Turnersville Cafe Turns Out Eclectic Soul Food

Sweet drinks, positive messages and gospel music are served up with good eats.

Not to start off sounding like a sports documentary, but what if I told you that one of the best fish tacos in South Jersey is currently being served at a soul food restaurant?
I would not have believed it myself before setting foot inside Treesy’s Soul Food Café. But as soon as I began to nibble on the cornbread that had been brought to our table, I had an inkling that good food was coming our way.

Cornbread

Every item on the menu starts with a person’s name, which makes you believe that there’s a story to the creation of each dish. And it was a trip to Mexico that was the inspiration for Teresa (Treesy) and her sister to create their Catfish taco. What makes their version so good? Besides its massive size, the fried fish, red cabbage and homemade slaw, the magic is in the sauce—a sauce that looks like a remoulade but with much more depth in flavor. Truly unique…and a secret (sorry, they would not divulge it to us).

Catfish taco

The other items ordered around the table did not disappoint. Linda’s Fried Chicken, juicy with a light and crispy coating, was on point. Sunshine’s Collard Greens were tender with a vinegary twang. And I want to personally thank Mikey for his sweet and buttery yams (they’re called Mikey’s Yams). Even the fried okra side dish was a preparation that I actually liked, and that’s no small task with me and okra.

Fried chicken, mac and cheese and collard greens

And then there were the fried ribs. The best way I can describe this dish? Think of chicharron covered in a fire engine red sauce that would make the sweet-and-sour pork at your local Chinese takeout joint envious. This one’s not for the meek of appetite, but good eating for those who dare.

Barbecue ribs

There are a few things that will affect people differently according to their tastes and preferences. First, Treesy’s homemade drinks, whether it’s the tropical tea or green apple lemonade, are colorful and sweet. Not too sweet for us, but your mileage may vary. Second, there will be gospel music playing—which was fine by me, but may not be your taste in music. And third, the vibe that is given off by the folks at Treesy’s, as well as the positive messages posted throughout the restaurant, is one of love. If that bothers you…well, my friend, there’s nothing I can do to help.

Treesy’s Soul Food Café, 6 Shoppers Lane, Turnersville. 856-352-2356; facebook.com/treesyssoulfoodcafe/. Open Wednesday through Saturday from 12:00pm to 8 pm, and Sunday from 2 pm to 8pm. Download the restaurant’s app to get the Sunday brunch menu and a coupon.

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