Pinky’s Eatery of­fers Cre­ole-in­spired home cook­ing

Owings restau­rant serves up made-to-or­der en­trees

The Enterprise - - Business - By CAROL SMITH csmith@somd­

“We’re go­ing to pick those greens. We’re go­ing to shuck that corn,” says Randy Peaches, owner of Pinky’s Eatery lo­cated at 7995 Solomons Is­land Road in Owings.

Pinky’s Eatery serves made-to-or­der en­trees, stacked sand­wiches and sides of Cre­ole South­ern cuisines, seafood din­ners and sand­wiches, and of­fers lo­cal seafood spe­cial­ties when in sea­son.

“When you think of south­ern, you think of Mis­sis­sippi,” Peaches said. “But, in Louisiana you ei­ther have Cre­ole or you have Ca­jun. Ca­jun is more of a French-in­flu­enced type of cui­sine. Cre­ole is more of a cui­sine of Euro­pean and black de­scent. That’s where you get your etouf­fees … your shrimp cre­ole, your red sauces.”

Peaches said he was born and raised in Vicks­burg, Miss., and was taught by his fa­ther how to pre­pare and cook foods. He went to South­ern Univer­sity in Ba­ton Rouge, La., and said he later moved to Chicago where he dis­cov­ered his pas­sion to cook for a liv­ing.

When a job op­por­tu­nity knocked in Wash­ing­ton, Peaches said he an­swered with a move to the Mary­land area, and brought his love of cook­ing along for the ride.

“I started at­tend­ing a lit­tle church down the street in Alexan­dria from my of­fice … we used to have two ser­vices on Sun­day,” Peaches said. “Every­body used to go to the first ser­vice and then just min­gle around, and some­times go to the sec­ond ser­vice be­cause the preach­ing was re­ally good.”

“So, I pre­sented an idea to our pas­tor … I had that bug of cook­ing,” he said. “In 2004, I started do­ing break­fast be­tween ser­vices there, at the church. Lit­tle did I know that would be­come my cap­tive au­di­ence who would sup- port me and give me that mo­ti­va­tion to be able to step out like I have. From the church it spread out into the com­mu­nity, and that’s where my cater­ing ser­vice grew out of.”

With the sup­port of his wife and the help of a close fam­ily friend, Peaches turned his pas­sion to cook and serve food into a full-time ven­ture with the launch of Pinky’s Eatery ear­lier this year.

Lo­cal res­i­dent Keith Rawl­ings Sr. man­ages the restau­rant, and Rawl­ings’ son, Keith Rawl­ings Jr., puts his culi­nary arts de­gree to work in the kitchen as the restau­rant’s ex­ec­u­tive chef.

“This is a work­ing of peo­ple com­ing to­gether in this area, right here, to put some­thing to­gether that every­body had a pas­sion for,” Peaches said. “But, I guess I was the cat­a­lyst to just start it.”

“It’s a bless­ing be­cause I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do it by my­self,” Peaches added. “Things are go­ing ex­tremely well. The com­mu­nity has re­ally em­braced us.”

Pinky’s Eatery opens Fri­day through Sun­day, of­fer­ing smoked ribs, smoth­ered pork chops, fried fish and fried chicken, jerk chicken, fried shrimp, craw­fish etouf­fee, Mary­land crab cakes, Mary­land soft shell crab sand­wiches and rock­fish when in sea­son, 100 per­cent grass-fed beef ham­burger, shrimp po-boy sand­wiches, and much more.

The restau­rant also of­fers sides of mac­a­roni and cheese, green beans, col­lards and cab­bage, fried corn on the cob, potato salad, candied yams, rice pi­laf and fries.

“I don’t want to cut any cor­ners. I don’t want to open up a can of greens or a can of green beans,” Peaches said. “That’s the thing we want to of­fer our cus­tomers — fresh in­gre­di­ents. I don’t care if I’ve got just four or five items up there, I want it to be fresh.”

Toni Menna of Owings said she has been a reg­u­lar cus­tomer at Pinky’s Eatery.

“The first thing I had was the fried chicken, very good. They cook it to or­der,” Menna said. “And then the sec­ond time I stopped by, I got the cat­fish … it was very good. We had the smoth­ered pork chops, they’re de­li­cious … all the sides, I’ve had the yams, the string beans, the greens and cab­bage, that’s very good. We try to get here ev­ery week … we need more restau­rants like this that have good, home­cooked foods.”

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