By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published May 02, 2010 at 3:03 PM

 "Soul Food" is a term that was invented by slaves in the American south. Because only meager ingredients like the least desirable cuts of meat and weed-like vegetables were available to the slaves and sharecroppers, they were challenged to create tasty and nutritious meals for their families. But somehow, they did it, and a hearty and delicious cuisine evolved.

It's amazing that one of the darkest and most despicable periods in American history inspired some of the finest comfort foods of all time. Lucky for us, Milwaukee has many outstanding soul food kitchens and a few of the very best in the Midwest.

Soul food restaurants are famous for their home cooking, great service and lively atmospheres, and are a fun, finger-licking-good way to get a taste of African-American culture.

Browns Ham House
2510 N. Teutonia Ave., (414) 263-1174

Browns serves breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring a wide range soul and American foods including hamhocks, catfish, cheeseburger, hot wings and a large selection of side dishes.

The Bungalow
3466 N. 14th St., (414) 265-0155
This secret dining place of the Green Bay Packers is inside a classic brick bungalow and serves great soul food, from catfish to collard greens. Even if you don't spot a Packer, you can still enjoy the many autographed photos on the walls.

Ja'Stacy's Restaurant
2370 N. Martin Luther King Dr., (414) 264-9054
This restaurant is OMC reader recommended! Stop in for a huge selection of soul food, including smothered steak, smothered chicken, fish, baked chicken wings, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, red beans and rice, dressing, greens, candied yams and more!

Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant
2001 W. Atkinson Ave., (414) 447-6660
Specializing in catfish, collard greens, black-eyed peas and candy yams, the Perkins Family has home-cooked delicious soul food in a comfortable setting for over 40 years.

Parkview Cafe
4871 N. Green Bay Ave., (414) 265-1511

The Parkview serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu changes daily. Staple items include catfish, roast beef, pork hocks, black eyed peas, okra, short ribs, pancakes, country ham, ox-tails, peach cobbler, neck bones and BBQ chicken.

 Speed Queen Bar-B-Q
12th and Walnut St., (414) 265-2900
The home of Milwaukee's most famous barbecue sandwiches offers a quick and delicious eating experience. Speed Queen BBQ sauce is also available in grocery stores. Put Speed Queen on your list of places to take out-of-towners, right after Safe House and Koz's Mini Bowl.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.