Saints Paradise Cafeteria
601 M St., NW
Neighborhood: Penn Quarter/Chinatown
Open Monday through Friday 7 to 7, Saturday 7 to 6, Sunday 7 to 5.
Nearby Metro Stops: Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center, Gallery Place-Chinatown
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Fried chicken, barbecue ribs.
The steaming silver pans lined up behind the counter of this church-basement cafeteria display soul-food favorites such as smoky-sweet barbecue ribs in a pool of sauce. The dinner ($10) comes with buttery cornbread and two sides; we recommend the collards, a balance of salty richness, and the candied yams, earthy despite a heavy dose of sugar and spice. Also worthwhile is the juicy fried chicken ($8 for a dinner with two sides and cornbread), with its well-seasoned crust. The place is cash only, but there’s an ATM just inside the door. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (closes at 7 on weekdays, 6 on weekends).
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