Now referring to a well-defined cuisine, “comfort food” used to be a blanket term for whatever one happened to consume during open-mouthed naps. Feast on modern comfort fare with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of southern fare and drinks, plus one dessert at Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too (up to a $34.95 total value).
Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too, lauded in the New York Times and Oprah magazine, dishes out a menu full of Dixie comfort fare. The southern-fried chicken ($13.95) is escorted by two sides and a choice of bread, and the North Carolina barbecue ribs ($15.95) enthralls diners with an off-the-bone flavor collage. Louisiana catfish ($16.95) arrives flanked by sides such as candied yams, corn-bread stuffing, or potato salad ($3.95 each), making for a diverse collection of ammo during food fights. To wash down meals, diners can swig drinks including fresh-squeezed lemonade ($3.95) and Spoonbread punch ($3), and cap off meals with desserts including sweet-potato pie ($3.50 value), red-velvet cake ($4.95 value), and homemade peach cobbler ($4.95 value).
The cozy, welcoming interior is inspired by the checkerboard-tiled kitchen of the owner’s Alabaman mother, Miss Mamie Jean Sampson, who was known for inventing full-contact checkers.
Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too
Norma Jean Darden, owner of Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too, proudly claims that people from all walks of life visit her quaint and cozy soul-food eatery, and her assertions are far from lip service. From Columbia University students to VIPs—including former president Bill Clinton—it truly does seem that everyone ventures into this 110th Street eatery for a generous plate of Southern-style comfort food. Norma Jean, who named the spot after her mother, showcases recipes from her cookbook, Spoonbread & Strawberry Wine, which she wrote with her sister before opening Miss Mamie’s. Feasts of southern-fried chicken and other hearty entrees cozy up to selections from a list of nearly a dozen sides, such as cornbread stuffing, hand-cut french fries, or collard greens. Glasses of fresh-squeezed lemonade and iced tea wash down a variety of classic Southern desserts. The chef serves up generous slices of coconut layer cake, sweet-potato pie, and peach cobbler, and a Motown soundtrack provides tunes that are nearly as sweet.