Atlanta >Food & Dining > Mary Mac's Tea Room
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3030833.772743 -84.379916
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Midtown, Northeast
Free parking always starts things off nicely, but Southern comfort food like Mama makes it (and lots of butter, naturally) seals the deal at this long-standing establishment. Avoid lunch rush if possible.
I wasn't a fan – I was told they had some great food and I was told wrong. I had collards and I could taste dirt in them. I couldn't enjoy anything else on my plate after eating the dirty collars. I was very dissatisfied with the service and the food and I will not visit this place ever again.
Cliffs' Notes Review – The Cliffs' Notes: Great authentic Southern food in an authentic classical Southern restaurant. One of the required eateries to become a local Atlantan.
TIPS: Park behind the Tearoom; it's not fast food so don't go if you are on a schedule; engage the waitstaff on suggestions as most have worked at MMTR for years and are devoted to customer experiences.
I ORDERED: Hoppin John (first time since I left home in rural GA), Chicken & Dumplings, Fried Green Tomatoes w/ ranch, Pot Licker (for true Southerners only), some sides dishes I can't remember.
PRICE/VALUE: The prices are a little higher than Po Folks and Cracker Barrel because the food is more authentic and tastier. The staff is devoted to the restaurant's image and seem to enjoy their unique environment.
PROS: Great historical place with accompanying atmosphere (Google its history in order to fully appreciate your meal). A wide variety including hard to find Ol' South vitals to more popular regional dishes. The wait staff is hospitable and engaging. A great experience for out of town guest and it may even surprise seasoned Atlantans/Southerners. Real Sweet tea (not sugar water, not tea with artificial sweetener, but great tea which has a strong "tea" taste with a great balance of sugar).
CONS: Don't even think about splitting a meal or sharing without paying. Don't arrive the hour before they close as the wait staff as a lot of task to complete before going home and you will not receive their best service. DON"T TAKE YOU KIDS (under 12) HERE, ESPECIALLY IF THEY OR YOU ARE LOUD! When the loyal customers complain, the staff/management will make them happy.
great food – My family when o mary mac's and we were not dissapointed! First the rolls,the pot lickers soup, and did I mention the cinnamin rolls... all were great. My children were so filled that they did not want dessert. Great food good price and great service all at a fair price. I will reccommend his place to all, but come hungry!
Don't call this Southern food – This place must be living off it's former glory and heyday from the 40's and 50's. Wonder if it has switched owners and how many times?
I'm from the deep south and I've never had "SOUTHERN FOOD" like this before. Please don't think this is the way southern people eat. I was with an extremely large group as part of a cultural exchange. I was humiliated and consistently apologized so that people didn't think southerners really eat this way. I didn't pick this place and never would.
I mean the chicken was dry, the corn bread dressing bland, the cinnamon rolls--I've had better out of a grocery store can. The mashed potatoes looked runny and instant, I didn't even bother, then they bring out more fried food-green tomatoes fried and then more starchy food. What happened to hearty vegetables? Does everything need to be FRIED???
And then a peach cobbler that was fattening as all daylights, but halfway decent. And YET, they had a room full of people, how? I don't know. No wonder the U.S. if full of colon, ulcer, stomach digestive problems.
Next time I want more traditional southern food I'll go to COLONNADE RESTAURANT ON CHESHIRE BRIDGE ROAD or just save a few bucks and go to Kentucky Fried Chicken.
One person said the dinner rolls were good. That was the only compliment I heard throughout the meal.
A Fantastic Southern Experience – For years I had driven by Mary Mac's Tea Room and never gone in and after all those years, I could kick myself for missing out on sucha fantastic experience. Not only is the food top-notch and affordable, but the atmospohere inside is worth the trip alone.
Everyone I know has had a similar experience, driving by but never going in, and I am telling them all that this place is superb in every way. The 3 dessert choices offered would alone make it worth the trip.
Best Ribs of my LIFE!!! – Went to Mary Mac's when relatives from New York were in town. Thought the southern fare would be a treat for them. We were not disappointed. Our waiter, Lael, was superb. He offered suggestions, and even let us try a side we'd never heard of before. Our table got fried chicken, country fried steak, ribs, turkey with dressing (times two). Everyone loved their meals. The ribs were enough to feed three people! The fried chicken (four pieces to an order) was good, but really not as good as my dad makes. The turkey and dressing were awesome. The atmosphere is very sophisticated while quiet even with a full house. That was a real relief, since we were visiting with our relatives. Also, we didn't feel rushed to eat and go as so many places make you feel. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in Atlanta and will be going back again soon. Go hungry, because they feed you like real southern folks would. You won't be disappointed. And, again, the ribs were the best I've ever had in my life. Meaty, moist, saucy, and a huge serving. I ate it for three days--yes, I love ribs. :)
The WORST experience Ever!!!! – I have traveled throughout the state and country and I have NEVER experienced the amount of disrespect and poor customer service I witnessed at Mary Mac's. I personally went to Mary Mac's on previous occasion and my experience was very well during those times, so when my family and friends came into town I suggested Mary Mac's. I must say I am thoroughly disappointed and ashamed with the service we received. Our waitress (Sylvia) was the most rude and unprofessional person I have ever encountered! We waited an hour and a half before our food came; we received no refills on drinks, while other customers who arrived after us received their food and drinks before us. It was apparent that she did not want to serve our party and instead of being professional she chose get very hostile, talk back and get loud with several of my family members. I have never witnessed nothing like it in my life!! As much as I would like to hope this type of treatment was not a racial issue, I am sad to report that in this case it was evident that it WAS! The manager was called and complaints were made and instead of managing his employee while she continued to be disrespectful he chose to send all the African American staff to continue waiting on our party, which was a further insult. The food was NOT good and it was rushed to appease us. The food was not hot and it lacked seasoning. I thought we had come so far in learning to accept all. A word of advice to Sylvia and the rest of the Mary Mac's staff, who agrees with the way we were treated, please be careful on how you treat and talk to people...#1 It's the right thing to do and #2 You have no idea who was sitting at that table and when you might cross paths again. I am truly disgusted and I will not be going back!!!!!
Nasty Glasses!!! – After receiving my glass, my friends and I noticed lipstick on the rim. I was not wearing lipstick. The training manager, Terry, made the Shirley Temple. Terry gave the drink to the manager, Brandon Haywood, to serve to me. I actually drank from this glass. As I was drinking out of the glass, I saw the lipstick. The thought alone almost made me vom!t. I reported the incident to the manager who did not seem to care. He stated that they try to wash the glasses and get them clean, but sometimes this happen. I could not believe it. I told him that this was unacceptable. "I apologized to you, what else do you want me to do", he asked. I was shocked. He did absolutely nothing. I never ?I mean never want to visit this restaurant again. If you choose to visit, please ask them to use paper plates, forks, and cups. The reporter that did the story on the dirty glasses in the hotel should do a story on restaurants or just Mary Mac?s.
Mary Mac's has lost something. – The food still comes out in great quantity, but it didn't seem all that fresh. The baked macaroni and cheese was swimming in grease, my fried chicken breast was dry and unseasoned, as were the fried crawfish tails. Isn't it basic to add salt? It has been several years since we've been, and Mary Mac's just doesn't seem that great anymore. Dirty/sticky table, one of our dining companions had a dirty water glass and dirty fork. Our hostess was also very unenthusiastic, although we had a nice server. This isn't the southern gem it once was.
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