My son and I breakfasted with a group on Friday at Cathy’s Kitchen in Ferguson to hear an update from the Rev. Starsky Wilson, co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. The cornerstone diner survived the recent vandalizing and looting with only one broken window thanks to patron who linked arms to protect the business caught in the heart of the recent protest.
Cathy and her husband Jerome opened their place on South Florissant after making a cross country road trip, eating at local restaurants along the way. On a large wall map, they’ve charted the places they ate, including Chicago, Las Vega, New Orleans, and Memphis. At each stop, they made note of the unique flavors and later duplicated their favorites a few years later when they opened their Ferguson restaurant.
One of those dishes, Shrimp and Grits, is featured on the breakfast menu and is as good as any I’ve had in the Carolinas. The breakfast ambrosia has many version, but it’s basically shrimp sautéed with bacon, mushrooms and green onions served with grits and cheese.
In addition to grits, the extensive breakfast menu is loaded with such favorites as hash browns, biscuits, chicken wings, yogurt, pancakes, sausage and pancakes, and eggs cooked to your order.
During the time when widows were being broken, the other restaurant owned by the Jenkins family didn’t fare as well. Twenty-five windows were smashed and the grand opening delayed. But J&C BBQ & Blues, just down the street, is open now and serving up such dishes as St. Louis style ribs, brats, rib tips, and Cornish hens along with live music. Jerome calls the restaurant a place for ‘laughter, fun, family and good food.”
Jerome and Cathy don’t let a few smashed windows shatter their commitment to the people of Ferguson. They intend to go on opening more businesses and doing their part to build a strong community. It’s been said “a man full of grits is a man of peace.” Cathy’s Kitchen is a place that nourishes the body and soul; a place to find peace and goodness a-plenty.
Cathy’s Kitchen, 250 S. Florissant Rd. Open: Mon-Sat. 11a-11p.
J&C BBQ & Blues, 304 S. Florissant Rd.