Let me just get it out of the way and say that yes, this restaurant is literally someone cooking out of their modest home, but that's actually awesome. Only the first floor is open to dining, and it's probably always packed (it was while I was there). They said the wait would be over a half hour, but a college-student regular tuned us in to the secret to getting in and out: Order out. Get there, ask them for a menu, get your order to go, and you'll be out in about 20 minutes with one of the best meals you ever had. There are only a few tables inside, and it's really cramped (only half of the first floor is for dining). My mother and I took our meal back to our hotel only a few blocks away, and it was amazing (details below).
I'm from Washington State, but my mother is from Missouri. She misses the soul/comfort food from her childhood, and eating from Papa's Soul Food Kitchen literally brought a tear to her eye, especially the hush puppies She exclaimed it was the best comfort food she's had in decades, and while we live in Washington State, we might make a trip to Eugene just to go back to this place, no kidding. I got the brisket, which was one of the best meals (probably top five) that I have ever had, and I've eaten at some of the best restaurants on the West coast. I don't cook much, but I really want to find out how to duplicate their red beans and rice, which is one of my favorite meals because it's healthy and simple, and this is the best I've ever had. Don't get me wrong, the main course is amazing, but the sides were sublime. My mother also really enjoyed the fried okra that was still tender and not over-fried, and I also got the mac-n-cheese which was great but nothing super. My mother got catfish as her main course, and it was thin with a nice curl and had the most amazing, earthy taste I had ever tasted in fish, although I'll admit I don't eat a lot of freshwater fish.
It's been less than a week and we're already trying to find an excuse to go back. Dinner for two here cost less than $40, which is unheard of for this quality. I would happily pay more. Ordering out really isn't a secret unless you just wander in without knowing the place, but it's definitely the way to go if there's any sort of wait. Visit their website at http://papassoulfoodkitchen.com for more info and to learn the history of their business.
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