Vanel Restaurant Group

★★★★☆

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A friend of mine stummbled upon Vanel one evening and was eager to try it out. The chalkboard sign that read "$5 Mixed Drinks" was very inviting! :) I was impressed immediately by the homey, "cool-Uncle" decor. I couldn't believe they were playing "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka" on tv! The service was great. I only ordered the Veggie Plate (3 side orders) because I had just eaten a couple of hours before and my friend ordered the fried chicken and two sides. We both ordered the Back in the Day, but I had mine with Rum, while she had the virgin...was probalby the best Red Kool-Aid I've ever had. When our food came, I knew I was in trouble...there was soooo much!!! And I ate almost more than half of it...WAS FANTASTIC!!! It was seasoned perfectly! We will definitely become frequent patrons of the Vanel and recommend it to anyone looking for real "Down South" cooking (not Carribbean) with a warm atmosphere.

2
★★★★★

A friend of mine stummbled upon Vanel one evening and was eager to try it out. The chalkboard sign that read "$5 Mixed Drinks" was very inviting! :) I was impressed immediately by the homey, "cool-Uncle" decor. I couldn't believe they were playing "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka" on tv! The service was great. I only ordered the Veggie Plate (3 side orders) because I had just eaten a couple of hours before and my friend ordered the fried chicken and two sides. We both ordered the Back in the Day, but I had mine with Rum, while she had the virgin...was probalby the best Red Kool-Aid I've ever had. When our food came, I knew I was in trouble...there was soooo much!!! And I ate almost more than half of it...WAS FANTASTIC!!! It was seasoned perfectly! We will definitely become frequent patrons of the Vanel and recommend it to anyone looking for real "Down South" cooking (not Carribbean) with a warm atmosphere.

Pros: Delicious, hearty food, comfortable decor, good service, Great Kool-Aid!

Cons: Small

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This place is really nice. i went the other night with a friend and the food was fabulous. I had the catfish dish with mac n chesse and broccoli. The best mac n cheese i had in a while. The wine was great. I would definetly go back. The only negative is that its kinda small. And also like another reviewer said they are really cheap with their Kool Aid. So if your thirsty don't get Kool Aid.

Pros- Food,reasonable prices,service
Cons-Small,will only serve about 8 oz. of soda or Kool Aid

2
★★★★☆

This place is really nice. i went the other night with a friend and the food was fabulous. I had the catfish dish with mac n chesse and broccoli. The best mac n cheese i had in a while. The wine was great. I would definetly go back. The only negative is that its kinda small. And also like another reviewer said they are really cheap with their Kool Aid. So if your thirsty don't get Kool Aid.

Pros- Food,reasonable prices,service
Cons-Small,will only serve about 8 oz. of soda or Kool Aid

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Collard Greens - good
mac and cheese - good
chicken - good
beef ribs - way too much fat
mashed potatoes - liquidiy and not flavorful
kool aid or sweet iced tea - embarassing how little you get for the price.
bartender - attractive and friendly, accomodating
music - good old school R&B
chairs - not really comfortable
Price - overpriced, but decent
I'd go back but for 20 bucks you can get the same in Harlem.

1
★★★☆☆

Collard Greens - good
mac and cheese - good
chicken - good
beef ribs - way too much fat
mashed potatoes - liquidiy and not flavorful
kool aid or sweet iced tea - embarassing how little you get for the price.
bartender - attractive and friendly, accomodating
music - good old school R&B
chairs - not really comfortable
Price - overpriced, but decent
I'd go back but for 20 bucks you can get the same in Harlem.

Pros: collard greens, mac and cheese, chicken

Cons: embarassingly small amounts of kook aid and sweet tea, especailly without free refils

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I had a good time hanging out at Vanel's. The food was great and the staff were fantastic. I went alone and the waitstaff made me feel really comfortable. I sat by the bar and was able to have a cool conversation....I had a great time.

2
★★★★★

I had a good time hanging out at Vanel's. The food was great and the staff were fantastic. I went alone and the waitstaff made me feel really comfortable. I sat by the bar and was able to have a cool conversation....I had a great time.

Pros: The Pineapple martini is heaven......

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I go all the time to have dinner and hang out with friends and family. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is cool.

2
★★★★★

I go all the time to have dinner and hang out with friends and family. The food is wonderful and the atmosphere is cool.

Pros: nice atmosphere and great hang spot

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I heard about this place from my coworker who had a birthday event there. I went with some friends and my boyfriend last weeekend. The place is cozy and small. We were there for hours. The food was so good. We were surprised to find a soul food restaurant in the area. The catfish and the ribs were so good. the greens was tasty but it would have been better if they put smoked turkey or hamhocks in them. we all liked the sweet iced tea. and they even have kool aid.

The service was friendly. They were playing superfly by the bar. The people at the restaurant were diverse. Very nice atmosphere. They were open really late. This will be our new late night spot after the club.

2
★★★★☆

I heard about this place from my coworker who had a birthday event there. I went with some friends and my boyfriend last weeekend. The place is cozy and small. We were there for hours. The food was so good. We were surprised to find a soul food restaurant in the area. The catfish and the ribs were so good. the greens was tasty but it would have been better if they put smoked turkey or hamhocks in them. we all liked the sweet iced tea. and they even have kool aid.

The service was friendly. They were playing superfly by the bar. The people at the restaurant were diverse. Very nice atmosphere. They were open really late. This will be our new late night spot after the club.

Pros: good food, nice atmosphere, good place to hang out

Cons: small, one bathroom, no rice

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I had been meaning to try this place for quite sometime and finally got a chance to do so. The decor and music is great and it feels cozy, but this does not make up for the tremendous incompetence of the staff and the poor service. We were extremely poorly attended, waiting up to 10 minutes between an order for a simple drink, and when the drinks finally came they were extremely weak. The "Back in the Day" and the "Down South" look appetizing on the menu, but are little more than glorified iced tea and kool aid with barely a splash of rum. I understand that everyone has to make a buck, but do so in an honest way that leaves your customers satisfied. Furthermore, after waiting forever for our food to finally arrive, all but one of the plates were cold! How ridiculous! You would think that the Chef's and the wait staff would have a sense of timing, and if not, at least have knowledge of how to keep a plate warm! What could have been a good, not great meal, was rendered horrendous by the fact that we had to chow on our food cold. To add insult to injury, our party of 5 was taxed a ridiculous 20% service charge, for service that I would not have paid for, nor could have been paid to endure! Save your money, if you want good Soul Food and great service, there are plenty of other places to be had.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I had been meaning to try this place for quite sometime and finally got a chance to do so. The decor and music is great and it feels cozy, but this does not make up for the tremendous incompetence of the staff and the poor service. We were extremely poorly attended, waiting up to 10 minutes between an order for a simple drink, and when the drinks finally came they were extremely weak. The "Back in the Day" and the "Down South" look appetizing on the menu, but are little more than glorified iced tea and kool aid with barely a splash of rum. I understand that everyone has to make a buck, but do so in an honest way that leaves your customers satisfied. Furthermore, after waiting forever for our food to finally arrive, all but one of the plates were cold! How ridiculous! You would think that the Chef's and the wait staff would have a sense of timing, and if not, at least have knowledge of how to keep a plate warm! What could have been a good, not great meal, was rendered horrendous by the fact that we had to chow on our food cold. To add insult to injury, our party of 5 was taxed a ridiculous 20% service charge, for service that I would not have paid for, nor could have been paid to endure! Save your money, if you want good Soul Food and great service, there are plenty of other places to be had.

Pros: Nice atmosphere, but loses its appeal quickly due to poor service.

Cons: Poor service, mediocre food rendered horrendous by the fact that it is served cold!

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My friend told me that there was a new soul food restaurant downtown so i had to check it out. i am so happy that i found this place.

we went this weekend and all four of us can't stop talking about the food and atmosphere. its a small place, with dark wood and mirrors. they play cool music, not too loud. we were there late on friday night and the kitchen was still open.

the catfish and mac and cheese and collard greens, yummmy.... i can't wait to go back. the drinks were good also, they were playing some old movie that was hilarious by the bar.

the waitress was fine and funny. this is my new spot.. soul food downtown yall!!!

2
★★★★☆

My friend told me that there was a new soul food restaurant downtown so i had to check it out. i am so happy that i found this place.

we went this weekend and all four of us can't stop talking about the food and atmosphere. its a small place, with dark wood and mirrors. they play cool music, not too loud. we were there late on friday night and the kitchen was still open.

the catfish and mac and cheese and collard greens, yummmy.... i can't wait to go back. the drinks were good also, they were playing some old movie that was hilarious by the bar.

the waitress was fine and funny. this is my new spot.. soul food downtown yall!!!

Pros: great prices, good food, nice place to hang out

Cons: no potatoe salad

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Beware; our experience was ludicrous. We are soul food lovers and got really excited when we stumbled upon this cute place It was only 2/3s full so there was no reason for slow service, but it was awful. It took 20 minutes for our sodas to arrive, 10 more minutes after that for our order to be taken, and then after 30 minutes in which no one bothered refilling our drinks they came and set down two plates of room temperature salad (just some iceberg lettuce doused in vinegar ), which we didn't order. I guess it was meant to hold us over until our entrees came. The nice but frustrated host kept trying to help out but really he shouldn't have needed to--the place wasn't that busy. The people sitting next to us had the same complaints, they were being held hostage because it was taking forever for them just to get their check so they could pay and leave. Sometimes the waiter would come out into the dining room with a couple of drink orders in his hand and just shout to the dining room - "um, who's are these!" The other diners were sedate and seemed embarrassed on the staff's behalf, it was an awkward scene. Then after a full hour--our food finally arrives and it's...the wrong order. The poor host said nothing to us, turned and yelled to the tiny dining room, "Did anyone order these!" No one claimed them, people were just looking at each other embarrassed. He walked it back to the kitchen with a look of utter despair on his face. I think he'd thrown in the towel by that point. We were absolutely starving by then and couldn't wait another hour for our food so we threw 15 bucks on the table to more than cover our two drinks and the "salads" and quietly walked out. They didn't bother trying to stop us or urge us to stay. For good soul food head uptown to Harlem for the real thing. I wish I could at least say the food was delicious but I can't--we never got to taste it. It did smell good.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Beware; our experience was ludicrous. We are soul food lovers and got really excited when we stumbled upon this cute place It was only 2/3s full so there was no reason for slow service, but it was awful. It took 20 minutes for our sodas to arrive, 10 more minutes after that for our order to be taken, and then after 30 minutes in which no one bothered refilling our drinks they came and set down two plates of room temperature salad (just some iceberg lettuce doused in vinegar ), which we didn't order. I guess it was meant to hold us over until our entrees came. The nice but frustrated host kept trying to help out but really he shouldn't have needed to--the place wasn't that busy. The people sitting next to us had the same complaints, they were being held hostage because it was taking forever for them just to get their check so they could pay and leave. Sometimes the waiter would come out into the dining room with a couple of drink orders in his hand and just shout to the dining room - "um, who's are these!" The other diners were sedate and seemed embarrassed on the staff's behalf, it was an awkward scene. Then after a full hour--our food finally arrives and it's...the wrong order. The poor host said nothing to us, turned and yelled to the tiny dining room, "Did anyone order these!" No one claimed them, people were just looking at each other embarrassed. He walked it back to the kitchen with a look of utter despair on his face. I think he'd thrown in the towel by that point. We were absolutely starving by then and couldn't wait another hour for our food so we threw 15 bucks on the table to more than cover our two drinks and the "salads" and quietly walked out. They didn't bother trying to stop us or urge us to stay. For good soul food head uptown to Harlem for the real thing. I wish I could at least say the food was delicious but I can't--we never got to taste it. It did smell good.

Pros: nice atmosphere, friendly staff, great location

Cons: incompetent staff, horrible service, never got to taste the food; a comedy of errors

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this place has good soul food and they don't compromise on the atmosphere. the portions are big enough to fill you and the restaurant is classy but affordable. i had my birthday celebration there with 15 people and we all had a great time. the downsouth, iced tea with rum and back in the day, alcoholic kool aid were so good.

you have to check this place out

2
★★★★★

this place has good soul food and they don't compromise on the atmosphere. the portions are big enough to fill you and the restaurant is classy but affordable. i had my birthday celebration there with 15 people and we all had a great time. the downsouth, iced tea with rum and back in the day, alcoholic kool aid were so good.

you have to check this place out

Pros: Great food, great atmosphere, neo soul music and jazz

Cons: only one bathroom

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I love catfish and couldn't find good catfish in the city outside of harlem. This place brings the soul of uptown downtown in the village. It was so good. I had Catfish and macaroni and cheese with greens. The place is small and intimate with a nice atmosphere. The service was good. The sweet iced tea with rum is so good.

2
★★★★☆

I love catfish and couldn't find good catfish in the city outside of harlem. This place brings the soul of uptown downtown in the village. It was so good. I had Catfish and macaroni and cheese with greens. The place is small and intimate with a nice atmosphere. The service was good. The sweet iced tea with rum is so good.

Pros: catfish is great, the drinks are good

Cons: small but intimate, good for parties of 20 to 40

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This place claims to be the best soul food in the village so i had to give it a shot. I went ther with my girlfriend last week and it was so good. We went on Friday night at 2am and the kitchen was still open until 6am. We had fried chicken and pancakes and fried catfish and grits. They even have kool aid. The prices are affordable and the atmosphere was reallly nice.

This is a must go.

2
★★★★★

This place claims to be the best soul food in the village so i had to give it a shot. I went ther with my girlfriend last week and it was so good. We went on Friday night at 2am and the kitchen was still open until 6am. We had fried chicken and pancakes and fried catfish and grits. They even have kool aid. The prices are affordable and the atmosphere was reallly nice.

This is a must go.

Pros: the food is really good, the drinks were tasty, get the sweet iced tea and koolaid

Cons: the restaurant is small but cozy, no rice and no potatoe salad

 

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