… as opposed to Hispanic Heritage Month, which splits September and October. I’ll talk about that some other time (Note: I probably and more than likely won’t.)

No. The big Conspiracy for me?

Valentine’s Day.

Yeah, I said it.



Baby New Year? Cool kid in a diaper.

Cupid? Hhmph.

The reason Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy is that it is a holiday made up to support the Hershey family, the Hallmark Corporation and the Florists of America.

Don’t believe me?

Okay. Sunday night, go home to your significant other (You know this is aimed at the fellas) and don’t come home with a gift. No flowers. No candy. No card. No dinner plans. Just you, her and Jack Bauer.

See how long it is before you get the cold shoulder. Or a cutting board to the back of the head.

It happens.

Why can't I give you flowers on March 18th? ‘Cause the day doesn't have a title attached to it? Flowers on April 24th just ‘cause I can? C-O-N-Spiracy!

I'd like to congratulate the New Orleans Saints for winning the Super Bowl.

Shout out to all the groupie chicks who were flying back from Miami afterwards and not able to enjoy the game ‘cause they were in the air.

Shoutout to everyone who played Super Bowl boxes and won.

First time in 18 years, I won. Now I can pay child support.

Saturday, during our earth shattering snowfall (end sarcasm), I went to play paintball in Long Island. If you never have, please go and play once. There's video of me actin' a fool on Twitter.

Follow @ILLWayneGacey and look on my timeline. It’s there. My ankle is the size of a new born's head. It was well worth it.

Sunday was the 10th (yes... 10th) anniversary of the passing of Christopher "Big Pun" Rios. Regardless of his personal issues, he was an incredible emcee.

I first heard him on the song FIREWATER and lost my mind. And people are still amazed at his "Dead in the middle of Little Italy, little did we know that we riddled two middle men who didn't do diddly". Hip-Hop misses you.

Enjoy conspiracy month!

Soule Restaurant: The Buzz

Fort Greene artist Charlotta Janssen has used the arrest booking photos of such civil rights activists as Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the basis for a series of mixed-media paintings now on display at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "Mug shots are usually an unpleasant thing," said Janssen, 42. "But these are a manifestation of history"… The Jammin' Jumpers are in a real jam. The world-famous Bedford-Stuyvesant Double Dutch team is flat broke, scrambling to raise money for its 10th annual Celebrate Jump Rope competition in March… Conrad Murray has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for his part in the death of Michael Jackson… The Inner City Little League is open to boys and girls from Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, East New York, Brownsville, Clinton Hill, Bushwick and Downtown Brooklyn areas and serves children ages 4 to 14. Registration is Saturday, Feb. 13. Call Zabrina Adams at (631) 839-5117 for more details… Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes announced the arrests of 12 people in a series of unrelated mortgage and real estate scams in Brooklyn… More than three weeks after the earthquake, donated goods are accumulating at small charities, sitting in shipping limbo because of costs and a complex web of transportation logistics. The heaps of donations are evidence that many people ignored the advice to just give cash…