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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

First Look: Home Grown GA — the next-gen meat and three

photo 3Home Grown GA – a cheerful, next-generation meat-and-three — sits along a grimy stretch of Memorial Drive like a daisy on a roadside median. It may bring to mind a hundred restaurants you’ve been to around the South. Or it may strike you as the freshest new concept to come along in years. Either way, I dare you not to break out in a grits-eating grin the second you walk in.

Chef Kevin Clark (who owns the restaurant with partner Lisa Spooner) told me it took several weeks of solid scrubbing to restore the luster the knotty pine paneling inside this restaurant that was long Mammy’s Kitchen. The bright front room holds a counter and a few tables; booths line the wall of the back room. A young woman who was as pierced and full-sleeve tattooed as a Japanese yakuza sat at the next booth with her two adorable, squirming children and tried to cajole them into mouthfuls of egg and biscuit.

photo 5The name: Spooner says the GA was added “for legal reasons” to the name, but everyone there calls the place Home Grown.

The menu: Breakfast and lunch only, with a small, totally oddball menu that makes perfect sense. While the line-up of biscuit sandwiches (with egg, sausage, salmon pattie, etc.) nods to the former Mammy’s menu, there’s also room for a seasonal heirloom tomato salad, a vegan Sloppy Joe, sauteed trout and a variety of veggie sides from local farms.

But here’s the great catch: This menu is value driven, so you won’t find any exotica driving up the prices. Pay five or six bucks for lunch, or get the “blue collar lunch plate” with a side, cornbread and a drink for a grand total of $8.

photo 2The food: Clark has a fine dining background, and it shows in his precise, simple fare. I totally enjoyed my herb-crusted trout (a trim-portion single fillet) with its side of crunchy fried green tomatoes with horseradish cream. There wasn’t a speck of grease on the tomatoes. I got an extra side of collard greens ($2), which were more clean and fresh than soulful.

Dessert: It’s hard to say no to a dessert menu that features “million dollar pie,” homemade ice pops and Rice Krispie treats. I thoroughly enjoyed a slice of sweet grits pie ($2) that seemed a kissing cousin to rice pudding.photo 4

The crowd: Many hipster parents, a few older folks and a welcome racial mix. So many different Southerners can relate to this restaurant.

25 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajcdinecritic, John Kessler. John Kessler said: First Look: Home Grown GA — the next-gen meat and three http://bit.ly/bW5I1a [...]

Jamie G.

July 20th, 2010
12:44 pm

Try the pancakes next time. I was thoroughly impressed.

M.Johnson

July 20th, 2010
12:53 pm

Thanks for writing about this place. I’ve passed Home Grown on my way to work. I had been warned off from Mammy’s Kitchen before that. Looking forward to checking it out.

TK

July 20th, 2010
2:41 pm

Never encountered grits pie before and I’m from the south. The photo reminds me of a chess pie.

SV

July 20th, 2010
3:51 pm

Saw a woman there today that was so impressed with the food she gave the owner a crisp 2$ bill for luck.

My omelette wasn’t bad either.

itpdude

July 20th, 2010
4:34 pm

The food is better than Mammy’s but I wish they’d kept the name. Mammy’s food was good enough. HG’s is better.

The name “Mammy’s” made my white liberal friends bristle. Which made me happy inside.

Baltisraul

July 20th, 2010
4:43 pm

itpdude…I believe the new owners wanted to put as much distance between themselves and the not so flattering rep of Mammy’s of latter years. No way could they take the chance and keep the old name!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by cathleen mackay, dana. dana said: First Look: Home Grown GA — the next-gen meat and three http://shar.es/mVsmL [...]

James Wiley

July 21st, 2010
11:10 am

Having been a fan of the old Mammy’s Country Kitchen, it’s sanitized transformation caused me to grimace, not grin, when I walked in. Anyone who appreciates the rich tradition of Southern meat-and-threes should be appalled at this gentrification of one of the few remaining bastions of honest fare at reasonable prices. Breakfast, including meat and coffee, set you back about $3.50 at Mammy’s, an amazing and refreshing bargain; basically the same meal, now attractively packaged for the “hipster” crowd, runs about $8.00. For Pete’s sake, someone please deliver us from these arbiters of taste who are destroying the very concept of simple pleasures!

The Real Foodie

July 21st, 2010
1:41 pm

James Wiley-Couldn’t agree more!

I miss Mammy’s. The place was what the real South was about. Real people eating real food.
The redeye gravy was he best.

pbred8

July 21st, 2010
3:01 pm

What is the Number on Memorial?

mrb

July 21st, 2010
11:07 pm

Mammy’s is gone? Dang it!

Baltisraul

July 22nd, 2010
8:08 am

$8 bucks for breakfast! Forget about this new place. They are dead.

Baltisraul

July 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

James Wiley, you are wise beyond your years!

John Kessler

July 22nd, 2010
2:32 pm

Folks — It was $8 for lunch. Breakfast runs much cheaper.

Baltisraul

July 22nd, 2010
4:48 pm

John…thanks $8 buck for lunch is in the ball park.

sally sue

July 22nd, 2010
8:07 pm

The best thing to open on Memorial in awhile…young couple, putting people to work, good honest food,
love what they are doing, give them a chance…you are buying the love…. priceless!!! 968 Memorial Dr.
Red eye , you never know it could show up. Taste the food, just taste it, just good honest food. John Kessler gets the point of this place.. please try again. I loved it.. it is like my mom’s food with flair.

Baltisraul

July 23rd, 2010
8:38 am

sally sue…you sold me! I will now look forward to this meat & 3. Just to show the courage to open a place on Memorial Dr is worth giving initial support to these folks.

Miauhiss

July 23rd, 2010
8:51 am

@James Wiley I love you man!

T. Johannson

July 23rd, 2010
10:10 am

Hipsters will keep me away…

sally sue

July 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

T. Johannson I did not see any hipsters, just hard working folks, I even saw the former owner there eating. Sometime you have to pass the torch she was tired maybe. Come on give these kids a chance. Nothing to be afraid of just honest good food with love thrown in. Kids ask to come there… no french fries can you believe it…rice krispies and summer popsicles. I going for lunch…..

Joan Dunks

July 25th, 2010
4:42 pm

I remember when the place was named Dixie Dooley. I was friends with the owner of the rest back then. We were just girls playing in the place and some out side. My mother worked there for a few years. The four plex that was next door was torn down sooo many years ago, but I have one picture that shows the side of the rest. It was good times.

Dave S

August 3rd, 2010
3:47 pm

One of the best lunches that I have ever had: Vegan sloppy joe, fried green tomatoes and sweet grits pie were perfection. Terrific service, down home atmosphere and value. A very welcomed addition to our neighborhood.

Kenyatta Jones

August 9th, 2010
12:02 am

I found Home Grown by accident after leaving from a very busy Ria’s Bluebird. I wasn’t sure it was a restaurant as I went past it, but since my two and a half little boys and I were starving, I made a u-turn to be sure. We went in and I was skeptical but there was no wait and they told me to sit wherever I like. I got the pancakes and salmon patty. Ate the whole thing up. It was sooooo good. My 7 yr old got pancakes and bacon. Wasn’t a bit of it left on his plate. The 4 yr old got a breakfast platter and there was enough grits to share with my 7 month old. Delicious creamy grits… New fave breakfast spot!

[...] came Home Grown GA — the Reynoldstown spot that is at once old fashioned and forward-thinking in the way it lets [...]