Walk into Mama E's Wings and Waffles and you're sure to encounter somebody coming out who is raving about the food.
"I would drive three hours to eat here," said Shantel Rice, Mama E's patron. "Last time I came here, I wasn't prepared. This time I made sure I was hungry."
The outside of Mama E's might not be much to look at, and the dÃ©cor inside isn't the kind you'd encounter anyplace else, but those aren't the reason people have been coming back time and again for more than two years — it's the food.
Owner Keith Patterson, who named the restaurant after his late mother, puts a lot of love — and a little something else — into every dish.
"He prays over the food while he's cooking it," said his wife, co-owner Stephanie Patterson. "Soul food comes from the soul, not from a can."
Nothing comes pre-made at Mama E's, she said. They peel the yams, they bread the pork chops and they make their dressing from scratch, not out of a bag. It's a pride of ownership that finds its way from the kitchen to the table and has followed the restaurant from the beginning.
"See that little cigarette shack out there," Patterson said, pointing out the window. "When we started up, we were in there.
"Only two of us could fit at a time, but we had a line around the building."
With the recent addition of a second room, Mama E's can seat around 50 patrons, but it still gets packed at lunch time when people line up for the big flavor and big portions.
Outside of the fried chicken and waffles, which come dusted in powdered sugar, the big seller is the two-meat plate, which comes with a choice of two entrees and three sides, a roll or cornbread, a dessert and all-you-can-drink red Kool-Aid for $10.95.
Those seeking a smaller meal can go for the $8.95 compilation of one meat, two sides and a drink or the "mini-meal" of one meat, one side and a drink for $5.95.
The choices change regularly, but diners can always count on chicken and dressing, fried catfish and neckbones being available. Other meats include fried, marinated pork chops, meatloaf, spaghetti casserole, beef tips and fried ribs.
The sides are equally as impressive, with yams, greens, mac and cheese, cabbage and more available.
Mama E's doesn't hold it against anybody on a diet, they just don't serve any diet food. The taste is what's important and it's what has kept the restaurant going for 2 1/2 years.
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday
Closed on Saturday and Sunday