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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Soul Food prepared the right way

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This week I visited a restaurant with a simple yet tasty philosophy – Stacey’s and Rick’s Soul Food, 3399 N. Sherman Dr., Suite B. “You should come here if you want a good, decent home-cooked meal,” says owner Rick Fowler.

Everything is made from scratch, and Fowler takes an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude towards his food and drinks. For example, his signature lemonade is made simply with hand-squeezed lemon juice, sugar and water. At a time of year when thermometers are reaching the 90s, this is a recipe that can’t be beat.

Making food the way it should be made is something that Fowler has learned from more than 20 years of culinary experience. He first started cooking with his mother (a good person to pick up a thing or two from) when he was growing up and has been working at restaurants ever since. He was a chef for six years at Bartender’s, which was the largest bar in Indiana, and spent two years as a short-order cook at Dutch Oven on the Southside.

The short-order experience shines through now that he has his own restaurant. Although hash browns are not a regular item on the menu, he will gladly make them if a customer asks. Eggs are cooked to order alongside pancakes, bacon, sausage and other breakfast items.

But Stacey’s and Rick’s offers more than breakfast. Fried catfish, perch and whiting are available for those with a taste for seafood, and wings are one of his most popular items. For those that prefer to stay away from the fryer, Fowler cooks all of his other meat with a charcoal grill.

I tried a variety of food alongside the fresh-squeezed lemonade. For starters, I had some side dishes – collard greens, yams, potato salad, mac and cheese, and turkey dressing. They were all wonderfully simple and delicious; everything that traditional favorites should be. The yams, which are made simply with cinnamon and sugar, provided a nice sweet complement to the other sides.

My favorite was the dressing, which Fowler makes with turkey, corn bread, green pepper, celery, egg and a hint of mango. Although I am not a huge fan of mangoes, it really added an intriguing flavor to the dish, which I thought was excellent.

For the entrée, I tried some rib tips. I, of course, tried them with hot sauce, which Fowler gets from the legendary Indianapolis barbecue joint Pa and Ma’s. The sauce was great, and the flavor from the charcoal grill added a nice touch.

Overall, I found Stacey’s and Rick’s to be a tasty, reasonably priced restaurant, but I am not the only one. “Everyone that comes here to eat loves it,” said Fowler.

For more information or to place an order, call (317) 541-1929.

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