South Oak Cliff has a good soul food restaurant in Faye’s Place on South Ewing Avenue. The building has been in the family of Gregory Turner, chef and owner, since 2003, but Turner reinvented it and opened it as this takeout eatery in May 2017.
Born and raised in Dallas, Turner is one of eight children. He was the general manager of the Brick, a club in Oak Lawn, before it closed after 25 years.
“I decided to get out of the club business and went to school for a while,” Turner says. “Then I had the opportunity to open up the restaurant. ... My cousin actually gave it to me.”
The restaurant is named after Turner’s Aunt Faye, who holds a special place in his heart. Turner has fond memories of watching her cook when he was a child and licking cake batter from bowls as she baked. She passed away 30 years ago, and the restaurant is an ode to her memory.
The purple and white exterior of Faye’s Place is a nod to Turner’s mother, as they’re the colors for her alma mater, Lincoln High School in South Dallas/Fair Park.
Turner’s family is involved in the restaurant; all but one of his employees are family. His sister and aunt make the cakes and pies, and his 84-year-old mother makes the dressing.
“I can’t make the dressing like she can make it,” Turner says.
Everything else on the menu, though, is made by him.
“It’s all cooked fresh to order. Nothing is under the heat lamp,” he says. “There will be a 15-20 minute wait because everything is fresh. That’s why people call their orders in.”
Sixty percent of the business comes from call-in orders, Uber or DoorDash. You also have the option of eating at picnic tables outside the restaurant (especially when we’re not in the dead of summer).
Faye’s Place serves fried fish and shrimp, burgers and chicken. Try the chicken tenders ($6.50 for three pieces with fries), wingettes ($7.25 for six pieces with fries), fried catfish ($15.50 for four pieces with fries) or a cheeseburger ($5.50 with fries).
For dessert, they serve chess pie every day and have a daily, rotating cake.
Every Sunday is soul food Sunday, when Faye’s Place offers oxtail ($15.99), fried catfish ($11.99) and other entrees such as pot roast, chicken and dressing or meatloaf. There’s always something new on the Sunday menu.
“I cook all week just for Sunday,” Turner says.
Make sure to call your order in early: Soul food Sunday is popular, and they often run out of food far before their 6 p.m. close.
Turner is also active in his community.
“I have a nonprofit organization called Gregory Cares. Once a year I feed the homeless,” Turner says. “We give away free plates all day long. I advertise, and the word gets out. We have a big tent and vendors, and the music is going.”
Turner remains thankful for what he’s been able to accomplish in the last few years with Faye’s Place.
“It’s by the grace of God," he says. "I’ve been lucky. I’ve worked hard. I get up in the morning and I think, ‘What am I going to do to make it better?’”
Faye’s Place, 1718 S. Ewing Ave. (South Oak Cliff). 469-834-9952. Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.