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Mom and I Hit the Big City of Fresno: Chef Paul’s and the Lion King

Mom and I had been looking forward to seeing Disney’s The Lion King but we also couldn’t wait to eat lunch at Chef Paul’s before the big event. We had planned on eating there last year when we saw Shen Yun but were so sad to find out that they were closed for the holidays on that adventure. Not this time though!

Where: Chef Paul’s, 952 F. St., Fresno
Where: William Saroyan Theater, 730 M St, Fresno
Date: November 20, 2018

In case you haven’t heard of Chef Paul’s, they are famous for their southern comfort food. What does that mean? Fried chicken, fried catfish, braised oxtails, meatloaf, ribs, jambalaya and much, much more. I was raised on this kind of food and could hardly wait. But first a little bit about Chef Paul aka Paul Pearson. We were there when they opened the doors and as we were being seated, he greeted mom and I. I told him that I had come all the way down from the Oakhurst area to eat there and he shared that he used to cater and did quite a few events up there. But now he is serving up incredible food in Fresno’s Chinatown area. The place filled up quickly and soon there was a small line waiting at the door. The kitchen was bustling.

I had checked out their Facebook page, pretty much salivating at the wonderful pictures of their food and menu. It was a rainy day and I thought their jambalaya would be perfect for the day. Mom ordered their fried chicken which came with your choice of two sides. A green salad and macaroni and cheese were her choices and I ordered an appetizer of fried okra because I couldn’t resist the temptation. We munched on our fried okra and checked out the decor, highlighted by an incredible mural next to our table.

The jambalaya was delicious, with complex spices making up the sauce. Eating half was enough and I took the rest home with me.

Mom was blown away by the chicken and when she let me have a sample I could see why. It was super crispy and had a spice in the coating. My oh my! Again, we took much of it home with us for another meal.

Chef Paul checked in on us to see how we were doing and after our lunch was boxed up, he took a picture with us.

We will return. If you are planning a visit, check their Facebook Page or give them a call to make sure they will be open. They close for the holidays and that is coming up.

Our next stop was the Saroyan Theater for The Lion King. We arrived early and had a little time to people watch in the warm lobby until we were able to get settled in our seats. This musical has been touring since 1998 and is based on the 1994 animated film. Actors dressed as the wild animals gave a magical performance. I never could have imagined that animals such as lions, really tall giraffes, birds, hyenas and even a huge elephant could come to life on the stage in front of me.

And here is a bonus fun fact for you. There are 6 indigenous African languages sung and spoken throughout the show: Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana and Congolese.

What a fun day we had in Fresno and we are looking forward to seeing another musical at the Saroyan Theater. It is very easy to park across the street with a short walk to the nice theater. And of course, we will be back to Chef Paul’s much sooner than that to work our way through their menu.

Sources:

Chef Paul’s Facebook Page

Downtown Fresno’s food for the soul Fresno Bee

Comfort Food for the Soul in Chinatown Fresyes.com

Saroyan Theater

The Lion King Saroyan Theater

Prior Blogs in the Area:

Mom and I Hit the Big City to See Shen Yun December 27, 2017

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