Photo illustration by Erendira Mancias/The Root/GMG; photo by Lawrence Ross/The Root

The dilapidated neighborhood sits in the dark shadow of downtown Phoenix, an American shantytown that time forgot. It’s a block with boarded-up, lean-to homes with glass windows that have been replaced by Home Depot plastic sheeting. Lingering are beaten-up F-150 trucks with giant American flags as their only point of pride, and desperate shirtless men use their dirty, calloused hands to fight to survive and to fight each other.

And smack dab in the middle of this “Keep your third eye open” street was the Tabb Restaurant at 209 W. Hadley St.

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Google has nothing on the Tabb Restaurant, but using a bit of architectural archeology, you can tell that this was once a commercial building that was converted into a residential home. Or, it is possible that it was always a combination site, with the family home being in the front, and the restaurant in the back. Either way, the old Tabb Restaurant is no more. However ... just a few blocks away, in another neighborhood, is a black-owned restaurant that’s not only alive but thriving. I visit Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles, a family restaurant in more ways than one.