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Looking for Upscale Soul Food

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The Mahogany Grille may be the place to go.

It's a common question that black professionals in South Florida ask themselves: ``Where can I find an upscale restaurant that serves soul food?''

Baseball great André Dawson answered that question by opening The Mahogany Grille.

Dawson passed on South Beach and Coconut Grove sites, instead stepping up to the plate by choosing to locate The Mahogany Grille in Miami Gardens.

''It is our vision to bring this to the black community,'' Dawson said. ``But we want all groups of people to come here.''

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"Our recipes are based on her secret ingredients and techniques,'' Brown said. ``This has been a labor of love.''

Whether the ingredients are hush-hush or not, the $12 waffles and Southern fried chicken served on a bed of sweet potato fries is a favorite among diners.

''The food here is not just your grandma's in the kitchen,'' said Stephanie Bromfield, a DJ with LOVE 94, WLVE-FM (93.9). ``It's more like the fine dining found in Atlanta, New York or Washington, D.C. It's about time this came to our city.''

When I lived in Houston there was an excellent soul food restaurant I would frequent.  Vegan approved?  Not hardly.  But it was always a fabulous dining experience because the food was made and served with love.  And I'm sure, by all indications, that The Mahogany Grill will be the same.  

Though I suspect if I were to go to the restaurant I would hear the same phrase that I hear everywhere I go to dine: "I'm sorry Sir, we have a dress code". I even get that at McDonald's.