'Two Fat Ladies' offer some of Wilmington's best soul food
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WILMINGTON – Situated in an old fast food restaurant along a main street in Wilmington is a place with the most interesting name around – Two Fat Ladies Over a Simmering Pot.
"We get a lot of recognition just from the name," Nicole Clay said
"The name brings a lot of people in here," added Gayleane White
Clay and White borrowed the name from the “Two Fat Ladies,” an old cooking show on the BBC that can still be seen in reruns.
"At the time, I was 292 pounds and I think Gayleane was about 280, so I said we're gonna be the two fat ladies in Wilmington,” Clay said.
The name gets people through the door the first time but the cooking brings them back. The women serve the soul food they’ve cooked and eaten all their lives.
"To me, there's a difference between country cooking and soul food. Soul food to me is what we do because we put a lot of our feelings, like they say, you put a lot of love in it," Clay said.
The ladies do all of the cooking themselves and prepare the dishes fresh every day.
"Collards, macaroni, candied yams, turkey wings, oxtails. They're my biggest sellers," said White.
It’s all in demand, but the ladies say the macaroni and cheese might be the most popular item.
"It's the only one item that I have seen that will break an order. I mean if we don't have it, they will say, 'I'll come back tomorrow,' and that's the macaroni and cheese," Clay said.
Some days, customers have access to a buffet but most times the food is served heaped into a take-out box. To say the least, the portions are large.
The restaurant is five years old. It survived the worst of the recession and the ladies are looking forward to the time when people have a few more dollars to spend on lunch.
They’ve put in long hours to make it work but they don’t see themselves doing anything else.
"We love to feed people. We love to see the expression on their face when we bring the plate. We love to hear the compliments that they give us after they eat. That's why we do it. We don't do it for the money,” said Clay.