"Candied yams and jumbo shrimp was delicious!”
“Impressed…The food was neat and clean. Catfish was not greasy, yams good, and a nice healthy portion of collard greens.”
“The mac and cheese, fried chicken and broccoli were scrumptious with nice healthy portions.”
“Great food and the staff have been nothing but sweet to me!”
After hearing the above reviews, I had to see and experience the ‘magic’ of Magic Soul Food’s branch in Far Rockaway for myself. However, after talking with the owners, I learned that Magic Soul Food does not only serve incredible food, but they also have incredible hearts.
Magic Soul Food is owned by a team of three family members: Barry Adams, chef and proprietor with his wife, Karen Adams and brother, Carlson Adams, business manager.
The Adams family first got introduced to Rockaway on Thanksgiving, just after Hurricane Sandy. “We came out to Rockaway to help with relief efforts. We brought food to housing projects and schools that sheltered displaced families. We were shocked by the devastation and wanted to help in any way possible. The tragedy was horrible!” Karen Adams said.
According to Carlson Adams, in the weeks after Sandy, many Rockaway locals came to Magic Soul Food’s restaurant in their Jamaica branch to purchase food, since with the lack of gas, heat and electricity, it was impossible for them to prepare soothing, home-cooked food in their homes. “A lot of people from Rockaway made the trek to our Guy Brewer location in Jamaica, Queens, to get our food. We even offered them discounts and gave them extras for free so they could take food back to their families. It was really telling to see these folks with flash lights attached to their heads just sincerely craving home-cooked food to share with their families.
“Then three years later with all the redevelopment happening in Rockaway, we thought that perhaps this would be a great spot to open a restaurant. During and after Sandy, Rockaway locals kept seeking us out for our food, and became loyal customers,” Carlson Adams said.
Karen Adams said that through a friend, they found out about an open spot in the shopping plaza on Beach 20th Street. “After my husband and I checked it out, we thought it was a good location, and decided to take a chance and open our third location,” she said.
The Adams family is originally from Guyana, a country in South America, known for its West Indian culture. “We are all about American soul food, but we inject some West Indian flavor. So it’s like a fusion in terms of the taste, but still preserving the original American soul food concept,” Karen said.
So how did these Guyanese restaurant entrepreneurs get introduced to soul food? “We got introduced to it from a good friend of ours, an elderly lady who is from the South, shared her recipes, and we just blended it with our West Indian spices. It all meshed so beautifully. That’s what makes it magic!” Karen said.
However, the Adams’ admitted that since opening in Far Rockaway since last Summer, when they did a ribbon-cutting with State Senator James Sanders Jr. of District 10, there have been challenges. “Not many people on other areas of the peninsula know about us. We have been distributing promotional materials, hoping to drive traffic here. However in life, there are always challenges. Our goal is just to offer good-tasting food that makes our customers happy and satisfied. Our food is good, good for the soul,” Karen said.
Barry Adams said that their most popular dish is mac and cheese, fried chicken with a side of collard greens. They offer discounts to students, city workers, and emergency and hospital workers, especially since they are so close to St. John’s Hospital. Magic Soul Food can also be ordered and delivered through online portals such as Uber Eats and GrubHub.
Magic Soul Food is located at 261 Beach 20th Street. They’re open seven days a week and offer delivery from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on Magic Soul Food, visit magicsoulfood.com or call 718-327-2154.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS