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Ms. Zay’s Place: Good Ole’ Southern Cooking

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Los Angeles

"Soul Food" this term originated from the cuisine developed by the African slaves mainly from the American South. A dark period in the history of the United States resulted in a cuisine fashioned from the meager ingredients available to the slave and sharecropping Black families. From these meager ingredients evolved a cuisine that is simple yet hearty and delicious.

When was the last time you enjoyed some “soul food” in the Inland Empire? If you don’t have many choices, check out Ms. Zay’s Place.

Ms. Zay’s Place is a quaint little eatery located in the heart of Rialto. The restaurant specializes in "good ole" Southern comfort food. And on any given day, caters to a diverse crowd, including some celebrities. In fact, Skye Dennis the latest edition to the Rug Rats loves Ms. Zay’s Place. Skye is the first Black female voice to be featured on the popular cartoon series.

Zays Place also has clientele such as the Rialto City Hall employees, The Links, Inc. (an established women’s society group), the African American Health Consortium Holiday Gala, and officer’s wives.

The atmosphere at Ms. Zay’s Place has an elegant flare yet, laid back and comfortable. And the staff definitely goes out of their way to make you feel right at home.

The restaurant is owned and managed by Ruby Thomas who was born and raised in Mississippi. Ruby loves cooking and named the restaurant after her mother who cooked for Caucasian sharecroppers as a teenager. Thomas says,” She was personally inspired by the owner of Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch.”

Ms. Zays Place opened the day after Christmas 2002. The vision began when Ruby saw a need, confessed her dream, and moved forward.

Some of the more popular dishes include the Southern Fried Chicken, Pork Chops, Meat Loaf, Short Ribs. Other favorites include the Gumbo, Short Ribs, Catfish, and Baked Chicken. Desserts include homemade Peach Cobbler, Cakes, and Sweet Potato Pies.

The mouth watering menu also includes side orders such as: red beans and rice, and macaroni and cheese, fresh collard greens, candied yams, potato salad, and buttered corn.

Sunday Buffet is all you can eat from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. The buffet is only $10 and includes dessert and a beverage. Children under 2 are free and children under 11 are discounted. Wednesday’s are always free drink day. Breakfast Specials are always available. Ms. Zay’s also provides catering and delivers to businesses within a five mile radius.

In the future, expect to see: a walk up window for late night orders, a Mississippi Social Club, and a Friday and Saturday night Fish Fry for the over thirty crowd with music, beer, and wine.

Ruby Thomas advises anyone who plans on starting a business or taking their business to another level to do all of your research first, and of course secure a loan or an investor. Finally, be prepared to work hard.

Ruby gives all glory to God for the success of Ms. Zay’s Place. She appreciates the help of family and friends and the support of customers.

Zays is located at 611 E. Foothill Blvd. in Rialto, CA. The banquet room can hold over 100 guests. For additional information please call (909) 875-0889.

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