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Authentic Soul Food/Southern Cooking in Manchester NH--wow!

We just had dinner at Premier Palette on Elm Street in Manchester. It's a funky little storefront place run by a lady from Georgia named Zelma. She makes everything from scratch, and we had the best fried chicken since Dooky Chase in New Orleans. Her smoked brisket was superb--moist and tender, and the sides were amazing--fried okra, collard greens, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing. She also does ribs, but they had another 12 hours to go in the smoker, so we'll have to go back tomorrow! We had sweet potato pie, bread pudding and pound cake for dessert--all excellent. This is a true Chowhound find--worth a special trip.

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  1. Wow, makes me doubly ashamed that we ate at Smokey Bones last night where the brisket was dry. Thanks for posting. I hope to visit SOON!

    1 Reply
    1. re: dfrostnh

      One word of caution--she does all the cooking to order, so plan on being there a while. Not a good choice if you want a quick bite before a show at the Verizon Arena.

    2. Wow, thanks for the tip. I lived just outside New Orleans for 7 years and always looking for good southern soul, cajun food. Did she do any catfish? I'm in Manch a lot so it's now on my list very soon. If you are in Boston, do Bob the Chef on Columbus Ave. (it might be now "Bob's Southern Bistro") for awesome southern food, jazz, etc. We did their Mardi Gras event and had a blast.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lexpatti

        She said she does fish on weekends, though it's not on the menu. Also, FYI, she doesn't have a liquor license, so no wine or beer.

        1. re: Aromatherapy

          946 Elm Street (next to Ben & Jerry's)
          Tue - Thu noon to 8
          Fri - Sat noon to 9
          Sun 2 to 7

          1. We checked this out a couple of months ago. The ribs she does are beef. If you're looking for pork ribs this is not the place (unless she changed the menu since we were there).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Boodles

              We finally got to Premier Palette before a 7:30 Verizon Show. We got there early since we expected a wait. The fried chicken was cooked to order. My husband thought it was salty and, unfortunately, we went on a day when the collard greens were spicy. She said sometimes she does two batches, one not spicy. My beef brisket was wonderful, very tender and I enjoyed the sweet barbecue sauce. This paired nicely with the spicy collard greens. My second side was barbecue beans which were unlike any I have ever had. Of course, most of the barbecue beans I've had have been at chain restaurants. These were a bit spicy but with a pronounced bean flavor. They weren't overpowered by the sauce. Manchester has recently changed to parking kiosks instead of parking meters. The advantage is you can use a credit card (even for 50 cents). Your parking receipt is good at any meter even if you move to a different spot. (put in on your dash, not under a wiper.) There's a two hour limit on Elm Street which should be enough time for most restaurants. Paid parking is required until 8pm.
              There's a new take-out barbecue place in Boscawn NH (off Rt 93/exit 17) called the Smoke Shack. It's open Thurs thru Sat (maybe Sundays). My husband preferred this place but it's more a pulled pork and sweet potato fries kind of place. I was surprised that they give a small container of maple syrup for the sweet potato fries.

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