Rachelle Williamson cooks for her customers the way she does for her family.
She said she takes her time and has patience with food, both at her restaurant, Taste of B-more, and at home.
"If you come here, you're going to get exactly what my family gets at home," said Williamson, 39.
She and her husband, Jonathan, 39, opened the York restaurant that specializes in soul food about two months ago. Williamson said her family had been telling her for years to open her own place because they enjoyed her cooking so much when she entertained.
I recently visited the restaurant for lunch. Its quaint storefront has a nostalgic city feel to it. Vintage diner stools line a counter that faces the window and wraps around the wall. Candy fills a glass case beneath the cash register, which reminded me of an old-time drug store I used to visit in Scranton when I was little. The shop's main business is takeout, but it has a few tables for customers.
I ordered sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and mixed kale and collard greens. It was the first time I really tried sweet potatoes. I might have been forced to take a bite once when I was a kid.
The side dish was full of some of my favorite flavors - brown sugar, pumpkin spice and garlic. I combined bites of the salty greens with sweet potatoes, a pairing I recommend. I can't believe I've lived my whole life not eating a vegetable that tastes like a dessert.
I didn't have much experience with soul food before dining at the restaurant. The Williamsons described it as pleasure, comfort food - anything that makes you feel good.
The menu - written on a dry erase board - features foods like chicken, fried lake trout, baked mac and cheese, smoked turkey gravy, meatloaf, grits, all-day breakfast and homemade cakes. It's a la carte, so you can mix and match entrées and sides.
Williamson said she learned to cook by watching her mother and grandmother, and that she never measures any ingredients for her recipes. Cooking is something she just feels.
The Williamsons, originally from Baltimore, moved to York about four years ago. They decided to open a soul food restaurant in York because they didn't think many other businesses served the cuisine. They said they buy their produce and fish in Baltimore, and that they wanted to bring a little bit of Baltimore with them, and offer it to York County.
The Williamsons said customers will like what they taste if they give it a try.
"My food is what it is," Williamson said. "It represents me."
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, email@example.com.
If you go
LOCATION: Taste of B-More, 29 E. King St. in York
CUISINE: Soul food
LEIGH'S PICK: Sweet potatoes, mixed greens, corn on the cob and a diet Pepsi ($5.25)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; noon to 8 p.m. Sunday
PRICE RANGE: 90 cents to $17.95
ACCEPTS: Cash, Visa and Mastercard
KID'S MENU: No, but menu includes a la carte items