Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our “Best of 2012” issue. Tune in every day (weekends, too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team.
Margie’s Red Rose is one of the old-guard Soul Food spots that used to be found in every corner of Harlem, most dating to the 1950s and ’60s. Now few are left. Namesake of the restaurant Margie had emigrated from South Carolina, bringing her recipes with her. The old place on West 144th just off Eighth Avenue had a wonderful jukebox filled with Motown classics. It was featured in the movie Finding Forrester in 2000.
Sadly, Margie passed three years ago around Thanksgiving, and the place closed for a time. Now, her daughter Ayoka — who looks just like a much younger version of Margie — is running the re-opened place with her husband Michael, just a few doors west of the original place. Many of the old menu items remain intact, including the crisp and luscious fried pork chops, shown in the picture with the baked mac and cheese and collard greens. A cornbread muffin comes alongside, too.
One bite of the pork chops, and you’re transformed to the old days of Harlem. You can get them smothered, too.
Margie’s Red Rose Diner
275 West 144th Street
At the new place, the juke box is gone, but the red color scheme remains.