Southern cooking that’s good for your soul served at the new MJ’s Soul Food Restaurant

in Lunch Bunch by

By Pamela Brownstein

MJ’s Soul Food recently opened on June 26, bringing new life to the building that once housed the Sand Dollar Tavern on St. Helena Island. (Don’t let the sign that still says “Sand Dollar Tavern” fool you!) Even I didn’t know that it was a new restaurant until Lunch Bunch had the pleasure to eat there last week.

Crab balls
Crab balls

Our friendly server brought us a plate of Crab balls as an appetizer. Even though there were only three of us at our booth, the four balls on the plate quickly disappeared. It was impossible to resist the warm little nuggets of goodness — almost like a cross between a crab cake and a hush puppy with a little bit of cheese — and when our server asked us if we wanted more, I didn’t even hesitate to say yes.

Irene ordered the Shrimp and Fish special that came with fried shrimp and a large piece of fried whiting, and she said it was really good. She also liked the sides of red rice and collard greens.

Elizabeth only had to look at the menu once and she knew she wanted the fried chicken with a side of collard greens. There was no deterring her from the big, juicy, perfectly cooked piece of chicken — she almost left

Shrimp and fish special with red rice.
Shrimp and fish special with red rice.

only bones on her plate it was so tasty.

I tried the Smothered Pork chop special, not exactly the healthiest choice, but I ate it all because it was so awesome, the definition of Southern comfort food. Served with fabulous collard greens and yummy shrimp and crab rice, this meal was mouth-watering.

Other highlights on the menu include hamburgers, ribs and seafood, as well as a variety of sides such as fried okra and mac n’ cheese. I would recommend the restaurant to anyone hungry for authentic homemade food that lives up to its name.

MJ’s Soul Food is located at 1634 Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island. Lunch and dinner served 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; breakfast available dine in or take out on Saturday. Call 843-838-2009.

Fried chicken with collard greens
Fried chicken with collard greens
Smothered pork chop with collard greens and shrimp and crab rice.
Smothered pork chop with collard greens and shrimp and crab rice.