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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 

    Posted in: Latest Updates, News