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Where To: Family Affair, serving soul food and Caribbean cooking in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner.

Why: For fried chicken and red velvet waffles, oxtail dinners, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

The Back Story: This is chef-owner Jermaine Tulloch’s first restaurant, and a career switch for the former educator. A Dorchester native, he attended Boston Arts Academy and Longy School of Music, where he studied opera, going on to perform with groups including the Harlem Gospel Choir. He then became a music and special-education teacher in the Boston public schools from which he graduated. (If you make it to an event, like a recent sold-out Paint Night, you might even catch him performing.) Family Affair was a catering company first, and now it’s a restaurant with counter service and a few tables and booths. Jermaine’s mother, Hulda Tulloch, holds down the Caribbean side of the menu in the kitchen. She’s originally from Montserrat in the British West Indies.

Chef-owner Jermaine Tulloch and his mom, Hulda Tulloch, operate Family Affair in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner.
Chef-owner Jermaine Tulloch and his mom, Hulda Tulloch, operate Family Affair in Dorchester’s Uphams Corner.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

What to Eat: There are appetizers like crab rangoon rolls; dinners of fried porgy, mango coconut shrimp, BBQ ribs, and curry chicken; sides of mac and cheese, candied yams, rice and peas, cabbage; and a case of desserts. But at every table, there seems to be at least one person eating chicken and waffles out of a takeout pizza box. Each order includes a thigh and a drumstick, and waffles can be upgraded from plain to red velvet or apple pie. There’s also a specials board, constantly changing. On a recent visit, it included a “fish sammich” with fries, Nutella-chocolate chicken and waffles, steak and cheese eggrolls, and apple pie rolls. That last, sweet apple pie filling in a crisp spring-roll skin, is a special only in theory: It’s been so popular, Tulloch says, it hasn’t left the rotation yet.

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Fried porgie at the newly-opened Family Affair restaurant on Columbia Road in Upham's Corner.
Fried porgie at the newly-opened Family Affair restaurant on Columbia Road in Upham's Corner. Lane Turner/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

What to Drink: You’ll find the usual water, soda, and juice, along with bottled Jamaican ginger beer.

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The Takeaway: Family Affair serves up indulgence and positive vibes, from the inspirational Bible quotes written on the chalkboard to the reasonably priced menu of comfort food (it tops out at $14).

554 Columbia Road, Dorchester, 617-514-4458, www.famaffairboston.com


Devra First can be reached at devra.first@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.