I recently had the good fortune of having lunch at Mother's Family Restaurant in Frayser. It was an unplanned visit that came about as a result of me working near the area (far away from my job at FedExForum). I chose it after mulling over options such as Burger King, Popeye's and Adline's Hot Wings Express. Even though I had been there three years ago for a lackluster breakfast, my curiosity convinced me to visit again. I'm glad I did, for I was rewarded with a great meal.
In deciding what to order, I considered going with Friday's daily special of catfish. Although it was listed on its menu board, the lady (who might be "Mother") mentioned other specials including "pork steak." That last one threw me, for I didn't know what she was talking about. She eventually clarified by saying the "steaks" were pork chops. I finally settled on that with the hopes of getting greens and America's favorite Soul Food "vegetable" (macaroni and cheese) as side dishes. Unfortunately, the restaurant was out of those menu items (along with yams) so I chose green beans and cabbage. Getting those sides turned out to be a good thing, for they were better than I expected.
The pork chops were textbook perfect in terms of appearance, texture and taste. The breading was light yet packed a lot of seasoned flavor. It had the right amount of seasoning that most expect, accentuating the tender meat that it covered. The thinly cut pork chops were a delight to eat and might be better than the ones I had at Toarmina. Whether or not they are the best in town is debatable, but I doubt anyone can find fault with the best pork chops that I've had this year.
Mother's sides were something of a surprise. In particular, the green beans had a very unique taste. Typical seasonings associated with it are bacon (or other cured pork), onions, salt and black pepper, but Mother's version had some sweetness to it. I wasn't sure if was cinnamon, nutmeg or something else, and I couldn't convince the owner to divulge the ingredients. Whatever is in it, the green beans were very good and complemented the pork chops well. The cabbage was very tasty too, rounding out a great lunch.
I'm glad that I got a chance to rediscover Mother's Family Restaurant. Unlike the fast food places that I might have chosen, this place made me feel welcome in a manner befitting a family business. The service was great and even amusing at times, like "Mother's" astonishment of the size of a customer's cell phone (Samsung Galaxy Note). But that's part of the charm that makes a place like Mother's special.
NOTE: The restaurant is located near an I-40 exit, in a strip mall with a spacious parking lot. In other words, Mother's is trucker-friendly.