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Miss Margaret Serves Up Soul Food in Green Valley

by ARLnow.com February 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm 3,765 35 Comments

It’s easy to miss the unpretentious storefront of Margaret’s Soul Food and Catering Services, located at 2534 S. Shirlington Road in Arlington’s Green Valley (Nauck) neighborhood. But the down-home cooking inside the barred windows of the one-story brick building is worth the 10 minute walk from Shirlington.

The county-run Arlington Virginia Network recently visited Margaret’s and found a treasure trove of soulful cooking, including jerk chicken, BBQ ribs, pulled pork, Italian sausage, collard greens and potato salad — all made according to proprietor Margaret Gardner’s family recipes.

In the video, Gardner’s demeanor appears to be even sweeter than the tea she serves.

“In this business, honey, if you don’t crack a smile you won’t make a dime,” she told host Katie Greenan.

In addition to serving take-out customers (menu), Margaret’s caters events and is a regular vendor at the Arlington County Fair.

  • Mark

    Margaret’s has been a regular at the Arlington County Fair and serves up great ribs, mac and cheese and greens.

    • Bluemont John

      Man, oh man–count me in! You had me at ribs, but homemade mac & cheese? Drool.


    What do ox tails compare to. FREDTERP

    • SD

      Chicken, tastes like chicken.

      • NPGMBR

        LOL I’ve never had ox tails. Not sure I wanna try them but being that im a Louisiana native I shouldn’t turn my nose up at anything.

        Didn’t even know this place exsisted. I’ll have ti give it a try.

        • BoredHouseWife

          I have had it in a soup. Pretty good.

        • CW

          Ox tails are very similar to pot roast or short ribs. Rich, stringy, and gelatinous.

          • Hilsea

            Ox tail soup is a staple in the UK. No comments on British food please.

        • Tater Salad

          Try the oxtail stew at Mihn’s – absolutely outstanding!

    • Ox is tough as old leather with a beef flavor.

  • JamesE

    I like how video preview compliments the vegan story below.

  • Tabby


  • ParadiseAnd Lunch

    Restaurant Abi serves a mean oxtail soup. It’s got a big tail, corn on the cob, and other big chunks of stuff sticking out of the bowl. It’s delicious, and something to really savor on a winter day. It also looks completely rowdy. Abi is near Garfield Street and Columbia Pike. Very reasonable prices too.

  • Bring it on!

    Fo shizzle, so where is this place. I am ready to grub down! When I google the address it looks like an industrial area. Can someone upload a photo of the place? Is it the one next to “HOUSE OF STYLE” or the place that fixes typewriters and fax machines? Help a brother out. Holla! I wanna get my grub on yo! 2534 S.Shirlington Rd. Arlington, VA 22209

    • arlcyclist

      Yes, to the left of “HOUSE OF STYLE.”

  • Bring it on!

    Thanks! See you tonight for dinner miss margaret!

  • Shell

    I need good JERK Chicken! Haven’t found anything close to what you get in Jamaica anywhere here in DC. I will definitely try Ms M’s!!!

    • Snookie

      You should try Jamaica Jamaica in Herndon or Sweet Mango in DC. Both dives, great food.

  • Bring it on!

    It should have a sign on it that says “HOUSE OF SOUL” or “HOUSE OF YUM”

  • NomNom

    Ms. Greenan is easy on the eyes!

    And those are sweet potatoes not yams. Yams are the size of an infant.

  • Props for calling it Green Valley. NEVER heard of this place though.

  • mehoo

    Nobody has bashed the county for having a TV network yet?

    • I’ll bite. Why the HELL are we paying for a TV network, production facilities and staff?

      And don’t give me that “Comcast/FIOS pays for the studio” crap. Who do you think pays Comcast bills in the first place?

      Just another example of spending priorities. Library hours are cut, yet the county finds a way to fund art for pervets, waterparks for dogs and build luxury kitchens in county offices.

  • Bring it on!

    Spending tax payer dollars…. blah blah blah… liberal news tube… blah blah blah… I want to see Ms. Greenan’s birth certificate… blah blah blah There, you happy now Mehoo?

    • SouthArlJD

      But before she produces that birth certificate I want her to produce some of that curry chicken she’s talking about and I want my mac and cheese and potato salad sides. While she’s at it I’ll take a side of ribs – you know – just in case I have company … or something.

      Did not have any idea this place existed, but once again South Arlington comes through with the great food. I live less than 6 minutes away and this may become my new favorite hole in the wall.

  • CrystalMikey

    Love how friendly she seems to be. Gotta check it out someday!

  • Lala

    Another good spot: http://www.flavorssoulfood.com/
    Off Col. Pike & Carlin Springs

  • Shirleyyoujest

    She has a vendor spot over at the DoT HQ’s Tuesday Farmer’s Market…enough for 2 and reasonable. That curry chicken is to die.

  • Chad

    Saw this video yesterday and went last night.

    Holy crap it was good! And she’s every bit as friendly in person. I had the jerk chicken, mac/cheese, and collard greens. Awesome!

    What a weird location – but I’ll be making myself a regular. Thanks for the tip ARLnow!

    • jan

      thanks for the review!

  • Newt

    I saw this review and brought 6 guys from work there today for lunch, It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We tried almost everything on the menu and it was all excellent!

    Tip…..if you’re going to have the fried chicken, call ahead because she makes it fresh and it takes a couple minutes to get ready.

  • meh..

    Why does Arlnow keep calling Nauck Green Valley??
    It’s really annoying….

  • Overgrown Bush

    Wikipedia lists all the Arlington neighborhoods and has an entry as follows:

    Nauck (Green Valley A.K.A The Valley)

    • meh..

      Wikipedia?? lol. no thanks.

      This whole “Green Valley’ing” of Nauck reeks of blatant gentrification prodding.
      A small sliver of land along the eastern edge of Nauck is loosely named Green Valley if i’m not mistaken…but Green Valley is NOT an alternate name for Nauck.

      • KalashniKEV

        mehoo, is that you? I miss you , baby.


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