Hungry Mother, Cambridge, MA

Hungry Mother 233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 617-499-0090

Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Pea Shoots at Hungry Mother

Hungry Mother in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a restaurant I could return to week after week, for I know that I would never tire of the food. How to describe the cuisine and the rich menu? It has strong Southern country roots with sophisticated and original touches. Full disclosure: I was born and bred in Memphis, so soul food is in my DNA! Hungry Mother (the name of a state park in southern Virginia, the home state of talented chef, Barry Maiden) offers some of the most creative, enticing fare on either side of the Mason Dixon line.

The night of our visit, every dish our party of four ordered was perfectly prepared. Beginnings included fried oysters on toast with remoulade sauce, pillowy potato gnocchi with mushrooms and pea shoots in a smoked ham hock broth, and angel biscuits with shaved country ham and hot pepper jelly. Mains were equally delectable and included slow-smoked pork shoulder with grits and mustard greens as well as crispy, cornmeal-coated catfish in a tomato broth. Cornbread with sorghum butter completed our selections. I’m still dreaming about the “lemon meringue pie”—a crunchy black walnut meringue topped with smooth-as-silk lemon mousse and garnished with swirls of wild blueberry sauce.

The ambience is friendly and unpretentious, the wait staff helpful and happy to see you, and the prices reasonable. I can’t wait to go back!

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