Walking into Spoon’s Bar and Grill, I was greeted by waves of colorful curtains hanging from the ceiling. A staff member laughed and danced to the music overhead before they saw me.

As I waited for my order, I wandered to a performance space toward the back, complete with a sound system, piano and a mic.

Local paintings of Northland scenes hung on a nearby wall — along with an old intricate piece of an elderly Black pastor sitting at a family's dinner table.

The decor, music and banter transported me to the family celebrations of my youth, where people of every color laughed and congregated around lots of food, loud music and love.

Earlier that week, we’d ordered their Eli’s Soul Burger, and when I asked what’s in the Spoon’s sauce, Solomon Witherspoon smiled and offered a fist bump.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Whatever it is, it’s exquisite.

On this evening, I ordered the chicken dinner, which came with two well-sized legs and a thigh, perfectly fried and crunchy on the outside, succulent and juicy on the inside.

The dinner special is $13.99, with enough for two meals.

It comes with cornbread and two sides of your choice: collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ beans, fries or coleslaw.

My mac was thick and substantial with a touch of sweetness — which mixed well with the crunchy chicken. The cornbread was darkly golden brown on top, sweet and cakey.

The collard greens were deliciously savory and cooked to perfection with a kick. And, on first bite, I time-traveled to my mom’s kitchen, settling a homesickness I didn’t know was there.

Perusing the online menu, my partner saw the Spoon’s tagline: “soul food inspired dishes,” and he asked what soul food is.

I answered as best I could — with examples that fit the bill — but after dining there, I realize it’s more than that. Soul food satisfies, it connects, and it feeds every part of you.

Spoon’s Bar and Grill

2113 W. Superior St.

218-464-0936

http://bit.ly/3tsboHI