Finding Martha’s Place

18 Apr

We all know that Martha Washington was our country’s original “First Lady.” But you should also know that Montgomery, Alabama’s Martha Hawkins is the South’s “First Lady of Soul Food.”  The only other lady who could possibly make lay claim to that title might be North Carolina’s Mildred “Mama Dip” Council. We’ve dined at both places and actually prefer the delicious downhome offerings at Martha’s.

Martha’s Place is located on Sayre Street in downtown Montgomery, where Hawkins has created something of a soul food empire. Over the last 20 some odd years, she has made a mighty name for herself among locals who have a deep appreciation for authentic home cooking. Each dish on Martha’s buffet line is created with great love and attention to detail. It all tastes fantastic — and it is truly good for your soul.

Martha also runs a thriving catering operation.

Pick up her book “Finding Martha’s Place” – a moving read!

Celebrities from all over the world have come home to Martha’s Place.

She is such a sweet lady — we enjoyed finally meeting her!

We enjoyed our lunch in this bright, cheerful setting.

We found an authentic Mose Tolliver folk art piece on the wall.

My first trip thru the buffet line – fried bird, collards, butter beans, cornbread, and some amazing au gratin potatoes. Everything was simply fabulous. The chicken was crispy and flavorful on the outside while retaining its moisture on the inside. I only wish the plates (and my stomach) were bigger!

The perfect picture of pure plump poultry perfection.

The collards were just like Granny’s – the highest praise possible.

Words can’t describe the goodness of Martha’s pineapple bread pudding.

The restrooms are spotless & there is always a Bible within arm’s reach.

We found Martha’s to be a very special place. It is filled with love, nice people, and some of the best soul food you will ever put in your mouth. So what’s not to like about all that? Make sure you visit — and soon!

One Response to “Finding Martha’s Place”

  1. Jeanne Williamson January 31, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    I loved your book. I’m only 53 but I remember the colored bathrooms and water fountains in the stores in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock 9 made a difference here! There were no black children in our school till I was in 6th grade, but we were all poor, and only had school shoes back then. Our folks would buy them a size too big and we would stuff them with newspaper to wear them to school. I wore feed sack dresses, and was proud of them. My daddy drove the school bus, and worked the day at a gas station, or any work that he could find then. He built our house 1 room at a time, on the 75$ he made a month. He even saved up and bought his very own school bus, cause the 1 he started out with had wood seats and no heater. Times were poor for everyone, not only blacks. I took my baths in a wash tub, used the can, only got fruit and maybe a few nuts for Christmas. I played with rocks and loved the stream by our house to cool off in. We only ate meat on Sunday, but we always had eggs or fresh biscuits, and my grandpa and I would set out every morning to kill squirrels, if we wanted meat in the week, or to put it on ice for Sunday dinner. I have picked cotton, dug potatoes, crossed rivers on wooden barges that took 1 truck at time, and had grandpa send me over the fence to the neighbors fields to milk their cows so we could make butter and have milk because we couldn’t afford a cow of our own. We only had pa’s mules, Kate and Blue, who he used to plow and plant with. I can still see him riding the plow behind them..
    Things weren’t’ just tough for black folks then honey, they were hard for EVERYONE! We appreciated every little thing God gifted us. A good crop, a fat chicken, lots of squirrels to eat, deer meat, and a nickle once a week was a fine thing, cause I could either spend it on an extra milk at school, or spend it on a piece of candy (1 cent each). Everyone makes such a fuss over being black and having hard times, but it was just as hard for poor white folks.
    Maybe you can tell me why this generation of black folks still feel like they are entitled to feel superior, like the world owes them something. They didn’t’ live thru hard times. they have nice cell phones and saggy britches, and treat their women like crap, and lots of them end up in prison because they feel they can just rob, sell drugs and steal their way to get by. It aint’ right. They still feel like the world owes them all for any injustice done in the past. The world has moved ON, we are all doing better! We can ALL get an education, we can ALL move on and up in our lives. I am still poor and white, but I do not get welfare. We make do.
    If you never read this that is fine. But I would love to hear your perspective on this.

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