It’s Not Just Lip Service

Photo Credit: Falana Fray

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the late Summer of 2020. I was in one of my “hangry” moods. My lady looked at me and said, “let’s get you some food”. We were close to one of my favorite restaurants, Rain Eatery, but they were closed that day. Needless to say I was not happy. All I kept thinking about was their salmon with plantains and spinach. Nothing else could top that. Yeah, I’m serious about my food. Not to worry though, my co-pilot had an idea, she did a search for restaurants near us, Caribbean or Black owned and then we charted a course to 1412 Nostrand Avenue, between Martense Street and Linden Boulevard – Lips Café.

Remember, I’m “hangry” and if anyone out there has experienced what it is to be “hangry”, then you know, things need to go right. At least, they do for me. We pull up less than a block away and I found the perfect parking spot. That’s the first step in the right direction. Then we walk over to Lips Café and open the door. Wow! We were blown away. The place was beautifully designed. Then we were met with a very warm and welcome greeting from who we now know to be one of the owners, Jamane Weekes. My shoulders relaxed and I was starting to feel comfortable. We were fortunate at that time, because the place wasn’t crowded, and they were allowed to seat a few people inside.

Now we had to figure out the menu. What were we going to eat? Saltfish and bake, a Jerk Chicken Wrap? Then I saw what I knew had to be good – a Jerk Salmon Wrap. That was it. To seal the deal, we ordered a Ginger Pineapple and Sorrel drinks. While we waited, we fell deeper in love with the space, because of how warm the décor made us feel and how comfortable the chairs were. It was like being at home, in the comfort of your living room and having a personal chef come by to cater to your needs.

While checking out the art and clothing that was displayed, I noticed the lady who was preparing the food. She was very focused, sort of like a chemist, making sure all the right ingredients were there to concoct that very special potion. You can tell that one of her secret ingredients was love, because the food looked absolutely amazing. The way it was plated and the explosion of flavors I experienced when I took my first bite had me hooked. I was no longer “hangry”. I was on cloud nine.

Jamane & Donna Weekes, Owners of Lips Cafe

I had to pay my respect to the culinary master that made that Jerk Salmon wrap into a slice of heaven, so I walked over and learned that the lady with the magic was none other than Donna Weekes, owner, business partner and mother to Jamane Weekes.

So, when you call me, text me or message me on Instagram asking where to go and I say “go check out Lips Café”, don’t hesitate. It’s not just lip service, it’s a fact. They are officially one of the best places to eat in Brooklyn, in New York and any other city I have visited. Spread the word and tell them Chris Factor sent you.

Lips Café is located at 1412 Nostrand Avenue, between Martense Street and Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY. Call them at (347) 440-2439. Visit them online at and  follow them on Instagram @lipscafe__

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