Dish of the Week: Henry’s Soul Cafe’s barbecue chicken sandwich

Media Credit: Isabella Mackinnon | Photographer

Remember to grab D.C.'s signature mumbo sauce when you visit Henry’s Soul Cafe.

For those craving a warm southern meal while the snow falls, Henry’s Soul Cafe is your next go-to.

The cafe, located at 1704 U St. NW, is the self-proclaimed “Home of the Sweet Potato Pie,” offering several southern style soul food to patrons. Henry’s Soul Cafe started as a deli carryout in 1968 and has since expanded to two locations, with one in the District and one in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The D.C. location is not open on Mondays, but you can grab a meal between 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sundays. Neither location is currently open for in-person dining, but you can pick up your food or get it delivered.

The restaurant offers four categories of protein on its main menu – seafood, beef, poultry and pork. You can choose from dishes like a fried filet ($10.99), the catch of the day ($11.25), meatloaf ($10.59), fried chicken or a turkey breast.

For a slightly cheaper lunch choice, opt for a sandwich or sub. You can fill it with minced barbecue pork, fried chicken or salmon on a choice of white bread or cornbread. Most sandwiches cost about $9.

The main menu options are filling, but make sure you save room for the sides. Henry’s Soul Cafe whips up several classic southern style side dishes like corn bread stuffing, potato salad and candid yams (all $3.49). Remember to also grab some of its tangy mumbo sauce to drizzle across your wings or fish.

We each selected sandwiches to start. I grabbed the barbecue chicken ($6.25), and my roommates ordered the pork ($9.45) and catfish ($8.75) stuffed sandwiches.

The barbecue sandwich meat comes separate from the bread for customers to assemble themselves, which I appreciated because it kept the sandwich from becoming soggy on the ride home. The meat was drenched in the restaurant’s signature sauce, a rich brown gravy.

While the meal could become a bit pricey with delivery fees, the portions make up for the price. I had more than enough of the succulent chicken to piece together my sandwich and saved the rest for a later meal or snack.

I was hesitant when I saw that the only component of the sandwich was the meat itself, but upon first bite, it was apparent that nothing else was necessary to complete the sandwich. The barbecue sauce was a decadent combination of savory and sweet without being too rich.

We got takeout tubs stuffed to the brim three sides – leafy collard greens ($4.99), white rice doused in more of its signature sauce ($4.99) and crispy chicken wings ($1.75) that fell effortlessly off the bone.

Too stuffed to consider desert, we opted out of the sweet potato pie ($3.25 per slice) this trip, but after seeing its rave reviews, I would include it in my next order.

Opt for mouthwatering, home-cooked barbecue at Henry’s Soul Cafe on your next takeout lunch or dinner.

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