The Rice Harvest: Geechee Girl cuisine is both Lowcountry and local

Valerie Erwin, who owns GeeChee Girl Rice Cafe, wanted a restaurant that offered something distinct, so she chose a staple from her Southern background.A veteran of notable Philadelphia restaurants such as the Commissary, La Terrasse, Roller’s and Jamey’s, Valerie Erwin had long thought about opening a restaurant, especially in her own neighborhood. But 10 years ago, when a restaurant became available near her Germantown home, she was at a loss as to what cuisine to offer. 

A friend suggested a noodle theme, but noodles didn’t inspire her. Then Erwin’s sister came to the rescue. “Alethia said to me, ‘What about rice?’” 

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