Food & Drink

Carla Hall and Jerome Grant Take Us Inside the African American History Museum's Sweet Home Café

Published On 09/20/2016 Published On 09/20/2016
NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
Courtesy of NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
This is about getting to know people through food.
Alan Karchmer/The National Museum of African American History and Culture
NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
I’m excited about the Caribbean-style pepper pot… you can kind of taste the love.
Son of A Gun Stew | NMAAHC's Sweet Home Cafe
Pepper Pot | Lani Furbank/Thrillist
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1. Sweet Home Café 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560 (Capitol Hill)

Helmed by chef Jerome Grant and culinary ambassador Carla Hall (The Chew, Top Chef), Sweet Home Café serves hearty soul food that highlights regional tastes inspired by African American history. Shrimp and grits with smoked tomato butter, caramelized leeks, and crispy tasso pork evoke the Creole Coast, whereas buttermilk fried chicken harkens back to the Agricultural South; for the Northern states, there's the "smoking hot" Caribbean-style pepper pot, and a nod to the Western Range through dessert: "High Mesa" peach and blackberry cobbler. The eatery, which is located within the brand new National Museum of African American History and Culture, uses food to tell stories, aided by its physical design (lunch counter seating evokes the sit-in movement from the Civil Rights era, documentary photos cover entire walls, historical artifacts framed throughout).

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