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When people ask me what the best place to eat in Clovis is, I’ve only ever given one answer: House of JuJu in Old Town. Their burgers, flatbreads, and salads with an endless combination of sauces and meats cannot be surpassed. The restaurant is so well-loved it moved into a bigger location late last year at Pollasky and Bullard.
So I was beyond excited to hear that the owners of Juju’s have just opened a new restaurant, Papa’s Place, in Juju’s old location in the breezeway of the Dewitt Building in Old Town Clovis.
Choose your own food adventure
Juju’s is named after co-owner Julie Glenn, using a nickname from her grandchildren. Papa’s is named for her husband and co-owner Scott Glenn, also using his nickname from the grandkids. Papa’s seems to use Juju’s philosophies with a different style and new flair. It’s a craft cocktail and pub food joint with a southern inspiration.
But much like House of Juju, Papa’s Place has the same “choose your own food adventure” philosophy. Nearly every item on the menu can come fried—or not. And a whole new set of sauces are waiting to be explored.
I started my meal with one of the restaurant’s craft cocktails, the Gatsby, which has vodka, grenadine, lemon, bubbles, and candied orange peel. It was refreshing and neither too bitter nor too sweet. I’m definitely looking forward to working my way down the cocktail list in future visits.
Next was appetizers. We went with the deep-fried mac and cheese with bacon, and the sweet-and-spicy sweet potato waffle fries. After we ordered, the waitress brought out a tray with various sauces for us to taste: homemade honey mustard, lemon herb sauce, Cajun ketchup, and mango coconut curry. The cool thing about having so many sauces was getting to pick which I liked best with each food item throughout the meal.
The favorite appetizer at my table was the sweet potato fries paired with Cajun ketchup. Without the ketchup, they could almost work as a dessert. My sister declared that they tasted like churros, in the best way.
Fried or grilled: you make the call
Our main courses were equally diverse and delicious. Every item in the protein area can come fried or grilled. I ordered the Cajun shrimp, fried, with beer-battered French fries. The shrimp are paired best with the delicious homemade honey mustard, in my opinion.
There are actually three different kinds of fries to choose from: beer-battered, skinny steak fries, and chips. My sister ordered the po’ babies with fried chicken and chips, and lemon herb for her sauce. The chips are a cross somewhere between an actual potato chip and a potato skin. And don’t be deceived by the name “po’ babies.” There’s so much meat, you could ask for extra bread to make yourself another sandwich. The fried chicken strips made with thigh meat are really tender and juicy.
The clear winner for us, however, was the entrée my dad ordered: the grilled pork belly—which, yes, could also be fried, but trust me when I say you want it in its pure, grilled goodness. Truly good pork belly should melt in your mouth, and this one was perfection. I don’t remember the last time I was so impressed with a piece of pork. The two pieces may look small, but they are fatty and super filling. So much so that we agreed we’d probably order it as an appetizer to share next time. But really, it’s a must!
Visit Papa’s Place
Overall, our meal at Papa’s Place was unique and delicious. And it’s a fun atmosphere, too. The restaurant features a band area with live music every Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. It makes for a fun date or girls’ night out. Safe to say, the House of JuJu team has done it again!
Papa’s Place is located at 453 Pollasky Ave. in Clovis. It’s open Tues-Thurs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fri-Sat from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The restaurant is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Follow Papa’s Place on Facebook to check out more about their menu and see what bands are scheduled to play!