Three years ago, I had the pleasure of eating a meal prepared by a local chef who has cooked for Elvis Presley, Earth Wind and Fire, and four U.S. presidents: Chef Paul Pearson. Now, after being out of the brick and mortar restaurant business for a few years (he was doing catering only), we all have the opportunity to eat good old fashioned Southern comfort good at Chef Paul’s Cafe.
Though set in an unassuming location in Chinatown (952 F St.), Chef Paul’s reopened due to the urging of his pastor, Pastor Paul Binion of Westside Church of God. Pastor Binion saw the need for a place where families could gather together and reminisce over traditional African-American recipes. He knew Chef Paul could create the perfect environment for that with delectable food. So, encouraged by the support of his pastor, his wife Pinky and other family members, Chef Paul opened up shop again, serving lunch and dinner with daily specials.
His most popular dishes are Pinky’s fried chicken, braised oxtail, and shrimp and grits. The fried cabbage side dish is sautéed with bacon, so you can’t really go wrong there. I’ve also heard his mac and cheese called “liquid gold.”
Those who already know about Chef Paul’s are probably already members of the strong community who calls this place a second home. Read the reviews on Yelp and your mouth will immediately start watering.
Chef Paul’s Cafe is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30am – 6pm and Sundays 11:30am – 5pm.