In Baltimore, we tend to be very particular about our food, especially when it pertains to the seasonings. This past week, I visited Shay B’s carry-out restaurant located in Southwest Baltimore. I was invited to try some of the food, and let me just say, I do not regret the visit at all!
Restaurant owner and Baltimore Native, Alfie, decided that it was time for a change within black communities. He was fed up with foreigners coming into our neighborhoods and overcharging because they were the only source of business in the area. Alfie attempted to open a convenience store but it wasn’t his time. He did not let that kill his entrepreneurial spirit and eventually, he came up on gold.
In 2015, the owner of the building that Shay B’s currently occupies informed Alfie of his search for a new owner. He didn’t waste any time and opened Shay B’s on December 23rd of 2016. Alfie decided to name the business after his deceased cousin because he was killed just two blocks away from the establishment in 2012.
I visited this restaurant not once, but three times because the vibe that is given off once you arrive is similar to when you go to a family reunion and you see all of your favorite cousins. It’s a vibe that I do not get often so I knew that it was the place to be.
Shay B’s menu offers a variety of foods ranging from breakfast to dinner. All of the food that I was able to taste test came from the dinner menu.
The first night that I stopped by, I met Alfie and his mother Brenda who prepared the food for me. That night, I had the pork chops smothered in gravy which sat perfectly over white rice with a side of collard greens flavored with smoked turkey necks, and macaroni & cheese. When I got home, I was so eager to devour what was in front of me. It was as if that was my first meal of the day! I’ve never had a pork chop smothered in gravy, and at the conclusion of the meal, I was sucking the seasoning off of the bones.
I had Nickey to give my thanks to. During my second visit to Shay B’s, I was able to meet one of the most creative and poised chefs in Baltimore and go in-depth about her cooking techniques, and of course, FOOD. It was that very day that I fell in love with lamb chops and candied yams with fruit. During our conversation, Nickey gave me some background on her cooking experience while convincing me that I shouldn’t stop eating meat [lol]. She let me taste her lamb chops right off of the grill and had me sold at the first bite. I love the taste of grilled food, it reminds me of warm weather and get-togethers. That day she also let me taste her uniquely made strawberry-banana split candied yams.
When I asked Nickey what her favorite foods to cook are, she told me her specialty candied yams and lamb which is one of the restaurant’s big sellers. She went on to name the other big sellers which included the smothered turkey wings (smothered in gravy), shrimp cheesesteak, and chicken & waffles. Nickey‘s ultimate goal as a chef for Shay B’s is to offer something to customers that they won’t be able to find at any other food establishment. Nickey also shared with me that she would like to start a youth chef program in the near future.
I can vouch for the business and say that they are already on the right track. Everyone that I met was so welcoming and they made me feel comfortable. The conversations were never-ending and full of substance.
I want to thank Alfie, Ms. Brenda, Nickey, Sakinah, and the rest of the crew for having me. I will be back and I encourage everyone in the Baltimore region to visit not now, but right now!
Location– 4114 Fredrick Ave.
Baltimore, Md, 21229
Hours- Mon-Thurs 7 am-9pm
Saturday 11 am-10pm
Social Media– Facebook
Very soon, you will be able to place your orders online and schedule catering!