A new soul food cafe that finds plenty of uses for Maryland jumbo lump crab meat opens tomorrow in Capitol Heights, Maryland. In A Minute Café comes from longtime friends and chefs Reginald Mack and Steven Wilson, whose respective catering businesses have dried up during the pandemic.
“When COVID-19 hit, it slowed everything down. All catering contracts cancelled,” Mack says.
The two decided to team up and flip the catering kitchen for Wilson’s Minute Events into a new carryout spot that sells crab cakes, crab fries, a crab cake BLT on a buttery brioche bun, and a “LochMess Monster” chicken cheesesteak topped with crab dip. Fried or blackened catfish arrives with sides like mac and cheese, fried rice, yams, collards, or asparagus. Wing orders ($1 each; five minimum) are slathered in Hennessy sauce, Old Bay, jerk, or lemon pepper. Dessert calls for peach cobbler or freshly-baked cookies.
Pickup and delivery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sunday).
“Food is up in a minute,” Mack says, explaining the name. “The neighborhood is willing and ready — they’ve been waiting for this.”
Wilson used to let Mack use his commercial kitchen for catering gigs. Now the pair have room for about 10 seats if they decide to allow indoor dining down the line.
“The kitchen is dynamite. I used to have a food truck and those are really small inside — now I have two deep friers,” says Mack.
Another soul food spot, Uncaged Chefs, recently opened nearby in District Heights, Maryland. It’s is also known for over-the-top dishes like Cajun crab fries topped with crab cakes or fried lobster with Hennessy and Teddy Graham French toast.
Mack’s happy to see Black-owned businesses getting more attention as part of a rising social justice movement.
“There’s no better time than the present,” Mack says.