The Seafood Queen of Harlem – Street Food Icons


-New Yorkers are the toughest
crowd in the world. You can’t be slipping
or half-stepping, not even a little bit. -Tami has the best fish,
shrimp and grits, all that stuff in all of Harlem. -And I ain’t even pay his ass
to say that. -No, because I’m — -I didn’t even pay his ass
to say that. Baby, I need a mac
and cheese bite. I want to slap the shit out
of somebody with the flavor. ♪♪ People care less about me,
long as them damn po’boys are good, them grits is creamy
and them shrimp are good, they could care less.
My name is Chef Tami. Everybody calls me
the Seafood Lady. I’m chef and owner of Harlem
Seafood Soul. We sell the best seafood
and soul food in New York, if you ask me. I’ve been operating
Harlem Seafood Soul for the last 3 years. As you can see, we operate
with a solar panel and a battery pack, Harlem’s first and only
eco-friendly restaurant grade
mobile kitchen. Where you from? -Belgium.
-Belgium? Welcome.
Bienvenue Harlem. If you want to really, really
taste the flavor of Harlem, my grandmother’s mac and cheese, my grandmother’s
shrimp and grits, you got to go over there.
-Okay. -We have a really simple menu,
po’boy sandwiches, fish tacos, mac and cheese bites,
shrimp and grits. Your life is going to be changed
by those shrimp and grits. My grandmother’s grits
ain’t no joke. We saute our shrimp
in a garlic butter. I’m going to make sure that
they’re cooked to perfection. These are our amazing grits. You will not find any lumps
in my grits, and then we take the shrimp,
and we just place them on top. We drizzle a little hot sauce
across there, and then you go to work. You want hot sauce? Here, let me put a couple
extra napkins because I know you’re going
to be licking your fingers. -[ Laughs ] Thank you.
-Harlem Seafood Soul is bringing back the old Harlem
that I grew up in, traditions and that feel where people
looked out for one another. This village of Harlem is rich,
I mean, rich and overflowing with history. You have the Theresa Hotel here. We have Ray Charles,
Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, all of the greats in this world
stay in the Theresa Hotel. They all performed back in
the day at the Alhambra Ballroom over here,
and then, of course, right behind me you have
the iconic Apollo Theater. I can feel my ancestors here
on this corner. I’m well-known
in this community, and people know
I’m not to be fucked with. -Tami means, like,
the world to Harlem. You kidding me? Do you see another truck
like that? -She’s well-connected
in the community. She knows all of
the main people. -Good to see you.
-I love your food. That’s all I wanted to say. -Thank you, thank you,
thank you. I wake up normally between
2:30 and 3:00 a.m. We get the cart on the street. Well, right now, it’s 5:51,
and I’m a little bit lee. There’s a couple things
that I do need to pick up. It takes a lot of discipline
to do this. You can’t be on 125th Street, running a business
and be half sleep. They don’t have my red aprons. That’s my favorite color,
and red makes people hungry. Actually, this will work,
and in about 30 minutes, I’m going to have some coffee
and some protein. Good weed helps, sativa. I smoke a lot of sativa. I have to have a up weed. We’re here. This is the iconic 125th Street. Born and raised right here
in Harlem, USA. I actually grew up a few blocks
away on 129th Street. My hide-and-go-seek spot
when I was a little girl was right here in this church, in the crevice
of this little church. Nobody could ever
find me there. I didn’t even look
for a location. I knew exactly
where I wanted to be. I wanted to be on the corner
of 7th Avenue and 125th Street. It was real important for me to be in the community
for which I grew up in. Growing up, I watched my mother,
her sisters, my aunts, my grandmothers
all in the kitchen cooking. Everybody had a special dish
that they made, and my grandmother,
she had me up on a milk crate stirring grits in her house
at the age of 6, 7 years old. When I think back,
I can just smile. I think I honor my grandmother
and my aunts every day using the techniques
that were handed down to me as a little girl,
as I was growing up, and seeing people today
enjoy it. ♪♪ Are you surprised by that? You think I’m out here
selling grits that ain’t good. Okay. So, now, what you ordering? You got it. -The food is amazing. -This what made us
become great friends. She made me some shrimp
and grits, and I been stalking
her truck ever since. -The shrimp po’boy combo
is tasty. -My favorite is the mac
and cheese balls. I’m not supposed to have it,
but the hell with it. -And my daughter
loves her dearly. My daughter comes.
She’s 5 years old. As soon as she sees her,
she runs up to the truck. Now she just looks
for the red truck every day. She loves her. -You know, I don’t have no eggs,
but I got the fish and grits or the shrimp and grits.
Which one you want? -I want fish and chips.
-Fish and chips? You want French fries?
-Yeah. -You know you ain’t supposed to be eating
all that starch, right? -Not really.
-You know I know. I worked in health care
for many, many, many years, set behind a desk,
got fat, happy and miserable. I did not quit. I went through some health
care challenges of my own. Once I got better
and I got stronger, I was literally laying
in bed one morning. I heard about 500 eco-friendly
restaurant grade mobile kitchens hitting the streets of New York.
It was on the news that day. I sat up in bed, and I was like, “Wow,” and by the grace,
we were able to acquire one. I’d said I’d be vending
in Harlem, and the CEO of the company
that built these said to me, “We never had them slated
to go above 96th Street.” He did not believe that
the population above 96th Street would be receptive
to eco-friendly, and that kind of pissed me off
because my whole life, 96th Street has always
been the cutoff points between the have
and the have-nots. That made me
even more determined. I knew I had to bring something
to the table that nobody else
was doing around here. I think I’m probably the only
one on the streets of New York and all of the five boroughs
doing shrimp and grits. Seafood coupled
with the soul food, it really resonates
with the people of Harlem because it brings you
back to a time where people took pride in what
they served in this community. How you been? You taking care of yourself?
-Trying to, yeah. -I’ve known this lady
for 40-plus years or more. Back in the ’70s and the ’80s,
we ran these streets. Didn’t we, girl?
-Yes, we did. -And we had a ball doing it.
Now what they used to call us? Bat the Cat and Tee the Tiger.
-Yeah. -Bat the Cat
and Tee Tiger, yes. Listen, go over there
and get you something to eat. Tell Vivian I said give you
something to eat. -Okay.
-All right? -Love you.
-Love you, too. I come from that generation where black excellence
was expected of you. It wasn’t an option. The African-American,
the black community, there’s still a social
economic disadvantage for us. I think that if we all kept that
in our mind and at the forefront of our mind
for our children, our grandchildren to strive
for black excellence, I think that we can bridge
some of that gap. I don’t think that there’s
anything that could make me want to quit
doing something that I love. I’m a two-time cancer survivor. So therefore, challenges
that other people face, I look at them as details
that just need to be worked out. So I don’t stress over
the bullshit or the small stuff. I have overcome a lot of things, and cancer wasn’t
the worst of them. I overcame a crazy husband,
abusive. I overcame depression. I’ve raised my children
on my own. I’m like that blade of grass
that you see or that beautiful flower that pops through the concrete,
a crack in the concrete. You can pour concrete on me,
and still I rise. Thanks to Dr. Maya Angelou
for giving us that amazing poem, and each day, I look forward to
rising to do again what I love. That would be pretty much
what I would love people to say, that, “You know what?
That was a strong ass lady, and she cooked her ass off.” ♪♪ -I love my New Yorkers,
you heard? -Hey!
Where you from, baby? -Right here at St. Nick’s.
-All right. -Harlem, Harlem. -That’s right,
Harlem Center Court. Get it, girl.
There you go!

100 comments on “The Seafood Queen of Harlem – Street Food Icons”

  1. Nia Fraser says:

    I wish I could like this video more than once. Sheโ€™s so inspiring . Makes me home sick ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ’œ no where in the world like ny

  2. M Agosto says:

    ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜Šโ˜บ๏ธawesome women great food

  3. JbAon X says:

    @3:42 Nicely slipped in. Good job!

  4. R.G Shoots says:

    https://youtu.be/1Meukq47llQ street food vlog

  5. k B says:

    watching two times in a row. LOVE her โ€œyou think Iโ€™m out here sellin grits that ainโ€™t good?โ€

  6. Only1 Midniite says:

    Iโ€™m so upset I never peeped her and her truck!!! Otherwise Iโ€™d be on top of that! #HARLEM

  7. callmelater justmiii says:

    ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ

  8. Wardell Eddy says:

    Abominable queen

  9. Maxime Centeno says:

    i live around 125 but never peeped her truck, cant wait to go support. thank you for this video.

  10. LOVE MYSELF says:

    Harlem Street vendors! Yes I miss them bring back all the black street vendors to HARLEM!!!!!

  11. Dee Hannibal says:

    This lady is amazing!! When I get back home, I definately will be paying her a visit!!!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿฝ

  12. Kenny Lauderdale says:

    She's cool

  13. Janine Landham says:

    What a beautiful story.๐Ÿค—

  14. Spike NYC says:

    This is the great Tami "the seafood lady" thank you Tami for your food, love and words of life….Harlem and NYC loves you.

  15. Shining Light says:

    They are just details that need to be worked out….

    My my my that was powerful…
    That is totally my motto don't have time for foolishness.
    Looking forward to going to Harlem and trying some of her shrimp and grits.

    Stay blessed Queen. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฟ๐Ÿ’œ

  16. Afghan Recipes says:

    Looks so special; please support me too I really need it subscribe to my chan https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoG2GE4a5efE1VsoYHho5Pg

  17. Divine Euro T.V says:

    Oh i need some of this asap!!! Im in ny four times a week!!! Where u been!!!๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿฅฐ

  18. James Johanson says:

    Iโ€™m Soooo hungry now

  19. Karen Perry says:

    Go girl

  20. Axel Fort says:

    I wanna get high and eat her food

  21. Andrew Laedis says:

    Looks like deep fried dogshit

  22. Black Ceasar says:

    Auntie had me at shrimp PoBoy. How they say it New Orleans" Shrimp PoBoy dressed"

  23. TRUTH JUST ACRYLICS says:

    Munchies you're Christ๐Ÿ˜‡ sister ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ซโœจstrong soul.โœŠ๐Ÿพ

  24. Born True says:

    The po'boys are BANGIN YO!

  25. Mercy and Grace USA says:

    Wow !

  26. Cdellio Dellio says:

    โคโคโค

  27. sweetpg10 says:

    Great interview. Very insightful, honest, and straight from the heart.

  28. Herschel Richardson says:

    Chef Tami is an example of the kind of individual that makes America great. NOT the human trash known as the wolves of wall street, corrupt politicians and incompetent ignorant, greedy excuses for a credible leader such as the individual tweeting incoherent bs in the oval office.

  29. Marcus Gaulden says:

    What kind of fish you have?

  30. Naz says:

    Next time I'm visiting my family in Queens Imma come see you. Love from Canada….love the hustle too. Mush respect for what you're doing for the community. Lead by example the rest will follow and rise up too.

  31. leitor288 says:

    she's the queen of harlem

  32. EURK says:

    I'm from (RHODE ISLAND) I NEED TO COME FOR A VISIT HER SHIT LOOKS GOOD

  33. Sweet Key says:

    She reminds me of AUNTIE PATTI and the Late AUNTIE FEE

  34. Alan Motley says:

    Love

  35. KING SO's SHOOTA #IWILLSLAPCASHNASTY says:

    3:33 I love her

  36. Chau Nguyen says:

    Stay strong Chef Tami much love from California!

  37. Jay Scott says:

    Never seen that many white folk on 125th…..yeah my hometown has changed

  38. yvens romain says:

    Blessed ๐Ÿ™ her Soul amazing lady I'm on my way there tomorrow morning it's hard to find good food especially Soul food

  39. puncru says:

    A good person .

  40. Goldengoods says:

    Still she RISE!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ

  41. Luis Salazar says:

    I liked it because she said she needs weed lol me too

  42. Linda Robinson says:

    God Bless You!!! That for looks so Good.

  43. windell oconnor says:

    My wife is a Jamaican Creole, she will be very pleased to have a shrimp PoBoy.

  44. beautifully blessed says:

    I just love her energy. Ive never been to harlem. If I ever go I'm definitely looking for the red truck

  45. missladyzee44 says:

    I'm from Harlem so when I come back up for a visit, I'm looking for you

  46. Captain Diaspora says:

    Well the next time I go to NYC, I definitely know where Iโ€™m going to eat.

  47. Shanese Ward says:

    She look like auntie Fefe

  48. Tammara Sands says:

    Wow, I don't know her, but I love her!!

  49. Stylist DANI J says:

    Was just scrolling and came across this I LOVE…..HER ENERGY AND MENTALLY ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ somehow someway I needed this…wish i could eat seafood i would visit there just to see her

  50. Papa Stoppa says:

    Black Excellence!!.. Keep Doing you thing Ma!!!.

  51. j williams says:

    Blessing I love your energy black people bless up

  52. Trell of all Trades says:

    This is so good!!!

  53. Phillip Damron says:

    Good for you sister you're a good woman God bless you baby โœ๏ธโœ๏ธ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบโœ๏ธ๐ŸŒบโœ๏ธ๐ŸŒบ

  54. Denise Walker says:

    Yes ma'am I am going to see her on my next visit to NY

  55. Eloisa Eloise says:

    Sativa

  56. k8 says:

    i love thse videos

  57. Wtong Wave says:

    I like her and love her i dont know her but just how she come off she will tell you like it is remind me of my nanna

  58. Og Smily says:

    #_Black Power I Love Smoke Sativa ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜„ ๐Ÿ˜โ™ฅ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฏ
    (.I'm not a racist)

  59. dawn lee says:

    2020 The hustle is real, the talent is a gift you can't learn this Shit .Major respect and love Mommas keep the positive vibes going. Much love from Philly ๐Ÿ’ฏโค

  60. Zayy Rodi says:

    Thank got I live in New Jersey I can just catch a train and walk to them๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

  61. The JDM Fam says:

    Absolutely loved this ! ๐Ÿ’•

  62. Sabine Lovez says:

    God bless you sis๐Ÿ’–

  63. ccclem10 says:

    She talks with her heart! Father Jesus protect her and that food stand!

  64. Ajah Mckay says:

    I want to go to Harlem just to try her food

  65. Joshua Villa says:

    Man I wanna try this

  66. shorty Mac says:

    She reminds me of auntie Fee

  67. XXXAMSTERDAMXXX HD says:

    Not above 96th eh?? Mmm

  68. Smiley Ballsforeyes says:

    This woman commands respect and shares her love through her cuisine. This woman is a gem, people like her are absolutely the a pillar of the community. She holds her roots close to her and demands herself to never forget them. So important people like this exist.

  69. KEVIN41387 says:

    There was no need for her to mention the weed that was stupid.

  70. Christine Page says:

    WELL DONE MAMA๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™โญโญโญโญโญ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  71. Jessica Jackson says:

    Such a strong queen I โคit

  72. Angela Washington says:

    When you take and combine time, knowledge, strength, courage, hurts and challenges it all equals โ€œLIFEโ€! Thank you for sharing your good food and words of wisdom with us Ms.Queen Of Seafood!

  73. Cleo Randall says:

    The โ€œTRUE EPITOME of a ROSE in HARLEM. I love what you bring to the table Seafood Lady!!!!!! Proud of you!!

  74. Scoot says:

    I love her. I need to visit!

  75. Nayakia Bates says:

    Those shrimp and grits baby… Amazing ๐Ÿ’•

  76. Monique Little says:

    Love her spirit. Continued blessings

  77. Shakur Williams says:

    I LOVE HER VIBE>>>>ย ย  GET MONEY SIS

  78. Million Micael says:

    I love her energy 'you can pour concrete on me and still I rise!' Yaaaaassss ma'am ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ

  79. Random Dude says:

    Dayum. I can feel her energy till here. Impressive

    Greetings from Germany

  80. Merquayle Perry says:

    You can pour concrete on me and still I arise!! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ

  81. Idontlikethatshit says:

    She looked out for her old stick girl..That's wassup..She's a angel in disguise..Next time I go back to NY the red food truck in Harlem will be on my list

  82. Jamie Boomer says:

    Yessss!! I love it keep up the great work I see u My Surviving Sister #BlackGirlsRock

  83. Candi D. says:

    Love her!

  84. mike black says:

    I can't wait to visit Harlem again from Philly. You know where I'm going….

  85. Schron Renee says:

    Omg I love her!! You come from the club get a shot of Henny and some good food โค๏ธโค๏ธ and she was yelling at the guys that was trying to talk to me that they need to pay for my food lol sheโ€™s a gem!

  86. Michelle Thagoddess says:

    I love her food ๐Ÿฅ˜ ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ฏ

  87. Farhad Ghahremani says:

    It looks good. But you never know until Chef Ramsay goes there.

  88. MrINTELIKXX says:

    She did it..look small but biggest in everybody heart..we fight to win it..

  89. Antoinette Aquiningoc says:

    I love her spirit for cooking, her heart for people, and her love for life …. sheโ€™s an amazing OVERCOMER??!!!! Wow!!! Two time cancer survivor??!! Thank you JESUS!!! And God bless her!!!

  90. Melidsa Lopez says:

    Yo she so solid, and strong I'm going to remain loyal. You have to be from harlem to know the strength of who we are, in order to truly understand us, and our struggle. I love you womenโคโคโคโคโคโค

  91. theresa rogers says:

    Her food truck is clean & her food is delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹.

  92. Steve C says:

    What a good role model.

  93. Dainty Minnie says:

    Mmmm I love seafood. I would to try her shrimp and grits ๐Ÿ˜

  94. sky unidentifiedstorm says:

    ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’— Harlem USA

  95. Tamara Garrett says:

    Rockin' the Big. I have to check it out when I come back there๐Ÿ’™

  96. Tamara Garrett says:

    Thank you for saying your a cancer survivor, domestic abuse survivor, and a bomb single Momโฃ๏ธ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ’™

  97. Karen Davis says:

    I've lived here all my life, n this the first time I'm hearing about her๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ. It looks good, n I'm definitely going to find her and patronize her truck. Fuck popeye's chicken, these are the type of businesses we should be going to. Build these black businesses up. Blessings to you!!

  98. DILNED Smith says:

    Tufffffffff,๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ™Œ

  99. KILLER-G GAMING says:

    I WANNA SLAP THE SHIT OUT SOMEBODY WITH THE FLAVOUR ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

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