Arlington, VA

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.

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