Southern Hospitality in Green Bay
The warmth of Southern hospitality greets patrons the instant they enter Cat & Jim's Art and Soul Cafe. Not only are customers welcomed and served enthusiastically, somewhere between the Smothered Pork Chops and Peach Cobbler, they become like dear old neighbors.
Owners Catherine and James Daniels opened their restaurant in the Olde Main District in November 2009 and are enjoying a fervent response from the community. What's their secret? Cat's life-long love of cooking Chicago-style soul food, coupled with her expertise as a gourmet chef, enables her to create genuine southern cuisine that dazzles the diners.
"My wife cooks food this community isn't used to," Jim said, "Other cooks go for speed; she goes for taste."
It is not uncommon to overhear diners, especially those from the South, testify to the authenticity of Cat's dishes, "She makes the best chicken and dumplings," said a diner from Georgia.
Most of the food is shipped from Chicago, and all menu items are made from scratch daily, according to Cat. Ribs and rib tips, customer favorites, are cooked on the monstrous grill outside the restaurant.
The hankering for a real Southern favorite, okra, keeps a group of customers from a nearby business coming in at lunchtime.
Along with daily specials such as Smothered Pork Chops and Jambalaya, the menu includes fried fish (catfish, walleye and perch), Maxwell Street Polish, Jerk Chicken, greens and candied yams as well as other delicious selections.
A framed picture of trumpeter Louis Armstrong adds to the Southern charm, as do the red-and-white checked tablecloths. Food is piled high on old-fashioned china by employees who present it proudly and might later ask, "So, what's the verdict on the Smothered Chicken?"
After a meal at Cat & Jim's, satisfaction will tell you both your stomach- and your soul-have been fed.
Article from the October 2010 issue of Green Bay You Magazine