In this edition of Erika and Daniela (my co-worker) do a weekday lunch, we stopped over at Paul’s Kitchen (PK) in the Upper Kirby area!
Location/Setup: You have probably noticed that Upper Kirby is one of my go to lunch areas and honestly a go to dinner area as well. Developers packed so many great restaurants in such a small area that speak to my inner foodie! If you frequent this area, you may not have seen Paul’s Kitchen because it is kind of hidden. It’s on a side street off of Kirby behind the Elevation Burger and Taco Cabana. It’s pretty close to that bar Twin Peaks which had a prettttty large lunch crowd last Friday *side eye*.
Once we pulled up, we were greeted by complimentary valet. Always a plus in my book. Once inside we stepped into the large bar area. The decor has a masculine tone that makes you feel like you walked into someone’s man cave. From the bar there is a large dining area, with a private room just off to the side. They also have a large patio. So, yes every area in this place is big. From the street, it does not look like such a large space, but it really is.
Drinks: Guess what?? Paul’s Kitchen offers Happy Hour ALL DAY EVERYDAY! I don’t think I’ve encountered another restaurant that does that. It’s only available in the bar area, which is large so I do not expect that you will have a hard time finding a seat. I could not partake because I was on the clock but I will be back!
Food: I instantly fell in love with the “Upper Kirby Lunch Special.” Two courses for 15 dollars is a steal and a great way to try a few things on the menu. I am trying to do better in the New Year so I went for an appetizer course and an entree, but the special did include dessert! My co-worker and I both ordered the mixed green salad for our first course. For the entree I went with the PK fried chicken while she went with her favorite dish, shrimp and grits! I also asked for an order of their biscuits, which are free as long as you ask for them. The salad includes quinoa, fennel, tomatoes, almonds and golden raisins. All the ingredients were fresh and pretty to look at, I just wanted the dressing to have a little more punch. I am the kid who needs to lather carrots in ranch to be able to eat them and in this case there was not enough “ranch” for me to eat my veggies! For the biscuits, since I am a bread connoisseur, I usually can tell just from a glance if I will like a piece of bread. The biscuits looked a little harder than I prefer, but I tried them anyway. One bite into the hard shell reveals the soft middle, *swoons.*
Finally, my entree! The fried chicken. The fried chicken is brined in lemon first and then fried. The lemon flavoring is clear throughout each bite of the chicken and it helps the chicken maintain some of his juices. It is hard to make fried chicken stand out from the crowd! This lemon brining does just that. I loved it! One of the sides was braised greens. Now there is this whole cultural appropriation thing going on with collard greens and I tend to side eye it when I see it on menus. Places like Whole Foods are defiling an age old tradition by adding peanuts in collard greens and it is just wrong. PK stayed true the soul food version of greens. Throw a little pork in it, add some seasonings and you are good to go! I devoured those right along with the chicken!
Overall: I really enjoyed PK kitchen. Great location, great food and a pretty good lunch special!
*This location has now closed and reopened as the Merrill House event space*