Mama’s Food Shop
200 East 3rd Street (A/B), East Village

Yes, I love my Mama, but her cooking certainly does not compare with my beloved Mama’s Food Shop in the East Village. It’s been serving heaping plates of delicious down-home comfort food since 1995, and I’ve been an obedient, loyal customer since the beginning. Mama’s is set up like a traditional Southern cafeteria where the customer lines up at the counter, is served food straight from the abundant tray table, pays, grabs a table, and stuffs his/her face. The proteins include fried and baked chicken, meatloaf, and the new tilapia and pork shoulder offerings. They are all good, although the pork is my current fav. Unlike most menus, the carbs and veggies are just as important here. The mac & cheese and mashed potatoes are done in the ultra-comforting classic way. The brussel sprouts, braised kale, and German potato salad are other favorites- hell, all 14 choices are my favorites. They cook everything with love – just as Mama should. The exceedingly casual East Village vibe is always a plus when gnawing on chicken bones and stuffing one’s face with mac & cheese. While I recommend the ginger-mint iced tea, I can’t recommend the desserts because I’ve never tried them. After tackling the enormous main dish mounds, I’ve never had room. Mama’s not only gets a big fat Golden Bonzone, it also gets a coveted Hall of Fame selection. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that you get 1 meat and 2 sides for $13 – and that includes tax and tip! Plus it’s BYOB. So now you know why I love Mama…