Mama J’s Kitchen (415 North 1st St) was the fourth food stop on our “Both Sides of Broad” Real Richmond Food Tour and the place was packed! So packed that we had to sample on the sidewalk. Thank goodness it was one of the warmest days in this exceptionally warm February. The owner/manager and son of Mama J came out to serve us Seafood Salad, Rum Cake, Sweet Potato and Fried Catfish. I have never in my life eaten (or had any desire to eat) Fried Catfish. It was great, light and flaky inside the fried batter, not what I expected at all.
Fun Facts about Mama Js
- Mama J runs a catering business and had no desire to open a restaurant until her son, Lester (who is the boss), convinced her.
- They serve over 40 types of cakes. An assortment is made each morning by Mama J and her sister in their catering kitchen.
- Even though Mama Js is a moderately priced, neighborhood, family style restaurant, they serve tables with white tablecloths…I love that.
Before our last food stop, we got a behind the scenes look at The Stinky Cheese Man a play showing at The Empire Theater (recently renamed The November Theater). I never knew this was here. Not that I am in the market for children’s theater, but how have I driven by and never noticed a theater?
The last stop on our tour was The Jefferson Hotel’s Lemaire (101 W Franklin St). I just couldn’t help myself. I had to order a cocktail. I had a belini while the rest of the group drank water. Sorry guys, I cannot go to Lemaire and not have a cocktail.
For food tasting, we were offered Pork Pate, with Pimento Cheese on Billy Bread with the most adorable little piece of basil I had ever seen and Rabbit Ragout with Green Lentils. Who orders these with a straight face? Not me, but they were both tasty.
Fun Facts about Lemaire
- Lemaire was an actual person. He worked for Thomas Jefferson, who knew?
- Starting next week on Tuesday Nights, Lemaire will be serving a Fried Chicken Dinner - 3 courses for $19.95! Iceburg Salad with bacon and bleu cheese, 3 pieces of Fried Chicken and Banana Pudding Dessert.
Looking at my little recap, it is pretty amazing everything that I ate in a three hour period:
- Turkey and Brie Panini
- Grilled Reuben
- Crab Wonton
- Tofu Lettuce Wrap
- Sweet Potato
- Fried Catfish
- Rum Cake
- Pork Pate
- Rabbit Ragout
Wow! This was definitely an amazing Saturday excursion.