Restaurant Week is not for a faint heart or a weak stomach. After a meal at one of the newest restaurants to grace East Bay Street, Paw Paw, I realized just how much of an undertaking a three course meal can be. I opted for their three courses for $35 at the suggestion of my waitress, who also graduated from the College. And by the last bite, I was ready to pop.
With outdoor seating right on the sidewalk of East Bay, Paw Paw allows its customers to enjoy the daily happenings around the downtown Market. Its flower-shaped fixtures give a soft-lit, private feeling to each of its indoor tables. The open kitchen and back counter for food delivery allows guests to feel like they are a part of the kitchen. The restaurant also boasts a private dining room complete with a sliding barn door.
Paw Paw creates delicious, Southern classics. Menu favorites include fried chicken, which takes 72 hours to make and has been extensively explained in a book written by the chef himself, Jared Rogers. Handmade pasta dishes are also a specialty of the chef, who has over a decade of experience all over the United States.
The three courses I selected were caesar salad, smoked shrimp and grits and a seasonal sundae with s’mores for dessert. Even the caesar salad was beyond my expectations; it was perfectly crunchy and fresh, with exactly the right amount of dressing and croutons to accompany the romaine. The main course was a Southern girl’s dream, with crispy okra and bacon atop smoked shrimp and grits. Finally, the seasonal s’mores sundae put all other desserts to shame.
All in all, this restaurant had all the makings of a cool date night, a wholesome family visit or just a delicious spur-of-the-moment weekday meal. And with Restaurant Week as the perfect excuse, Paw Paw’s three course meal was just what my Thursday night needed.