Today I had one of the best experiences of my life. My dear friend, Marian took me to Atlanta to eat at Mary Mac's Tea Room. It is on Ponce de Leon Blvd and let me tell you I cannot remember when i have eaten food that was this wonderful. I want to take all my other friends there and soon! So what makes this place so amazing. The history of it is one thing. Mary Mac's Tea Room was opened in 1945 by Mary MacKenzie. It was right after WWII and enterpising women were establishing restaurants and calling them tea rooms because they were not allowed to own restaurants. According to our sweet little waitress the restaurant has changed a bit since 1945 but the food has not changed at all. She informed us that every morning the staff shucks corn, snaps beans, washes the greens, slices tomatoes, bakes their breads and desserts, makes mouthwatering banana pudding and brews up the "table wine of the south" also known as sweet tea. Mary Mackenzie's successor was Margaret Lupo(1962-1994) and she did everything just like Mary Mac. John ferrell is Margaret Lupo's hand-picked successor and the food still upholds the tradition of Mary Mac. There were at least thirty vegetables on the menu and I had a had tie picking two. We were ushered to our table by a smiling server and then our waitress took over. On the table was a order form and menu. I had never been so Marian had to explain the steps to me. While I was surveying all the food options and trying to make some choices, Marian ordered friend green tomatoes with a killer parmesan horseradish sauce. I decided on chicken and dumplings.....no meat loaf.....no vegetables and finally settled on the chicken and dumplings, with steamed cabbage and green beans. I ordered bread pudding with wine sauce for dessert. Marian had pork chops, mac and cheese, and broccoli casserole with spiced peach cobbler. As soon as our order was in the waitress brought us a demi tasse with pot likker in it and a tiny cornbread muffin. We broke the muffin up into the bowl of pot likker and ate in silence. I did not want to miss a single bite. Their pot likker has chicken broth as a base and let me tell you it was delightful on the tongue. The tomatoes were served up just as I took my last bite of pot likker. As soon as we finished our tomatoes the main course hit the table. The service was amazing. As we finished our main course the desserts were delivered and we met Mary Mac's first Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Jo Carter. She met each person in the restaurant and touched them with her beautiful smile and as we talked she rubbed my back. I felt like a princess. She chatted amiable with us and then introduced us to the manager, Alan McLean. Alan was from Newnan and he asked us where we were from. In telling him somehow Alexander City(we called it Alex City) and he told us he had been engaged to a girl from there once. Believe me Alex City is a small place and when I asked him what her name was there was a 50-50 chance I would not know her. He told me her name and I nearly choked on my bread pudding. His former fiancee was my cousin, Donna. I even think I have met him back in the day when they were dating. The two of us talked fast and furiously about Donna and her family. I am definitely a firm believer in six degrees of separation. How many times would something like that happen? Well...to be honest if it can happen....it does to me. Mary Mac's was recently honored by the State of Georgia and the House of Representatives as "Atlanta's Dining Room" and I can see why. If you are ever in the Atlanta area type 224 Ponce de Leon Avenue Ne into your GPS and eat lunch here. Just FYI they have something on their menu called the Southern Special that is served family style, all you care to eat, dine in only, for parties of two or more......and I will bet it is wonderful. If you can't tell....I loved this place. Oh and one more thing, they are open every single day of the year....except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that gives you 363 days to stop in and enjoy the company and food of Mary Mac's.
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.