Ms. Tootsie’s

/ Updated on June 1, 2014

About a block west of Broad St. at 1314 South St. is Ms.Tootsie's. They tout soul food, and our experience so far bears that out. We love sitting at the bar with the talkative bartenders. Ms. Tootsie's has a plethora of sweet cocktails, many of which arrive adorned with a thin-sliced wedge of bright red watermelon. The good news is that their soul food is quite good. The bad news is that everybody knows that. So, on any given visit to Ms. Tootsies, any combination of the following three things can happen: (1) lots of people got there before you and you now have to wait an hour — outside — for a table, (2) You get a table, but they are hopelessly weeded in the service dept., so it takes a while to get things started, and/or (3) you actually put in your order, but the kitchen is so overwhelmed that the food takes an hour. I am not saying any of this in a negative way, because when the food finally does come, it is hot, fresh and delicious.

So don't go to Ms. Tootsie's if you have to catch a plane. Get a seat at the bar, enjoy the soulful jazz on the stereo, and relax. Make an evening out of it.

They take the edge off the wait with wonderfully warm and fresh cornbread muffins, accompanied by … wait for it … strawberry butter. Slather it on the hot bread and become one with the process. Another watermelon cocktail won't hurt either.

We like the fried chicken wings on little mini-waffles. I order the hot sauce (a ramekin of Frank's) for dipping. The waffles are unusual, made from some dark wheat flour, possibly buckwheat. They taste very-so-slightly of clove. The whole taste experience is great. I'm sure the fried chicken platter is just as good. You can get a quarter or a half chicken.

We also like the turkey chops, treated like deep-fried pork shops in chicken fried steak-style. You'd swear they were pork chops, actually, but it's turkey. Go figure.

Favored sides include the corn/tomato/okra, mac & cheese, black-eyed peas, he string beans and the caramelized candied yams.

Feelin' like down-home soul food? Try Ms. Tootsie's. By the way, be sure you go to the bathroom. It's hidden away, and is a fun experience. Most of the time they are out of hand towels. So take a napkin in with you. It's all part of the experience. And with your check, you receive a Tootsie Roll Pop. See? Fun!

Call 215-731-9045 to see if they are on a wait. If they are, go anyway. Check out the menu here.

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