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Unpretentious Palate


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Editor's Note: This story is unlocked for everyone to read courtesy of the CRVA, our partner in nourishing culinary exploration for residents and visitors of the Queen City.

June 2, 2021

Where Chefs Eat: Jimmy Pearls’ Daryl Cooper

This Southern-loving chef enjoys dining at small joints

Folks in the restaurant industry know good food, so we want to know where they eat when they’re not cooking. In this series, we ask a local chef, bartender, restaurateur, or waiter to share their favorite restaurants in town and what they order there. This week, we interview Daryl Cooper, chef and co-owner of Jimmy Pearls, and were introduced to some of his favorite Southern spots. Cooper enjoys an extensive palate, with a plethora of different international cuisines.

What the Fries, Pineville
A popular food truck-turned-restaurant specializing in fries, wings, and more
Daryl’s order: Steak Hibachi Fries
Pro tip: “Make sure to load up on their homemade Yum Yum Sauce,” he says. 

Leah & Louise, Camp North End
A modern juke joint specializing in Southern dishes and a cozy atmosphere
Daryl’s order: Leah’s Cabbage
Pro tip: “Order the roll-up dish so you can sop up the leftover pork neck bisque of the cabbage,” he says. 

Leah’s Cabbage from Leah & Louise in Camp North End. Kristen Wile/UP

Hot Box Next Level Kitchen, Concord
A kitchen offering handcrafted traditional and globally inspired bar food
Daryl’s order: Spicy Catfish Sandwich

Tamales la Pasadita Restaurant, Plaza Midwood
A small, unassuming authentic Mexican restaurant in the heart of Plaza Midwood
Daryl’s order: Pork tamales, cheese and jalapeño tamales, and three tacos (lengua, tripa, y babeza)

Taste of SHU, South Charlotte
Elevated eatery with sushi, hibachi and other Asian dishes
Daryl’s order: Spicy pork intestine with tofu pudding, and pork blood tofu intestine.

More from this series

Mixologist Bob Peters 

Bleu Barn Bistro’s Brenton & Tara Ebersold 

Idlewild’s Vince Chirico 

Uno Alla Volta’s Zach Gadberry 

Hex Coffee’s Tanner Morita 

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