Browns BBQ and Soul Food Cooks Up Savory and Sweet Soul Food

Kamari Esquerra

Even today, small business owners of color continue to face challenges when it comes to owning and operating a business.

Charles Brown of Browns BBQ and Soul Food is defying the odds, bringing authentic cuisines to the desert- something he’s been doing for almost a decade.

People from near and far come to Browns to get a taste of “that good Southern cookin'” from one of the few Southern style restaurants in the Coachella Valley.

“We’re from Canada and this is where we come every time we’re in town,” said one guest, who asked to remain anonymous for privacy purposes. “My husband and I have been coming here every time we’re in town for the past four years, and the food is as authentic as you can get.” 

Browns BBQ and Soul Food, tucked away in North Palm Springs, is no easy task to find, but people said it is worth the effort.

“I call it like one of those hidden gems,” said Danya Cole, an assistant at the Southern restaurant. “(It has that) soul food taste, touch, smell, and it is delicious. It’s from the soul and it’s made with love. That’s what Charles does.” 

Brown said all of his recipes are made from scratch.

“That’s what makes it so good because you know that when you get done cooking that you put your heart and soul into,” said Brown. 

From the wide variety of menu items, customers said it’s hard to choose a favorite.

“My favorite thing is the chicken wings, the fried chicken wings, the fried catfish, the baby back ribs,” said Cole. “Oh and I love the sweet potatoes, the potato salad is to die for. I love everything- the red beans and rice are awesome. The greens are amazing. And the mac and cheese- don’t forget the mac and cheese.”

And even harder to duplicate the items.

“I’ve been trying to get that recipe right, haven’t been able to yet,” said Cole.

Brown said he won’t be giving his recipes away anytime soon.

“Believe me, a lot of people have been trying to get it, but they gotta come in my head and get it out, cause it ain’t going nowhere,” said Brown.

He said guests are welcome to get a taste of his personalized Southern eats at his restaurant.

“Come to Brown’s. We’ll be waiting. And I have my smile for you too,” said Brown. 

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