Mama Annie’s

Date
2 Oct 2010
Cuisine
American
Cost
Cheap Eat (up to $7)
Location
North Huntsville
Rating
4 out of 5
Melanie’s Take I was poking around on al.com to find a place for a casual Friday night dinner and found a recommendation for the best fried green tomatoes in Huntsville. After learning that this place was a down-home meat and three, I knew we had to give it a try. Shane and I have eaten at lots of southern-style places. From Thelma’s Rib Shack in Atlanta to Mrs. Wilkes’ in Savannah, we’ve sampled our fair share of mashed potatoes and mac n’ cheese. So, what sets Mama Annie’s apart? First of all, the food was delicious. If I had to guess, I would say the kitchen was full of southern grandmas that aren’t satisfied unless you ask for seconds. We asked our waiter for suggestions and he immediately told us what their best offerings were: mac n’ cheese, fried green tomatoes, greens, roasted vegetables, meatloaf, fried catfish, and bbq ribs. With a choice of one meat and two veggies per $7 plate, he offered to give us a sampling of all three meats between our plates for the same price. When our food arrived, we shared everything, but my favorite was the meatloaf. It was flavorful and moist without being too mushy. At a close second were the roasted veggies and catfish. I was a bit skeptical when our waiter suggested roasted veggies at a soul food joint, but they were great. The mix of squash, onions, carrots, and peppers with a tinge of grilled flavor were a nice surprise. The catfish was well fried but the star was the tartar sauce. It was a sharp and tangy compliment to the fish.¬†We were too stuffed to order dessert, but when we go back (and we will go back), I’ll be sure to save room for the homemade banana pudding. Mama Annie’s outshone other local meat and threes like the Blue Plate because of its unassuming atmosphere and authentic soul food. Its employees were just as charming as its food. And the fried green tomatoes? They were too good to share, but I did. I really, really love my husband.

Shane’s Take

Our visit to Mama Annie’s makes our third official Chain of Foods visit and our third distinct style of food. Phil gave us tex-mex, Mezza Luna gave us fine dining, and, now, Mama Annie’s gives us the kind of food that calms our nerves. Like Melanie, I really enjoyed Mama Annie’s. If you’ve been to Thelma’s in Atlanta, it will feel familiar, except the air conditioning works and the kitchen is stocked with Mama-trained cooks instead of an actual Mama (something which you must see if you go to Thelma’s, by the way). I hate to copy Melanie, but the food and the service were great.
First, the service. When we first walked in, we didn’t know how they do things there–have seat or wait in line–so we stood at the counter for a minute or two before one of the servers invited us to grab a menu and find a seat. I liked his style: straight-forward, friendly, and unpretentious. We were then greeted by our server, who at our request suggested to us every portion of our meal, and even offered to give us half-portions of the meats so as to maximize the tasting experience. I was impressed with his kind service and his enthusiasm for the food. (To any restauranteurs who are reading: Please encourage your waiters to show enthusiasm for the food. If I ask what the best thing on the menu is, they should be able to effortlessly suggest something that tastes awesome.)
Second, the food. Like the service, it was straight-forward, friendly, and unpretentious. I selected the ribs as my meat and found them tasty. They were dripping in barbeque sauce, which wouldn’t always be a good thing, but the sauce had a great flavor, so I didn’t mind it. The roasted vegetables, as Melanie said, were delicious; the carrots were probably the best I’ve eaten. Turnip greens served as my other side, and they were well-cooked and flavored. They really came to life with a dousing of that slightly-creepy clear pepper juice you find at soul food joints. The juice also helped out the cornbread, which, like most cornbread, was not my favorite thing to eat. So, Mama Annie’s is good stuff. We’re definitely going back and intend to bring a couple friends with us next time. I also should add that the $7 price is a deal. The food was good and plentiful, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere was pleasant, so I definitely believe we got our money’s worth. I strongly recommend it to someone who’s pining for some well-priced home cooking. A few things to notice when you make your trip to Mama’s:
  • Look for the poster that features a montage of The Bear and Nick Saban and some guy I didn’t recognize. It wasn’t my style, but it just may be yours!
  • The sweet tea is sweet and flavorful. You’ll like it.
  • This is the kind of place where you bus your own table. Don’t fret over it–it’s part of the experience.
  • Notice the plates, which just might’ve been taken from Mama Annie’s house.
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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Even though I live far away, I’m loving the blog. The pics are awesome too!

  2. Shane & Melanie

    Melissa, I’m glad you like it. Maybe it’s a taste of home!

  3. Amy Logan McPherson

    I had never heard of this place, but it looks so good! Maybe I’ll stop by in April.

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