Momma Cherri’s bowls that lack soul

A few months ago I read that Momma Cherri was bringing her soul food to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and would be serving up ‘Soul in a Bowl’ during the festival. I was enthusiastic about this, especially with the food looking pretty decent, when she appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares TV program, a fact that Momma Cherri is exploiting to the full by taking her soul food on the road. After the dreadful service and poor food I experienced yesterday I doubt whether Gordon Ramsay or even the local fish fryer would want to be associated with Momma Cherri’s Soul Food Shack.

Momma Cherri's Soul in a Bowl Food at the Pleasance Dome for Edinburgh Festival Fringe Momma Cherri's Soul in a Bowl Orders desk at the Pleasance Dome for Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Yesterday I was at the Pleasance Dome to watch a Lunch With the Hamiltons. After this show we made our way into the bar/food serving area, where plastic American flags hung over the cash register. The concept seemed simple enough: you order your food at the till on the left hand side of the room and take your docket over to the right side where your soul in a bowl is served, like a fast food restaurant. It is £3 per bowl or £10 for for five bowls. We ordered Momma’s Veggie Jambalaya, Coleslaw, Cornbread, Buffalo Hot Wings and Baby-Back Ribs in Momma’s Own BBQ Sauce, while duly handing over £10. The order passed without incident and failed to prepare us for the shambles over at the serving area.

While Momma herself sat having a business meeting the lady running the kitchen was struggling. Infact, it was a shambles. A queue of six people stood dockets in hand and it was just over 20 minutes before we were served. The bain marie was a disgraceful mess, with lids strewn everywhere and serving spoons/tongues just dropped wherever they had been left. I’d never seen anything like it in my life; I was gobsmacked. The chef just wasn’t coping - she was having to cook, serve and supposedly clean.

Still, I thought with Gordon Ramsay sharing a bit of his expertise and the Pleasance Dome rating Momma Cherri enough to grant her the catering rights, the food might have made up for the long, shambolic wait. Unfortunately the product was terrible and we ended up leaving most of it. The cornbread was so oily it needed a pump to get rid of it all. I only gently picked it up and oil dripped all over the tray. The chicken wings nearly burnt my tongue, they had no flavour just heat from the chili. The ribs were just full of horrible fat and totally inedible. The jambalaya was over-cooked, the rice was on the verge of being paste and it lacked any flavour whatsoever. The coleslaw was acceptable though, especially for cooling my mouth after the chicken wings.

This is advertised as being the ‘home of the inaugural Edinburgh Food Festival’. I really think someone must be having a laugh.

I have a feeling the less than satisfactory food and service we had yesterday was more than just teething problems. Gordon Ramsay if you’re around Edinburgh this August please pop in to the Pleasance Dome, Momma Cherri needs you more than ever. Totally not recommended - try a sandwich instead.

One Response to “Momma Cherri’s bowls that lack soul”

  1. I was going to send this book to a friend of mine. I am American and live in the UK. My friend is in love with American cooking, and I thought she would like this. Thank you for putting this on the web, I get the visual of what you are saying. I won’t let Momma Cherri into my friends kitchen.

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