I've heard about it for several years, but I had never gone to Papa's Soul Food Kitchen before today. This is sad since I have read about and tried to cook Southern BBQ many times (mostly with success, I see in hindsight), so the better-half and I today decided to stop by for lunch after enjoying the Ninkasi beer tasting room. What can I say, this was a pleasant afternoon that will be remembered for the ages.
First off, Ninkasi is the rising star of micro breweries in Oregon. Just in care you don't know Oregon, that is saying a lot. We have *tons* of micros, and we are rightly proud of each and every one of them, but Ninkasi has captured the minds and spirit of the community. The beer is excellent, the culture is fantastic (fill your own keg for $55? Sign me up!), and the location is really helping to gentrify a great part of town. Ninkasi, the only reason I would ever have to hate you is if I started up my own brewery, so I think we are safe :D
After sampling the Tricerahops, Total Domination IPA, Spring Rein, and Vanilla Hop Otis (all were excellent), we headed down to Papa's. I didn't really know what to think until I was a block from the establishment.
Then it hit me.
The lovely, lovely smoke aroma was incredible. I have only smelled that aroma at home, smoking my own meals. I didn't actually know if I had been smoking correctly, but the smell enveloping that block was positive reinforcement in the extreme.
My better-half had a soft shelled crab sandwich, and I had a North Carolina pulled pork sammie, and both were effing awesome. The service was just the right blend of attentive-but-not-annoying, the ambiance was beautiful, and the food was just the right amount of yeah-this-took-hours-to-make + we-pull-this-off-all-the-time.
I really have no comparison BBQ-wise, except 1) I know what I like, and 2) I know what peeps on the Internet say. So I gotta say this little journey, Ninkasi -> Papa's is life-altering. So, so, so delicious. If you are in Oregon, this is one of those things you *must* do, even if the details aren't exactly correct
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.