HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Authentic southern food? Not this place

Joe Mama's claims to offer "a true Southern Style Menu"...
Seems the only "south" they know is "south of Bloor"... what a joke, take a look:


Here are some examples:
guacamole bruschetta
country fried feta cheese
prosciutto-wrapped jerk salmon

Anybody know who owns this place? I started to suspect SIR Corp (Jack Astors/Alice Fazoolis) or Prime (East Side Marios/Casey's/Bier Markt) but apparently not. Is Chuckie Khabouth involved; this looks right up his alley (clubland, expensive decor, crap food).

Never heard of it until a "daily deal" for them showed up in my email. I wouldn't waste my time going even if the deal was for a free dinner.

Joe Mamas
317 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1J5, CA

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That menu actually is pretty funny. I especially liked little touches like "Mama Jess' white wine alfredo sauce," and the "Show Ya Right strip loin" topped with a mushroom demi glaze. It toes the line of being downright insulting, but really it's just too damn ridiculous to take offense.

    1. It's been around since at least 2003, I wonder how it survives. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/99038

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodyDudey

        It survives the same way Bourbon St. Grill does (which really is downright insulting to the people of Louisiana). It's convenient and people don't know any better.

      2. lol, how on earth did you get suckered in to going to that place!?! It's one of those tourist traps on King street.

        1 Reply
        1. re: justpete

          I didn't. I got a daily deal email which talked about it being Southern, so I decided to check out the menu. Didn't know whether to laugh or puke when I saw it.

        2. Oh man, I went to this place once about 7 years ago. I cannot believe it is still around! I guess its location keeps it in business.

          It's awful.

          1. So you trash it based on the menu without even trying the food? maybe it is a fun place that does not take itself too serious (unlike yourself). Not every restaurant can be serious fine dining, there is room in th ecity for something fun, relaxing and casual. I have never been BUT at least the menu in this place is not cookie cutter same food you see everywhere.... and lastely nowhere on its site did it say it offered "Authentic" southern food... it says a Southern "Style" Menu... and if you look, it is .. catfish, ribs etc..

            8 Replies
            1. re: RogerDoger

              Yeah, while I avoid King Street restaurants in general I would avoid individual judgement of spots until I actually visit them myself.

              1. re: RogerDoger

                Along with the 3 abominations I listed in my opening post, here are some other items on their menu that are NOT Southern USA in any way. Southern Italian maybe?

                lobster ravioli
                prosciutto and rapini stuffed chicken
                Guinness gravy (on the NY Strip)

                These items would fit right in at Alice Fazooli's/Jack Astor's/East Side Mario's actually. At least those places don't blatantly lie about what they are, unlike Joe Mama's.
                So yes they deserve to be trashed without a visit. They're not worth anybody's time and money

                This is almost as bad as going to a restaurant claiming to be Mexican and finding the usual list of twenty California Rolls from Hell on the menu...

                1. re: TexSquared

                  Maybe you finally hit the nail on the head. Southern doesn't have to mean south US. Just like Asian isn't just Chinese or japanes or Thai or Indian. Maybe it's a style embracing many countries and cultures.

                  The name is already a play on words that begs not to be taken seriously. Maybe we shouldnt be too serious or judgmental until we actually try it and then categorize as it needs to be according to our own individual tastes.

                  1. re: ingloriouseater

                    Did you read the menu? It is verrrrry clearly referring to Southern US.

                    The food may be delicious for all we know (though I wouldn't be optimistic). That doesn't make the menu any less ridiculous.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      Prosciutto-wrapped jerk salmon has to be the dumbest piece of "fusion" I've heard of.

                      Take Italian meat, Jamaican seasoning, and northern seafood, and serve it in a Southern U.S. themed restaurant.... *shakes head in amazement* If this was a Jack Astor's I could understand. But this isn't.

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        Next you're going to be telling me The Old Spaghetti Factory isn't an authentic Italian restaurant.

                        1. re: TexSquared

                          At least it's not served on a KK donut! :-)

                          1. re: foodyDudey

                            That would at least be trying to (albeit very weakly!) add some "southern" into that nasty fusion :-)

                2. Actually its a really fun place to go for drinks and live music! Not for food though.

                  1. Which dish(s) did you try?

                    1. I don't have any problem with the on-line menu.....it's descriptive enough and tongue-in-cheek humorous. However, I'm not that encouraged from reading other reviews by people that have actually eaten their food!