When it comes to a meeting of old friends, there are two certainties: 1. There will be an infinite amount of subjects to catch up on, and 2. There will be just as many glasses of wine. This is the situation that I found myself in on a chilly autumn night in New York, enjoying dinner with an old friend in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood. However, it was a few blocks away at a completely different restaurant that our reunion really took place.
After an evening of merriment and long-winded ramblings about our lives, we truly eased back into our friendship over a rich fatty brunch at Cheryl’s Global Soul, the type of spot designed to cure a night of overindulgence.
Cozy and inviting, Cheryl’s urged us in with promises of a home-cooked meal. Ms. Cheryl’s soul food did not disappoint; my ham and brie omelet oozed with comfort, and my mimosa brightened my clouded disposition. The breakfast potatoes, usually relegated to be pushed around a plate or drowned in ketchup, were a surprising highlight of my dish, flawlessly spiced and perfectly crisp.
After (not figuratively) licking my plate clean, I slowed down and absorbed the warmth of the atmosphere. As I swayed to funky soul classics like “Use Me” by Bill Withers, I beheld a space that felt more like a friend’s living room than a hip restaurant; an assortment of paintings that looked like contributions from friends and family covered the walls, and a splash of wood paneling brought a warm rusticity to the dining room.
In this homey space my kindred spirit and I finally fell into genuine conversation. A lot of joints may be able to serve up a decent plate of eggs and toast, but not every place can make you feel at home.