Majestic Ash Lounge and Southern Spice Restaurant recently opened in West Palm Beach’s Northwood Village neighborhood and with a name as long as a Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, AL, the food HAS to be good. It’s the brainchild of three veteran food entrepreneurs, Mr. Jerome Byrd, the sole Black owner of a Zaxby’s in Palm Beach County; Ms. Natosha Gonzales, former owner of Southern Spice restaurant in Hollywood, FL and Mr. Michael Johnson, a local entrepreneur known for his hospitality concept, Zara’s.
The trio brought on catering chef Boris Seymore, known locally for his amazing low country cuisine to create the menu at Majestic. A great decision. The food is low country cooking at its finest. We started out our voyage with the Oxtails and Grits. The oxtails were shaved off the bone, flavorful and tender sitting on top of creamy, fluffy grits. Although the well-seasoned oxtails paired nicely with the lightly salted grits, I would add a tad bit more salt to the grits or request additional cheese. I loved the dish for what it’s worth and would order again. I enjoyed the meat being removed from the bone, which made it a no hassle experience with my reward simply waiting to be devoured. Zero work needed.
The “Soul Crab Cakes” topped with corn salsa were the star of the show. I wasn’t expecting these appetizer sized crab cakes to pack such amazing flavor with zero fillers and only lump crab meat, but Lord have mercy. I could have eaten ten of these delicious creations. For some reference, my favorite crab cake in South Florida is at The Capital Grille and Chef Seymore’s version could stand toe to toe. Now, don’t you Maryland folks come here and start going in on me, it is good, but far from a Maryland style crab cake. Chef does an amazing job creating something unique and indicative to West Palm Beach, which it is probably one of the best in the city for sure. I was impressed and wanted to order more but I refused to give in and allow the devil to use me like that, so I moved on. Gotta get this body right for my future wife.
Our next dish was their smoked salmon croquette sliders, added to the menu just a day before our arrival. Salmon croquettes are super nostalgic for me because my grandmother made them every Saturday. I recently enjoyed my best salmon croquette from Mayor Shirley Gibson, the first mayor of the City of Miami Gardens. Apparently, the mayor’s talents extend beyond the political arena because hers were an absolute standout and classic. Chef Seymour tweaks the southern classic by using the belly and tail end parts of the salmon filet, seasons and deep fries them with breadcrumbs and a seasoned flour for a dynamic crunch and taste. They were amazing.
Now for my absolute favorite thing here, THE FRIED CHICKEN! Lord have mercy. Chef Seymour is frying up some of Palm Beach County’s best with his chicken and waffle dinner. The chicken was a spectacular cross between the stuff you’ll find at Charles’ Pan Fried Chicken in Harlem and Geraldine Sim’s Prive’ Bird in Memphis. The coating was crisp, not crunchy, with a seasoning blend of familiar and unfamiliar flavor profiles worthy of a grandmother’s blend of goodness. The waffle was standard, so consider creating your own plate with companions like their amazing collard greens and mac and cheese.
On the lighter side, we tried the pear salad with grilled cajun shrimp with cranberries, pecans, and goat cheese crumbles. The various elements of the salad meshed beautifully, welcoming the shrimp as an honored guest. Salmon or grilled chicken would also work well with this salad.
For dessert, we had a delicious banana pudding cheesecake with chessman cookies. Good God Almighty! What a way to end our incredible culinary excursion.
The space is stunning in design and concept with an outside patio great for social distancing and smoking some of their select cigars. A bonus is the fine as all outdoors, super courteous, absolutely gorgeous hostess! Big Man Kelley was on the DJ table spinning the entire time we were there and I saw a couple dancing in the corner while I continued sipping my gin and juice (literally) at the bar. Oh, almost forgot! They have a full service bar with both mid to high end spirits and wines.
West Palm Beach has finally landed a full service sit down Black owned eatery that can handle large crowds, churn out amazing food, and deliver amazing service. Visit them at 407 Northwood Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 or call (561) 508-4705.