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So, you find yourself visiting Philadelphia for a conference or traveling on business and want something soulful to eat. Since it’s very likely that you’re downtown or in the city’s touristy area, there are very few options for soulful or even Black owned restaurants. The few that do exist are not locals-approved because the flavorless food seems more aligned with keeping the dominant society happy.
Well, thankfully you’re in close proximity to AMINA, a 70-seat gem that will not give you a washed-out version of soulful cuisine, but a concise menu with true culinary stars. Located at 104 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, in the Old City district, just steps away from Benjamin Franklin’s original home, this quaint space has an expansive wooden bar serving classic cocktails and some original creations.
The menu was short and to the point. I ordered classically delicious Deviled Eggs as my appetizer, and they reminded me of being at a Black family reunion in Georgia. The perfectly stirred yolk and the usual suspects, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, and possibly other ingredients like paprika that provided a beautiful smokiness to the bite. The sweet and slightly sour appetizer is a great opener for the decadent entrees.
After our appetizer, I went for the crowd favorite and delicious Braised Oxtails with a morel mushroom demi-glacé, baby mache salad, and crispy onions. As a fan of morel mushrooms, they pair deliciously with red meat, in this case, super tender meat that came right off the bone. I welcomed the perfect ratio of fat, which merged nicely with the meat for incredible flavor. The incorporation of the cream in the robust sauce added an unexpected flavor with the oxtail. Chef created an out of the box, crave worthy entrée, especially served on a bed of sweet potatoes.
This new restaurant is definitely going to make waves. I’m excited about its location in the city’s more touristy area so you don’t have to know a local or have prior Philly knowledge to enjoy a great Black-owned and soulful space. It’s right in the thick of things and easily accessible. I look forward to visiting again to try some of their other items on the menu. This place received a 4 1/2 out 5 and is Hungry Black Man Approved. Call them for reservations at (267) 324-3745.