UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — After working in kitchens across the country, Chef Emanuel Washington is bringing the soul back home.
Washington plans to open Grub, an "upscale, healthy" soul food restaurant at 1230 W. Taylor St., next Friday. With Grub, he’s aiming to set the soul food record straight.
“Real soul food is actually healthy,” he said, because the fare incorporates superfoods like legumes and vegetables that are packed with nutrition. “Some people cook [soul food] with a lot of pork and fat, but you don’t have to do it that way.”
Washington, who also lives in University Village, said the diverse neighborhood serves as the perfect location to bring sit-down, farm-to-table soul food to the masses. The restaurant is down the street from the Little Italy corridor and UIC.
Raised in the city’s Austin neighborhood, Washington returned to Chicago five months ago with the goal of opening a soul food restaurant in his “foodie” hometown, he said. And it will be the best, he promises.
“Grub will be the best soul food in America,” said Emanuel, who has perfected recipes over decades.
Washington has worked in restaurants in Chicago, New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. He also founded a soul food cooking school in Florida and has written a book on the fare.
The must tries on Grub’s menu? Double-crunch fried chicken, beef short ribs, cornbread and “absolutely” the signature mac-‘n-cheese, Emanuel said. The restaurant will serve an extensive wine list and offer valet parking, too.
Before Grub, the Taylor Street building formerly housed casual Brazilian restaurant Sabor Express.
Grub will open daily for lunch and dinner.
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