New soul food restaurant in Lincoln Park is rooted in family, pays tribute to mom this Mothers Day

The menu at Mrs. Pat's Soul Food is as much a product of Terence Courts' parents as Terence is himself. 
Terence estimates that 90 percent of the menu comes directly from his mother's own cookbook, the namesake of the Lincoln Park restaurant that opened this past spring. His dad, William Courts, is well-represented as well, and can often be found at the restaurant making his own Bill's BBQ Sauce.

This Mothers Day, every mom gets 50 percent off their food at Mrs. Pat's Soul Food.

It's very much a family affair at Mrs. Pat's. Terence has hired a number of his relatives to work the restaurant, which utilizes an open kitchen concept that allows customers to watch their food as it's prepared. The food is made with fresh ingredients and on-site, a concept that Terence is trying to re-introduce into the local dining scene.

"We're trying to get away from fast food," he says. "We cook our food fresh-to-order, giving you a better quality of food. We want that feeling of being at home and in your own kitchen."

For now, Mrs. Pat's Soul Food is carry-out only, but Terence said that business has so far exceeded expectations and that an expansion including a sit-down restaurant and possible additional locations could be in their future. Breakfast, too, is near.

Mrs. Pat's currently offers carry-out, delivery, catering, and corporate delivery services.

Terence's catch-phrase for the restaurant, "Cooking Sunday dinner today," reflects his experiences growing up. Sundays would include big family gatherings while his mother prepared her famous meals in the kitchen. The restaurant's menu includes Mrs. Pat's recipes for homemade jams, collard greens, red beans and rice, gumbo, chitlins, and okra. Gospel music plays as customers wait for their orders.

Terence's mother, Patricia Courts, is well-known in the downriver communities, he says. She was a music teacher, counselor, and college adviser in Ecorse for over 30 years, and was very active in the church community.

Unfortunately, Patricia passed away in 2015. But Mrs. Pat's is one way for Terence to honor his mother. He plans on compiling a cookbook of her recipes and selling those at the restaurant, too.

Mrs. Pat's Soul Food is located at 1119 Southfield Rd. in Lincoln Park.

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Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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