Saturday, November 17, 2007
I've always heard about Mary Mac's Tea Room but somehow have until today missed the opportunity to give it a try. Today was the day. We exited off I-75 South at exit 249D - Pine ST, hung a left on North Ave, a left on Peidmont and a Right on Ponce de Leon. Mary Mac's Team Room sits at the corner of Ponce and Myrtle. Parking is in the rear. It is quite unassuming from the outside although I loved the recently repainted Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of the building. It has a few trees between it and the sidewalk, maybe a professional photographer could get a good shot of it (Steven - HINT). (note: I didn't take the pictures in this posting)
We were warmly greeted and quickly seated. The first thing that caught my attention was that the waitress gave us both a menu and an order ticket and pointed at the glass on the table containing two pencils. You actually fill out your own order. When our waitress realized we were visiting for the first time, she brought us a small "pot licker" serving of turnip greens and cracklin cornbread. Honestly I have never tried greens, but something stirred me to try the free sample and I was pleasantly suprised. If you happen to see my mama, tell her I ate my greens. Our gracious server also provided us with yeast rolls, cinammon rolls, and extra cracklin bread. And, I have to give it to them, they know how to make traditional southern sweet tea!
Mary Mac's has been doing things the same way since 1945 and I say, don't change a thing. The menu options are the same everyday and it contains the most extensive list of side items a southerner could ever ask. Take a peek: Lunch Menu
I had the Turkey and dressing accompanied by green beans and creamed corn. The green beans were good. The creamed corn was to DIE FOR. I gave my wife a taste and she quickly coveted by corn. Our gracious server offered to bring her out a sample. She actually brought her a full serving.
Conclusion: It might be a bit of a drive from above the Perimeter to Ponce de Leon for a good meal, but it is well worth the drive. I've eaten at a lot of southern diners in small towns across south Georgia, and in my opinion, they all aspire to be what Mary Mac's is. Make a point to give it a try. You'll be glad you did.