Love on a Plate: Soul Food Café Offers Revolving Comfort Menu | Lifestyles

If that childhood favorite isn’t available at ME’s Place, don’t hesitate to inquire. The restaurant could just add it to the menu.

“We served neck bones the other day, and they were just gone. We sold this jar,” said Melodee Colbert-Kean, co-owner of the restaurant, who is also mayor of Joplin. “We made them grow up and everything, and I never thought of putting it on the menu.”

The cafe, located at 1203 Broadway St., opened last October and offers a rotating menu of daily specials. It serves chicken and dumplings on Tuesday, ham and beans on Wednesday, meatloaf on Thursday, smothered pork chops on Friday, and fried catfish on Saturday. Fried chicken is on the menu for each service. Starting January 13, ME’s (pronounced like the word “me”) will also be open on Mondays and feature the pan-fried burger special, which looks like a burger with a few extra touches of soul-food. Side dish options vary by day, but they often include macaroni and cheese, fried potatoes, green beans, collard greens, and fried okra, which was another suggestion from the customer that was on the menu.

Colbert-Kean said she and co-owner Tabitha Smith wanted the restaurant to fill a niche by offering soul food, which they define as “love in the form of food.”

“Wouldn’t it be cool if everyone could have this great food that we grew up with?” said Colbert-Kean. “If you think about it and eat it and it instantly brings you back to growing taller, that’s what we want.”

While they hope to grow as the business grows, they plan to keep the family-style menu with specific offerings as opposed to a full menu each day.

“We want it to be a community restaurant, like you’re sitting at your kitchen table, that’s what’s important to us,” Colbert-Kean said. “Just chatting with people is what gives me the most joy.”

The restaurant is owned and run by a group of longtime friends (manager Norma Jean Jackson used to babysit Colbert-Kean). Colbert-Kean said running the restaurant was a lot like being in his home kitchen and the restaurant was his own family unit.

“Run the city, run the restaurant, run a household, just run!” Said Colbert-Kean. “It’s a little relaxing for me, which is weird. People say to me: “Is creating a restaurant relaxing? You do what you love. You just pray and go on. “

Colbert-Kean said they wanted to open the restaurant, located at 1203 Broadway St., on the east side of Joplin – that’s where she grew up – in hopes it could be a catalyst in reviving the neighborhood. in decline.

“I think this whole area could get better once people get a little more interest in this hallway,” Colbert-Kean said of the area around Broadway.

The owners of ME’s Place also own the land next to the restaurant and have said they hope they can use the land to expand in the future.

“We can’t wait to celebrate our first anniversary,” said Colbert-Kean. “We are very grateful to everyone who has visited us so far. We even have regulars now. It’s exciting.”

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