…Bless My Soul Cafe, owned and operated by Sweet Mama Janisse. She serves creole, cajun, and Texas barbeque, and everything she serves has a touch of Louisiana down-home flavor. You can get vegetarian; my favorite is the Veggie Plate, which comes with red beans and rice (I always ask them to substitute blackeyed peas, and they do), and two of her veggie sides (which include collard greens, vanilla carrots, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, creole corn, sauteed cabbage, red beans, blackeyed peas, and creole herb rice). All her dinners come with a choice of soup or salad (real greens, none of that iceberg stuff) and corn muffins. There is a wide variety of non-vegetarian entrees (also with a choice of two veggie sides), which feature chicken, catfish, pork, beef, lamb, pastas, shrimp, and oysters. And we are talking healthy food here — not a lot of fat on any of it. Even the boneless fried chicken has had the skin removed. Dinners run from $12.95 to $18.95. There is also a variety of appetizers (fried okra, hush puppies, etc.) and ala carte items, so you can put together your own menu if you want. (For those who eat meat, I highly recommend the Dirty Rice — filling but easy on the wallet.) You can see her menus (and more photos and drawings of her place) by going to www.blessmysoulcafe.com . You won’t find her desserts listed there, but the two I see on her menu board most often are sweet potato pie and voodoo pudding (like a mix between dark chocolate pudding and dark chocolate cake — yum!).
Sweet Mama Janisse grew up in Louisiana, and somehow wound up in Southern California, where she spent 17 years catering to movies. A few years ago she came up to Eureka and opened Bless My Soul Cafe. She is at the cafe most nights, and often comes out from the kitchen to circulate through the cafe, talking with people. She loves to talk, and listen to your stories as well as tell her own. She has the most wonderful laugh!
She also sells a line of sauces (you can buy them at the cafe or online), and they show up in the meals she offers at the cafe. The Bless My Soul Cafe is open Monday thru Saturday at 5 pm, until 9 pm on Monday thru Thursday, and until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday. We were in there on Tuesday this week at about 6:30, and the place was full, so if you are planning on being there on a Friday or Saturday you might want to call for reservations [(707) 443-1090]. The cafe is on 101 North going through Eureka, at the south end of where Hwy 101 splits into different streets for north and south (29 Fifth Street). There is a map and directions at their site ( www.blessmysoulcafe.com ).
When we were there this week, another couple came in just behind us, and as we waited a couple minutes for a table, they asked what was good. “Everything!” With their relaxed and happy atmosphere, and delicious, healthy food, it is a joy to eat at Bless My Soul Cafe. 🙂