July 30, 2021

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Foodies welcome

Isabelle’s Southern Cuisine brings family’s soul food specialities to Harrisburg

Kim Ross is bringing her grandmother’s soul food to a new Harrisburg restaurant.

When the first guests arrive this weekend at Isabelle’s Southern Cuisine at 306 Reily St. in midtown, they’ll be treated to fried chicken and fish, macaroni and cheese, candied sweet potatoes and collard greens, among other items.

The restaurant pays homage to Ross’s grandmother, the late Isabelle T. Ross. As a young girl, Ross would sit at her grandmother’s kitchen table at her home in the William Howard Day Projects section of Harrisburg and learn how to cook.

At the time, her father was overseas fighting in the Vietnam War.

“She mainly taught me how to cook meals, everything she would cook,” Ross recalled.

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The restaurant opens March 20 in the former Red Boat Asian Fusion restaurant and is serving a Sunday brunch, which is already sold out. The doors will be open daily serving breakfast and lunch as well as dinner service later in the week.

Ross is joined by her family members including a cousin who makes the desserts such as pound cake and sweet potato pie. Encouragement from friends and family lead Ross, who is known for her cooking, to take on the project, her first restaurant.

“Everyone enjoys the food. It’s comfort food,” she said.

The menu sticks to homestyle items such as fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, ribeye steaks, crab cakes and fried turkey chops. Breakfast fare includes eggs, bacon and grits or potatoes with toast, omelets, French toast and pancakes.

Also, they will pour Fifth Acres Coffee, owned by Stefan Hawkins of Good Brotha’s Book Café in Harrisburg. A hookah lounge will operate Thursday through Saturdays on the second floor until 9 p.m. with a small menu of egg rolls, sandwiches, wings and burgers.

Isabelle’s joins other newcomers in midtown including ZeroDay Brewing’s Taproom at 925 N. Third St. and Sushi Yatta at 1100 N. Third St.

Hours: 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 717-412-4475.