We arrived at Mama’s in Tarpon, Florida, home of sponge fishing and Greek living shortly after the place had opened for the day and the host didn’t want us to leave, so they bribed us with a free appetizer. I can’t say no to a free anything and they had BOGO beer and $3 margaritas, so I was beyond set.
Really, I am not difficult to impress and easily satisfied. For instance, I was on cloud 9 after eating this place’s side salad. How often can you say that? It was just lettuce, tomato, cucumber, dressing and some feta cheese. Their dressing seemed to be made in house and some tasty, homemade Italian dressing is a rare treasure and to not over or under dress a salad is an acquired skill.
Bread and oil with spices seems like a no brainer this day and age, but this place does it right. They perfectly balance the marriage of the oil to the spices and they add some minced garlic to the mix. After salad and bread, I am feeling like a fat and happy customer, but my meal was just bread and salad so far. I had two more stops to make.
The free appetizer was on fire, literally, it was a block of flaming cheese and I don’t want my education on the offering to extend beyond that. Looking at this bubbling block of calories with drool on my lips, I was feeling somewhat embarrassed because I was eating with a health nut, but after we joked about it we both tore into it and after it was tucked away, we agreed that it was tasty.
By the time the entree came, I was pretty full and wishing that I had not ordered the platter; it was so much food. I had never seen lamb cut this heartily. Each piece was the size of a chicken tender and I had 8 or 9 pieces with pita, tiziki, and seasoned potatoes. The potatoes were a low point (wish I had gotten the fries), but everything tasted great and the only thing I left on my plate were some potatoes, so maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t get the fries.
I left the place needing a short walk and a long nap. Unfortunately, this hearty lunch detoured my plans of ever wanting diner, so I had to skip a meal while I was on vacation (my girlfriend could not be more proud!). Skipping a meal was probably for the best, it’s hard to compete with Mama!