Updated: Sep 5, 2019
The opening of Paula Deen's Family Restaurant in San Antonio and Fairview Texas has come with delicious foods, mouth-watering desserts, and a touch of confusion. We plan to clear up that confusion, so you can just enjoy the marvelous restaurant that Paula, her family and her team have created.
After spotting Paula Deen's Family Kitchen in San Antonio and hearing that Paula Deen herself would be making an appearance at the Fairview location, we piled into the car and began our 3.5 hour trek to see what this place was all about and I have to say that we weren't disappointed. Entering the restaurant is like entering the set of an old Paula Deen cooking show. The lighting is perfect, making all colors in the room glow bright and beautiful. The entrance is unlike many restaurants I have visited as it has a storefront with all the cooking supplies, cookbooks and recipes that you can imagine. As if everything Paula Deen created had been boxed up or written down and put in a cookbook, on a t-shirt or in a box.
A lot of the food you order from her restaurant is delightfully there for you to grab up and try to cook at home.
As we walked through the store, you couldn't help but notice the large kitchen in the back of the store, which (we came to learn) is an exact replica of Paula Deen's kitchen at her home. It was fabulous to see Paula herself standing behind the counter, greeting guests. We got the opportunity to meet Paul and talk a bit, which was fantastic. Her southern hospitality seemed genuine and pleasant which made me want to enjoy the restaurant even more than I already did upon entering.
Our lunch was an absolute joy and the food was what you would expect from a restaurant backed by a world renowned cook like Paula Deen. It was fresh, hot and brought in a very timely manner from a cheerful server, full of conversation and energy. The only confusion came when the food was delivered to the table.
Now, having known about the small family portions before I arrived, I knew what to expect, so I was less confused than the rest of my family. With that said, everything is ordered family style and comes out in surprisingly small bowls and plates, looking less like a family meal and more like a meal for one or two.
All you need to know is that you can get more and more and more until you don't want anymore. Refills are free (you can't take them home, so don't get too excited!) but once you dig in, there isn't much need for more. The bowls are deeper than they look and hold a surprising amount of food. The small bowls and plates serve a purpose that may not seem justified at first glance, but offer up an extra special touch of care that seems fitting after meeting Paula. Freshness.
The smaller bowls/plates and free refills help keep fresh food on the table, so you never have to worry about taking too long to eat or enjoy the meal. The expectation is for you to relax and enjoy time with your family while eating delicious, warm, fresh food, made with ingredients from many of Paula Deen's famous recipes.
So, when you get time, find your way to the nearest Paula Deen's Family Kitchen and bring an appetite, because you will want to try everything (especially the dessert...sigh).