Elizabeth Warren, Bertha’s Kitchen and yams

Sen. Elizabeth Warren dines at Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston, South Carolina, in the lead up to the Feb. 29 Democratic primary. (Nirmal Mulaikal/MEDILL)

By Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — We sat in Bertha’s Kitchen, a soul food restaurant. Our food — corn, rice, glazed yams, and, in Nirmal’s case, fried chicken — rested on trays in front of us.

Bertha’s Kitchen was honored with a James Beard Award in 2017. However, something told us that the reporters weren’t there to cover the menu options.

Looking up from our trays, we watched through the window as a van parked. The reporters descended upon the non-descript car, snapping photos and filming as if it was the most interesting van in the world.

A slender woman wearing a bright blue shirt and running shoes stepped out of the car and entered the restaurant.

The reporters huddled around her as she walked up to the counter and spoke with the employees. Some of them asked if they could take photos with her. She agreed.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren then greeted us.

“Can I get a photo with you?” Brandon asked.

“Sure,” the Democratic presidential candidate responded.

Next was Nirmal’s and then my turn to take famous Warren selfies.

Warren sat down at another table behind us, ate cornbread, rice, yams, and spoke with the gentleman sitting there.

She then circled around, visiting the few other tables and quickly exchanged words with the people seated at them.

Our table was last.

“He cleaned his whole plate,” she said, pointing at Nirmal’s empty tray.

“It was good food, the yams were especially great,” I told her.

“They were perfect. Not too sweet and with just a pinch of cinnamon,” Warren answered.

Warren was in the Palmetto State to gain support, especially from the state’s African-American Democratic voters (a large and highly sought after group). With the South Carolina primary only two weeks away, I’m sure we would have like to ask Sen. Warren a hundred questions. But at least we got her to clarify her position on yams.

Photo at top: Sen. Elizabeth Warren dines at Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston, South Carolina, in the lead up to the Feb. 29 Democratic primary. (Nirmal Mulaikal/MEDILL)
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