At 20, Beans & Cornbread attracts the A-list

The Jewish News
Danny Raskin

Danny Raskin

Sorry, Jim Caldwell … Owner Patrick Coleman would prefer passing you his good food more than a football … So your being a frequent visitor to Pat’s much-talked-about Beans & Cornbread soul food restaurant will only continue to bring you, the Detroit Lions head coach, some of the best soul vittles to be had in in this region … and to many traveling entertainers appearing here who rate it very high among the nation’s top soul food eateries.

Patrick Coleman

However, Jim, you’ll continue to regularly see your quarterback Matthew Stafford there to play catch with along with many other Detroit Lions football players.

Beans & Cornbread in the Sunset Strip on Northwestern Highway, between 12 Mile and Inkster, Southfield, is quietly going about its 20th year piling up awards, certificates of excellence and words of distinction from regular customers like Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Lawrence Fishburne, Stevie Wonder, Tommy Hearns, etc., among the untold others who speak volumes of wonderful words about its food … This month, Pat will cater an event for Aretha in Ft. Wayne, Ind., sending 3,000 pieces of chicken, cornbread dressing, green beans, the mac & cheese she loves so much, potato salad, upside-down cakes, cornbread and sweet potato muffins to be gobbled up by 1,200 people … B&C’s yearly output of those luscious sweet potato muffins, salmon for its delicious croquettes, collard greens, gumbo, etc., is tremendous … Since opening in 1997, B&C has served more than 327,600 pounds of tender baby back ribs, 1.7 million pounds of chicken wings, 2,680 pounds of catfish, etc.

Its fried chicken has been noted to be the best this side of the Mason-Dixon Line … and easily among Beans & Cornbread’s best sellers with catfish, collard greens, mac & cheese, etc. … It is said that if all its cornbread was placed together, the connection would extend as far as Memphis, Tenn.

Pat has been chosen as a national spokesperson for Lawry’s Seasoned Salt because of that company’s heads being so impressed with B&C’s food … and its food truck, called “Soul Roll,” has been booking catering for company luncheons, countless events, etc., at various areas with much laudable satisfaction.

Sheila Landis continues to warble at the restaurant during brunch on Sundays, noon to 2 p.m. … She is also a fine songwriter and has her own record label, Shelan.

Pat has gone from upscale cuisine wearing a tuxedo while general manager years ago at Sebastian’s in Troy … to maybe tux garb only when events might call for it as dining room manager of Forte for the late Chuck Muer in Birmingham … and smart business casual at Beans & Cornbread … If you are among those who ask how the moniker of Beans & Cornbread was concocted … That was the 1940 name of a jazz jump song by Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five.

MAIL DEPT. … “I heartily recommend the new Taste of Asia restaurant in the 12 Mile and Halsted Shopping Center. It is open for lunch and dinner and closed on Mondays. It has a full Chinese menu, noodle dishes and sushi. We love the gyoza (chicken dumpling) and fried shrimp appetizers. The spicy red curry noodles earned a thumbs-up. Fans of the former How Kow Inn note that the egg rolls and wonton soup taste exactly the same as theirs did. Most main courses are under $20, and Taste of Asia is also vegetarian-friendly with a wonderful staff.” … Beverly Feldheim.

REMEMBERING WHEN … Les Gruber opened his and brother Sam’s original London Chop House, Detroit, he was a stickler on dress code and had many necessary suit jackets available for those who came not wearing one … A customer loved the food and ambiance so much that he bought an expensive jacket at Capper & Capper on Washington Boulevard to wear only at the London Chop House … Les forgot to tell all his employees not to touch that classy-looking jacket hanging in the check room, and it was given to another customer … who didn’t return it when he left … and never came back.

TRY NOT TO “bum rap” a restaurant shortly after it opens … Many of the world’s finest executive chefs attest to encountering kitchen and staff problems then … Some folks might say that the eatery should not have opened yet, but how are you to correct problems if you don’t know what they are?

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … When the restaurant waitress brought him the soup du jour, the English gentleman was a bit shocked.

“Good heavens,” he said. “What is this?”

“Why, it’s bean soup,” she replied.

“I don’t care what it’s been,” he replied. “What is it now?”

CONGRATS … To Susan Citron on her 60th birthday … To Doug Goldberg on his 65th birthday … To Harvey Goldsmith on his birthday … To Paul and Lee Blizman on their 50th anniversary.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

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