McKinley Park News – Soul Food takeaway grows thanks to bespoke catering business

Posted on December 4, 2021

Company Name : Takeaway restaurant outside the box
Some products: Homemade soul food for take out and catering, including meal kits and vegan options
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thu-Sun
Address: 1734 W. 35th St., Chicago
Telephone: (773) 475-6533
In line:

Get weekly home cooked meal kits, vacation dinners and take out at this new neighborhood business in McKinley Park.

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Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and third Sunday

Businesswoman Tameka Jones opened the restaurant Outside the Box Carryout at the corner of 35th Street and Hermitage Avenue on June 14, 2021. The restaurant is an extension of Jones’ catering business of the same name. , and it serves modern soul food dishes like beef ribs, fried green tomatoes, Cajun pasta, and mac and cheese.

Do it yourself

“Cooking was a hidden talent that I guess I had inside of me,” Jones said. When she started Outside the Box catering in 2018, Jones had no experience as a qualified chef. However, she had years of hospitality experience as an event planner, although catering has always been a challenge.

Whether she’s booking a food truck for a wedding or planning a catered business meeting, Jones said she could never find a caterer to fulfill the vision she had for her clients’ events. She therefore decided to take matters into her own hands and take care of the catering herself.

“I learned to cook when I took hotel management classes in high school,” Jones said. “My other recipes are things my grandmother made, or things I tried in other restaurants, enjoyed and then discovered for myself.”

COVID-19 hub

When the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted in-person events, Jones began offering the most popular items on his dining menu as home delivery meals. The large menu at Outside the Box Carryout restaurant is just a fraction of what Jones offers its dining patrons.

Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and third Sunday

The demand for individual and family servings of his home-cooked meals increased, so Jones decided to take it to the next level by opening a restaurant that serves his most requested dishes, including his creative vegan dishes.

“If I’m having a wedding or corporate event, there’s always someone in the group who needs a vegan or vegetarian diet,” Jones said. wanted to have something else to offer. “

Vegan soul food

“I made my first vegan lasagna for a wedding – I didn’t even know vegan cheese existed before that,” Jones said. “I do my best to make sure the flavor is the same, so the vegetables are cooked with the same seasonings that I use when making my three-meat lasagna.

Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and third Sunday

“I use the same process with my vegan meatloaf,” she said.

In the McKinley Park neighborhood, with its fair share of American and Mexican restaurants, one soul food restaurant stands out in the restaurant market.

To try traditional dishes like garlic lamb chops and shrimp and oatmeal – or innovative options like salmon cakes and vegan honey barbecue meatloaf – drop by Outside the Box Carryout restaurant at 11. am to 7 pm Thursday through Sunday at 1734 W. 35th St., Chicago.

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