Soul Food and CITYMEALS-ON-WHEELS

Waffle and syrup at Sylvia's in East Harlem, NY
CITYMEALS ON WHEELS Citymeals-on-Wheels raises private funds to ensure no homebound elderly New Yorker will ever go a day without food or human company.”

SYLVIA’S 328 lenox ave, nyc, 212 996 0660

ABOUT ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH, I VOLUNTEER WITH CITYMEALS to deliver food to elderly New Yorkers who aren’t able to grocery shop and/or cook for themselves. I find Citymeals to be an “easy” nonprofit to volunteer with because they offer flexible volunteer schedules (you sign up to deliver meals only when you can – no pressure), which works well for someone like me with an unpredictable work schedule. I’m also fond of Citymeals’ Young Professionals chapter which convenes on a designated morning every other month so volunteers can meet each other, deliver meals together, and brunch after. About once a month, the Young Professionals are also invited to happy hour gatherings for a reasonable drinking fee.

Last Saturday morning, Jason and I wandered north to deliver meals with other “young professionals” in East Harlem. It was a gorgeous, sunny morning – just as the weekend heat wave rolled in – and we were with good company, which made the act of wandering around the projects a less daunting task. After delivering the food, which took about an hour, we headed to Sylvia’s, an old-school soul food restaurant on Lenox Avenue.

Since returning home from my two weeks in Texas, I’ve been on the lookout for classic southern dishes like chicken fried steak and fried chicken with waffles. I found the latter at Sylvia’s, which satisfied at the moment. Genius that I am, I forgot to eat breakfast so was ravenous by the time the sweet tea, biscuits, mac & cheese, platters of fried chicken and waffles arrived. The fried chicken breading was well-seasoned, but the meat wasn’t particularly tender. I would have preferred the waffles with more butter, cream – something – that wasn’t in the batter. I enjoyed the mac & cheese the most, but probably wouldn’t make the journey back to East Harlem just for that.

Still, brunch was filling and a great success after a morning of braving small elevators, ringing doorbells, and delivering food. In true trooper-style, my dining companion Heather attacked the last waffle. Waste not, want not – right? amy may 5, 2009

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May 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . East Harlem, Soul Food/Southern.

One Comment

  1. Gabriela replied:

    Amy it’s great to hear about a foodie giving food to communities in need, I bet some of your readers will be inspired to volunteer with City Harvest or similar programs! I live in Harlem and think Sylvia’s is great…but there are so many other great “soul food” restaurants in Central Harlem, you should try Melba’s for a contemporary twist on the fare and the-soon-to-be opened Red Rooster by Top Chef Master Marcus Samuelsson. Let me know if you want an eating buddy for the highly anticipated opening of Rooster this fall, it’s in my ‘hood!

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