18 May, 2009

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives - Mama E's

Before we began this journey it occurred to me that I might be able to visit some places I had never thought possible. I'm not talking about natural wonders, national parks or sleepy Midwestern towns, I'm talking about Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Despite the fact that I would never normally eat nearly all of the food featured on this show, I can't help but be drawn to the classic all-American feel of these non-commercialized, family owned and operated restaurants. There is always such a strong community bond associated with these places, and as much as I'm turned off by his style choices, Guy Fieri makes an awesome host and this type of food is right up his alley. Throughout the trip, whenever we can, we are going to stop at one of the restaurants featured on Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives to sample the now famous down-home American cuisine for ourselves. First stop, Mama E's in Oklahoma City, OK.

As we approached Mama E's I think it's safe to say all three of us didn't know what to expect. Set back of the road with nothing around it, Mama E's is quite simply a shack. The yellow wood siding was in need of repair and contrasted with the newer gray siding of what turned out to be an added-on dining area. We walked in to a small rectangular room, in fact, Sean's head was about an inch from the roof, which contained a small bar along the right wall and a cafeteria style serving line manned by two sweet, motherly, heavyset black ladies along the left wall. "What can I get for you, sweety? Pick two meats, three sides. And do you want corn bread or a roll? OK, now make sure you get your complimentary drink and dessert over on that table there, OK?"

Chicken, meat loaf, fried catfish, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, collard greens, sweet corn, mashed potatoes, and gravy made up the menu. The drink, delicious Kool-Aid, the dessert, decadent chocolate cake. It was absolutely incredible. I had catfish, sweet potatoes, black eyed peas, and corn. Andy had meatloaf, chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing and black eyed peas. Sean had meatloaf, chicken, stuffing, sweet potatoes and collard greens. All in all, our first Diner, Drive-in and Dive experience was a success. Interestingly, Mama E's has yet to be featured on the show, in fact, Guy was due to arrive today (May 16), so we had the privilege of prior review.

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