Restaurant Review: Mama’s Food Shop
November 11th, 2009 by plumpdumpling

I really love when a restaurant inspires huge reactions from my friends, especially when they rely on me to choose the restaurant for us. To my delight, they kept talking about our Friday night trip to Mama’s Food Shop in the East Village for days. Unfortunately, no one was saying anything good.

Eating at one of Mama’s tables feels like eating at the apartment of one of your most eclectic hipster friends if you have the sort of friends who keep nude pictures of their mothers on bookshelves at the heads of their tables. And if your friend serves you lukewarm comfort food cafeteria-style from metal pans.

I was there for the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and it didn’t disappoint. It had a homey, small-batch taste and pulled apart easily with my fork. The macaroni was plenty cheesy but underseasoned, and I probably would’ve rather had a box of Kraft at home. The kind with the orange cheesefood that squeezes out of the pouch.

My friends had the fried chicken and thought it was bland, but that didn’t stop Chantee from making this face when I asked her to pose:

As a lover of big, soft French fries, I thought my friends’ sweet potato fries were delicious, but most of the plate sat uneaten by everyone else:

However, my pile of banana cream pie (sans crust) was so attractive to everyone

that when I turned to get a photo of something else, two friends dove for a bite at the same time and ended up losing it on the table

so it spent the remainder of the meal beside me on the bookshelf, next to one of the naked ladies.

I didn’t think anyone was horrified by it at the time, but when I asked my friends individually later if they’d return, every one of them said no due to the temperature of the food. I, ever the optimist, chalk that up to our arriving mere minutes before they were closing (although when you’re dishing up pre-cooked food on a serving line, probably the least you can do is serve it hot).

Aside from that, I thought everything tasted just like someone’s mama would make it, and I definitely loved the idea of it:

• You get to see exactly what the food looks like before you order it (great for your picky friends)
• No tipping a waiter (great for your cheap friends)
• A whole lot of food (great for your gluttonous friends)

Mama’s Food Shop
200 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10009

9 Responses  
  • Jack writes:
    November 11th, 20095:29 pmat

    Just for the record, I actually *got* the piece of the banana cream pie that I dove for. The one that fell onto the table was Jeff’s. Get your facts straight!

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      November 19th, 20096:32 pmat

      I didn’t even realize that happened. You owe me a piece of banana, mister, and I’ll be collecting it from your stomach tomorrow.

  • Bachelor Girl writes:
    November 12th, 20093:35 amat

    Once again, Cutest Friends EVER.

    I’d totally eat there. I don’t like hot food anyway, so that’s actually a plus for me.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      November 19th, 20096:33 pmat

      Chantee was really pleased with the way I captured her stereotypical behavior and set that photo as her Facebook profile picture to upset her black friends.

      Who doesn’t like hot food, though?! Weirdo.

  • jeanjhsu writes:
    November 15th, 200911:24 pmat

    even though you didnt love the mac and cheese…it still LOOKS damn good. mmm

    and yea my pics from alta totally suck…i was hoping a little photoshop might be able to save them…we’ll see! :o)

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      November 19th, 20096:37 pmat

      It’s terrible being a restaurant foodblogger while the rest of the world is carefully setting up lights and backdrops in their homes to catch their food perfectly, right? I appreciate a good restaurant photo so much more than a good home cooking photo just because I know how much harder it is to get.

  • Eating The Road writes:
    November 19th, 200912:29 pmat

    Are you kidding me?!? I should slap you for complaining about not having pizza buffets…I come to find out you’re in NYC and are eating some of the best foods around. :P

    I’m actually super excited…I’ve never been to NYC and I’m gonna be out there soon. I think it’ll only be a day trip…where should I go? I know I’m going to Levain Bakery, Two Little Red Hens and Shake Shack. I would love to stop at DiFara’s but it’s not close and the wait would probably be forever. Wanna take my hand and give me a tour? :)

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      November 19th, 20096:50 pmat

      I’m from the Midwest, though, so I have a soft spot for truly crappy food.

      Shake Shack is a must, I agree, but if you want some beloved pizza, there’s always Artichoke on 14th St. and 2d Ave. When you ask the big NYC eaters which is their favourite, lately it’s been a toss-up between that and Di Fara.

      Drop me an e-mail and let me know when you’ll be around, and we can eat some Crumbs cupcakes together while I gush about how great your blog is.

  • Underground Dining writes:
    November 24th, 200910:26 pmat

    I heart Mama’s–thank goodness for microwaves!

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