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Saints Paradise Cafeteria, Convention Center Metro


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What are your opinions about this place? Is it even on the radar?

I live a few blocks away and occasionally find my way there. Be forewarned, NEVER EVER go for peak-hour Friday lunch. I did for my first trip and stood in queue for 55 minutes. I have always found the staff and other patrons to be exceedingly friendly, as in having others notice I was alone and invite me to dine with them.

Saints Paradise Cafeteria at the United House of Prayer for All People (601 M St. NW, 202-789-2289) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Hundreds of people line up for the chicken, ribs, pork chops, fish, macaroni and cheese, greens, green beans, cabbage, rice, candied sweet potatoes, peach cobbler and banana pudding, among other offerings.

From a Chowhound post, circa 2000 (near the bottom of the page, search for "church cafeteria")

Edited by LoganCircle
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Not quite on topic, but this reminds of a church in St. Louis that had a similar operation. St. Raymond's Catholic Church is a Lebanese church in the southern part of downtown with a HUGE parish center that is home to 95% of the Lebanese weddings in the city. Every Wednesday (I think that was the day) the women of the parish cooked their Lebanese favorites and served tham out of the cafeteria - for something like 2,000 people over the course of three hours. A true phenomenon and pretty phenomenal food too.

I worked for a candidate whose best friend was Lebanese and the appliance king of St. Louis and one fo the most recognizable characters in the city from his crazy commercials. We were treated like royalty.

I just had to share the memory.

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I'm not sure if it's still in operation but the AME church on M Street between 15th & 16th NW served up a fantastic lunch when I worked in the hood a number of years ago. Ribs, fried fish, great mac and cheese, greens, fried chicken, banana pudding. And it was cheap and filling. Nicest service too. Worth a peek if you are in the area. I can't recall if it was daily or not though.

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What are your opinions about this place?  Is it even on the radar?

I live a few blocks away and occasionally find my way there.  Be forewarned, NEVER EVER go for peak-hour Friday lunch.  I did for my first trip and stood in queue for 55 minutes.  I have always found the staff and other patrons to be exceedingly friendly, as in having others notice I was alone and inviting me to dine with them.

Saints Paradise Cafeteria at the United House of Prayer for All People (601 M St. NW, 202-789-2289) serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Hundreds of people line up for the chicken, ribs, pork chops, fish, macaroni and cheese, greens, green beans, cabbage, rice, candied sweet potatoes, peach cobbler and banana pudding, among other offerings.

From a Chowhound post, circa 2000 (near the bottom of the page, search for "church cafeteria")

I go there for lunch occasionally, and like it very much. I've posted about it on CH occasionally (sorry--no time to look for a link). The food is, I would say, authentic church soul 2005, ie it's loaded with fats and sugars and the deserts are topped with, if anything, cool-whip not cream, 'cause after all that's what most folks eat at home, so like it or not that's authentic. If you're looking for a church basement soul food experience it's the real thing--they make it right there, with love. Note, the lines can be loooong any day, not just Friday, mainly because the servers are not into efficiency (remember how the line used to move at Scholl's?) but they do like to chat with the regulars. I even took my elderly (very white) folks (from Southern Indiana) there once, and they liked it. It's definitely worth a visit but accept it for what it is, which is not gourmet. I recommend the fried fish of the day, the greens, the mac n cheese, the sweet pototoes, cornbread, etc. I've never tried any dessert; that factory topping stuff just ain't me.

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It's definitely worth a visit but accept it for what it is, which is not gourmet.

It says a lot about Saints Paradise Cafeteria that their carryout menu is dated March 1, 2007. Prices are still the same, portions are still large, and "Love," as the menu says, remains "Our Main Ingredient."

Breakfast ($4) is two eggs, any style, with bacon, link sausage, patty sausage, or scrapple, plus a side order. If you go up to $4.75, you can get kielbasa, salmon cake, corn beef hash, or ham. $5.00 gets you a pork chop, and for $6.00 you can get fried whiting.

My young dining companion opted for scrambled eggs with cheese and link sausages, whereas I held up our breakfast waiting for eggs fried to order, over-easy. We both got pancakes as our sides, and they were thick, fluffy, and oh-so-good as bread to my makeshift scrapple sandwich (fear not, I used a fork).

The coffee ($1.25) was endless, although I admit to finding myself at Peregrine Espresso about an hour later.

"Do you want to take the rest home?" the super-friendly cashier called over to me as we got up to leave.

Open 7-7 Monday-Friday (8-6 Saturday and Sunday). If you're at the Convention Center looking for a slice of authentic DC, remember that Saints Paradise Cafeteria is less than one block east on M Street from the metro station.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Daddy Grace's place...best to go for early or late lunch...don't ever go at noon...(unless you have a 3 hour lunch). Great food, great price. Guaranteed to fill you up. If you have a problem with white bread, stay away, if you have a problem with cholesterol, stay away...if you like food like your grandmother cooked (and your grandmother was Southern born), for heaven's sake go (not sure if that pun is intentional or not)

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I like the place a lot and use to go once every other week or so when I worked down town. I miss the place.

However, my favorite place (in this category of places) actually is the baptist church near eye and 7th, NW. Fried fish on Friday's are excellent, as is the smothered pork chops, ribs, fried chicken wing (my personal favorite). Much smaller operation then paradise but I like the fact that it is smaller operation and the lady's get to know you after a few trips.

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