I drive a motorbike in this town and one of the things I miss is the scenery that whizzes on by. I think it’s my constant paranoia of being run over by a helmetless freshie boy on a moto or a plateless SUV barreling down the wrong side of the street that keeps my eyes glued to the road. Which is why I have been taking walks around town. It gives me a chance to check things out and also to keep up with my podcasts.
It was on one of these walks when I spied a new restaurant near my house and stopped on in. To my surprise, an old acquaintance opened the joint with her running the front of the house while her mom (Mama Ung) commands the kitchen.
We had a bit of a chat and went for a review a couple of days later.
One note about the review: Mama’s was only open 5 days so the food and prices might have changed.
Mama’s is a no frills restaurant with an interior has a spartan and airy feel to it. There is a refrigeration unit on your right when you walk in that carries all sorts of drinks but if you are looking for a cheap drink, they have fountain sodas for only $0.50.
The food is anything but spartan. The portions are huge and very tasty. Every plate came with a fresh garden salad, french fries and homemade pickles. Just what I would like from a deli style restaurant. We ordered the corned beef on rye, the meatball sub on baguette and the patty melt (which wasn’t part of the menu but is now).
The corned beef was cut deli style and served with chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, a slice of white cheddar and slathered with mayo. The rye was toasted on a griddle and had enough butter to keep me wiping my hands on my napkin.
I enjoyed the meatball sub which had a great tomato sauce that was tangy and sweet. Once again portion size wasn’t a problem but I feel a bit of cheese could have helped along the sub.
My favorite was the patty melt. A patty melt is traditionally a hamburger patty, grilled onions and cheese (swiss or cheddar) stuffed between two pieces of rye bread. The sandwich is then fried with some butter on a griddle to toast the bread and melt the cheese. Since it wasn’t on the menu, it was an adhoc affair with way too much cheese on the burger. Usually I don’t complain about these things but after eating the first two sandwiches, the level of gluttony was hitting epic levels. — Vinh
Having lived in NYC for a few years and being relatively poor, I ate slices and bodega deli sandwiches for probably 75% of my meals. There is just something about how NYC deli’s don’t hold back on the unhealthy-ness. Everything is buttered, grilled, slathered with mayo and delicious and Mama’s has this down. We started with the corn beef and meatball sub which were both damn good. Corn beef was the stand out on this first round of sandwiches but the meatball sub was not bad at all, I think it’s just tough to get a good roll here.
For the next round we asked if they could make a patty melt which wasn’t on the menu but after some explanation they agreed to give it a try. Oh man, it was bomb. As Vinh mentioned, a little overloaded with cheese but it kind of just fell out on the side so if you avoided that chunk, the rest was amazing. The homemade fries were lacking but we had way too much food so I wasn’t missing them. Overall, this place is great and I’m happy for some NYC comfort food. — Bryse
4.5 out of 5 nyamies Bryse
3.5 out of 5 nyamies Vinh
The menu has changed from the time of review so I have enclosed the menu here.
Mama’s New York Deli
House #60, Street 63
Inbetween streets 380 and 392
078 948 103