Tha Neighborhood Kitchen in southern Dallas makes great take-out soul food
This Dallas food stop is aptly named: Called Tha Neighborhood Kitchen, it's a take-out restaurant located in a highly residential neighborhood in the Joppa area of southeastern Dallas.
Other than an abundance of churches -- including one right across the street -- this small squared-off brick building at 4705 Yancy St. is surrounded by homes. At one time it was a home as well, until 2008 when the then-owners built the current structure from which they operated a small grocery and washateria. It was also a restaurant called Nana B's.
Current owners Katrina Chaney and Herman Brown took it over in December 2020. Both have backgrounds in hospitality: Chaney worked for Aramark for many years, then became a private chef. Brown owned a fast-food chicken concept called Chick 'N 7, now closed, and is also a realtor and builder. He spotted the location in the middle of the pandemic.
They decided to pool their expertise and fill a need for the area.
“Every neighborhood needs homecooked meals," Brown says. "We wanted to be a pillar in a community that’s so deserving."
The menu is a Southern/soul food wonder, with an array of options, from affordable lunches to high-end meals. At $26, oxtails are the most expensive dish (and available on weekends only), but you can also get wings with fries for $8.59 and a catfish basket with fries for $10.99.
Homey options include:
- Smothered Pork Chops
- Beef Tips
- Shrimp Pasta
- Pot Roast
These items are on display in a steam table. Catfish and other fried foods are cooked to order.
Baskets come with fries, while plates come with cornbread and two sides, from a big selection that includes broccoli rice casserole, mac & cheese, yams, collard greens, cabbage, black eyed peas, and more.
Portions are generous. A couple of meals can feed a family of 4.
They also have tempting desserts, all $5, including cake by the slice in flavors such as Red Velvet, Lemon, and Chocolate; plus banana pudding and peach cobbler.
Lunch is busy and there's a rush before closing at 6 pm, when there's often a 10- to 15-minute wait. The place is small, and it is an experience to watch the kitchen, perfectly orchestrated at getting the orders out.
The Joppa community is traditionally Black, and over recent years, the Hispanic population in the area has grown area as well. The shop's clientele is diverse, and goes beyond the residents of the area, but it is neighbors and city employees that keep this place busy.
Brown says their goal is to help families whose parent or parents work all day and have no time to cook.
"Some single parents that don’t have time to cook, and we try to make it affordable to get a homecooked meal," he says.