South Sound is short on Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican food, but a restaurant opening in Tacoma's Proctor neighborhood this summer will serve all three. Soul plans an August opening at 2717 N. Proctor, in the upstairs dining space that formerly was home to the Old House Cafe, and (briefly) the Staircase Cafe.
The duo behind the restaurant are Natural Allah and Jennifer Zaskorski, who now operate downtown Tacoma’s Vinum Coffee and Wine Lounge.
They’ve hired Maria Torres, who is about to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu, to be chef at Soul.
Torres will build a menu of her favorite dishes culled from a wide range of culinary categories - dishes such as the meat-stuffed potato dish served in Puerto Rico, relleno de papa (it’s also a dish that shows up in Cuban and Peruvian cuisine). She’ll slow cook pork shoulder for the Puerto Rican dish pernil. Diners will find favorites from Dominican menus, and an occasional dish with Cuban roots. There also will be American soul food on the menu, too. As Allah explains, the menu will feature soul food - whether it’s Puerto Rican, Cuban or American.
Allah, a South Bronx native, said since moving here, he’s missed Puerto Rican and Dominican food - staple cuisines around the neighborhood where he grew up. His solution is to open a restaurant combining all those cuisines. Expect the restaurant to be accessible for a wide range of budgets. Soul will be open for lunch and dinner daily, and will serve breakfast on weekends.
Allah and Zaskorski will continue to operate Vinum, a cafe that doubles as a coffee cafe, wine bar and a restaurant that hosts live soul music on the first and third Wednesdays of every month.
SoulWhere: 2717 N. Proctor, 253-779-9901, Facebook