For those who bemoan the loss of southern grace and courtesy, there is still the Atlanta favorite Mary Mac's Tea Room. In existence since the end of World War II, Mary Mac's Tea Room has served bushels of corn, and tons of pot likker. Habitues longing for the charm of the south range from celebrities, such as Cher and Richard Gere, to political figures such as Hilary Clinton and former President Carter and his wife. In Mary Mac's Tea Room, John Ferrell, who was hand-picked to run Mary Mac's in 1994, has captured the warmth and honest sentiment that makes Mary Mac's a cherished restaurant on the Atlanta scene. As former U.S. Senator Max Cleland stated, "It's my home. Period. Home cookin', home lovin', and hometown people."
Ferrell offers 125 beloved recipes as well as a nostalgic look at the restaurant through the years via photos, stories of both guests and employees who make up the rich history of the restaurant. The stories of the employees are particularly warming since they evidence the respect given to those who have provided friendly service to patrons through the years.
The recipes are classic comfort food. Among them you will find Black-Eyed Pea Cakes, Brunswick Stew, Oyster Stew, and Fresh Corn and Bacon Chowder to start a meal. There are main course dishes such as Fried Chicken, Chicken and Southern Dumplings, Country Fried Steak and Gravy, Country Ham with Redeye Gravy. Seafood favorites include Shrimp and Grits, Shrimp Jambalaya, Salmon Croquettes, Deviled Crab.
Southern baked goods are classics as well. You'll find recipes for Buttermilk Biscuits, Hush Puppies, Peach Buttermilk Pancakes, Ms. Lil's Spoon Bread, or Sweet Potato Biscuits. Vegetable sides included Fried Green Tomatoes, Black-Eyed Peas, Hoppin' John, Collard Greens with their own Pot Likker, Creamed Fresh Corn, Okra and Tomatoes, and Sweet Potato Souffle. No classic recipe has been excluded. Their classic cornbread was even delivered to the Atlanta zoo to feed Willie, the famous gorilla housed in the zoo.
For a sweet finish to the meal, Ferrell offers recipes for Applesauce Cake,Pound Cake (Hilary's choice), Bread Pudding with Wine Sauce, Banana Cream Pie, Carter Custard (named for the former President), Georgia Peach Cobbler, Big Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies, Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Pecan Pie.
Sink into the book, absorb its warmth, then create a nostalgia-worthy meal of your own.