What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Restaurant review: Mama Dips

Posted April 23, 2012
Updated April 25, 2012

I was doing research for our Five Fave Comfort Foods and just had to go to Mama Dip's. Their southern cooking tastes just like home! And, I ask you, how can you not love a place who compares their philosophy on life and business to growing a pumpkin seed? Tend to it, nurture it, water it, feed it and share with your neighbors! 

The Location: Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill right around the corner from Franklin Street. Easy enough street parking and a few lot spots.

The Company: My handsome husband and our darling eight-month-old son. This was his first time sitting in a high-chair at a restaurant and sharing some of our food. How fun!

Mama Dip's

The Meal: We started with sweet potato fries with cinnamon and sugar, definitely darling boy’s favorite! I tried to brush off the excess sugar for him, but for me it was just right. I think these could double as an appetizer and dessert.

Mama Dip's

My husband ordered chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and fried okra. His official press-statement was “tastes like chicken." I tried a bite and thought was great. Tender, not tough, with the right flavor and no surprises – which is what I like from down home country cooking. The fried okra was great. Just what I was expecting and craving. Yum! 


Mama Dip's

I ordered what the menu calls chicken and dumplings, but I would call it chicken and pastry because the dough is rolled flat and cut into strips. Even though the name was questionable, the flavor and texture were perfect! Chewy, with just the right amount of bite. The chicken was just right too, tender and shredded into perfect sized pieces. I ordered greens as a side, which won't go down in history as my favorite greens, but they were good and I'd order them again.

The Service: Wonderful! When the waitress brought us our food, she placed everything on the far side of the table, out of reach of darling boy’s grabby little hands, which I really appreciate. Too often when we go out to eat, the server places the steaming hot food and hot plates directly in front of the baby and it’s a race to push it out of the way before he grabs it. Servers take note! 

The Final Bill: $40 for the app, two entrees and two drinks. 

The Verdict: We would definitely go back. I have it in mind to pick up a picnic basket from them sometime this summer. They come with fried chicken, potato salad, a red checkered table cloth, even utensils and ice! (Bring your own cooler). Charming! 


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • littleteacher Apr 26, 2012

    It's sad to hear Dip's is not as good as it used to be. Used to go there years ago after graduating from college, to get good home cooked food, before I learned how to cook it myself. I do love the cookbooks--everything I've tried I've made again & again!

  • ncsulilwolf Apr 25, 2012

    I have to laugh at the JCo "chicken slick" reference... I grew up in Wake, but it was "chicken slick" for us, too!

  • Opinionated1 Apr 25, 2012

    If you are looking for solid country food and lots of it, try Dan'l Boone Inn, in Boone! Two family style dinners (all you can eat) will cost you less than two single plate meals at Mama Dips (depending on where you are traveling from!)

  • pdsmith642 Apr 25, 2012

    I've been to Mama Dips and the food is really good, but not great! It's basic southern food but way too overpriced for what you get. The service was warm & friendly. I would go again.

  • Gerbil Herder Apr 25, 2012

    So it seems the only people that like Big Mama's House is people from out of state who don't know any better. It's called Chicken and Dumplings folks. Dumplings and the fat pastries are two separate things, but they are both southern.

  • Caesarsgirl79 Apr 25, 2012

    Smokin': I have to disagree. I grew up in the country eating a lot of country/soul food. My mom could have done better. I agree it was overpriced, but the food just wasn't good. I really wish it was.

  • Ambygirl Apr 25, 2012

    "What you describe as chicken and pastry are true Southern Chicken and Dumplings"

    Never called it chicken and dumplings. We always called it chicken pastry or 'chicken slick'. That's the true southern way. And BTW, my family is from deep JCO.

  • Smokin Apr 25, 2012

    Food is good enough, just overpriced. I think you'll hear that a lot from those of us who grew up on this kind of food. I'll guarantee you that Grandma's biscuits were better. For those who have never eaten this kind of food, it gives them a little taste of it.

  • wpayne5 Apr 24, 2012

    Went to Dips a year or so ago...very poor service & food.They served us the driest biscuits I have ever had in any establishment. They really were inedible. When I asked our waitress if she could bring us the yeast rolls instead, they were kind of thrown on the table with a "try that!" attitude. No tip was left, BTW. And they were just as bad, dry as dust. Mama Dip was there, but she seemed a bit out of it, as she sat at a table. I felt sad for her, it was like she was on display. When the fried okra arrived, it was burned. The entire dinner was pretty tasteless. Finally, got dessert, hoping to eat something good. We got the red velvet cake...it was so dry it was inedible. Someone needs to learn how to date the baked goods in this place. I mean, it's country cooking, and you cannot serve a fresh biscuit? I make my own biscuits, and they might hold up for one day, but that's it...We paid the $40 bill and left...NEVER TO RETURN. Don't DIP!

  • heelbilly Apr 24, 2012

    sounds expensive for what you get...