Mary Mac’s Tea Room, Atlanta GA

Av and I had *the* most delicious lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta Sunday a week ago (and let me tell you, everybody was dressed to the 9’s. It was really something to see). Mary Mac’s is at 224 Ponce de Leon Ave NE downtown (404.876.1800).

It was a beautiful experience, what with the little slips of paper that you write on what you’ll be having, and the lovely little breads – cornbread, rolls, cinnamon rolls – and the delicious cup of pot likker to begin with. There’s a sweet lady that comes around and talks to everybody and rubs your back. So sweet.

Av and I thought it was odd that when the server set down the bowls of pot likker, he automatically described, in detail, what pot likker is and how it comes about (and he did that to everybody). I had to stop him and explain that “oh, we’re from Alabama….we have pot likker all the time”. They must have a lot of business of people from outside the South.

Pot likker is the delicious liquid that is left in a pot when you cook collards for a few hours. You take collard greens (rinse them off really well and tear them into pieces) and add to a big pot full of water. Season with salt and pepper and add a nice piece of fatty meat. Bring it up to a boil and then let that pot simmer for 3-4 hours…I’ve cooked collards several hours, but then I like mine really, really tender. After the collards are cooked, put them in a nice-size bowl, and pour the pot likker into another bowl. Pot likker is good in a variety of ways, but mostly for soaking cornbread. If you have left-over pot likker, you can freeze it and use it later.

Collard-cooking does make the kitchen smell, but it’s a smell that I love. It reminds me of my MawMaw Polk z”l in her kitchen.

Anyway, our meal was just delicious. Delicious! Pics are below. And guess what? Mary Mac’s is now listed on my favorite places to eat and I bought one of their cookbooks it was so good. Yum!

These are their ‘tearoom favorites’:

  • baked chicken with cornbread dressing & gravy
  • country fried steak & gravy
  • fried chicken
  • meatloaf with tomoto sauce
  • roast pork with dressing & gravy
  • chicken & dumplings
  • baked turkey with dressing & gravy
  • chicken pot pie
  • pork barbecue with Brunswick Stew
  • smothered chicken over rice

AND take a look at these vegetables!

  1. macaroni & cheese
  2. french fries
  3. sweet potato souffle
  4. whipped potatoes
  5. baked potato
  6. vegetable soup
  7. creamed corn
  8. okra & tomatoes
  9. broccoli souffle
  10. fried green tomatoes
  11. potato cakes
  12. steamed spinach
  13. steamed cabbage
  14. steamed carrots
  15. cheese grits
  16. fried okra
  17. steamed broccoli
  18. spiced apples
  19. cheese & vegetable souffle
  20. Brunswick Stew
  21. butter peas
  22. rice and gravy
  23. dumplins
  24. Hoppin’ John
  25. turnip greens
  26. green beans
  27. black-eyed peas
  28. collard greens & cracklin’ cornbread
  29. cup of pot likker with cornbread
  30. applesauce
  31. cole slaw
  32. green salad
  33. fresh fruit
  34. carrot and raisin salad
  35. pickled beets
  36. bartlett pear salad
  37. fruited jello

Beverages included:

  • lemonade
  • table wine of the South (sweet tea)
  • sweet milk
  • cream soda or root bear
  • coke, diet coke, or sprite
  • coffee, tea, or punch
  • cranberry or orange juice
  • buttermilk
  • brown cow
  • milkshakes
  • and a full-service bar

I can’t wait to go back. It was just wonderful.

Pot Likker and Cornbread (and roll, and sweet roll) at Mary Mac's Tea Room, Atlanta GA
Pot likker. Mmmmmmmmmhhh…….

Turkey and Dressing, Collards, Hoppin John at Mary Mac's Tea Room, Atlanta GA
Turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, collards with cracklin’ cornbread, and hoppin’ john (rice and black eyed peas)

Country Fried Steak and Gravy, Dumplins, Potato Cakes at Mary Mac's Tea Room in Atlanta GA
Country-fried steak and gravy, dumplins, and potato cakes

Mint Julep (not in a julep cup) at Mary Mac's Tea Room in Atlanta GA
mint julep (I’m not so sure about their choice of a glass to serve this in, but it sure was good anyway)

Peach Cobbler vs. Peanut Butter Pie at Mary Mac's Tea Room in Atlanta GA
dueling desserts : my Georgia peach cobbler on the left and Av’s peanut butter pie on the right. Av’s pie was sooooooo good!

Mary Mac's Tea Room, Atlanta GA
Mary Mac’s Tea Room

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