Monday, November 17, 2014

Soul Food Tour - Big Momma's Soul Food Kitchen

Long before I had much introduction to soul food, Big Momma's Soul Food Kitchen was the number one recommendation among my African American friends for good soul food in the city.  It’s a West End institution and a longtime favorite for those living in the area and for foodies outside of it.

Head west on Broadway as far as you can, a block before the last light, you’ll see Big Momma's in a small white building to your left.  Like most good and interesting places to eat, the outside is not much, a concrete building that looks like it has seen better days.  The lot in front is tiny so the best place to park is on the street.

Big Momma's is that small white building. Src: Google
The inside is SMALL, immediately evident when you first walked in. If my arms are just a bit longer, I can literally touch the entrance door and the order counter at the same time.  You’ll see maybe 5 or so barstools by the window but half of that space is taken up by a gentleman selling bootleg DVDs, his wares spread out for all to see.  Yup, this place definitely has characters!

Behind the counter and glass partition are trays of food, giving you a preview of the good stuff to come.  Above the counter is the menu with changing entrees for each day of the week.  When you're ready, order by speaking into the microphone at the counter, the ladies behind the glass will fill it up in a Styrofoam to go container.  Main dishes vary slightly between salmon croquet, ribs, baked chicken, smothered pork chops, fried fish, etc.  Fried chicken is offered every day.  Side dishes include cabbage, mac & cheese, beans, mash potatoes, okra, etc.  An entrée and 2 side dishes will cost you around $8 or $9.

Menu. Source: Momma's FB
My fried chicken was fresh and delicious, I got at least 4 large pieces of wings and thighs.  Mashed potatoes was salty but I enjoyed my cabbage cooked with pork.  I ordered the sweet lemon ice tea and unexpectedly got a small jug of the best ice tea I’ve had in a while.  My 2 lunch mates did not enjoy their baked chicken, they said wasn’t flavored well but they are willing to come back for a second try.  I, however, enjoyed my meal!

Big Momma’s is the kind of place whose main focus is on the food rather than on the décor, with a reputation built by satisfied diners rather than big ads or a fancy website. It’s one of those rare local neighborhood gems that offers good simple home cooking that’ll remind you of your own momma (although it’ll have to be a momma that likes to cook and cook soul food well).

Big Momma's Soul Kitchen
4532 W. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40211
Monday - Friday:  12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.
around $9
Parking on the streets or the park
Take out only