THE GRAND OPENING—Cornbread co-owners Adenah Bayoh, center, and Elzadie “Zadie” Smith, second from right, celebrate their new restaurant inside the West Mifflin Walmart, 2351 Century Dr., July 5. (Photos by Briana L. White)
by Briana L. White, For New Pittsburgh Courier
Who would have thought you could have a southern-style dinner at your local Walmart?
Thanks to the new restaurant, “Cornbread,” you can.
Elzadie “Zadie” Smith and Adenah Bayoh have brought their dining concept from Maplewood, New Jersey, to the West Mifflin Walmart. The fast-casual dining option allows customers to kill two birds with one stone—grocery shopping and feeding their family.
I had the opportunity to speak to Smith and Bayoh at the grand opening celebration on July 5. When asked why they decided to partner with Walmart, Bayoh said, “We wanted to reach everyday, hard-working people and make our food accessible to everyone.”
They decided on Pittsburgh for the following reasons: “We looked at several cities and Pittsburgh has an amazing food scene, (and) we wanted a place where people would be welcoming to our food. The hospitality and love we’ve received has been amazing, and this is the environment we want to be in.”
I can attest to the customers being welcoming of the food. One customer, YDaina Jett, says she’s been coming every day since the restaurant opened its doors.
After the grand opening ceremony concluded, the restaurant gave out free samples. First up was cornbread, of course. It was warm, sweet, and almost tasted like a piece of cake. I can see why this is a staple dish there. They then brought out samples of fried chicken, catfish and whiting. I thought the fried chicken leg was perfect; crunchy skin, juicy meat and great seasoning. Now, I will say that I am not a huge fried fish fan…or so I thought. The fried catfish was bomb! The interior was fluffy and moist, and the outside was fried and seasoned to perfection as well. So, when it was time to order my full meal, the catfish was the protein I chose.
As accompaniments, I tried the mac ‘n cheese and yams, two of my favorite side dishes. In my opinion, the mac ‘n cheese wasn’t creamy or cheesy enough for my liking, and the yams lacked the flavor profile I was looking for.
I finished my meal, with their one and only dessert, the peach cobbler. Now that, I loved! It was gooey and warm, with a delicious crisp topping, and a generous amount of sweet peaches. I’d go back just for that!
This farm-to-soul restaurant is different from many other soul food spots. They use hormone-free and steroid-free meats, as well as collaborate with local farmers to get many of their ingredients. For the locations in the Greater Pittsburgh area, they are sourcing ingredients from Benedict’s Produce out of Chambersburg, Pa. According to Smith, “We don’t pack on a lot of unhealthy extras, such as excessive butter and fats” as many soul food restaurants do, and “we even season our greens with other veggies, to make them healthier. So, you can have a soulful taste with less fat!”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40 percent of American adults were obese in 2015 and 2016. Worse, the American Psychological Association reported that in 2014, 48 percent of African American adults were clinically obese.
With that being said, “Cornbread” gives us the option to have down-home comfort food, with less guilt.
The duo plans to open two more locations at the Walmart locations in Tarentum and Greensburg later this year. The West Mifflin location is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
I recommend going to Cornbread and ordering the fried catfish, fried chicken, peach cobbler, and of course, the cornbread.
My rating for this restaurant is between 3.5 and 4 Breelicious Bites (out of 5).
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