Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bartlett's Gathering Spot - Moma's

I don't know how many times I had food from Moma's Pit B-B-Q on Stage Road in Bartlett as a teenager, but it is a fairly large number. My girlfriend throughout most of high school lived in the neighborhood behind the restaurant and her parents were quick to grab a family pack of barbecue and sides from the restaurant when they needed an effortless meal. Meanwhile, I worked for a lawn crew throughout all my high school summers with a boss who was a firm believer in starting the work day with a big country breakfast from a mom and pop barbecue place.

His main three barbecue places for breakfast food were Moma's, Three Little Pigs at Quince and White Station and Bryant's on Summer Avenue depending on the part of town we were working in. All three places packed in morning regulars who were on a first name basis with the staff, who kept the food orders coming out at a rapid pace. In fact, Bryant's developed such a huge breakfast business that it eventually dropped the barbecue from both its name and its menu when it became Bryant's Breakfast and started closing in the the afternoon. According to the menu, Moma's is still serving up the country breakfasts. And while I was there for the lunch, the place was still full of obvious regulars chatting with the friendly staff, just like I remember from breakfast visits during the 90s.   

Another thing I remembered was that the food itself was always on the disappointing side of mediocre. The prices are cheap and the service is fast, which helps to explain the steady flow of working customers. And the retirees who spend their days there are coming for the conversation. A regular sandwich plate is only $6.10 and my heaping dinner plate was only $7.25. But the beans were canned, the slaw tasted like sugar and mayonnaise, the hot barbecue sauce was bland other than the heat and the meat was a little below average thanks to some tough fat scattered through it. Basically, it was exactly what I remembered. For the regulars, Moma's is like a familiar dive bar without the booze. They don't go to be wowed by the food. They go there to be somewhere comfortable, surrounded by familiar faces. 

Moma's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Nothing has changed at Moma's. I live about a mile from it and the parking lot still has a lot of cars in it, especially around breakfast time. I only tried their barbecue once and I agree that it was on the "disappointing side of mediocre", maybe even poor. Well, yeah, it was poor. The service is great and the people are friendly though.