Homemade southern cuisine coming your way, courtesy of Lil’ Kitchen, Big Appetite
Delvon and William Glover-Hart used to frequent Tribeca restaurant Bubby’s for its Southern-style buttermilk biscuits and barbeque rib platter. Their latest visit occurred three months after the previous one, and the Glover-Harts noticed a clear difference in the food. They said the rib platter was not nearly as flavorful as normal, and it was clear that the chef had changed.
“Nothing was the same as when we first went there,” said Will, 33.
After experiencing constant disappointing experiences at their favorite restaurants around the city, the Glover-Harts started to cook for themselves. They would take traditional comfort foods they liked—such as quiche and chicken and waffles—and add their own gourmet twist. Now, the Glover-Harts are creating their own cooking business, Lil’ Kitchen, Big Appetite, which will deliver consistent, homemade Southern food to Mott Haven residents and all over New York City.
The two men say the relationship with the consumer is crucial to the overall experience.
“I can’t say that I’ve actually been to any restaurant and felt that they actually cared about me as a consumer,” said Delvon, 29.
The Glover-Harts plan to produce Southern food and a sense of Southern hospitality by delivering their products virtually anywhere in the city and by hosting monthly all-you-can eat brunches at their home.
Locals are intrigued by the brunch idea, but say that the Glover-Harts need to establish personal relationships with the customers first in order to make them feel comfortable.
“My advice to them is to ingratiate themselves within the community,” said Ricardo Aguirre, a 33-year-old filmmaker and Mott Haven local.
According to Charlie Said, owner of Charlie’s Bar and Kitchen, “Once they establish a reputation, people will feel comfortable coming to their home.”
Ryan O’Connell, a 42-year-old teacher who frequents Charlie’s, said that he thinks the Glover-Harts will do well at establishing relationships with locals because he considers Mott Haven a tightly-knit community.
“The people here are loyal. They are looking for people to be loyal to,” O’Connell said.
However, the Glover-Harts’ studio apartment on E. 142nd Street will only fit ten guests, which could be problematic.
“You better be prepared to piss off a lot of people who are going to be on a waiting list,” said Aguirre.
While the logistics of the monthly brunch are still a bit uncertain, the event is just a small portion of the business. The Glover-Harts are going to first focus on the delivery facet of their startup and will offer a diverse menu that will allow customers to create a personalized product.
“There’s just something about having something across the street where you can just call up and say ‘hey, I’d like to order,’” said Will.
Eggs benedict made with potato and waffles, four-cheese mac n’ cheese with gruyere, asiago and yellow and white cheddar cheese, and banana’s foster pudding made with caramelized bananas dipped in honey whiskey are just a few of the menu options.
Joshua Thomas, 31, a friend of the Glover-Harts, has tasted the food and feels that it is different from any Southern food he has tasted or cooked.
“They do take it to another level, where I’m like traditional southern cooking, they take it to a whole exotic urban level,” Thomas said.
“The genre of food we do is called ‘eclectic comfort food’,” Delvon said. “We say love is our main ingredient.”
The Glover-Harts recently obtained a license for their name and are working out their menu, but customers can visit lilkitchenbigappetite.com to book them for an event or call for a delivery at the number posted on the site.