With a name like “Mom’s Café,” you do not expect a menu featuring exotic dishes from far away climes. Therefore, while this Pottsboro eatery offers no surprises, it delivers the goods. The special on the day we dropped by for lunch was spaghetti with meat sauce and a salad or a chicken fried steak with two sides. They both looked like winners, so we looked no further.
The CFS was the real thing. A nice lunch-size portion, it was hand-breaded and not the cryogenically frozen hockey puck that often passes for CFS these days. Available sides were potatoes, mashed or fried; sweet potato fries; pinto beans; onion rings; and fried okra. I’ll have mashed potatoes and okra, please.
Mom’s is about as basic as you get, and done well, basic can be very satisfying. They are open for breakfast six days a week, and offer lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with a handful of variations on hamburgers, sandwiches, and salads, a plate lunch, and daily specials. Tuesday is senior discount day, with the specials going for a flat $6.
The spaghetti came out first along with a small salad of chopped iceburg lettuce, a dabble of diced tomatoes, and a sprinkle of cheese. The good size portion of pasta and sauce came with a slice of toast. It looked good, smelled good, and my friend finished up the plate with enough left over for a light supper. (He doesn’t eat all that much anyway.)
After I had ordered, I flagged down the waitress and asked if I could have the gravy on the side with my CFS. She came back in a minute, and said the steak had already been put on the plate with gravy on top.
Before I could say, “Nevermind,” she said, “She’s making you another one.”
My chicken fried steak (with the gravy on the side) was just right for lunch, and with the potatoes (probably instant, but these days it is harder to be sure) filled nicely. The okra was hot and crunchy, just like it ought to be. Mom has a reputation for her pies, and and so I finished off with a slice of coconut cream with sky-high meringue. The pie was excellent.
Special note: Mom’s is larger than it looks from first glance. There are two front doors; the one on the east side leads to the larger dining room where smoking is permitted. Not knowing any better, that’s where we sat down, commented on the acrid aroma of cigarette smoke wafting around the room, and wondered why Pottsboro had not outlawed smoking in public place as other cities have. Not until we finished eating and did a little exploring did we realize there was smoke-free dining room on the other side of the building. Next time we will know where to sit.
Update: In my case, next time was the next week, when I found myself in P-boro at noon and decided on another visit to Mom’s. It was Tuesday, and one of the specials for $6 was fried shrimp. I ordered the shrimp with small salad and green beans and waited.
It took a little longer than usual for a restaurant in the middle of the mid-day meal, but it was worth it. The plate came with four large, butterflied shrimp, big ones, not the popcorn variety that could pass for chum. They were, hot, crisp, juicy, and delicious, plainly the best fried shrimp I have had anywhere in quite a while. Along with the green beans, salad, and hush puppies, it was more than enough to leave me full with no room for another piece of pie.
Leave a light on in the window, Mom; I will be coming back for more.
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