Soul Sister

Sweet T's Soul Food brings southern fried goodness to its new restaurant downtown.


Bringing soul food to the suburbs

     For husband and wife team Devan and Shawn Taylor of Sweet T’s Soul Food, soul food isn’t about the kind of food you make. It’s about what you put into it. Since 2013, the duo has been serving up helpings of delicious soul food — think fried chicken, smothered pork chops, candied yams and greens  — to the souls of Kansas City. Open for lunch and dinner rush, the drive-thru/carryout-only eatery is housed in Blue Springs and draws a diverse crowd with its rich and down-home dishes. Shawn, the visionary and cook (Devan does the baking and handles the business side) perfected her dishes over the years by cooking for her siblings, their five children and even the kids from church. Her cooking gained so much popularity that after her youngest, now 16, grew up, she realized that she needed a new “baby,” and so Sweet T’s Soul Food was born.

     A bit of trivia: Sweet T’s gets its name from the Taylors’ last name and pays homage to Shawn’s days as a rapper named Lady Sweet, as well as the pitchers of thirst-quenching southern sweet tea they serve.

Sweet Success

     A year after the word-of-mouth success of the Blue Springs location, the Taylors opened a second sister location in January in downtown Kansas City, nestled in the strip adjacent to City Hall on Oak Street. Consistent with the restaurant in Blue Springs, the menu at the downtown location features 21 soul-satisfying menu items that can be mixed and matched in single-, double- and triple-play platters — whatever suits your appetite. Soul food staples like crunchy fried catfish, golden brown fried chicken, collard greens, and delightfully creamy mac and cheese are favorites, decorated with a square of fluffy cornbread. Finish the job — if you’ve got room — with Sweet T’s flaky-crust peach cobbler, served in a personal tart tin, or their softball-sized cinnamon rolls. Wash it all down with their signature beverage: sweet tea, of course.

     Be sure to bring your appetite for Sweet T’s $10.99 all-day, all-you-can-eat buffet available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

All in the family

     Family is a reoccurring theme at Sweet T’s, from how friendly the staff is upon crossing the threshold to the fact that several generations of recipes help to comprise the menu. Sweet T’s is all about connecting people. “I want you to feel like you’re visiting your aunt,” Shawn says. She got the collard greens recipe from her own great grandmother and the fried chicken recipe from her southern-born grandmother from Charleston, S.C.  The secret to the perfect crunch of her signature fried chicken dish:  “The crunch comes from the corn starch added to the flour right before frying,” confides Shawn.

   Check out Sweet T’s Soul Food at two locations. The location at  200 N. Missouri 7., Blue Springs, Mo., is drive-through and carryout only. The downtown location at 1124 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo., offers some limited seating in addition to carryout.