Mary Mac's Tea Room
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|Mary Mac's Tea Room|
Interior of Mary Mac's Tea Room
|Current owner(s)||John Ferrell|
224 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE|
Mary Mac's Tea Room is a historic restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, serving Southern cuisine. Every morning the workers shuck bushels of corn, hand wash selected greens and snap the fresh green beans by hand. Breads and desserts are baked on the premises. The restaurant is located in the Midtown district at 224 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE. The current owner is John Ferrell.
Mary MacKenzie opened the restaurant in 1945. Just after World War II, enterprising women in search of a living, many of them widowed by the war, were establishing restaurants throughout Atlanta. Calling their establishments "tea rooms" was a polite way of elevating their endeavor. The restaurant is known for continuing the cooking traditions of MacKenzie and her successor, Margaret Lupo, who owned the Tea Room from 1962 until 1994. The restaurant was mentioned in the Designing Women episode The Women of Atlanta, wherein Julia (Dixie Carter) made mention of "The Blue-haired ladies that play Bridge over at Mary Mac's Tea Room" as a possible photographic subject for a magazine.
Mary Mac's serves classic Southern cuisine. Famous entrees at Mary Mac's include: fried chicken dredged in buttermilk and flour, country-fried steak, and chicken pan pie topped with thick giblet gravy. Also popular is the restaurant's fresh vegetables, and corn bread with pot likker, a ham broth made with turnip greens. Sides dishes offered include: black-eyed peas, fried green tomatoes, whipped potatoes, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, and sweet-potato soufflé. Corn and yeast rolls are served with lunch. Desserts include peach cobbler and banana pudding.