Address: 7601 Fordson Road, Alexandria, VA 22306
Mamma’s Kitchen cropped up on my radar a little while back when I was searching for some Greek restaurants in the area. I saw that the restaurant had very favorable reviews from others that had been there before, so I added it to my list of restaurants to visit. As it turns out, the restaurant is right around the corner from my car dealership, so when I went to the dealership today to pick up some touch-up paint for my car, I stopped by to grab lunch at the restaurant.
On the outside, the restaurant is very unassuming, nestled in a tiny strip mall. The interior décor, however, really gave the dining area an elegant feel. Large exterior windows were tinted to darken the entire dining area, while ornate lamps hung above the tables to bathe the area in a yellow-orange light. I was also impressed with the murals that covered the walls, which all looked hand-drawn.
It was a quiet day of lunch service, with a few other tables occupied when I got there. I was seated very quickly and got a chance to look over the menu. Mamma’s Kitchen features a “Lunch Express” menu that is served on the weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., offering 10 different items to choose from and all for $6.99. I saw the lamb gyro on that menu and knew that was definitely what I would be going for. From the looks of it, in addition to Greek food, the restaurant also featured Italian and American dishes as well.
The last time I had gyros was at a local gyro shop back at school that my friend Jason and I used to frequent a lot; it’s been a good year and a half since I’ve had this delectable Greek sandwich. I am happy to say that the gyro I had today certainly met, if not exceeded, my expectations.
When the plate was first set down onto the table, I was impressed with how stuffed the gyro looked, full of lamb meat, shredded lettuce, and Feta cheese. (I have gotten gyros at other places before, and it’s never a good feeling when the first word that comes to mind is “measly.”) It was only after I started taking a few bites that I found the diced tomatoes and Tzatziki sauce buried deeper within.
I think that all the side components of the gyro (Feta cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, Tzatziki) were balanced well in order to not overpower the flavoring of the gyro meat. There was also enough meat in the gyro that you tasted some in almost every bite you got. The pita used to wrap the gyro was also very warm, at the perfect thickness to mesh well with everything else, and tasted soft and very fresh (not rubbery like I’ve also had at some other places). The French fries were a nice complement on the side to round out the lunch. Next time I might ask for some Tzatziki on the side to add into the gyro or even just dip my fries in.
From my first impression of this restaurant today, I know that it will be a place I will come back to. The food was excellent, the ambiance was really nice, and the staff were very friendly as well. With such an array of other dining options, I can’t wait to try something else on the menu.
Let’s now take a look at the Mamma’s Kitchen Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** Lamb Gyro with Fries **
Fresh beef and lamb marinated with spices and slow roasted, topped with shredded lettuce, feta cheese, and Tzatziki sauce, wrapped in a warm pita.
** Fried Calamari **
Lightly breaded calamari fried to golden deliciousness. Served with marinara and spicy sauce.
And finally, here are my rankings for Mamma’s Kitchen:
Food: 5 / 5
Probably one of the best gyros I’ve had in a while; all the components came together beautifully. Eager to see how the other food stacks up as well.
Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5
Like I mentioned above, the décor really adds a lot to the ambiance. The lighting scheme really sets the tone and can give the meal that classy feel.
Service: 4 / 5
The waitress was very friendly and came back a few times to check up on how my meal was. The food took a little longer to get out of the kitchen, but I thought it was well worth the wait. There was only one waitress working the entire dining area for lunch, but maybe that was attributed to the holiday? If it got any busier, it might have been too much for one person to handle.
Price: 5 / 5
I can’t speak yet for how the portions of the regular menu come out, but the amount of food you get from the Lunch Express menu (for only $7!) speaks more to its phenomenal value. I left feeling very satisfied with the meal.