We previously reviewed J.O.E. and Pop’s Sub Shoppe, located near the Arts & Crafts district, which offers delicious sub sandwiches. Today we’re going to review its sister business, located in the same building, Mama’s Chicken Kitchen. It presents a culinary palette painted in golden, crispy hues of its specialty – good ol’ Southern-style fried chicken.
Both restaurants in the building share a menu, which is split into sandwiches on one side and the chicken menu on the other. I ordered their three-piece meal, which consists of a breast, leg, and thigh. There are various meal configurations available to suit every appetite. You can order a meal with just two pieces, or up to four whole wings. Or if you feel like you just need some greens, you can order a meal with three veggies and a biscuit, or a salad.
Upon arrival, the chicken pieces were gloriously golden, encased in a crackling skin that promised utter decadence. One bite into the breast piece, and I was met with an eruption of flavors. The chicken was juicy and tender, perfectly seasoned, and the exterior crust gave a satisfying crunch with each bite. The leg and thigh pieces followed the same delicious narrative. It was an absolute delight to savor each piece, clearly marinated to perfection, and fried with precision.
Accompanying the star of the plate were two faithful sidekicks – mashed potatoes with brown gravy and slaw. The mashed potatoes were creamy and comforting, with the brown gravy mixed into the potatoes. The slaw offered a crunchy contrast and a tangy zing, proving to be the perfect counterbalance to the rich fried chicken and mashed potatoes.
The three-piece meal also included a biscuit served with jelly. The biscuit was fluffy and buttery, and the jelly was delicious. A bite of the biscuit between the chicken indulgence was a clever palate cleanser.
Of course, not all patrons might be in the mood for fried chicken, and Mama’s Chicken Kitchen offers other options. The menu includes chicken wings for those wanting a smaller bite and chicken livers for the adventurous. There is also a range of salads for the health-conscious or those seeking a lighter meal.
The decor in Mama’s Chicken Kitchen is clean and simple. The restaurant has a fast food style configuation, with orders placed at a front counter. The staff is friendly, and the food arrived in short order. If you’re looking for a place to get a great meal and get in and get out, this is an excellent choice. Or you may choose to take your time. There is seating outside and in a patio area if you like to feel that Smoky Mountain air while you eat. A creek runs behind the restaurant.
Whether you’re a resident of Gatlinburg or a wanderlust traveler exploring the Smoky Mountains, Mama’s Chicken Kitchen is a gastronomic pit-stop you shouldn’t miss. Be prepared to leave with a satiated appetite, a heart filled with warmth, and grease on your fingers.
Mama’s Chicken Kitchen is located at:
1244 East Parkway
Gatlinburg, TN 37738