Mama's southern style bbq
I recently moved here from TX, and I like Mama's. This is a nice, down home place, and I enjoyed the mac and cheese, collard greens, corn bread, and BBQ chicken sandwich. I look forward to returning for ribs and perhaps fried whiting. The greens were stewed up with plenty of pork fat and onion, and the mac and cheese oozed cheese and had a nice crunchy topping. The cornbread was slightly sweet, and so was the bread with the bbq chicken. The smoke flavor could have been a little more intense, but, best of all, the clientele was a mixture of Vauxhall locals, bikers, other sundry rough-looking characters, and a few girls with big hair and fabulous nails. I just tried to blend in, and the counter impressario snuck an extra piece of corn bread into my to go package, along with a quick wink. Maybe he was thinking he should fatten me up! In any case, it tasted like soul food to me.
Mama's Southern Style Bbq #2
2179 Springfield Ave, Vauxhall, NJ 07088
If you want real Southern cooking, the absolute best place north of the Mason Dixon line is Freshwaters, right on the Plainfield/Fanwood border. Hush Puppies, catfish, fried chicken, and an extensive menu of Southern favorites. It's well-established, I think it's been at the same location for over a decade. Don't miss Freshwaters!
Freshwater's Southern Cuisine
1442 South Ave, Plainfield, NJ 07062
Finally tried Freshwater's tonight. Overall, I'd say it is pretty good, more of a nice, sit-down place than Mama's with a more extensive menu, but a little less soul.
On Wednesdays, it is buy one entree, get the other for half off, so that was an added bonus. I had the BBQ chicken with sides of mac and cheese and mashed potatoes and gravy. The BBQ sauce on my chicken was too sweet, but the chicken itself was tender, and it was easy to scrape off the overly-treacly sauce. The mac and cheese was made with real cheese and nicely seasoned, and the brown gravy on the creamy mashed potatoes was good.
Mr. Diva had the special, which was catfish New Orleans style. He was very happy with it. It was served with a slightly spicy brown gravy and several large shrimp. The roux was well-flavored and prepared, and his sides were also good. He had the stewed okra with tomatoes, and the okra retained a nice texture (sometimes it can get slimy). He also had the stewed cabbage which also was toothsome and not cooked to death.
They serve sweet cornbread to start, which was a little sweet for me, but nice and moist with good corn flavor. I'd avoid the overly-sweet BBQ and stick with the southern favorites. I plan to return to try the etouffee and fried chicken. If you have a hankering for southern-style food, this is a solid choice for a sit-down dinner, though I still stand by my recommendation for Mama's for downhome goodness with an interesting clientele.