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Oct 24, 2007 11:38 AM

Mama's (Port Washington) is truly a Delight

I finally got to have lunch at Mama's Delight in Port Washington yesterday (87 Main St., right across from the train station). I had heard good things on Chowhound, so I went with fairly high expectations, and I was not disappointed in the least.

The restaurant bills itself as a "tofu specialist," so of course I selected lunch from the tofu options. I started with a small green salad, which was delicious, and then had a small bowl of tofu-coconut-basil soup which was quite tasty. For my entree, I had spicy tofu with vegetables. The tofu was steamed, and then sauteed and served on a sizzling platter with brown rice and veggies. It wasn't very spicy, but the flavor was delicious. I am certainly going to return to try some other dishes.

However, there is more to this place than the food. I was the only one in the restaurant (I guess not many people go out to lunch in PW), and the owner (Joe) struck up a conversation with me. Mama (who I assume is his wife) was in the kitchen preparing the food, so I didn't see her. With obvious pride, he told me about what was special about the tofu (organic Korean tofu that was very firm), about how the key ingredient is Mama's home made sauce, and about how the restaurant has been open for two years, showcasing Mama's cooking and tryiing to provide a healthy alternative to the usual restaurants in the area. He made it clear that this is not traditional Korean cooking, but a "fusion" that accomodates western taste.

Regardless of the authenticity the food was very good. But beyond that, eating in a restaurant run by someone who is so clearly committed to their cooking and sharing it with customers is an experience that, in my opinion, is all too rare.

I can't wait to go back.

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  1. The next time you go back, try:
    Seafood pancake
    BBQ Eel
    BBQ Squid
    Spicy Kimchee
    Broiled Rice Cake
    Tofu Vegetable Harmony
    Also: let Joe make ginger or ginseng tea for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monalisawoman

      Thanks. I will definitely try some of these. Joe did make me some tea -- plum honey tea from Korea, which was very good.

    2. Hi LloydG,

      Thanks so much for kind words. Mama's delight was run by my parents.
      "Joe" is my dad and his was using his last name CHO for his name but it must've sounded like "joe" becasue of his accent.
      My parents retired and the restaurant is now closed. But my parents still talks about their beloved customers..
      Thanks again. -Jane

      2 Replies
      1. re: janepiano

        Too bad! I was ready to try it! :) Happy Retirement to the Cho family!

        1. re: donnyp

          There is another restaurant in that location called iDiner and they have an extensive diner-ish menu but the only thing I ever get there is the bibimbop--delicious (hot or cold). The menu has everything from omelettes and sandwiches to sushi and various Korean dishes. Nice service, too.