Business folk are quick to tell you how difficult it is to keep a restaurant open. Restaurants operate at a hefty loss in the beginning, they need constant maintenance and cleaning, and there’s always unsatisfied customers who would love nothing more than to shut down your whole operation. If you’re gonna get into the biz, make sure you actually love it.
That’s why we were surprised to hear Tyshawn Jones was opening his own restaurant up in The Bronx, right in the neighborhood where he grew up.
Taste So Good (Make You Wanna Smack Your Mama)—which takes its name from an old hood proverb—is Tyshawn’s new Caribbean-American spot in the Soundview neighborhood in The Bronx, located at 1752 Lafayette Ave. (Near the St. Lawrence Ave. 6 train station.)
We made the trip up from Bushwick on its opening day and were pleased to discover the menu was hefty, with something for everyone. It was so busy they ran out of take-out menus before we got there, and the employees had to save a couple to tape up on the walls so people could still order.
Taste So Good has that familiar feel of an NYC Chinese take-out spot. But rather than just ordering up some lo mein, here you can grab the spicy jerked chicken, collard greens, oxtail, peas and rice, mac ‘n cheese, and anything else that comes to mind when you hear “Carribean-American.”
Bench seating along the street-facing windows lets you lurk like a local, or you can stare through the kitchen-facing window at trays of sumptuous chicken and stews as you ponder what else to add to your order.
A medium plate (1 entrée + 2 sides, $12) is a filling lunch or dinner, and with two dozen dishes you won’t run out of options. Lunch specials for $7.50 are a satisfying choice, and fried chicken and waffle combos (w/ plain or red velvet waffles) are the ideal treat.
From the short time we spent there, we know TJ’s restaurant will become a neighborhood staple. Everyone from old grannies to young dudes rocking chains (who even asked if we could shoot a music video for them) stopped by. Bill Strobeck came to congratulate TJ and got the chef to make him a special vegan plate.
If you’re ever in The BX, make sure to swing by Taste So Good (but don’t smack your mom).