I went to Purple Plum on Park Boulevard tonight with a friend. It was crowded although we were seated without reservations @ 7:30 pm. Southern soul food is the theme and as a passionate devotee of this American regional cuisine I was impressed.
Soulfood is hard in California. I once worked at a place in North Beach where we made biscuits with rendered duck and bacon fat, fresh pies on the hour, and creamy grits.
It did not survive. Now the owner is doing a more French Laundry sort of Cali-French thing and it does much better.
I ordered the glazed pork chop with greens and mashed ginger-sweet potatoes. What was refreshing about this was that the plate was full of juices, or pot likker as the Southerners refer to it. I thought I would want a spoon but they melded with the sweet potato goodness and it all worked out. Coarse ground cornmeal cornbread came to the table, which also worked out nicely.
The actual chop was dry. but when I picked it up to knaw near the bone that meat was heaven.
Can you say ZOW?
Zow, they were exactly as they should be. Cooked until tender-melt-in-your-lucky-mouth PERFECT!! A mixture of kale, turnip, collard, and mustard greens, and cooked, of course, with bacon. There was no strong bacon taste though, OH NO, the bacon acts as a supporting actor. The GREENS are the main attraction!!
My friend had the Veggie risotto and we shared a Navarro Guwurtstriminer (so sorry to butcher that spelling!) spritzer. As some of you know, I do not drink and this is my favorite going-out-to-a restaurant-meal drink, (Delfina sometimes has it and so does Chez Panisse), because although I do not drink alcohol I am not 8 and do not want coke with my dinner.
We were too full for dessert. that menu was tiny--chocolate bread puddn, peach cobbler, sorbet. The freshly baked cobblers greet you before the host does, making this restaurant warm and comfortable, special but not stuffy, downhomey and as well, elegant.