Soulshine Kitchen brings homestyle cooking, environment close to LSU

3 min read

When college students go off to school, one of many first issues they miss is usually homestyle cooking. Soulshine Kitchen & Bar, simply off LSU’s campus, seeks to alter this, making the close by college students and households really feel extra at house due to its Southern-style consolation meals.

The Chimes Road restaurant, at present in a smooth opening section, debuts at a grand opening get together this Friday, July 8. Diners will discover a menu that includes collard greens hamburger steaks, fried pork chops, pot roast, smothered hen, blackened catfish and extra. “We’re additionally gonna have cornbread dressing,” says co-owner Danny Wilson. “We shouldn’t have to attend for Thanksgiving for that.”

Inside, the sunshine-yellow and sky-blue colour palette and wooden accents really feel rustic and cheerful. Murals, vinyl information and even a painted classic stereo system nod to music, one other essential a part of Wilson’s life.

One of many restaurant’s three homeowners, Wilson grew up on a farm in Ponchatoula. There, he realized to cook dinner Southern consolation meals from his household earlier than leaving at 17 to comply with the Grateful Useless on tour. By the point he returned house in 2002, he started working in high-end eating places, a far cry from the consolation meals of his youth.

“I’ve actually come full circle,” Wilson says. “I actually thought I’d open a fine-dining restaurant, however the extra my cooking needs advanced, the extra I needed to only return and cook dinner stuff from my childhood and simply do it higher and enhance on all of it.”

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The situation is just some homes down from a home that Wilson says he lived in as a heroin addict. In what looks like a cosmic coincidence, he returns 20 years sober to open a restaurant devoted to his childhood love of consolation meals. The germ of the concept Wilson, together with Joe Martin and Bryan Rogers, became Soulshine got here from a July Fourth collard greens cookoff Wilson had with a good friend’s mom after he got here again from faculty and improved upon the recipe. To his opponent’s frustration, Wilson’s recipe received.

Wilson says the meals on Soulshine’s menu distinguishes itself from different consolation meals within the space, particularly the Cajun delicacies at The Chimes on the subsequent block. Wilson admires The Chimes and says he’s realized a lot from his good friend and mentor there, Jim Howard. However he desires individuals to grasp that the meals Soulshine gives is a distinct animal totally.

The bar scene, then again, will probably be extra just like the Chimes’ college-friendly environment. Beginning at 9 p.m., Wilson sees his restaurant dimming the lights, upping the music, and serving a menu of specialty cocktails and munchies like wings and dips.

The three cocktails on the menu at present are the Strawberry Fields, a strawberry slushie; the Disco Lemonade, a vodka-fueled blueberry sage cocktail; and the Physique Depend, a mint lemon iced tea named after rapper Ice-T’s oft-forgotten steel band.

Soulshine, greater than anything, is a spot the place Wilson desires individuals to really feel at house, whether or not they grew up consuming Southern consolation meals or not. For the group that haven’t had the prospect to develop up with the meals he did, he hopes his restaurant can introduce them to a completely new taste profile distinctive to Louisiana.

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“What we cook dinner (in Louisiana) is so a lot better than in all places else,” Wilson says. “Nothing compares to the meals right here, regardless of what number of excellent and fancy eating places I’ve labored with in my life. The precise ultimate product, our meals is best.”

Soulshine Kitchen & Bar is at 144 W. Chimes St. It’s at present open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., in addition to Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. A grand opening get together is ready for July 8.

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