Eating at over 50 restaurants a yr, it’s smooth for me to get right into a rut of mediocre meals and eateries; however, once in a while, I go to one that makes me fall in love with food all once more. Danielle’s Cafeteria, a brand new family-run eating place in South Bethlehem headed up with the aid of Danielle Emanuel-Moore, suits into this category. A small neighborhood joint that took over the short-lived outpost of Rice N’ Beans at the stop of March, Danielle’s Cafeteria serves up an everyday various menu chock full of brilliant soul and luxury meals. The menu at Danielle’s adjustments, relying at the day on, ensuring a clean new batch of entrees.
Tuesday is all about the tacos, with floor beef, adobo fowl, grilled shrimp, and blackened fish alternatives. Wednesdays provide a Caribbean topic, with curry chicken, jerk chook, curry shrimp, and oxtail. On Thursdays, comfort meals reign, with meatloaf, stewed beef, fried chook, and barbeque bird to be had. Fish fry Friday’s characteristic whiting and catfish as the main alternatives. On Saturdays and Sundays, there’s a diffusion of soul meals like stewed turkey wings, baked lemon bird, braised steak, black-eyed peas, and collard veggies — in addition to extra Sunday brunch options.
Setting and decor
The interior of Danielle’s is particularly small, with 4 laminate contour booths comprising the seating, taking into consideration a 16-man or woman eating region. A chalkboard displays the menu of the day and specials. Artwork — like a graffiti-fashion portray of Jean-Michel Basquiat — dots the partitions, and a word art piece implores diners to “eat, drink, and be grateful.” Orders are placed on the counter and readied for dine-in or takeout. All are served in a to-go field, that you’ll have maximum probable want, given the large meal quantities.
On my first go to, which fell on “Caribbean Wednesday,” I opted for the jerk turkey wings ($13). Unlike nearly each jerk dish I’ve had in the Lehigh Valley, the fiery and flavorful seasoning at Danielle’s is the real deal. The turkey wings had been massive and fall-off-the-bone soft, juicy, and downright phenomenal. The juices pooled in the bottom of the box, a testimony to how flawlessly cooked the wings had been. Two sides got here with the dish, and I selected the fried cabbage and rice with peas.
The rice with peas became doused within the jerk juices from the turkey, including a highly spiced, fuller flavor. The heap of fried cabbage, light brown and nutty, made for a fulfilling and incredible tackle, a Southern classic. The meal also came with a cornbread muffin (a bit on the dry side) that was an excellent aggregate of savory and candy, with a mild salt bringing out the exceptional taste. The plantains, also protected in the meal, had been deep mahogany and gentle, richly fruity and an all-around a delectable aspect.
Equally great became my second go-to. This time on “barbecue Friday,” I selected the fried catfish nuggets ($13). A healthy serving of massive catfish portions (more hunks than nuggets) has been flawlessly battered, breaded and fried — leaving a scrumptious outdoors and a slight, flaky fish on the interior that. When drowned in a conventional Louisiana-fashion hot sauce, it made for the great meal I’ve had in a while.
The two side sauces, a self-made tartar sauce and a creamy chipotle, had been perfect, And the tartar, a sauce I tend to keep away from, turned into irresistible. It changed into tough to slow down the baked mac and cheese, eschewing the same old breading and choosing cheese, cheese … And more cheese. This sating side turned into a filling and extremely flavorful. While no longer pretty as exact without a smothering of jerk turkey juice, the yellow rice, and pink beans tasted just pleasant, specifically whilst aided with a smattering of warm sauce.
The carrier at Danielle’s is fairly brief and really personable. On each visit, the workforce made me experience at home, treating me like an ordinary. Like my fried catfish nuggets, every item (cooked to order) took only a few mins from the kitchen to plate. There were some problems on my first visit. My desk turned into now not wiped down, and the napkin dispenser turned into empty, but the pleased and hospitable surroundings of the eating place made this clean to miss.