(EJ’s Soul Food was closed in December of 2012)
EJ’s Soul Food is the latest eatery in downtown Cary and I just HAD to go check it out. Ever since my old-school favorite, Southern Flavor closed down in East Raleigh, I’ve been hoping something else would pop up to replace it. EJ’s is a very simple little spot: plastic open sign out front, white plastic table “cloths” on card tables and a bare-bones interior. You order at the table but pay at the counter if you’re eating in. The menu is pretty small, about 8 lunch entrees and a handful of sides along with some pies. I go with the EJ’s favorites: fried fish, macaroni and cheese with collards and corn bread. Prices span the range from $7 to $14 which is pretty broad.
Our food arrives on black ceramic plates, it looks like EJ’s has moved on from styrofoam which is a good thing. Good portion sizes here, I’ve got two fried filets of whiting, a nice heap of collards, mac n’ cheese along with a small square of corn bread. And the food is ok, my fish is fried a bit dry and crunchy which is fine by me. The mac n’ cheese is creamy but not super flavorful. And the collards? On the edge of being good but not quite right for me, more bitterness than I care for. The cornbread is quite good: moist, sweet and with a browned edge, yum! Oddly there was no ketchup or butter on the table or tartar sauce served with the fish, a miss for me. We pay up front and it’s time to go back to work. Will I be back? I’m not sure, we paid $30 before tip between the two of us but admittedly, picked more expensive items on the menu. And while the food is decent, the below-average decor, slight misses on the flavors and higher prices means it’s unlikely I’ll be back really soon. EJ’s Soul Food is a new spot so I’m hopeful it will improve over time. But let’s just say I still miss Southern Flavor which delivered really good soul food at bargain prices.
EJ’s Soul Food
140 E. Chatham Street
Cary, NC 27511