Cafe brings soulful cuisine, seafood to locals with love

Creole flavors, vibe fill Richmond eatery

By Keno Greene, Staff Writer

Creole cuisine at Lily’s New Orleans Café in Southside Richmond on a sunny Sunday delights a soulful appetite.
The eatery at 1305 Carlson Blvd. in Richmond, bordering El Cerrito, celebrated its first year of bringing food to its community on Oct. 8.
“My journey as an entrepreneur has been a lifelong journey,” establishment owner Chef Rock said. He attended Contra Costa College and studied culinary arts.
Rock recalls his mother, at 95 years old, standing on the porch of their home on Santa Clara Street, looking at the then, Wings n Things location, and saying, “That’s going to be our family restaurant in your grandmother’s honor.”
This mere vision has now come into existence and the restaurant offers a menu of seafood gumbo, jambalaya, camellia red beans and a host of sides.
Rock said, “The main ingredient is love.”
The warmth of tender love and care used to make the food on the menu is immediately felt as one walks through the door of the Southside Richmond location of the Creole family’s restaurant on a Sunday.
Entering the narrow aisles patrons are presented with the menu tacked slightly above eye level. As we entered, Chef Kev asked, “Have you guys been here before?” As it was our first time in the eatery he said, “Lil cuz hook ’em up with the line.” This was followed with a line of eight sample side dishes offered on the menu to make certain we selected food to rightfully delight our desired meal.
We decided on a shrimp Po Boy, basa fish and shrimp two-way platter with a side of yams and string beans paired with the specialized swamp juice we had a mini-feast. The Po Boy was served on a sweet roll with crispy, butter-battered shrimp. While it came with the option to add jalapeños, I opted out for the sweet cardamom and nutmeg offered on the circular-sliced yams. The large basa was battered to perfection with the tartar-type sauce that keeps you feeding your face with each taste.
A well-seasoned cuisine and service to satisfy the natives and newbies profoundly serves the community.