America's Next Great Restaurant: Soul Daddy's

We watch a bit too much television. Soon, we will take a TV fast, but for now we really enjoy cooking type reality shows. We watch Hells Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and enjoyed this season’s new addition, America’s Next Great Restaurant. It was typical cooking contest fair.  If you are interested in the show itself, feel free to go to the website and see how the season unfolded. I am not going to go into the whole thing. I just want to tell you about my experience at the winning restaurant, Soul Daddy’s Los Angeles location.
The TFH (testosterone filled human) and I did not see the finale. I had no idea who had won. We didn’t even have a real clear favorite, although we thought the three finalists seemed like nice people who deserved a shot.
On Tuesday May 3rd I had to hop on the Metro Red Line from North Hollywood Station to Hollywood and Highland to meet with a computer client. After I met my client I decided I would look for an ATM so I could get a cream puff at Beard Papa’s, which has the best cream puff’s I have ever eaten.  I wandered about the huge Hollywood and Highland complex, overwhelmed by the 100s of tourists and all the high end shops. I never did find an ATM, but found myself drawn up to the 3rd level as if I was being pulled along by a string attached to my waist. It was very odd, but as I came upon the 3rd floor landing I not only saw a gorgeous wooden front to the restaurant but I saw this tall, muscular, attractive black man standing right there in front with his apron and a smile.
This man was standing on the patio of the area the H&H complex calls “eateries” speaking with a few women who looked like they could be related to him. He looked over and as I asked , “Wait! Are you ‘Soul Daddy’?”, then he jaunted over to me and gave me a friendly and grateful embrace. He thanked me for stopping by. I felt like I had just walked into his home and he had greeted me like family. I was immediately struck by the fact that Jamawn had not only won ANGT, but that he truly deserved to win. What a sweet and down to earth man!
Before I went in to sample the food, I asked him what I should try. Out of the menu, which he took time to explain to me from the menu, I told him I would choose the Pulled Pork Sandwich. He looked at me with a grin,  his head cocked to the side and said, “well, you make sure you put some barbecue sauce on that. It’s really good.” I trusted him. I mean, this is a man from Detroit who grew up watching his father cook soul food. I would trust him faster than some Beverly Hills lawyer telling me Tony Roma’s BBQ sauce is the best in the U.S. A. No slight on Tony Roma’s but there are a few BBQ joints in Austin and St. Louis that make their sauce look like ketchup.
Anyway, the service in Soul Daddy’s was fantastic. There was a ton of staff and they were all young, friendly and helpful. The interior had a Chipotle like feel to it with a twist. The butcher block tables and wood-paneled walls felt like some BBQ places back East and added to the feeling of being home for me.
Here is my review of the food:
Pulled Pork Sandwich w/ Soul Daddy’s BBQ Sauce and a dash of the killer hottest sauce in the building: Excellent!
Black Eyed Pea Salad: Very Tasty
Boylan Creme Soda w/ real cane sugar: mhm mhm mhm

I highly recommend that you seek out a location near you if you live in or near Los Angeles, Minneapolis or New York City. I hope you get to meet Jamawn Woods. If you are in LA, I’ll see you there!
For more comprehensive reviews check Soul Daddy out on Yelp.

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